It is true that some of the best discoveries were uncovered by accident. We stumbled onto these foods to eat a couple years ago and we have been sharing this information ever since. We don’t have a cool patent on an electronic gadget to our credit, but we still think this discovery is quite valuable. We discovered how to lose weight without dieting, pills or hypnosis!
A couple years ago our family decided that we were tired of eating “junk food” and decided to make a change. We didn’t necessarily feel overweight and weren’t really “going on a diet.” We just felt like our minor health issues were adding up and that we didn’t quite have the energy we once had. However, an amazing thing happened. We lost weight! I lost 20 pounds in our first month and my wife lost 15.
The discovery was that certain foods actually seemed to cause weight loss! Here’s the top five that we’ve found. (We’ve even included references which scientifically explain why if you want to investigate further!)
5. Green Tea. We quit drinking soda and canned drinks but after a while water seemed too dull. To spice it up we added 2 to 3 cups of hot green tea every day. This broke up the monotony and contributed to our weight loss and new found energy. Research now shows that the polyphenols in green tea (or catechins) have weight burning properties. (1) TIP: Choose “organic” green tea when possible to avoid the toxins from chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4. Vegetables. We knew we needed more “veggies” whether it is some slices of cucumber and carrot sticks or a bowl of lettuce topped with tomatoes. We noticed that if we started a meal off with a salad we were more likely to feel full before the end of our meal. In fact, we found that research confirmed this. Regular consumption of soluble fiber from vegetables leads to weight loss. (2) TIP: Stick to olive oil and vinegar (or just plain olive oil) salad dressing. Virtually all ready-made salad dressings contain ingredients you absolutely don’t want to eat such as hydrogenated oils, sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
3. Fruit. We found that if we were craving a glass of juice, eating the whole fruit actually made us “feel” better. That seemed to save us from the “sugar low” and hunger pains we would normally get thirty minutes later. We also found that if we were fighting a “sweet tooth,” a bowl of blueberries, sliced strawberries and sliced bananas seemed to quench that desire. Again, we were consuming the important soluble fiber we needed. This time it was from fruit! TIP: Stick with fresh or fresh frozen fruit if possible. Most canned fruit has sugar or high fructose corn syrup added to improve the bland “canned fruit” taste.
2. Beans. Substituting two or three meat centered meals a week with beans seemed to be healthy so we tried that too. This turned out to be a great way to speed up the weight loss. The protein and fiber content of black beans and lentils (for example) is amazing! These days you have the added benefit of saving money as dry beans are very inexpensive! Don’t worry though, even canned beans will work. We have found that the fiber in beans leads to a full and satisfied feeling sooner in the meal. TIP: Soak beans over night with some baking soda or vinegar to ease the “gaseous” effects of consuming beans. Even soaking lentils for at least 4 to 6 hours (even though it is not required for cooking) helps negate the uncomfortable feelings associated with consuming beans or legumes.
1. Brown Rice. That’s right! The top weight loss food is a simple serving of whole grain brown rice. We knew that this was part of the “macrobiotic diet” and decided to give it a try. We were pleasantly surprised as this, too, contributed to our full feeling everyday and increased weight loss. It’s true! The latest research has uncovered the fact that the oil in the husk of the grain of rice actually dissolves fat cells when consumed. (Sorry…white rice does not contain the oil since white rice is stripped of the husk and polished to increase the storage and shelf life of this staple.) (3) TIP: The problem most people have with brown rice is that it is frequently undercooked and crunchy. Here’s a simple way to ensure perfect brown rice every time: Bring 2 1/2; cups of water and 1 cup of whole grain brown rice to a boil in a covered pan. Stir once. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Double the recipe and reheat it the next day for quick use in lunch or dinner.
BONUS TIP: The best way to ensure steady weight loss or just maintenance of a healthy body weight is ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep every night. Snacking to stay awake during the day can ruin all your exercise and good cooking efforts!
(1) Shixian Q, Vancrey B, Shi J, Kakuda Y, Jiang Y. Green tea extract thermogenesis-induced weight loss by epigallocatechin gallate inhibition of catechol-o-methyltransferase. J Med Food. 2006;9(4):451-8.
(2) Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Nutr Rev. 2001 May;59(5):129-39.
(3) Most MM, Tulley R, Morales S, Lefevre M. Rice bran oil, not fiber, lowers cholesterol in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1):64-8. 2005. PMID:15640461.