HEALTH & FITNESS with Les Mills
10 Foods for Fat Loss and Improved Body Composition Continued...
Last month saw the first five of the top ten lists of foods for improved body composition. They were, Cold Water Fish, Nuts, Berries, Avocados, Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables. Following are the remaining five. Some of the remaining list may be controversial to some of you. What I ask you to keep in mind is that these are geared towards the outcome of the title of this article. Experience over the past 16 years with myself, clients, working with nutritionists and dieticians and reading research has shown that these foods definitely add an edge and you would do well to consider
this list in your food plan if you want to have more energy, feel better
and look great.
Eggs: Eggs are an excellent protein and they also provide a nice dose of choline, which protects the liver from accumulating fat and is the precursor to the energising neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Increasing acetylcholine levels can increase growth hormone which is a potent fat burner. Plus eggs are very filling and you get a nice boost in metabolism on account of the thermic effect of their high protein content.
Incorrectly feared due to their cholesterol content, eggs haven’t been found to elevate serum cholesterol. The body actually uses the cholesterol to produce testosterone and other androgenic hormones and it improves the integrity of muscle cell membranes. One study showed that eating 12 eggs a week didn’t increase LDL cholesterol at all, and when exercise was done the high egg intake improved the participant’s ratio of good to bad cholesterol to the same degree as a group that ate no eggs.
Take away: Eat eggs a few days a week to increase your protein and choline intakes. Avoid eating them daily as this has been shown to cause intolerances.
Whey Protein: Whey protein, which can be found in dairy products and taken as a supplement, is a food for body composition because it enables the body to repair tissue and burn fat. It also enhances the body’s internal antioxidant system by increasing something called glutathione.
Research shows that exercise performance and fat loss are enhanced when the body’s glutathione levels are higher during strength training. A study that had men take 22gms of whey protein daily in conjunction with a strength training program had them lose more body fat than a group that only strength trained and didn’t supplement with whey.
Take away: Supplement with whey protein daily to increase your metabolism rate, antioxidant status and repair tissue damage.
Coffee & Green Coffee Extract: There is compelling evidence that coffee increases your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories and it can help shift the body to burn fat rather than glucose for energy. In addition it can help modulate blood sugar and may even reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s’ disease.
The fat loss effect of coffee drinking hasn’t been studied extensively, but one study showed drinking 500ml of coffee daily for four weeks produced 2.5kg weight loss. Perhaps more effective, green coffee extract, which comes from the bean before roasting and can be added to any beverage, has been shown to produce significant fat loss. One study compared the effect of giving participants a high-dose green coffee extract(1000mg), a low-dose(700mg) or a placebo for six weeks and found that the large dose resulted in an average 8kg loss in body weight and a 4.4% drop in body fat – very impressive. The low-dose and placebo produced no changes.
Take away: Using green coffee extract and drinking coffee can help you lose fat in conjunction with a healthy diet. They aren’t a weight loss solution but a nice addition to a complete fat loss diet. Green Tea provides similar benefits as coffee if it is your preferred choice.
Vinegar: Vinegar aids the body in storing carbohydrates as muscle glycogen rather that storing them as fat. In addition studies show eating vinegar as a seasoning with meals can improve pancreatic function and lower the insulin response to carbs. Even if you just add vinegar to your salad or vegetables it can lower the insulin response to your whole meal, leading to a more moderate elevation in blood sugar levels.
Take away: Balsamic and white wine vinegar are some of the most delicious vinegars but you can add any kind to your meal daily and get the fat loss benefits.
Sauerkraut and Kimchi: These fermented foods made from cabbage, onions, garlic and spices have shown to aid digestion, improve insulin sensitivity and produce fat loss. A study showed that overweight subjects who ate 100gms of kimchi at every meal for four weeks produced significant fat loss and decreased body fat by 1.5%. Blood pressure and blood sugar control were both lower also.
Take away: Include kimchi and sauerkraut and other fermented foods in your diet for better health and fat loss.
Contribitor: Charles Poliquin Top Ten Foods.
By Patrick Harris, Service
Director at Les Mills Takapuna