While meals that make you drop weight as you chew may just be a futuristic twinkle in a mad scientist’s eye, there are foodstuffs out there that can reduce insulin levels, kill hunger pangs and help you in your weight-loss quest.
We all know losing weight isn’t easy, especially when it comes to the dieting part, but adding these nutritional powerhouses to your basket could give your metabolism a motivating kick up the ass. You’ll need to do some exercise too though – there’s no such thing as magic.
“Vinegar helps control the rise in blood glucose and insulin levels after a meal, by slowing the rate at which your stomach empties,” says dietitian Lyndel Costain.
A study at Lund University in Sweden, in which subjects were given diluted vinegar at breakfast (sounds lovely, we know), found the sour stuff actually curbed their cravings and reduced their glucose and insulin levels by 25%, just don’t go buying chips to pour it on everyday.
“The warm, earthy and subtly nutty flavour of flaxseed combined with an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids makes them an increasingly popular addition to a healthy diet,” says Fiona Kirk, nutritionist and author of Diet Secrets Uncovered.
“Flaxseed contains an excellent combination of the healthy fats needed for fat metabolism, and is also a fabulous source of metabolism-boosting, high-quality protein and fibre.”
“Apples contain a chemical called pectin,” says Kirk. “This chemical is also found in most berries, and fresh fruit. The pectin is in the cell walls of most fruits, especially apples. Pectin limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb.”
“A great source of complete protein,” says Kirk. “Countless studies have shown that protein can help boost metabolism, shed fat, and build lean muscle tissue so that you burn more calories.”
Eat less and burn fat faster by having a bowl of soup as an appetiser or snack. According to a Penn State University study, soup is a super appetite-suppressant due to being a hunger-satisfying combination of liquids and solids.
In the study, women chose one of three 270-calorie snacks before lunch: chicken casserole, chicken casserole with a glass of water, or chicken casserole with the same amount of water added to make a soup. Those who had the soup consumed, on average, 100 fewer calories than those who opted for the casserole or the casserole with a glass of water.
Overweight women who ate the equivalent of three small pears a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t add fruit to their diet, according to researchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. The fruit eaters also ate fewer calories overall.
So, next time you need to satisfy a sugar craving, reach for this low-calorie, high-fibre snack. You’ll feel full longer, and eat less.
Chilli can be an effective weight-loss tool when consumed alongside low-calorie, low-fat ingredients. Howard M. Shapiro and Franklin Becker, authors of Eat & Beat Diabetes With Picture Perfect Weight Loss, note that eating chilli can help lower your cholesterol and increase your intake of many important nutrients.