“Figure” is a much talked about word in today’s time. Every person wants to have a body which gets him or her praises and lots of raised eyebrows. But let’s face the reality, friends! There are simply no magic supplements that could turn a person lean and slim or foods that reduce weight without any lifestyle modifications. But certainly, there are foods researched by nutrition science which exert effects in such a way that the body is pushed towards a fat-loss mode.
These foods could slim a person down through the following ways and cause weight loss:
By causing cholesterol and triglyceride reduction
By increasing metabolism
By stimulating the digestive fire
By rendering greater satiety
By inhibiting the frequent spikes of blood sugar and blood insulin
Certain foods could be labeled as ‘figure foods’. They are as follows: Fish
Fish has been shown to reduce blood fats and consequently slow the formation of cholesterol in the arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oils are the ingredients responsible for lowering bad cholesterol. Recommendations made by Mark A. Moyad in the report “The Optimal Male Health Diet and Dietary Supplement Program” state that one should consume approximately 2 servings or more every week of a variety of canned, broiled, baked, and even raw/smoked fatty fish, discouraging the fried and high mercury-concentrated one. Other healthy plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids (like walnuts, flax seeds, flaxseed oil, soyabean, soyabean oil, canola oil and rice bran oil) should be consumed by vegetarians. Supplements also prove to be beneficial for individuals with raised cholesterol levels. Whole Pulse
Whole pulses like sprouts, roasted gram, legumes and dals are low glycemic index foods and at the same time rich in soluble fiber and protein. Addition of this low fat protein to the diet makes one less hungry. It satisfies appetite quicker and longer than high carbohydrate foods, thus reducing the net caloric intake. Consumption of whole pulse results in a slow rise of blood sugar and only a moderate rise of insulin. In other words, the roller-coaster ride of sudden highs and lows in blood sugar and insulin that cause excessive hunger and fat anabolism is avoided. Green Tea
There are plant compounds in tea namely caffeine and catechins which work together to increase thermogenesis. When the process of thermogenesis is increased, the basal metabolic rate increases and assists fat oxidation. This somewhere helps the body fat reserves to be burned. One has to consume at least 2 cups for the fat-burning effect. But green tea is again no magic food. It just puts the body into a fat-loss mode. A sensible diet and exercise is the mantra to achieve a slim and healthy self. Fruits
Fruits are high on fiber and low in calories. Fruits satisfy appetite as they take longer to be consumed and are laden with water and fiber. They are rich in potassium which has significant blood pressure lowering qualities. Pectin found in fruits like apples, guavas, mangoes and pears is soluble fiber which has been proven to exert cholesterol-lowering effects. Whole Grains
Our age-old staple food, whole grains (oats, barley, millets, amaranth seeds, bran, broken wheat) are actually the prime “wonder weight loss foods”. They are power foods with low glycemic index. The outer most layer of the grain is bran which is rich in minerals, vit B and fiber cellulose. Below this is the aleurone layer which is rich in proteins, PUFA, vitamins and minerals. The germ is present in the inner part of the grain and is that part which germinates or grows into a new plant. It is rich in vit E, essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins of the B group and minerals. It is also a rich source of insoluble fiber that maintains bowel regularity, keeps blood sugars balanced and reduces cholesterol.
The innermost part of the grain is the endosperm containing mainly starch. Refining takes away the life from the grain. Eating the whole grain would mean getting all the above nourishments coupled with fat loss. Therefore, consuming small amounts of whole grains in different forms with vegetables and pulses can actually be the biggest fat reducer. Lean Chicken
Lean white meat or chicken is low in calories and fat and high in proteins. These properties of the food promote fat loss. It is essential to remove the skin which contains high amounts of saturated fats. Cruciferous and Allium Group of Vegetables
Cruciferous and Allium group of vegetables play a part in improving heart health. In the report by Moyad, one of the recommendations harps on the consumption of varied vegetables. Current and past data show that vegetable consumption has an impact of heart disease risk, probably through weight loss.
Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and watercress are low in overall calories. The Allium vegetables have also been regarded as cholesterol-lowering agents. This group includes chives, garlic, leeks, onions, and scallions. Moyard also emphasizes that fruits and vegetables have unique and shared anticancer and anti–heart disease compounds that contribute to improved overall health.