To put it simply, protein takes a lot of effort for the body to break down and digest. A lot more than, say, fat. So while your body is working hard to process that protein, you're burning calories. HG tip -- eat fish! Chances are you're not getting enough of it. Not only is fish a fabulous source of lean protein, BUT many types are full of those Omega-3 fatty acids you're always hearing about. Beans are also a wonderful source of protein. And it's no secret how we feel about our friend the soybean. (Let's have a cheer for veggie patties and soy-meats!)
Belly fat is not particularly cute on anyone (except maybe babies), so it's exciting news that whole grains can do a number on that stubborn flab around your midsection. One of the easiest ways to get whole grains into your diet? Oatmeal in the morning. Quaker's Simple Harvest Multigrain Hot Cereal is really good and just full of grains. Also, Kashi GoLean's Hot Cereal packs in 7 whole grains and a big 5 - 7g fiber! Mmmmm...
Ever since you were a kid popping Flintstones Chewables, you've known that Vitamin C is good for you -- and that certainly hasn't changed. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant AND has been shown in studies to help burn fat. So, if you're looking for a snack, how's about a nice, juicy grapefruit? The theory is that grapefruit helps to lower insulin levels, which keeps you from being hungry all the time! We know it smacks of classic diet food, but those Ruby Reds are MIGHTY delicious! If it's too sour for you straight, sprinkle it with some no-calorie sweetener like Splenda or stevia.
Green tea is EVERYWHERE. It's been classified as a "superfood" as it's been linked to reduced rates of heart disease and cancer. And now it helps us lose weight too? Green tea has been shown to raise our metabolism, which is key in our battle with the bad stuff. Researchers also suspect that substances called polyphenols combined with caffeine are responsible for its fat-burning properties. If the hot murky stuff doesn't do it for you, try HG's Green Tea Crème Swappuccino! Only 75 calories and SO GOOD!
You know how when you eat spicy foods, you sometimes start to sweat a little (ew)? That's because it's given a little kick to your heart rate. These little kicks will result in a temporary increase in your metabolism, which will help you burn fat a little easier for a bit. A quick hit with cayenne, red pepper flakes, or whatever hot sauce you fancy should do the trick and get your blood pumping. And these spices are practically calorie-free. Yes!
Hey, dairy queens! Good news! It turns out that people who eat low-fat or fat-free dairy lose MORE weight than people who don't. Sure we mentioned protein before, but it bears bringing up again since the magical combo of calcium and protein seems to work wonders. We're WAY into yogurt, so we suggest picking up some Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt and mixing in your favorite fruits, sugar-free preserves... or whatever! Also, light string cheese is a GREAT little snack, with only around 50-60 calories and 2.5g fat a pop. Not bad for hard cheese, people.
Experts say it's important to drink lots of water if you're trying to burn fat Your body can't work effectively if it's dehydrated -- not only will you FEEL like you don't have any energy, but also your body really won't have what it needs to function and burn off fat. Keep that machine humming -- drink around 8 glasses of water a day!
Sure this stuff tastes good -- that's why it's found in SO many things. But those chefs might not know that their sprinkling of cinnamon is helping the body process sugar more effectively and lower blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can lead to the body storing more fat, so maybe put together a little shaker of cinnamon and Splenda to sprinkle on your favorite foods! Then whip up some fat-burning cinnamon toast by using your new concoction on whole-wheat bread!
An apple a day isn't going to keep the gym away, but it'll probably make your diet plan more effective. Word on the street is that the pectin contained in apples limits how much fat your cells can absorb. (SWEET!) Plus it's a naturally soluble fiber, which is always good. So next time you feel all snacky, grab whichever apple looks best to you (we love Fujis!).