Weight loss foods for Spring
Spring has finally arrived and for many of us the warmer weather is a stark reminder of the need to bare flesh very soon. So if you have gained a few kilos over the last few months, here are the key foods to base your diet around to get rid of those kilos ASAP.
Greek yoghurt not only contains much less sugar than the average serve of store bought yoghurt but it is much higher in protein which helps to keep your blood glucose levels regulated throughout the day. An added benefit will come if you choose a variety of Greek yoghurt which also contains probiotics, the live bacteria that will help to feed the good bacteria in the gut. Enjoy with some oats for breakfast, as a filling snack, as a light dessert option, add to smoothies and protein shakes or even as a dressing option with vegetables for a daily calcium boost. .
Often forgotten, humble cottage cheese is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can enjoy, with minimal calories especially on a low calorie weight loss eating regime. With a serve giving more than 16g of protein per ½ cup along with calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B12, adding a serve of cottage cheese into your day is a great way to bump your intake of essential nutrients for very few calories. Add to sandwiches or crackers for a protein rich filling, serve with cereal and fruit for breakfast or even use to help add flavor to salads and vegetables.
Prawns are an extremely nutritious type of seafood, packed full of protein, calcium, iodine and zinc with little fat and particularly low in calories. The biggest issue with prawns is what we eat them with. Served grilled or marinated and with salad is fine, but if they are deep fried, or served with creamy sauces and dressings, the fat content will be significantly increased, so try and enjoy these tasty treats in as natural a state as possible to reap all the health benefits without extra calories. .
Not only are lemons a rich source of Vitamin C, but they are a handy addition to juices and smoothies to help neutralize the earthy taste of green vegetables such as kale and spinach. Lemon juice is also a low calorie salad dressing; it helps to lower the GI of carb based meals and for some it can be a great ritual when teamed with a glass of water to start the day by rehydrating.
Any berries are fab but blueberries in particular are packed full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, fibre whilst also being relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. Enjoy as a light snack in between meals; as a fibre boost to smoothies and juices or as a sweet treat after dinner with a little Greek yoghurt and seeds or nuts.
An apple a day (or two) keeps the calories at bay it seems with research growing to show that the polyphenol content of apple skin plays a role in fat metabolism, and that a fibre rich, low calorie apple is one of the most filling foods out there, especially when enjoyed whole. All fruit is good for us, but apples in particular are one of the best fruits we can choose when it comes to weight control.
One of most versatile leaves, fresh baby spinach leaves make a delicious salad base; can be added to green juices and is delicious stir fried with a little olive oil and nutrient rich garlic and teamed with light fish meals or as a vege base for omelettes. The dark green leaves of spinach gives some insight into its rich nutrient content; spinach leaves are a rich source of Vitamin C, E, K beta carotene and folate and cooking spinach in a little olive oil will help to enhance nutrient absorption.
If weight loss is your goal, white fish is your superfood. Exceptionally high in protein, low in fat and calories, any type of white fish ranging from dory, perch, barramundi, sole, flounder and whiting is a superfood when it comes to weight loss. Served grilled, BBQ’d or even fried in a little olive oil, fish is a perfect base to light meals served with plenty of brightly coloured, nutrient rich veges.
Consisting of more than 96% water, an entire cucumber contains just 60 calories and is good source of fibre and potassium, which helps to rid the body of extra fluid. Simply munching on a cucumber a day and adding it to green juices and smoothies gives you the benefit of one of nature’s most powerful diuretics, especially if you feel bloated and heavy.
Nutritionally eggs are among the most nutrient dense foods available not only offering high biological value protein but also more than 20 other essential nutrients including iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, Vitamin A, folate, the brain boosting nutrient choline. Perhaps the greatest benefit associated with eating eggs, in particular eggs for breakfast is the direct and indirect impact they have been shown to have on weight control. A couple of eggs contains close to 20g of protein, the amount of animal based protein which provides the body with plenty of leucine, the amino acid directly involved in regulating insulin levels in the body. The more tightly we control our insulin levels, the better it is for weight control and appetite regulation.
If you are looking for a fat burning boost, adding in a couple of cups of green tea to your day is the way to go. Not only is green tea a rich source of powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell related damage but there is also some evidence to show that green tea may increase fat metabolism. Any variety is a good choice, matcha even better and a great addition after meals to help neutralise sugar cravings.