Long recognized for its antioxidant properties, green tea has recently been found to contain catechins, a particularly rich type of polyphenols or plant based compound. A study performed in Tokyo, Japan by Tomonori Nagao of Health Care Products Research Laboratories and published in the 2005 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that these catechins trigger weight loss in the body. In this study, two test groups of men were given the same diet and calorie count per day. One group of men also drank up to 4 cups of green tea each day, while the other group drank water or other low calorie beverages. At the end of a three-month period, the tea-drinking group had lost more weight than the other group of men. They also had a lower BMI and a smaller waist size.
Chilies are another food associated with boosting the metabolism through the compound capsaicin. A UCLA study in 2010 by Dr. David Heber found that this compound boosts the immune system by about 100 calories for the average woman, and around 200 for the average male. Capsaicin, also called DCT, was found in Heber’s study to boost fat burning in test subjects as well. While chilies are not going to singlehandedly make or break a diet, they are a flavorful way to enhance low-calorie and reduced fat meals with a pop of flavor and a metabolic boost.
Fruits and vegetables are a fairly safe bet in any diet, but apples are especially beneficial in a fat-busting diet. The high levels of pectin in apples actually work inside the stomach, binding with water and limiting the amount of fat your body’s cells can absorb. Lettuce is also associated with fat-loss. Not only does this leafy green fill up the body, but it also takes a long time to consume, giving the body more time to feel full, reducing consumption of other heavier foods. Cantaloupe, avocado and banana function as natural diuretics, which expel water retention, making the body look and feel trimmer.
While many weight-loss regimes advice against carbs, oats have been mistakenly lumped in with white bread, cereal and pasta, known to raise blood sugar and be digested by the body quickly. Oats are actually a whole grain, meaning they are digested more slowly, leaving the body feeling full all morning and as a result, limiting additional calorie intake. Oats also cut cholesterol and blood fat, making them an all around excellent food choice.
Protein is often looked upon as the primary source of fat in a diet, and as a result many wanting to cut back on fat in their diet mistakenly cut protein. However, some proteins are very low in fat, like chicken, turkey and pork. All protein serves an important role in a healthy and complete diet, but consumption of dairy and nuts have been show to provide low-fat protein, but fast burning potential. Pine nuts and almonds are rich in fatty acids. These fatty acids have been shown to prevent belly fat, the most dangerous type of fat on the body. Nuts are also digested slowly and boost the hormone ghrelin, which makes the body feel full.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who drank a cup and a half of milk every day lost more weight than those who only drank a half-cup. Drawing the conclusion that nutritional deficiencies of any kind in the body prevent weight loss. Considering most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, extra milk consumption replenishes the body and allows for weight loss.
As we come to understand the power and benefits of certain foods, a healthy, balanced and delicious life is increasingly attainable. Join us at the Aspen Club and Spa to eat (and exercise) your way to good health!