Most of the programs to help people lose weight tell them all the foods they should avoid, but avoiding harmful foods simply isn’t enough. Your metabolism may also need a boost from nutrient-dense foods that restore the many functions linked to a healthy metabolism. Here are some of the main foods to eat if you are overweight.
Snack on almonds throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable and ward off cravings. Balanced blood sugar levels signal the brain to release fat stores. In a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, researchers found that eating about 1/3 cup of almonds daily resulted in substantially greater weight loss, waist size reduction, body mass index (BMI) and blood sugar levels among obese women who participated in the study compared to those who did not eat the almonds. Choose raw, unsalted nuts that are kept in the refrigerator section of your local health food store.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While it’s not exactly what most people would consider a “food,” apple cider vinegar is study-proven to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, both of which are linked to excess fat in the body.
Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and drink about 20 minutes before eating. Use olive oil and apple cider vinegar as a base for salad dressings and marinades.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), making them an excellent addition to your diet to help with weight loss. MUFAs help boost fat-burning in the body. Additionally, avocados provide many of the nutrients that are deficient from our modern diet, including fiber, vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium. Use in place of butter on sandwiches, add to salads, or blend with some cocoa powder and stevia for a delicious, no-cook, chocolate mousse.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in blueberries helped to improve the body’s response to insulin (which tends to reduce the deposition of fat in the body), while also improving inflammation in the body.
Chilies don’t just spice up your meals, they also reduce inflammation that underlies fat stores in the body, while lowering high blood sugar levels. Add fresh or dried chilies to your favorite soups, stews, vegetable dishes or other foods to fire up your metabolism.
Research in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease found that cinnamon improved all markers of the condition known as metabolic syndrome, which is often a factor in those who are overweight or obese.
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms that include: excessive abdominal fat, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Simply sprinkle some cinnamon on your breakfast cereal or oatmeal in the morning, and add to stews or curries.
Coconut contains healthy fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have been found to boost metabolism and may help restore healthy thyroid functioning. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that is involved with the rate of metabolism in the body.
Dandelion root is a well-known herbal support for a healthy liver. Since fatty liver is often linked to excess weight in the body, it is a good idea to support it with the addition of dandelion root. Dandelion also contains a natural substance known as alpha-glucosidase that is nature’s blood sugar reducer, making it useful in the treatment of diabetes. People with diabetes should work with a physician to monitor their blood sugar levels or to monitor their medication because dandelion is so effective that it frequently helps people reduce their medications. Of course, you should always work with a physician if you intend to reduce your medication.
Green tea contains a powerful phytonutrient known as epigallo-catechin gallate (EGCG) which increases the rate at which fat is burned in the body, while also stabilizing blood sugar levels.
According to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a daily diet that includes beans provides protein and fiber that keep blood sugar levels stable. They also keep you feeling full longer than you normally would, so you’re less likely to crave or snack on unhealthy options.
Because many thyroid conditions are associated with inflammation, anti-inflammatory herbs such as lemon balm can be helpful. Simply add fresh or dried lemon balm to boiled water to make a tea.
Rich in anti-inflammatory Omega 3s, pumpkin seeds can help quell the inflammation that often underlies fat stores in the body. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium which can activate more than 500 enzymes in your body, including those involved in insulin secretion and the body’s use of sugar.
Raspberries are among the best foods you can eat to lose weight thanks to their unique chemical make-up. They contain a powerful compound known as rheosmin that gives even the most sluggish metabolism a boost to jump-start weight loss.
According to research published in the medical journal Beneficial Microbes, obese and overweight people tend to have a higher ratio of harmful microbes to beneficial ones. Sauerkraut is rich in a wide variety of probiotics that can help restore the diversity and overall probiotic balance in your gut. Of course, make sure the one you choose has not been pasteurized and contains “live cultures.”
Seaweed is a rich source of critical nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, protein and minerals, all of which are beneficial for weight loss. While seaweed is rich in nutrients, it has a low caloric value making it an ideal food as part of an overall weight loss plan.
If you’re having trouble losing weight you might want to consider adding more turmeric to your diet. Research in the journal Biofactors found that the spice alleviated the inflammation isolated as a cause in overweight and obesity. Just add turmeric to soups, smoothies, stews and curries.
The live cultures found in yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, or plant-based equivalents, can transform your gut health to encourage slimming microbes to proliferate.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D., DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast.
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