Sub in the following foods to lose body fat fast, without sacrificing taste
OUT Milk chocolate
IN Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate, which has a cocoa content of more than 70%, has a far higher amount of health-boosting antioxidants than milk chocolate, according to research from the University of Glasgow, making it significantly better at protecting your heart and arteries from the oxidative damage associated with exercise, pollution, stress and, well, just life in general. The dark stuff also has less sugar and provides compounds, including tryptophan, serotonin and dopamine, which can help to suppress food cravings, and catechins, which can rev up your metabolism and reduce body fat stores. Still craving chocolate around the clock? Here’s 4 tried-and-tested ways to kill your cravings for good!
If you believe the million-pound marketing campaigns you’d think a bowl of cereal was the healthiest way to start your day, but they’re often very high in sugar, and contain a surprisingly high amount of salt: research by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) found that of 334 breakfast cereals tested, 35% contain more salt per serving that a bag of ready-salted crisps. Porridge, on the other hand, is an excellent fuel for your daily activities, combining high levels of protein and stomach-filling fibre, to keep you feeling full, as well as slow-release wholegrain carbs. You can also add a dollop of Greek yogurt and mixed berries for extra vitamins and minerals. If you don’t like porridge here’s why eggs could be your ideal better-body breakfast.
OUT Fruit yoghurt
IN Greek yoghurt
The Greeks have given us many things: democracy, the Olympics and – to the chagrin of children everywhere, algebra – but none of their inventions are as influential to your fat-burning efforts as their contribution to the world of fermented milk products. Greek yogurt contains twice as much muscle-building protein as regular yogurt, and with only half the carbohydrate content. Better still, it’s low in fat and free from the added sugar and sweeteners often found in fruit-based yogurts. It’s also low on the glycaemic index (GI), which means it will keep your blood sugar levels stable and maintain your energy levels to avoid sugar cravings.
Popcorn isn’t just for nights at the pictures. It contains significantly less sodium, calories and saturated fat than crisps, and is also a good source of fibre, making it the perfect snack time replacement for a packet of cheese and onion. What’s more, research from the University of Pennsylvania found that high levels of polyphenols in popcorn can protect your heart and reduce the risk of cancer. Simply buy smaller, snack packs than bigger family-sized bags to prevent eating too much, and if you do find yourself regularly snacking on more food than you want, or need, check out these tips on how to stop over-eating.
OUT Creamy dips
Creamy and cheesy dips may taste delicious but they’re very high in trans fat and very easy to over-eat, making them a real hazard when wanting to lose weight. Instead, make home-made guacamole – mash an avocado with red onion, coriander, red chilli, lime juice and salt – for a dip containing natural fats that helps your body better absorb the fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D and K. US research has also shown the high oleic acid content in avocados wards off hunger pangs. Dip vegetable crudités for a delicious and nutritious snack.
OUT Chocolate spread
IN Peanut butter
While no less indulgent than chocolate spread, peanut butter is far more healthy, thanks to its high levels of monounsaturated fat, which can help you to lose weight. A study from Purdue University in the US found that eating peanut butter could boost feelings of fullness and reduce hunger levels for up to three hours, while its higher protein content is great for building muscle. It’s worth spending extra on the organic variety to get all of the goodness without any of the added nasties.