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July 22, 2011

Viva Health: Fat Fighting Foods

*This is a guest post by Kevin Warren of Synergy Fitness Ireland. Please see the end of the post for more information!*

Almost everyone has their "problem" area, the part of the body from where they just can't shift the pudge/flab/fat/jiggle from. Common "problem" areas for women include but, are not limited to, the lower abdomen (belly), the upper thighs, the upper arms and the back. While these stubborn areas can cause some amount of heartache when you're bursting your bangers in the gym and they totally rebel and refuse to shift, there are some small dietary changes/additions you can incorporate to help beat the bulge.

As with all of these posts, I want to preface this by saying that none of these tips to fighting the fat and beating the bulge will work if you don't maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime. Caffeine in coffee/green tea is great for increasing your metabolism, as we will look at below, but, this does not mean you can drink 5 cups of coffee full of cream, sugar, syrup and chocolate powder every day and expect to lose your muffin top! All aspects of your life, from eating and exercising, to decreasing alcohol consumption must work in tandem with each other if you expect to see your desired results.


Increased Metabolism
Let's begin with a quick definition and why you want to increase your metabolism. Everything your body does requires energy. This energy comes in the form of calories obtained from food. The basic functions of the body e.g. body temperature, breathing, heart rate, require energy, or calories, for your day-to-day living. Simply put, and something you may not know, basic bodily functions like breathing and heart rate use up calories taken in by food, even when you are just sitting watching TV or reading the paper.

In terms of weight-loss/fat fighting,  if you can increase your metabolism e.g. increase the amount of calories used for these most basic functions, through the clever use of food, you can burn more calories and this, in turn, may aid your overall weight loss. An increased metabolism will not only benefit you when you're in your resting or sedentary state but, will also provide for a more effective and efficient workout if measuring this in terms of calories lost.

There are a number of different foods which you can adopt into your diet to help increase your metabolism and fat fighting potential;

Whole chilis


Caffeine (Coffee, green tea, supplement form) 
Guarana (Supplement form)
Chilies (Chili peppers or their derivatives i.e. flakes, powder, cayenne pepper, paprika etc.)
Grapefruit (Fruit or unsweetened juice. Pink is preferable.)





Increased Satiety
Satiety is the feeling of being satisfied or full. The theory behind increasing your satiety levels is that the fuller you feel, the lower your calorie intake will be i.e. you won't eat as much. Again, there are a number of foods and ways to eat that will help increase your satiety and decrease your feeling of hunger. 

One of the main ways to increase satiety is to incorporate an adequate amount of fibre into your diet. Not only does this aid certain bodily functions, keeping you healthier, but, it also works in one of two ways to keep the hunger pangs at bay. In one way, the fibre turns to an almost goo-like substance in your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer. In the second way, it can increase the volume of food consumed without significantly increasing calorie intake and your body has to work harder to process the food with the added fibre. Fibre powder can be bought to add to meals in health food stores, supplement shops and good pharmacies. 

Some whole foods with a high-fibre content that can be added to bulk up your meals or to snack on in between  include;

Beansprouts


Seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower etc. Linwood do good mixed bags of seeds.)
Cereals (buckwheat, wheatgerm, oatbran etc.)
Pulses and Legumes (Lentils, beans, beansprouts etc.)
Nuts (Unsalted; almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, monkey nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts etc.)




Tips to Beat the Bulge
Eat smaller meals more frequently.

Eating a green salad as a starter before dinner has been shown to make you eat less during the main course.

If doing regular weight training, eating increased lean protein can build muscle and help with slimming.

To help lose weight, reduce carbohydrate intake (including high carb drinks like fruit juices) and choose "smart" carbs like brown rice, brown pasta and granary bread.

Eat/drink 3 portions of grapefruit (whole or unsweetened juice) per day, one with each breakfast, lunch and dinner, to see significant results from this fat fighting food.

Reduce or eliminate alcohol and fizzy drink consumption as well as smoking as is standard in any healthy weight loss plan.

Eating fast adds to your waistline as it takes approximately 10 minutes from when you start eating to when the food reaches your stomach. Therefore, if you consume too much, too quickly, your stomach does not get a chance to react and let you know that you are full which, in theory, can lead to unnecessary calorie consumption.

When you eat is very important. Eat about two-thirds of your daily calories before dinner to avoid overeating as this is when the calories are most often needed for energy and will be expended as opposed to during the evening and night when your calorie expenditure may be lessened and excess calories will be stored as body fat.
-Kevin


Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below and I'll get back to you. Alternatively, you can email me on synergyfitnessireland@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter for updates about circuit training camps, special offers on sports and holistic massage and much more. 


3 comments:

  1. really good post :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great tips there, thanks Kevin.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In one way, the fibre turns to an almost goo-like substance in your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer. In the second way, it can More featured products increase the volume of food consumed without significantly increasing calorie intake and your body has to work harder to process the food with the added fibre. Fibre powder can be bought to add to meals in health food stores, supplement shops and good pharmacies.

    ReplyDelete

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