Back in the New Year, many of us will have made resolutions involving sensible eating, with the intention of losing a little weight or combating obesity. Now, as the weather starts to warm up and we approach the Summer months, we are starting to think about shedding the jumpers and bringing out the lighter clothes from our wardrobes. We also have a new reason to look at our diets as we spend more time at home during the current pandemic. We may need a little boost to assist our weight loss efforts.
There is no doubt that the most effective way of preventing or combating excess weight or obesity is by following a healthy and nutritious diet, along with regular exercise. But what are the best foods to help you combat obesity and stay in shape?
Weight loss can often seem like an uphill battle but there are some foods which naturally help you tackle that uphill battle against obesity. Many of the foods mentioned here have a satiating, or satisfying, effect on your appetite, which along with their fat-busting properties, helps you to eat less and still remain healthy. But remember, everything must be in balance and eating just one of these foods in excess will not solve the problem.
Foods to Fight Obesity:
Apples don’t just help keep the doctor away but the calories away too. Just one medium apple contains only 70 calories and will give you a nutrient-rich, low-calorie source of satisfying energy. They are full of all kinds of antioxidants and contain absolutely no sodium and saturated fat, according to the English Apples and Pears group. Apples also make a great midday snack. The antioxidants contained in apples improve blood flow and provide much-needed energy. They have a satiating effect, so as a mid-meal snack, they will keep you going and prevent the urge for snacking.
Generally, it is better to eat apples with red or dark red skins. The darker an apple’s skin, the richer it is in antioxidants, and the stronger its fat-burning effects will be. However, if you prefer a crispy, crunchy Granny Smith, don’t worry, they will still assist you in combating obesity and certainly aid towards weight loss.
As well as being heart-healthy, whole grains, such as oats, which are non-sugar and non-processed, are a rich source of fibre. They break down and burn up twice the amount of calories that other foods do. Oats also make you feel more satiated after eating, making you less likely to reach for snacks or treats during the day. Strongly recommended as a breakfast meal with, perhaps, a little fruit and fresh nuts, they are probably the best start to the day you can have.
Oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which naturally aid weight loss by burning off calories at a fast rate. Consuming oily fish is also a great leveller of your appetite. But, where possible, try to eat fresh and, preferably, organic or sustainable fish to keep down any chemical levels. This includes mercury, which is frequently found in tuna. The British Heart Foundation says good oily fish to eat are trout, salmon or sardines. Baking, grilling or poaching are also healthier options to use when cooking fish.
Citrus fruits, particularly grapefruit, lemon and lime, also help with preventing obesity. Grapefruit contains pectin fibre which, just like oats, makes you feel fuller for longer. So, for a really ideal breakfast, try eating half a grapefruit with a small portion of oats. Grapefruits also act as a cleansing agent on the liver, making it perform at optimum level and are known to dissolve both fat and cholesterol. While not having the force of impact that grapefruits do, both lemon and lime are also cleansing to the liver and system, all of which speeds up your metabolic rate.
Skinless and Boneless White Meats
White meats, which are skinless and boneless, such as turkey or chicken have a high level of protein and a relatively low level of calorific value. Meats such as these are known as thermogenic. This means they burn up fat during the digestion process at a greater rate than some other foods, thereby increasing your metabolic rate at the same time. It is important, though, not to eat the skin, as this contains a very high level of fat, even when crispy.
Lentils and White Beans
Lentils in particular are rockets in your pockets in terms of protein value. As it takes your body longer to digest protein, this means you burn off more calories in the process. Lentils and white beans both act in the same way and, although lentils are more protein-efficient, most beans are a good addition to your fight against fat.
Finally, as we always advise, if you are at all concerned about what foods may be most suitable for your own particular requirements or health conditions, speak to your doctor or practice nurse to ensure your diet is compatible with any medication you may be taking or any individual health considerations.
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