Most of us think of food as fuel, but keep in mind that food can be more than just sustenance. As Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The following list of foods can actually double as weight-loss drugs (without the nasty side effects), helping to boost your metabolism and speed up your weight loss. Even better, they’re good for you and taste great!
In a study by the American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology found that drinking green tea was believed to keep the metabolism from slowing which often accompanies weight loss. The authors of this same report found that green tea seems to have the ability to inhibit the effects of catechol-o-methyltransferase which is an enzyme known to start the process of breaking down certain brain chemicals involved in the regulation of the appetite.
Another study published in 2009 in the International Journal of Obesity found that some antioxidants in green tea appear to have a “small positive effect” on both weight loss and weight maintenance. Their analysis of 11 studies on green tea found that green tea antioxidants known as catechins seemed to help increase metabolism.
Remember the Grapefruit Diet? According to an article on About.com, written by Mary Shannon, they may have been on to something. The article states: “With its high fiber content and low glycemic load, grapefruit may be a secret weight-loss weapon. Research suggests that dieters might be more successful if they select foods with staying power like whole citrus that help curb appetite and prevent overeating. That’s what a new study by the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic has confirmed. Researchers there found that the simple act of adding grapefruit and grapefruit juice to one’s diet can result in weight loss.
The 12-week pilot study, led by Dr. Ken Fujioka, monitored weight and metabolic factors, such as insulin secretion, of the 100 men and women who participated in the Scripps Clinic ‘Grapefruit Diet’ study. On average, participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. However, many patients in the study lost more than 10 pounds.
Additionally, the research indicates a physiological link between grapefruit and insulin, as it relates to weight management. The researchers speculate that the chemical properties of grapefruit reduce insulin levels and encourage weight loss. The importance of this link lies with the hormone’s weight management function. While not its primary function, insulin assists with the regulation of fat metabolism. Therefore, the smaller the insulin spike after a meal, the more efficiently the body processes food for use as energy and the less it’s stored as fat in the body. Grapefruit may possess unique chemical properties that reduce insulin levels which promotes weight loss.”
Were you aware that by simply eating breakfast you increase your metabolism by 10%? Make your breakfast a bowl of oatmeal and that percentage goes up even higher. Because it takes a long time to break down all the water soluble fiber in oatmeal your body uses more energy getting the job done. This also means that you feel fuller longer, helping you avoid that mid-morning snack.
In the old days they used to say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But today it actually looks like it may help keep the fat away as well. Apples are low in calories, fat, sodium and fiber, but high in nutrients. They help keep you feeling full while also keeping you from holding onto water weight. The vitamins and minerals will help keep your energy up and make you feel vibrant and ready to move.
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more…the more weight you lose, apparently! The bottom line is that beans are high in protein, high in fiber and low in fat which keeps you feeling full and satisfied for a long time. Eating beans on a regular basis is a great strategy for weight loss because it may keep you from snacking. So eating beans at every meal may just be a great weight loss strategy—if your significant other can take the smell.
When you’re trying to lose weight it can sometimes start to feel like food is your enemy. But the truth is, food is really your friend. Just like a good friend it can give you great pleasure, it can sustain you, and it can keep you healthy. It’s important, though, to keep your relationship with your friend food balanced. You can’t expect it to ease your pain or drown your sorrows. Your friend is not your crutch; it’s your partner in good health.