9 simple weight-loss foods that really work
Why spend money on exotic, expensive weight loss ‘superfoods’, when we have plenty in the kitchen
In the desperate world of weight loss, you can buy dubious ‘superfoods’ that will certainly lighten your wallet if not your body. Or you could take a look at your local bazaar and put these nine humble edibles on the weight loss pedestal they deserve to occupy – your plate.
The veggie list
Eaten the right way, jackfruit is a natural weight loss-aiding food. For starters, it is not high in calories (100g gives 90 calories) and is made up of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that replenish your energy and revitalise the body instantly. It also contains the antioxidant called resveratrol, which might be the key to trimming inches.
Eat it: Steam and have it as a sabzi, make a delicious biryani or crunchy jackfruit chips. The seeds too are loaded with protein, potassium, calcium and iron.
Potatoes are healthy unless loaded with fats like butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. These are the things that give potato its bad reputation.
Eat it: Make aloo tikki on a non-stick pan and eat with mint chutney or simply toss steamed, diced potato with olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.
Power packed pulses
White kidney bean (lobia)
These are nutrient-rich and high in fibre and protein. Research indicates that lobia also contains a compound that acts as amylase blocker and delays the digestion of carbohydrates. So when you eat lobia with high-glycemic carbohydrates like bread, pasta and sugar, it helps lower the GI of the food and aids weight loss.
Eat it: Some beans on toast, or why not a simple lobia-chawal!
They are a weight watcher’s delight. Half cup cooked (80g) will give about 130 calories and 7g protein, making them a great protein source for vegetarians. Loaded with fibre (6.5g), it helps you stay full for longer and reduces your urge to snack.
Eat it: In the form of a spicy chickpea curry with rice or as roasted snacks. You can also add it to salads and pasta.
The fruit trio
It is a weight loss gold mine too. A 100g pear provides just 60 calories and 3 fibre. So, it is a great weight loss tool and is perfect for snacking. In fact, a study has even revealed that women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who didn’t.
Eat it: Eat a pear before a meal to help curb hunger. You can also chop and toss into salads to add a sweet flavour, or stew with spices for a fancy dessert.
If you are looking for a foolproof way to diminish hunger (minus weight gain) then turn to bananas. Firstly, it is a zero-fat food and secondly it’s loaded with resistant starch that not only fills you up, but keeps cravings away too.
Eat it: Add a banana to a cup of cooked oats. Top the oats with a sauce of your choice and add some nuts. Or slit open the skin of a banana, drizzle in a mixture of 1tsp lime juice, 1tsp honey and ¼tsp black salt. Eat straight off the peel.
All berries have high antioxidant levels. But raspberry is also an unsung weight loss superfood. The natural chemical responsible for raspberries’ mouthwatering aroma is similar to the capsaicin in chillies, and research shows that it fires up metabolism.
Eat it: Just pop a few, or halve and add to salads for tanginess. Whip it into yoghurt for a smoothie, or top your oats with a handful.
Studies have proved that those who eat an egg breakfast stay full for longer and also lose more weight. That’s because egg protein helps boost muscle strength and development more than other proteins, owing to its high concentrations of the amino acid leucine.
Eat it: Up to five eggs a week is okay for those with no health issues. Even those with a cholesterol problem can eat them once in a while.
These are a fabulous non-dairy source of calcium, and are packed with lignans that enhance the function of liver enzymes that break down fat. Their essential fatty acids and proteins also increase your body’s metabolic rate.
Eat it: Roast sesame seeds and sprinkle them on salads, stir-fried vegetables, chicken, fish and soups. Make tahini (sesame paste) to spread on crackers or sesame buns.
(The author is a Delhi-based weight management consultant, nutritionist and a health columnist. She has also penned the book Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People)
From HT Brunch, October 1, 2017
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