LOTS of people think losing weight involves munching on nothing but a celery stick and a lettuce leaf every day.
However, there are several different – and surprising – foods that you could and should incorporate into your food plan to maximise your weight loss goals.
And having a well-balanced diet is vital in blitzing body fat, especially around your stomach.
Here we talk you through the five key foods that you should be including in your diet in order to achieve your weight loss goals – an some of them you might not expect.
With it being low in both fat and calories, yoghurt is the ideal food to add to your diet if your hoping to lose weight.
It can help improve your digestive health, and combat against any potential bloating and excessive gas through the probiotics it contains.
Earlier this week, Meghan Markle’s nutritionist even emphasised the benefits of yoghurt – admitting that she tells her clients to eat the dairy treat before every meal.
And a recent study undertaken at the University of Tennessee revealed just how good yoghurt is for blitzing belly fat.
The results revealed that participants who ate 18 ounces of yoghurt per day (as well as reducing their overall calorie intake) lost, on average, 81 per cent more belly fat compared to those who opted to diet without eating yoghurt.
It’s also a great source for vitamins and minerals too, with zinc, iodine, potassium and vitamin B5 all active within yoghurt.
2. Whole grains
Munching on more whole grains is another key food to pick if you want to speed up weight loss.
Thanks to their high-level of fibre, they will make your digestive system healthier and more regulated.
Whole grains also have the added benefit of stopping fat from being stored around the stomach, by lowering the insulin and cortisol (the stress hormone) within your body.
On top of this, they’re a great low-fat source of slow-release energy, which keeps you going throughout the day.
Experts recommend opting for grains that are still in their natural form, such as oats, spelt, brown rice and buckwheat.
Berries are a bit of a secret weapon when it comes to achieving a slim physique.
Research has found that going for red or blue coloured fruit – such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries and red grapes – can help you lose that unwanted belly fat.
How to speed up weight loss
Dietitian Melissa Meier has offered her advice on exactly what you need to eat every day to speed up your weight loss results:
1. Five servings of vegetables
Try and have mostly the non-starchy kind. One serving is a cup (about 200g) of raw vegetables or half a cup (100g) of cooked veg.
2. Two servings of fruit
For one serving think an apple, two kiwi fruits or a cup of berries.
3. Six portions of carbs
Preferably wholegrain… one portion is equivalent to one slice of bread, half a cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles, or a quarter of a cup of muesli.
4. Two and a half servings of protein
One serving is just 65g of cooked red meat, 80g of cooked poultry or 100g of cooked fish.
Two eggs, a tin of tuna or 170g of tofu also count as a portion.
Spreading this protein content throughout the day is recommend, too.
5. Two and a half portions of dairy or alternatives
Stick to mostly reduced-fat. One serving is one cup of milk, three quarters of a cup of yoghurt or two slices of hard cheese.
The chemicals which give the fruit their brightly-coloured appearance can also burn stomach fat and help you get the abdominal area you’re after.
One quick way you can your daily dose of berries is through the new AroniaX Berry Shot – which is a quick daily shot of berries which helps digestion and improves your gut health.
4. Flax seeds
Introducing flax seeds into your diet is one effective way of shedding those unwanted pounds.
The monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) found in flax seeds help to bring down body fat and lower cholesterol levels – something that the saturated fats found in your McDonald’s does not do.
Flax seeds are not only a must for anyone looking to get a flat belly, but they are also ideal for anyone who suffers from frequent bloating.
With high levels of fibre, the seeds will keep your digestive system in good health and help reduce and remove any bloated feelings.
For anyone wondering how on earth you’d introduce these into your diet – you can mix them into a smoothie, sprinkle them over morning cereal or put a tablespoon of them with a lunchtime salad.
It may seem a bit contradictory, but one of the best ways to lose water weight is to actually drink more water.
That’s because if you’re constantly dehydrated, your body tends to retain more water in an attempt to prevent its water levels getting too low.
Water also boosts your metabolism, cleanses your body of waste and acts as an appetite suppressant, experts say.
It’s almost important for your liver and kidney health too.
But it is possible to drink too much, which can have the opposite desired effect, so it’s key to strike a balance.
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Guidelines suggest about two litres per day, but it can vary from person to person, so simply drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you feel well hydrated.
You can usually use your urine colour as an indicator of hydration – if it’s light yellow or fairly clear then you’re well hydrated.
When it’s dark yellow or amber then you need to be drinking more water.
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