There are several ways by which the choice of foods we ingest can actually help lose or maintain weight. One mechanism is by a food requiring energy from the body to digest and metabolize the substance. Another process increases the metabolic rate by a bioactive property of the food. Some foods affect the biochemical hormones that control hunger and fullness. Foods affecting digestion affects fat balance. Properties that prevent fat deposition in to adipocytes (fat cells) is another way foods can help our wellness and fitness goals.
Often foods work in several pathways to affect weight homeostasis. Here are some of the top foods to consider as part of a weight conscious diet.
Apples are an example of a food that contributes to weight control in several fashions. In addition to great flavors and antioxidants, an apple snack a half an hour to an hour before meals has shown to a satiety response from neurohormones. This feeling of fullness limits calories consumed at the full meal, at least it helps prevent seconds.
Apples contain pectin. Pectin binds with water and limits the media that transports fat across cell membranes into fat cells. A more viscous environment decreases fat deposition early on in the cycle.
A major constituent of apple is fiber. High fiber diets not only are adventitious to gastrointestinal health, but contribute to sugar metabolism significantly. Diabetics are found to have more stable glucose levels, hence energy stores, with less fat deposition when consuming a high fiber diet.
There has been published material concerning using grapefruit as a diet focus. A popular, but unfounded belief in a fat burning enzyme unique to grapefruit has been postulated. A grapefruit is comprised of healthy material that in it could contribute to a healthy weight and energy.
Study participants reported an increase in subjective energy when consuming daily grapefruit juice. A mild increase in metabolic rate may be from antioxidants and vitamins like C. Grapefruit has a very low glycemic index and may reduce insulin levels. Lower insulin levels means decreased appetite and fewer calories consumed. One study showed a significant weight reduction in participants consuming as little as 4 oz grapefruit juice daily.
Oatmeal offers fiber and nutrients to the fat burning arsenal. As an abundant grain, oatmeal provides multiple benefits at very low cost. Oatmeal contains additional benefits in vitamin B6, thiamine, folate, calcium and iron. A half of a cup is about 150 calories.
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber. A large portion passes through the gastrointestinal tract and is eliminated relatively unchanged.
During the time of passage throughout the intestines, it generates a fullness message to the brain decreasing appetite. In addition, the oatmeal promotes colon health decreasing cancer risks and lowers cholesterol decreasing heart attack and stroke risks.
In a study by obesity researchers, it was reported that women who consumed low-fat dairy three to four times daily lost up to seventy per cent more fat than non-dairy consuming women. Another study showed less weight gain in those that drank 3 cups of low fat milk daily.
Calcium is an important electrolyte in the control of fat transport into and out of a fat cell. Several studies have supported the role of high calcium diets producing statistically significant weight losses over lower calcium environments.
Low in calories, high in fiber and bioactive chemicals, berries have been shown to provide exceptional benefits as a food group. The bioactive compounds in berries continue to be discovered and explored. The phytophenols that give color to the fruit act as powerful antioxidants in the human body. They provide anti-inflammatory qualities as well. Ongoing studies into the role of berry flavanoids in relation to cancer, immunity, cardio-vascular health, memory and weight control continue.
The exceptional concentration of manganese in berries plays a big role in many biologic functions. Along with calcium, the manganese obtained by eating berries directly affects fat metabolism.
Green tea has been used in the Orient as a prevention and treatment of a variety of medical and psychological conditions. Its effects on weight loss were studied and found that subjects lost more weight by all methods when green tea was added to the regimen.
Two active naturally occurring chemicals occur in green tea that acts as stimulants. They increase metabolic rate and burn energy, hence fat. They are thermogenic and the increased heat requires a fuel source. Caffeine is well known and exists in other plants, seeds and beans also.
Catechin polyphenols are powerful antioxidents that stimulate the body’s cellular functions. The potential benefits of these substances are thought to affect cancer, diabetes, mental decline, dementia, heart disease and more.
Fat Burning Breakfast
Consider starting an active day with a satisfying and delicious breakfast that also cuts fat. It sets a tone for wellness and fitness for the entire day.
- 1/3 cup oatmeal 93 Cal
- ½ cup diced apples 37 Cal
- 1 teaspoon honey 22 Cal
- 6 oz low-fat yogurt 100 Cal
- ½ cup blueberries 40 Cal
- 4 oz grapefruit juice 44 Cal
- 6 oz 1% low fat milk 71 Cal
- Unlimited green tea 0 Cal
- Total calories = 407 Calories!
- Fat burning index = high
- Satisfaction = priceless