The holidays are officially over for another year. You’ve made your New Year’s resolutions, and if you’re lucky (or have a ton of dedication) you managed to keep up with them thus far. One of the most stated (and often failed) resolutions is to lose weight. Not surprising at all when you consider all of the different advice out there (and all of the tasty treats that are just about everywhere).
If you want to hold your resolution this coming year, you don’t necessarily have to avoid your favorite foods like the plague – Sometimes all you need to do is add a few foods into your diet.
These superfoods will boost your metabolism and help you shed those holiday pounds in almost no time at all!
Cayenne pepper is probably the most readily available item on this list – It can be found in the spice aisle at any grocery store and is relatively cheap in comparison to some of the other spices you’ll find there.
A member of the chili family, the capsinoids found in chili peppers can help to reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism which in turn can help to increase your caloric burning. The regular ingestion of capsaicin has also been shown to reduce abdominal fat.
How To Use It
Cayenne pepper can be used absolutely anywhere that you usually use black pepper to help spice up your foods.
Keep in mind though that it’s a little spicier than black pepper so you might want to start out with a small amount and work your way up. If you’d like to kick up your metabolism in the mornings, add a pinch of cayenne to your morning lemon water.
Hemp is one of those things that I think should be utilized far more than it is – It’s absolutely chalked full of protein, fiber, and omega-3s which is perfect for blood sugar stability. Having a stable blood sugar helps keep your hunger at bay.
They taste kind of nutty and they’re a great addition to a whole lot of foods. They’re a little more expensive than some of the other items on this list (a bag will usually cost between 10-20 dollars, depending on the size), but the small investment is definitely worth it (especially if you’re a vegetarian or vegan).
How To Use Them
Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on salads or stir fry’s to add some extra flavour and dimension or they can be blended into your morning smoothie to give it some extra punch. Alternatively, you can make a dairy free hemp milk by simply blending one part hemp seeds with four parts water.
If you haven’t yet worked green tea into your daily routine, I strongly suggest that you do so – It’s great for heart health, has antiaging effects, and can give your metabolism a boost. It’s absolutely packed with antioxidants and can be taken in supplement or tea form. It’s relatively inexpensive (usually less than ten dollars a box) and can be found at your local health food store or in the tea aisle at your grocery store.
Green tea causes your body to secrete the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine creates alertness in your body; so if you’re someone that suffers from “java jitters” from drinking coffee, you might want to seriously consider switching to green tea instead.
How To Use It
If you’re going to choose to drink the tea to lose weight, two to three cups per day is the recommended dose. If you’re going to take it in supplement form, simply follow the directions on the bottle that you purchase.
When you think of dandelion, your mind probably immediately wanders to those unwanted weeds that try to take over your lawn every spring/summer. What you might not know though is that those weeds (or at least the root of them) are packed with metabolism boosting properties and other health benefits – The diuretic effect they bring helps you to lose any water weight that you happen to be carrying around.
Dandelion root can also help regulate your blood sugar and increase your body’s bile flow which in turn improves your metabolism’s ability to burn fat. It can usually be found in the tea aisle at your local grocery store, but if you’re unable to find it there you should definitely be able to find it in your health food store.
How To Use It
Dandelion root in tea form simply needs to be steeped in water (one to two cups per day). You can also purchase dandelion root powder at your local health food store and use it as an instant coffee replacement, but I’ve never personally tried it myself so I can’t speak for its taste or effectiveness.
“Good” fats are essential when it comes to weight loss, and so many people end up cutting them out on their quest for weight loss and then wonder why they’re unable to lose any more weight. Of all the good fats out there, avocados top the nutritional charts.
They’re high in monosaturated fats, are chalked full of soluble and insoluble fiber, and have all kinds of disease fighting antioxidants called carotenoids in them. Incorporating good fats into your diet is essential for heart health, immune system function, cellular repair, skin health, and – of course – weight loss. Avocados can be found year round in the produce section of your grocery store – Click here to find out how to pick out a good one.
How To Use It
It’s absolutely possible to have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to fats – If you’re looking to lose weight, you should only be eating ¼ – ½ of an avocado per day (leave the pit in the other half, douse it in lemon juice and wrap it up tight them store it in the refrigerator). Add avocado to your wraps, salads, or eat them on their own! You can also make your own guacamole with them (and if you haven’t tried homemade guac yet, you definitely should)!
Until I worked at a nutritional supplement store, I’d never heard of maca – It’s a root vegetable that grown in the Andes mountains and has been cultivated for more than 3000 years. Maca has an exceptional nutritional profile that can improve all bodily functions and regulate hormones.
It’s generally sold in powder form; it promotes the use of glucose for energy in the bloodstream, which means that less of it gets stored in your body as fat. It’s also an energy booster, which can help you get through your day a little easier. It can be found in your health food store.
How To Use It
Because maca is usually sold in powder form, it’s easy to blend it into your morning smoothie for an extra energy boost.
If you’re someone that’s addicted to chocolate (and really, what woman isn’t?), you’re definitely going to want to invest in some raw cacao nibs – They come from cacao beans that have been roasted at super low temperatures and separated from their husks. Unlike most chocolate, raw cacao has no sugar in it – That means that you can ingest it to satisfy your chocolate craving without your blood sugar spiking.
Raw cacao also packs a ton of magnesium (an essential mineral for blood sugar management) and contains small amounts of caffeine to help boost your metabolism. Raw cacao powder can be found at your health food store – It’s a little more expensive than some of the other things on the list (I pay about 25 dollars a bag), but it’s definitely a solid investment
How To Use It
Raw cacao powder can be added to any hot or cold beverage to give it a chocolatey, nutritious boost. It can also be used in place of cocoa powder in any recipe for a more health conscious treat.
So there you have it – Seven different superfoods that can be worked into your diet this year to help you keep your New Year’s resolution to lose weight! Remember not to expect change overnight – It won’t happen and you’ll ultimately end up feeling defeated. Just like in the story of The Tortoise and the Hare, slow and steady is what will help you win the battle here.
What types of superfoods have you worked into your daily routine to help you become the healthiest individual you can be and what types of results have you seen? Let us know about your personal experiences in the comments section – We always love to hear from our readers!
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