I know how frustrating this can be, and how confusing it is to try to make sense of all the conflicting nutritional information out there.
I put this article together so you can start to learn how and why specific foods, and drinks, can help you lose weight naturally. The information I’m sharing is not about the latest fad diet; it’s about adding in nutrient-dense foods that have been proven to both aid in weight loss and improve overall health at the same time.
While some of this may be new to you, with a little bit of practice you will find it is easy to add these ingredients into your diet on a daily basis. In fact, at the end, I’m going to share one simple recipe you can make in under five minutes that incorporates all of these foods. How’s that for healthy eating on the go?
I’m excited to share this information with you, so let’s dig in!
Why Green Tea Helps With Weight Loss When green tea is consumed, it increases thermogenesis or the rate at which your body burns calories. This means that you can do the same level of activity but burn more calories throughout the day.
In one study, participants were given green tea on a daily basis, but made no changes to the food they ate or exercise they did. At the end of 90 days, participants lost an average of 2.64 pounds, ¾ inch from their waistline and reduced their body mass index—not bad considering that no dietary or exercise changes were part of the study.
In another 12-week study, participants were placed on a diet where they were provided three meals per day. All the food was prepared for the participants. Half of the group consumed green tea. Those in the green tea group lost significantly more weight—24 pounds—over the 12-week period.
Aside from weight loss, there are many health benefits to drinking green tea, including preventing cancer, reducing inflammation, and overall heart health.
Selecting Green Tea Selecting green tea can be confusing because there are several different forms, including matcha, tea bags, and tea leaves. Your best option is to use matcha, which is a more concentrated, powdered form of green tea. You’ll also want to be sure to choose matcha with caffeine, as studies show that green tea containing caffeine is more effective at supporting weight loss.
One cup of green tea made with matcha powder has the same nutritional value as drinking 10 cups of regular brewed tea.
Why Coconut Oil Helps with Weight Loss
When you think about weight loss, you might think you should minimize fat consumption. This type of thinking may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Instead, think about consuming the right types of fat. One of the fats that has been found to be beneficial for weight loss is coconut oil.
Consuming coconut oil is very different than consuming other types of fat, because it reacts differently within your body. Most types of dietary fats contain long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized in a unique way.
When you consume the MCTs in coconut oil, they move from the digestive tract to the liver. Since the MCTs in coconut oil are "thermogenic," meaning that they require a higher amount of energy to digest and metabolize, they help to boost your metabolism and provide you with additional energy throughout the day.
Since the body processes MCTs in this way, they increase the energy that is expended (compared with other types of fats). When energy is used at higher levels, fat loss occurs.
Researchers at the University of Geneva found that when 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil is consumed each day, energy expenditure increases by about 120 calories each day.
How Flax Seeds Help with Weight Loss
Flax seeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which are important elements of a healthy diet. Fiber is beneficial for weight loss in a few ways.
First, it helps you feel full for a longer period of time, helping you consume less food.
Second, the fiber content in flax seeds helps control your blood sugar levels. Maintaining lower blood sugar levels supports weight loss, because when your blood sugar levels are high, your body is more likely to store fat.
Flax seeds also contain omega-3 essential fatty acids which have been shown to boost metabolism and speed up weight loss. And like fiber, the healthy fats found in flax seeds are beneficial because they slow down digestion and help keep you satiated.
Tips for Buying Flax Seed
There are two types of flax seeds: russet brown and golden yellow. Both types of flax are similar in nutritional value and health benefits, so choose either one.
When you shop for flax seeds, you will find them in either the whole form or pre-ground. Always purchase whole flax seeds because the ground seeds turn rancid quickly. You can then easily grind them at home using a coffee grinder or high speed blender, such as a BlendTec or a VitaMix.
Your digestive system is unable to break down flax seeds in their whole form. In order to gain nutritional benefits from flax seeds, always use ground seeds.
Though it sounds too simple to be true, there are several reasons why drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day can help you release excess weight.
How water helps with weight loss
· When you are well hydrated, your organs are able to perform more optimally. This allows your metabolism to speed up, which means you’ll burn calories more quickly. Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism.
· Natural waste is produced in your body each day from basic functions such as breathing and digesting food. Getting rid of these toxins can be helpful for weight loss, because toxins are stored in fat cells. Water is a great way to flush toxins out of your body.
· When you are dehydrated, the blood volume in your body is reduced. Decreased blood volume levels results in lower energy levels, which makes it difficult for you to stay active.
· By drinking more water, you’ll naturally end up drinking fewer high-calorie, sugary drinks.
Did you know that 75% of the American population is chronically dehydrated? And in 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
By simply drinking more water, you may notice that you become less hungry.
One glass of water ended midnight hunger pangs for
almost 100% of the dieters participating in a University
of Washington study.
How Dark Leafy Greens Help With Weight Loss
Leafy green vegetables are one of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Eating foods with high nutrient levels will keep you satiated longer thereby reducing cravings, because your body is getting the nutrition that it needs.
Leafy greens are low in calories and they’re a great source of fiber, which digests slowly and therefore keeps your stomach feeling full for a longer period of time.
The fiber in leafy green vegetables also helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar in check will make it easier for you to lose fat and prevent weight gain.
Choosing Dark Leafy Greens
The best way to choose your leafy greens is by looking at the color of the vegetable: the darker, the better. Darker vegetables have higher levels of antioxidants and more nutrients, so they’ll keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
If you really want to supercharge your weight loss, start adding collard greens, cabbage, kale and bok choy to your diet. These dark, leafy greens are also cruciferous vegetables, so they pack a powerful nutritional boost. They’re heartier and contain more fiber than other greens.
Now the fun part! As I promised at the beginning, I’m going to share how to easily incorporate all of these foods in your diet – in under five minutes. Make this recipe for a satisfying breakfast or mid-morning snack.
Almond Chai Smoothie
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon hot water
2 Tablespoons almond butter
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
½ teaspoon matcha green tea powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup ice (optional)
1 dropper of liquid stevia
In a small bowl, mix the hot water with the matcha green tea powder and pour into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend.
Drink and enjoy, knowing you’re treating your body with great care while also having a yummy treat!