Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Burn More Fat with These Breakfast Foods

You can give your body a little fat-burning advantage by including items like these in your morning meal:

 eggs, yogurt, and whole-grain cereal.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day if you're trying to control your appetite and lose weight, 

but these three items in particular have been credited with extra fat-burning and pound-dropping powers in recent studies.

How They Help

Eggs: When people on low-calorie diets ate two scrambled eggs with toast and jam for breakfast, 

they lost 65 percent more weight than the dieters who started their day with a bagel and cream cheese. 

The protein in eggs probably helps control appetite, so people eat less. 

(Try this quick recipe for super-satisfying scrambled egg burritos.)

Yogurt: Calcium and other helpful compounds in yogurt may help stop fat storage and turn up fat burn. 

In one study, obese people on reduced-calorie diets lost 61 percent more fat overall -- and even more belly fat -- 

when they ate three 6-ounce servings of yogurt every day. 

This was compared with the people who had no yogurt in their diets. 

(Short on time? Make this yogurt-enhanced Cranberry Muesli recipe the night before.)

Whole-Grain Cereal: Research shows that people lose more belly fat when they replace refined-grain foods with whole grains. 

All the appetite-controlling fiber they pick up in the process probably accounts for the slimming effect. 

Plus, whole grains can help control blood sugar and lower blood pressure, and they 

can even reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. 

(Are multigrain foods just as good? Read this before you go grain shopping.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make healthy swaps

Making your diet healthier can feel like a huge task, but incorporating small changes in your everyday routine is easy. Try out these simple swaps that will help you achieve a better balance:

  1. Photo: Courtesy of Azmina Govindji
    Photo: Courtesy of Azmina Govindji
    Choose an unsaturated spread or swap in a reduced calorie mayonnaise instead of butter or ghee. If you spread butter on two slices of bread each day, this clocks up around 10 grams of bad fats, calledsaturated fat. That's about half of the maximum amount recommended for an average woman in a whole day, and around a third of the maximum limit for men. So next time you spread butter on toast, think about whether you could choose a lower-fat, unsaturated spread instead. Instead of spreading ghee on your chapati, could you swap it for a little unsaturated spread? Or when you're slapping butter onto bread for a sandwich, consider if spreading some mayonnaise instead might be an option for you. Reduced calorie mayonnaise has about a tenth of the saturated fat contained in butter.
  2. Swap out salt and choose low-salt seasonings and sauces instead. Bought seasonings (like chicken seasoning) and sauces (like soy sauce) can often be high in salt. Read the label and choose those which are either salt-free or low in salt. And try using colourful ground spices like haldi (turmeric), garam masala and coriander seed to season your cooked dishes.
  3. Choose diet drinks in place of sugar-rich drinks. A can of regular cola has around seven teaspoons of sugar in it. That could set you back about 140 kcalories (1 kcalorie equals 1 000 calories). When you choose a diet drink, it's likely to be sugar-free and calorie-free. But that's not a green light to go wild! Diet versions of fizzy soft drinks can still rot your teeth. It's good practice to have such drinks with your meal rather than sip them throughout the day.
  4. Photo: Courtesy of Azmina Govindji
    Photo: Courtesy of Azmina Govindji
    Photo: Courtesy of Azmina Govindji
    Photo: Courtesy of Azmina Govindji
    Swap out your usual dinner plate for a smaller one.Simply choosing a smaller plate means you can pile on less food. In time, you'll just get used to having smaller portions, and this can work wonders for your waistline.
  5. Add lemon juice and spices to rice instead of butter or oil. You may be in the habit of pouring some oil or adding a knob of butter to the water when you boil rice. Stop and think: how much difference does it really make? Try drizzling on some lemon juice to help keep the rice grains separate, and add spices like jeera (cumin), cloves, cardamom and cinnamon to give you extra flavour.