Health & Wellness

Eat Your Way to Skinny

06.06.11 Salad_Fork

Cotton Candy has said it before, and we’ll say it again.  Deprivation diets – diets that suggest cutting out whole food groups or eating only one type of food for the first couple of weeks– are unhealthy and in the long run generally ineffective.  At Cotton Candy Magazine, we love to eat but in a healthy and balanced way. You can lose weight without going hungry, and in fact the best fitness experts have long suggested sticking to activities that keep you moving, eating a wide variety of healthy foods and avoiding diet extremes. Dropping weight and maintaining energy while eating delicious foods are possible.

Cotton Candy contributor Joann Pan sat down with Registered Dietitian Page Love, president of Atlanta-based Nutrifit Sport Therapy Inc. Here, Love gives us a plethora of delicious foods that will help kick your metabolism into high gear.

No. 1 Whole Grains

Whole grains are great sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Whole grains are better for you than refined grains.  They provide more fiber, potassium, magnesium and other important nutrients.  It’s simple to incorporate whole grains into your diet by adding whole wheat bread, pasta, crackers or brown rice and popcorn.

No. 2 Oats and Oat Bran

Oats and oat bran are rich in fiber and as a result will keep you full while lowering cholesterol.  Along with oats, try adding your favorite fruits and natural nuts which also contain fiber and make for a hearty breakfast or snack.

No. 3 Lean Meat

Lean meat is the way to go if you want to avoid extra calories and unhealthy fats. You can have both taste and health with lean cuts of beef that include round, chuck, sirloin and tenderloin pieces. The best lean poultry would be white breast meat with no skin. Avoid cuts labeled “Choice,” “Select,” or “Prime,” which generally have more fat. Lean meat is a great source of protein and B vitamins, a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, often are called “energy vitamins” because these vitamins support and improve metabolic rates.

No. 4 Coffee

Coffee should not be used to drink yourself thin, but a cup of Joe now and then can help kick your metabolism into gear.  Caffeine stimulates the heart rate, blood pumps quicker and the metabolic rate increases.  So in moderation coffee can ignite your metabolism by simply starting your day off with one cup.

No. 5 Dairy Foods

Milk ads have always suggested that by incorporating dairy products into your diet, you may lose your middle. This claim is actually true since dairy foods, such as probiotic yogurt, hold a great amount of calcium, which aids in fat metabolism. Incorporate low fat or skim milk and cheeses to reap the benefits of these high protein and calcium sources.

No. 6 Raw Nuts

There’s nothing better than a handful of almonds with natural dried fruit as a healthy snack.  Raw almonds and other nuts carry loads of vitamin E, fiber and magnesium, which is the key for breaking down foods into energy. Raw nuts provide the essential fatty acids needed to aid many of the body’s regulatory systems that support metabolism.

No. 7 Cayenne Peppers

For spicy food lovers, you’ll be glad to know Cayenne peppers do more than bring your meal up another notch. Cayenne—which can be used in its fresh form, dried, powdered or as dried flakes—is very high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. Cayenne peppers have been and continue to be used as a natural remedy for many ailments in various cultures. Spice your food with this healthful topper— great for your circulatory system and a natural metabolism booster.

No. 8 Green Leafy Veggies

Green leafy vegetables are a dieter’s best friend. Think about it.  Fresh bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, spinach, endive, lettuce and kale and other green leafy vegetables are full of B vitamins and magnesium, which as mentioned are integral to metabolic pathways.

No. 9 Fortified Breakfast Cereal

Fortified breakfast cereals, such as Total or Kashi, are made with added B vitamins, iron and folic acid, essential to speeding up metabolism.  Not to mention they are a quick eat.

No. 10 Deep Red Foods

Red hued foods such as cherries and tomatoes contain high dosage of phytochemicals – great for a metabolism enhancement. Phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins, are natural compounds found in plants that have protective benefits for the heart and more. These phytochemicals support healing, reduce inflammation and help the overall maintenance of higher metabolism. Some easy options to include red foods into your diets are salsa and gazpacho soup.

Cotton Candy Magazine®