I hear a lot of rant from friends trying to cut some belly fats or achieving some six-pack abs. Well, weight loss is a long tedious process. It requires heroic effort and a ton of patience, plus a dozen of discipline.
But whilst difficult, we can make it a bit, or a lot, easier. There are ‘cheats’ that can speed up weight loss; one such way is with weight loss drinks and food. So, try these 6 fat-burning drinks and food, if you want to lose weight faster.
Water is the best drink to speed up metabolism and induce weight loss. Just by drinking half a liter of water (that’s 17 oz), your metabolism can be boosted by up to 30% for a period of 1 to 1 and a half hour, according to science.
Word of caution though, avoid adding flavored syrups or powder to water, as it adds calories to the water. But you might say water’s boring. Oh well yeah, I agree. So, here’s a little tip: While you are not advised to add flavoring to your water, you can spice it up with natural flavors such as:
- Pineapple Squash – Crush pineapple pieces and mint leaves together, add ice cubes and water. Mint is cooling, cleanses the blood, flushes the toxins, and is good for digestion. Pineapple, on the other hand, is rich in vitamin A and C, fights cold, nourishes the bones and improves digestion. See? Not only did you spice up your water, you made it extra healthy.
- Lime water – Good old lime water or nimbu paani is an all-time favourite accompaniment with food in a restaurant. Nimbu paani is beneficial for skin care, stomach problems, digestive problems, purifying blood, improving oral health, reducing high blood pressure, fighting infections and reducing your chances of arthritis and rheumatism.
- Ginger – Soak some slices of ginger in hot water and then add ice cubes. So, while you’re into your weight loss quest, this ginger water can fight colds, improve appetite and digestion, alleviate constipation and increase energy.
- Lemongrass (tanglad in Filipino) – You may have tried lemongrass in tea or in soups, but you can take a sprig and immerse it in water for few hours. Lemongrass has many health benefits such as curing colds, reducing cholesterol, cleansing the body, improving circulation, and even enhancing the health condition of your skin. So, while you’re busy achieving your dream body, you can go the extra mile at improving your skin tone, too.
A word to the wise: The best time to drink water is at least 30 minutes before meals. Drinking half a liter of water, half an hour before meals has been shown (by studies) to increase fullness and help people on a fat loss diet lose up to 44% more weight.
2. Honey Drink
In a randomized cross-over study conducted among ten individuals, it was found that rehydration with honey drink improves running performance and glucose metabolism compared to plain water (they hydrated with water in the first run, and with honey drink in the second run). It means that honey drink boosts metabolism better than water, and helps you process sugar even better.
So, here’s what you need:
- A glass of cold or tap water
- A spoonful of honey
- ½ tablespoon of cinnamon
Here’s what you have to do:
It’s simple, add honey and cinnamon to your glass of water. You can also add a dash of lime to fire up the fat burning process.
But a word of caution: NEVER ADD HONEY AND CINNAMON IN HOT OR WARM WATER, you will defeat the purpose. Honey and cinnamon lose their powers when mixed with hot water.
3. Black coffee
Is coffee really as bad as many people say it is? Well, no. It is actually very healthy, and loaded with antioxidants and bioactive compounds.
Evidence shows that caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, can boost fat burning and help with weight control. Caffeine can temporarily boost metabolism by 3-11%, and temporarily increase fat burning by up to 10-29% (Source 1, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5).
According to one study, 600 mg of caffeine per day (4-6 cups of coffee) can help you burn an additional 79-150 calories per day. However, a tolerance to the effects can build up quickly, so this may not apply to people who drink coffee every day.
4. Hot Peppers
Hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. Many studies have shown that capsaicin can reduce appetite and boost metabolism. For this reason, capsaicin is a very popular ingredient in commercial weight loss supplements.
If you don’t mind spicy food, then upping your intake a bit may be useful for losing weight.
However, this doesn’t seem to work for people who eat spicy food all the time, indicating that a tolerance to the effects can build up.
5. Green tea
Green tea stimulates metabolism for weight loss and does not add calories, that’s what makes green tea a reliable option for weight watchers. What makes green tea a weight loss stimulant are the antioxidants but also the fact that milk and sugar are not added.
Take green tea sparingly.
6. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet, despite being demonized for being high in cholesterol.
There are also some very impressive studies showing that eating eggs for breakfast can be useful for weight loss. In one study, eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast made people feel more full, so that they ended up eating fewer calories for the next 36 hours.
In another study, it was found that a breakfast of eggs caused 65% greater weight loss than a breakfast of bagels, even though both meals contained the same number of calories.
If you can’t eat eggs for some reason, then that’s fine. Any protein-rich and nutrient-dense breakfast should work.