All warm-blooded animals, including humans, naturally produce heat. There are several ways in which this process – known as thermogenesis – can be done, including exercise and shivering (in which the muscles are heated up to different degrees with physical activity).
However, did you know that thermogenesis can also be induced by your dietary components and, as a significant component of the metabolic rate, this process can be stimulated to increase energy expenditure and therefore fat oxidation? That’s right: eating certain food groups can help to keep you slim because your resting metabolic rate is raised during digestion, absorption and distribution of nutrients. Simply put, your body works harder to process certain foods, and the thermic effect of this can take inches off your waistline.
The foods listed below are all thermogenic agents, meaning they increase your body temperature thus helping to burn fat more effectively. So if, like me, you don’t do much exercise, you may want to include the following in your diet to help keep you slim.
Ginger is well known as a natural digestive aid, but it also helps to reduce your belly fat by suppressing cortisol production. Cortisol is a steroid hormone essential for energy regulation and mobilisation. So, have ginger tea daily to aid your efforts of losing belly fat.
Oatmeal and brown rice are highly recommended for those seeking to lose weight on a thermogenic diet, because your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods than it does processed foods.
The low fat protein in lean meat and poultry has a high thermogenic effect on the body. Protein takes much longer for the body to digest than fats or carbohydrates.
In a report by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks. Now that’s just by drinking tea alone, so for those who dislike exercise, this may be a fantastic option. Try drinking it hot!
One cup of lentils packs 35% of your daily iron needs and it’s low in GI as well. According to Tammy Lakatos Shames, co-author of The Secret to Skinny, our metabolism slows when our body is not getting what it needs to work efficiently. As 20% of us are also deficient in iron, adding this into our daily diet may be doubly beneficial.
Hot Peppers a.k.a. Chillies
Chillies are my favourite food and it’s music to my ears to discover that capsaicin, the compound that gives chilli peppers their kick, also heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) found in virgin coconut oil retard the accumulation of fat in the body. A British study found that adding chilli and MCT to meals increases dietary induced thermogenesis and over time may cumulate to help induce weight loss, equally preventing weight gain.
Karen Loke – Founder and Practitioner, Restoring Mums
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