The party season is fast approaching and you’ll no doubt want to look and feel your absolute best for the fun celebrations. However, if you’re already struggling to squeeze into that little black dress or dinner jacket, even before you’ve indulged in all that additional yuletide temptation, then you need to learn how to burn fat and fast! Whilst most of us recognise that the only proven route to permanent weight loss is by adopting a healthy approach to food and taking plenty of regular exercise, many of us are totally oblivious to a range of powerful superfoods, renowned for their amazing ability to burn fat. And when incorporated into a balanced diet, these fat-busting superfoods can help us shed a few unwelcome, extra pounds just in time for Christmas.
A diet is not just for Christmas!
Of course weight loss shouldn’t merely be seen as a quick annual fix to enable us to drop a dress size for the office party. Rather it should be considered as one of many steps on the road to an ultimately more healthy and rewarding life, free from disease. For, according to the NHS, there is a direct link to the exponential rise in the illnesses listed below and our burgeoning waistlines:
• Raised blood pressure
• Cardiovascular disease
• Premature death
A shocking 29 million of us Brits are now either overweight or obese and thus at an increased risk of one or more of these chronic conditions. It’s therefore abundantly clear that many of us could benefit from losing a little weight, regardless of the time of year.
Below we showcase 3 fat-busting superfoods that will help you burn fat, not just for Christmas, but for life!
Acai berries are small purple berries that grow on the acai tree, a variety of palm found in Central and South America, and are a staple of the traditional Amazonian diet. Due to their natural perishability, acai berries are usually freeze dried (which retains as much of their nutritional value as possible) and are most widely available in powdered form.
Acai berries are positively brimming with essential nutrients including antioxidants (acai berries actually boast a higher ORAC score than blueberries and pomegranates), vitamin A, fibre, calcium, monounsaturated fatty acids (specifically omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids) and amino acids. This impressive nutritional composition allows us to energise, detox, strengthen our immune system, reduce our cholesterol levels and lower our risk of cancer. In addition, the acai oil contained within the powder furnishes us with a glowing skin and youthful complexion.
It is the particularly high fibre and essential fatty acid content though, that gives the humble acai berry its remarkable ability to burn fat by helping us to process food more quickly, reduce our sugar cravings and actively boost our metabolism. Indeed, those who add acai berry powder to their daily diet often report a marked suppression of appetite, followed by significant weight loss as a result.
Acai berry powder can be readily incorporated into your regular diet simply by stirring into your favourite shakes, smoothies and juices. It’s important to be aware however, that the market is currently saturated with a number of cheap acai products such as acai fruit drinks that contain less than 1% acai and are packed with refined sugars instead. Naturally, you should avoid these inferior products if you want to burn fat and enjoy the myriad benefits of this amazing superfood.
Unlike standard chocolate, raw cacao (and the raw chocolate it’s used to prepare) doesn’t contain fattening sugars or milk – the chocolate ingredients most often linked to weight gain and obesity. Instead, raw cacao is overflowing with beneficial vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which not only promote weight loss through a prolonged feeling of fullness, but also heighten our energy levels and libido, improve mood and concentration and have been scientifically proven to demonstrably reduce arteriosclerosis, reverse heart disease and lower blood pressure.
Raw cacao boasts a notable amount of chromium too. Chromium is an important trace element known to regulate blood sugar levels and help us burn fat, yet it is often lacking from our diet. Chromium is routinely used by doctors to improve blood sugar control in those with diabetes and Dr Richard Anderson from the Human Nutrition Center (of the US Department of Agriculture) recently uncovered a number of studies linking chromium consumption to either an increase in lean body weight or a decrease in body fat.
Raw cacao powder makes a delicious and incredibly nutritious addition to smoothies, nut milks, shakes and juices and can be used to prepare a rich, chocolate flavoured dessert or a range of home made raw chocolate bars. When enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, raw cacao can improve your physical health, look after your mental wellbeing and help you burn fat in an entirely natural way.
The coconut palm is referred to as the ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ or ‘tree that provides all the necessities of life’ in ancient Sanskrit and indigenous populations have been reaping the infinite benefits of this fragrant superfood for centuries. Exceptionally rich in valuable vegetable saturated fatty acids, coconut oil possesses a unique ability to promote healthy skin and hair, prevent heart disease, fight infection and strengthen our immune system.
Coconut oil contains zero trans fats, sugars, carbohydrates or salts and research has revealed that it’s high triglycerides content dramatically increases our metabolism making this aromatic alternative to cooking oil particularly helpful for those who want to burn fat. Mixing just one tablespoon of coconut oil in warm water and drinking on an empty stomach is recommended for optimum weight loss results.