Weight Control & Your Diet
There is always a link between metabolism and body weight when it comes to weight management/weight loss. In fact, weight loss depends very much on the body’s metabolism – a high body metabolism will help to burn more calories and thus lead to weight loss.
A very good way to boost metabolism is through exercising. However, there are certain foods and drinks that can help to boost our body metabolism and burn more calories, in addition to exercise. Here are some dietary habits that may help to boost your body’s metabolism and thus result in a better body weight management:
Switch to Complex Carbs
Reduce the consumption of simple carbs such as normal pasta, white rice, white bread, pastries, cakes and increase the intake of complex carbohydrates like buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, brown rice, red rice and etc, so as to allow the sustained slow release of energy in the human body while providing important nutrients. It is important to add various unrefined grains to our daily diet to get optimum nutritional benefits. For instance, Quinoa is a type of unrefined carbohydrates that provides a good source of B vitamins, essential minerals and dietary fibre which makes us feel full longer, and helps in keeping hunger pangs at bay. This low GI (glycemic index) superfood digests slowly in the body and does not quickly convert sugar to fat or bring about a spike in blood sugar levels.
Include High-Protein Superfoods
Protein promotes satiety, prevents muscle loss and has a much higher thermic effect compared to carbs or fats. Due to the higher thermic effect, a high protein intake tends to boost metabolism and make you burn more calories which is linked to losing fat. Foods that are rich in quality, complete protein (complete with all 9 essential amino acids) includes quinoa, chickpeas, sacha inchi seeds, chia seeds and clean whole-food plant protein powders. If you are not a vegan, look for lean animal-based sources like fish, poultry and eggs.
Include Good Fats
Healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids, are thermogenic in nature and help increase metabolism, thereby aiding fat burn. Omega-3 fatty acids help to enhance one’s HDL cholesterol (good type of fat) and lower the LDL cholesterol (bad type of fat), which lead to an improvement of the total cholesterol/HDL ratio. Examples of superfoods that are high in Omega-3 includes: flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds and salmon.
Consumption of High-Fibre Foods
High-fibre foods clear out the digestive track and act as an effective colon cleanser. High fibre foods help to rid our body of toxins which can cause water retention and weight gain. Besides that, foods with high fibre content also make you feel full longer and you end up eating less in a day, thus facilitating weight loss. Examples of foods that are naturally high in fibre includes all types of leafy vegetables, fruits, berries (e.g. mulberries), nuts and seeds (e.g. sacha inchi seeds, chia seeds).
Water Hydration Plays a Key Role
Water is particularly important when we are trying to achieve healthy weight loss, as it improves our digestive system. Drinking water helps to flush out our system, reduce fluid retention and decrease the appetite. Very often, drinking enough water helps to satisfy craving and stops us from reaching for calories we do not need, especially when we often mistake thirst for hunger. Recommendations for daily fluid intake vary depending on individual needs and circumstances, including level of physical activity and climate. Some hydration tips to increase our daily water intake is to bring a bottle of water with you wherever we go. Adding a slice of lemon and a teaspoon of chia seeds into your bottle of water gives it that added zing and nutrition!
Always Opt for Nutrient-Dense Foods
Nutrient-dense foods usually pack substantial amounts of good stuff like fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds like phytochemicals. Make every calorie intake count by consuming whole nutrient-dense foods.