Outsmart your fat genes with simple swap

IF YOU want to lose weight you may think you need to resort to extreme diets or fake foods. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Ditching all fats, living on lettuce, or eating the same, boring, "lite" foods every day will quickly spell diet disaster.

Rather, you need to eat smart and love your tastebuds as well as your waistline.

Here are a few tricks to ditch the kilos.

 

Maximise fat-burning nutrients

Your ability to burn fat does not depend just on the kind of food you eat.

It also depends on the presence of vitamins and minerals that help to control the careful breakdown of glucose, which in turn releases energy to body cells, according to international nutritionist and author of The Optimum Nutrition Bible Patrick Holford.

The quality of food you eat is also very important to helping your metabolism run efficiently, says nutritionist and author Zoe Bingley-Pullin.

"Your body has to work harder to break down the fibre and complex carbohydrates in whole grains and vegetables than it does to break down fibre-free refined flours or simple carbs such as honey and sugar."

More than that, metabolism is governed by thousands of separate chemical reactions that require specific nutrients - for example B vitamins are essential to carbohydrate metabolism, she says.

Fish oil, chromium, zinc and magnesium also help insulin sensitivity, which is important to fat burning.

Brewer's yeast is a good source of chromium, while oysters are loaded with zinc and wheatgerm with magnesium.

High levels of B vitamins can be found in mushrooms and watercress as well as seed foods.

 

Ban the bland

If you're trying to reduce the amount of high kilojoule spreads you use - think mayonnaise, cheese sauce, hollandaise - go herbal instead.

Spicing up dishes with coriander, parsley, chives, mint, or your favourite herbs, is an easy way to ditch bland meals.

 

Keep your gut healthy

Having a healthy bacterial balance in your gut may be linked to maintaining a healthy weight.

In 2008 a Stanford University Medicine team found that a group of patients given probiotics in supplement form lost 70% of excess weight, compared to 66% for the control group.

Other studies have suggested that part of the obesity problem may be associated with bacteria.

 

Go green - and red, and purple, and orange …

Buy the best fruit and vegies you can afford, especially your favourites.

These may include broccolini, cherries, berries, organic carrots, artichokes, or whatever you fancy.

 

Fats are not the enemy

Udo Erasmus, a doctor of nutrition and author of Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill claims that essential fats found in fatty fish, nuts, seeds and their oils, actually help to burn fat and reduce bloating by helping the kidneys eliminate excess water from tissues.

The best fats to eat are monounsaturated.

>>More Easy Eating

CLEVER CHOICES

  • Fill up on fibre - fruits, vegetables, home-popped corn - and drink water, tea, or herbal tea, not soft drinks or juices. Eat the fruit if you want juice.
  • Make food pretty with bright veggies, nice china and cutlery. Use a smaller plate.
  • Watch the lattes. You're getting full fat dairy with every one. And those that add syrup pack a sugar wallop.
  • Think natural - avoid fake "lite" foods that are often high in sugar.
  • Snack on carrots, or wholegrain crackers with a little ricotta or Vegemite. Go easy on the butter.
  • Say no to fried and fast foods. Make your own healthy hamburgers or oven fries at home as a weekend treat.
  • Try no-kilojoule, natural Stevia instead of sugar.
  • Remember it takes around two weeks to change a habit. So persist and allow your tastebuds time to adjust.


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