Often, we hear about foods which helps us in weight loss. We all want to look younger than our age and age gracefully. Ageing is inevitable but ageing gracefully is a wisdom. On this quest of becoming fitter and younger many of us end up searching information on various search engines. Most of the times, we end up finding plethora of information which can be intimidating if not helpful. A credible health information contributes to our moral boost. So, let me share some of the foods in our kitchen cabinet which not only helps us in weight loss but also make us age gracefully. These are all evidence based and backed up with science information for you.
In most Indian households, it starts with a cup of tea with ginger early morning and we continue to add grated ginger in our vegetables and curries. It has long been used as traditional medicine. Ginger treats morning sickness, migraine headaches (yes! You will not need a pain killer if you have a cup of hot ginger water), reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugars and also menstrual cramps. But what about fat burning? So, research shows that even consuming 1 teaspoon ginger powder can increase our metabolic rate by 10% for up to 2 hours when consumed in the morning. The rule is – to consume only 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder in the morning and continue movement like walk or house work throughout the day. The key is do not sit in one place for long hours. It only works in the morning, so do not consume excess ginger throughout the day. Ideally, I would add this to my morning cup of kadha or decoction or make a ginger tea using ginger powder.
We have read about some miraculous benefits of cinnamon in controlling blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglyceride but research also shows it helps in reducing our waist lines. This could be possible due to its ability to reduce insulin resistance in the body. But remember, like excess consumption of anything is bad, cinnamon should be consumed only 1 teaspoon a day and it must be Ceylon cinnamon which is the real cinnamon, not cassia cinnamon (Chinese cinnamon). Casia cinnamon’s have a compound called coumarin which can be toxic to the liver if consumed in excess. Cassia cinnamon is slightly pungent in taste and is reddish dark brown in colour whereas Ceylon variety is sweeter and is tan in colour. Ceylon variety is thin and papery whereas cassia variety is thick and tough to grind.
Simply drink a cup of tea and within an hour of your walk and you will burn 10 percent more calories. Drink 4 cups of tea within 24 hours before thirty-minute walk you will burn an extra gram of fat during your leisure paced walk. Now, this tea which I am talking about is black tea. I am not mentioning milk tea with sugar which is accompanied by cookies or biscuits! This is just black tea or green tea. When you add milk to tea, casein which is a milk protein reduces the absorption of certain nutrients from tea. Tea leaves are rich in a compound called catechins, these compounds help in burning of fat. Interestingly, young tea leaves which are white teas and green teas have more anti-ageing properties. So, the message is swap milk-based teas with black tea or green tea or even white teas to look younger.
As we discuss black tea, we must know that it is black coffee which has health benefits and helps us in weight loss. Green coffee extract was advertised a weight loss cure and it was hyped by tv commercials and TV doctors as weight loss supplement but sadly it was a fraud. The companies who made those claims were fined millions of dollars. It is proven that 100 mg caffeine can increase our metabolic rate, which is almost in a cup of coffee. When you consume coffee before your work out you also tend to burn more calories. When we drink 2 cups of black coffee our metabolic rate goes high by 10 percent after 2 hours of its consumption which is approximately 17 –20 calories a cup. Do not add milk or creamer or cream to your coffee, that will have an opposite effect in your body. For those who have severe anxiety or gastric reflux please use cinnamon and ginger powder to increase your metabolic rate.
Capsaicin is a pungent compound which is found in chilies. If you consume a meal with some chilies- I am talking about green chilies it will increase your metabolism by 30%. While other metabolic or weight loss boosters as mentioned above increase metabolic rate only by 10%, green chilies top the list. Now, I wonder why in a typical Indian thali, we find green chilies in our salad, and not to forget that super vitamin C is also available in green chilies. Just about 2 green chilies a day is enough to increase your metabolic rate and provide great health benefits. Please don’t go on a green chilly rampage to lose weight, excess consumption of green chilies will not only burn your tongue but it also be at the expense of frequent visits to the washroom.
You got to move in order to keep your metabolic rate high. DO not sit in one place for too long. Remember, key to weight loss is Habit Formation. Create your own rules and make them doable for you. It is the habit where we lack. So, learn different ways to break those bad habits. Drink plenty of water, soak up the sun or have good range of serum vitamin d, condition yourself for a sound sleep and avoid midnight munchies – Yes! create your own rules, that is why intermittent fasting works
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