Last week, I gave you some very good tips on how to up your nutrition and put a cap on the calories.
The foods that I told you about help you lose fat and be healthier. The main reasons that these foods help you lose fat is that they are: high in protein, which is harder to digest than carbohydrates and has less calories than fat; full of water, which has no calories at all; or full of fiber, which helps you pull fat out of your body.
Some of these foods have more than one of these factors going for them. Just to review: Greek yoghurt, more protein and less fat; quinoa, lots of protein and fiber; oatmeal, same thing, and also holds your blood sugar level for a long time, especially if you put cinnamon on it.
Hot peppers raise your metabolism. Green tea and coffee, the same. And anything hot takes longer to eat or drink so you stay full longer. Grapefruit has a lot of water and fiber, as do most fruits and veggies. To get less sugar, focus mostly on the veggies as opposed to the fruits. Eggs, especially egg whites, are a great source of high quality readily digested protein that is low in calories and high in nutrition.
So here’s some more great choices. Crisp-breads, especially rye crackers, are great because they are full of fiber and low in fat, as opposed to many other types of crackers that are fatty and salty.
Tabouli is made from bulgur wheat, tomato, cucumber and parsley with lemon. It tastes great and is extremely nutritious. Tabouli has lots of fiber and protein and could be considered a good meal all by itself. Start your meal with either a broth-based soup or salad. Both will fill you up with water and nutrients so you won’t overdo the heavier parts of your meal. Better yet, why not make the soup or the salad your whole meal and just have nice large servings of that?
Vinegar has no calories and yet can add a great deal of flavor to your meal. By making your own salad dressing from oil and vinegar you get to control the amount of oil and calories. Sweet and sour soup also uses vinegar as a good part of the base, so you can savor the flavor but not tip the scales. Substituting mustard for mayo on sandwiches is a good way to save on some calories and still have excellent flavor. And also substituting low fat Greek yogurt for sour cream works beautifully too.
Nuts are great little nutritional storehouses. The fat is good fat, there is some good quality protein and some fiber. So, as a snack they fit the bill. However, they have a lot of calories due to the fat, so don’t take handfuls. Buying them still in the shells will help slow you down in your consumption. Another great snack is air popped popcorn. Please, go organic because you don’t want to be a GMO and most corn is GMO nowadays.
Other great protein foods are lean meat, chicken, fish and turkey. The dark meat of birds has double the fat that the white meat. Fish is excellent protein and also has the benefit of the omega fatty acids, which are good for your heart. Then, there is our good friend the humble bean. Paired with bulgur or quinoa and you have a perfect protein. Low fat, high fiber and great muscle boosting protein that will keep you full for hours. Any kind of bean when paired with a veggie or with a grain will make a complete protein. So throw the beans in a soup, a salad or a casserole and you’ve got great nutrition.
Lastly, whey protein can hardly be beat as a protein source for muscle replenishment and for fat burning. Again, please go organic because the junk that is in non-organic milk is not what you want to be putting in your body.
Hope that this list of fat fighting foods helps you develop some healthier dietary habits this new year. Time to think about how long and healthily you want to live — and your family too.
Jane Riley, M.S., B.A., C.P.T., Certified Nutritional Adviser, can be reached at email@example.com, 212-1451 or www.janerileyfitness.com.