Did you know that certain foods have been rumored to actually burn fat? HG has the lowdown...
We're not sure if it has magical fat-burning properties or not, but research suggests that this sweet 'n sour citrus fruit can aid in weight loss. One small Scripps Clinic study found that eating half a grapefruit or drinking 4 ounces of juice with meals (without making any other changes in eating habits) resulted in an average weight loss of more than 3 pounds in 12 weeks. Scientists speculate that the weight loss happens because grapefruit lowers insulin levels, which curbs your urge to snack. And, of course, the less you snack, the easier it is to lose weight. HG Tip: If grapefruit is a little too tart for you, try sprinkling a little Splenda on top.
Green tea is one ambitious beverage. Not only does it help prevent cancer and heart disease, but numerous research studies have found that drinking green tea, or taking green tea supplements, can also rev up your metabolism. Just how big a difference can this fat-burning brew make? Some researchers claim that if you drink five cups of green tea a day, you'll burn 70 to 80 extra calories. That's not bad, and definitely worth a shot!
Like it hot? Good news; eating spicy foods can help you burn more fat. The deal is this; hot foods make you sweat and raise your heart rate, which temporarily increases your metabolism. So grab some cayenne, your favorite bottle of hot sauce, hot chilis, or red pepper flakes and give your food, and your metabolism, a little kick!
In addition to building strong bones, calcium also inhibits the production of calcitriol, a hormone that tells cells to generate more fat. Woohoo! Several studies have concluded that incorporating low or nonfat dairy products into your diet can help you lose more weight. We're not sure if that's true or not, but it makes us wanna grab a Dannon Light 'n' Fit Smoothie!
Skimp on water, and it'll be harder to lose weight. That's because dehydration slows down the metabolism. And it can also lead to sugar cravings and fatigue (which may make you less likely to exercise). Yikes! Some experts recommend guzzling down 8 cups of H20 daily. HG says go for 10-12! (We heart water!)
Research shows that 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon, eaten with food, helps metabolize sugars more effectively and lower the body's blood sugar levels. This is helpful because high blood sugar levels and excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. Cinnamon also brings out foods natural sweetness and, well, tastes good. So sprinkle away! Hungry Girl's fave way to use the stuff? Mixed with Splenda and some fat free cottage cheese, or in her special baked apple recipe.
HG PROTEIN TIP!
Protein is essential for building muscle. And the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn--even while you're at rest! Protein also has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat). That means you burn more calories digesting protein than you do digesting carbs or fats. Your best protein-packed bets are turkey, egg whites, fish, tuna and skinless, boneless chicken breasts.