Given how much we sweat over getting ready for swimsuit season, you’d think we wouldn’t have to worry about dieting. Instead of enjoying the sun, though, we end up holed-away fully clothed, counting calories and wishing excess weight away.
Well- fret not. By stocking up on key ingredients in your larder, you can actually burn fat without lifting a finger. The best way to achieve a flat tum is through a healthy, low-calorie diet and plenty of exercise.
As a bit of a cheat boost, though, fill up on these goodies to relive water retention, starve off cravings, and boost metabolism.
Here are 7 surprising weight loss foods.
Yoghurt is often referenced as a great weight loss food. A nutrition and weight loss study conducted by Darius Mozzafarian at Harvard University found that yoghurt can be a factor in people who maintain their weight as they age, with those who gradually gain pounds over time normally being non-yoghurt eaters.
It’s not known why yoghurt is such a weight loss friend, but it’s theorized that healthy gut flora is promoted by yoghurt’s probiotics.
In the study of the eating habits of 120,000 people, yogurt was the biggest commonality in the diets of those with a steady weight, with potatoes topping the list for those who experienced the highest weight gain. Be warned, then, and stock up on Greek yoghurt with honey for breakfast, or try sticking a pot in the freezer for a healthy alternative to ice cream.
You need certain good fats to keep the body healthy, and wild salmon is choc-full of Omega-3 fatty acids that help with insulin sensitivity. This helps to build muscle and decrease belly fat.
By increasing your body muscle you’ll burn more calories, so try incorporating fish into your diet twice a week for a great boost.
Even just seasoning with salt and pepper generously, with a squeeze of lemon and a little olive oil, you can grill, fry, or poach in tin foil for a fast, easy meal that will have you battling the bulge in not time.
On that note, always try and cook with olive oil, not butter. Poly unsaturated fats like those in olive oil contain acids which will help with the breakdown of excess fats in the body.
Avocados are tip-top for dieters, as you can do so much with them.
Oleic acid, a compound that is found in healthy monounsaturated fats, can trigger a hunger suppressant that will keep rumbly tummies at bay, and avocados are also full of fiber and protein.
Try scooping out half a very ripe avocado and mix in a blender with two or three teaspoons of cocoa powder and a drizzle of honey for a great vegan sweet treat that’s low in calories, or else chomp on half an avocado on wholewheat toast for breakfast.
A Middle-Eastern staple, hummus is an easy, protein-rich snack that works by balancing blood sugar levels to kick cravings into place.
Beware of the chemical-laced additives of store bought packs, though. It’s much better to make your own, and so easy!
Throw a can of chickpeas into a blender with a little cumin, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. If you make extra, it’s fine to freeze and let thaw as and when you need it. A fresh batch should keep in the fridge for a good week or so.
Hummus will boost your iron and vitamin C, keeping energy levels stable. Eat it with carrot slice or raw pepper wedges for a great influx of veggies into your diet too- uncooked plants have the most nutrients, so you’ll be on top form before you know it.
The Dukan diet- a fave of the celebs- is famed for its focus on oats. Famously svelte French women often carry oat bran bars in their handbags as a healthy snack, and the results speak for themselves: France is the best example of beautiful, healthy, and chic women.
Oats are very high in fibre, so you feel fuller for longer, and absorb fats brilliantly too.
It’s recommended that if you want to utilize oats to their fullest, you need unbleached, natural oats from a healthfood store, and must fill up on about 3 tablespoons a day. This can be in the form of morning porridge, sprinkled over puddings, or made into after dinner treats.
As part of a low-calorie diet, rolled oats can even lower your cholesterol, too.
Almonds are incredible for skin-brightening because of their vitamin E and protein, and high fibre rears its happy head again by keeping you feeling fuller for longer once more.
Research from Purdue University confirms that even though almonds are quite high in calories, they don’t contribute to belly fat. See what switching out your elevenses choccie for a handful of nuts does for your waistline- we think you’ll notice the difference.
Asparagus is the king of the nutritious vegetable kingdom. With vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, as well as a tonne of zinc and potassium (that will make your skin brighten and clear), asparagus also assists the body with getting rid of any excess fluids that might be leaving you look otherwise bloated and bigger than you really are.
Asparagus is great for inflammations like arthritis and rheumatism, too. Oven roast a bunch with garlic and loads of salt and pepper, or blanche it for a few short minutes before breaking it up in a salad and chucking in some nuts and avocado to combine all the best foods for that beautiful body of yours.
One final tip…
Often, what we think of as hunger is actually dehydration, and our body’s way of telling us to fill up on aqua. Make sure that you get about 2 litres of water a day, sipped (not gulped!) periodically, and that before every meal you have a big glass of water so that when you finally sit down to eat, it’s because your body really needs the fuel.