Have you ever snacked in front of the television and inadvertently scarfed down a whole box or bag of [insert unhealthy snack here] before you knew it? I've done it. I was unconsciously eating. When we are consciously eating, our minds are not otherwise occupied by television, driving, answering emails or whatever is it we might be doing in addition to consuming our food. Simply put: we chew slower, which allows for proper digestion and the 20-minute time-elapsed signal to sound off from our stomach to our brain that we are full. We eat less and get MORE from it.
Of course, WHAT you eat plays a big part! And what better time to examine what we eat and make some changes than when the calendar turns to a new year? A clean slate, right? The best success I've had with food-related resolutions is to be ADDING in the healthy choices and letting them slowly replace the unhealthy choices naturally instead of giving myself some sort of ultimatum like "no more coffee... EVER." So why not start with foods that not only satisfy but also help you burn fat? Two for one!
All nuts contain some of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid, but most only contain trace amounts. Walnuts however are a rich source of omega-3s. One ounce provides almost 3g! Have an issue with walnuts (do the sides of your tongue get sore when you eat them)? Flax oil! Our favorite is Barlean's, which we use in our smoothies at Each Peach Cafe.
Used for centuries to help relieve nausea and digestive issues, ginger can also help reduce inflammation, boost blood flow to muscles, aid muscle recovery, promote detox, reduce pain and swelling, and boosts immunity. It has also has been shown to boost calorie burn when eaten! At the cafe ginger is already in our juice and the Gingo Juice, but one customer started a trend of adding ginger to the Autumn Crisp smoothie and it's GOOD.
This slow-digesting carb keeps blood sugar and insulin levels low, so fat burning can stay high. In fact, research has shown that athletes who consume slow-digesting carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the entire day and during workouts than those consuming fast-digesting carbs. At Each Peach, we serve a gluten-free oatmeal in the morning to which you can add other health-boosters like protein, goji berries, blueberries, cinnamon, nuts and more!
Like coconut oil, the fats in avocados are used to fuel the body during exercise and actually encourage fat burning. Avocados also contain a very interesting carb called mannoheptulose, a sugar that actually inhibits insulin release and enhances calcium absorption, both of which are critical for encouraging fat loss. Half an avocado is included in both the Athlete's Recovery smoothie and Monkey Mocha smoothie at Each Peach.
Water is your best ally in fighting body fat! Studies show that drinking 2 cups of cold water can boost your metabolic rate by 30%. It's estimated that drinking 2 cups of cold water before breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a year can burn 17,400 extra calories, which translates into a little more than 5 pounds of body fat! Isn't it always the last 5 pounds that are hardest to lose? Not anymore! The best part? The is FREE.
They contain the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid. These omega-3 fats have been found to turn on genes that stimulate fat burning and turn off genes that increase fat storage. We use lots of flaxseeds in the Each Peach dehydrated onion flatbread!
One study reported that subjects eating half of a grapefruit three times a day while maintaining their normal diet lost an average of 4 pounds over 12 weeks - and some lost more than 10 pounds without even dieting! Results were likely due to grapefruit's ability to reduce insulin levels and to a chemical in grapefruit known as naringin, which prevents fat from being stored in the body. Grapefruit is a key ingredient in the Sweet Bee smoothie at the cafe.
It's a sugar, but it's lower on the glycemic index, keeping insulin levels low and helping to maintain a fat-burning environment in your body. Honey is also a rich source of nitric oxide metabolites; ultimately, that means it actually encourages fat release from the body's fat cells. The BEST honey? One that's local to YOU and unpasteurized/unfiltered.
9. Hot Peppers
Hot peppers like cayenne contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that can enhance calorie burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake. We use the Zesty Sea Shakes at the cafe in our chili... Also GREAT on popcorn!
This fibrous carb doesn't provide many net carbs or calories, but it can make you feel full - one reason why it's a great food for getting lean. Broccoli also contains phytochemicals that can help enhance fat loss. Enjoy vegan Broccoli "Cheddar" soup (minus the cheddar and the fat) at Each Peach! Hint: the creaminess of the soup is made from blended cashews and nutritional yeast.
11. Coconut Oil
Rich in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), the body digests coconut oil with almost no effort - within moments of being consumed, MCTs are converted by the liver to energy. Always burned as fuel and never stored as fat, coconut oil encourages further fat burning. I boost my own smoothie with a tablespoon of coconut oil every day.
There you have it! LOTS of yummy, satisfying things to help you stick to your resolutions so that excess fat doesn't stick to you! Happy New Year and happy burning.