Often, the nutrition “rules” of weight loss sound like a broken record. You have probably heard it all before. Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed meals. Swap out whole grains for refined grains. Stay away from soda!
These tips are obviously important, but you might be looking for something more. Other techniques aren’t that obvious. But if you’re serious about losing weight, it doesn’t hurt to dig deeper into the science of weight loss.
1. Eat More Ginger
Ginger is the go-to spice for nausea and immunity, but that’s not all. A 2016 study found that it is an excellent natural weight-loss supplement. Over time, ginger can improve both your body mass index (BMI) and the metabolic factors of obesity.1
Plus, as a digestive aid, ginger helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals. It is exactly what you need as you shed fat. Enjoy ginger as a tea, supplement, or fresh juice ingredient. Add it to sauces or stews for a zesty kick.2
2. Drink Tart Cherry Juice
The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. To make that happen, drink tart cherry juice. A 2011 study found that it speeds up muscle recovery, an essential for muscle growth.
When you do a hardcore workout, oxidative damage increases. The antioxidants in tart cherry juice can take care of that. Take it as a post-workout drink or just before bedtime, when your muscles are repairing.3
3. Eat Pickled Foods
Listening to your gut is important, even when it comes to nutrition. That’s where pickled foods come in. As probiotics, they support digestion by replenishing your gut’s “good” bacteria. A balanced gut will also control appetite.
In a 2017 study, researchers found that gut bacteria stimulate intestinal satiety. This also reduces inflammation, especially in obesity induced by a high-fat diet. To reap the benefits, enjoy sauerkraut or pickles a few times a week. Fermented foods like kimchi also provide probiotics.4 5
4. Add Hot Pepper
If you can take the heat, spice your meals with pepper. Capsaicin, the spicy compound, turns energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells. It’s the type of burn that will help you lose weight.6
Add a dash of powdered cayenne pepper to soup, stews, or sandwiches. You can even add it to your coffee for a morning pick-me-up. Just remember that a little goes a long way.
5. Snack On Dark Chocolate
Sweets seem like a nutrition taboo, but dark chocolate is the exception. Eating it twice a week is linked to a lower BMI, says a 2012 study. The antioxidant content is also extremely rich.7
Just be sure to buy “real” dark chocolate. Look for 72% cocoa or more, and avoid sugary milk chocolate. Take a tip from the study and enjoy it twice a week. Dark chocolate still has calories, so eating it every day might work against you. Add it to oatmeal or keep some on hand for a Friday night treat.8
Of course, these weight-loss strategies won’t make fat vanish overnight. Incorporate each habit into your lifestyle, one by one. Pair with a solid fitness routine to maximize your weight-loss potential.
|↑1||Attari, Vahideh Ebrahimzadeh, Alireza Ostadrahimi, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Sajjad Mehralizadeh, and Sepideh Mahluji. “Changes of serum adipocytokines and body weight following Zingiber officinale supplementation in obese women: a RCT.” European journal of nutrition 55, no. 6 (2016): 2129-2136.|
|↑2||Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑3||Sumners, David P., A. Dyer, P. Fox, Katya N. Mileva, and Jo Bowtell. “Montmorency cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise.” (2011).|
|↑4||Fetissov, S. O. “Involvement of gut bacteria in appetite control.” Biologie aujourd’hui 211, no. 1 (2017): 29.|
|↑5||Cani, Patrice D., Rodrigo Bibiloni, Claude Knauf, Aurélie Waget, Audrey M. Neyrinck, Nathalie M. Delzenne, and Rémy Burcelin. “Changes in gut microbiota control metabolic endotoxemia-induced inflammation in high-fat diet–induced obesity and diabetes in mice.” Diabetes 57, no. 6 (2008): 1470-1481.|
|↑6||What’s Next in Diets: Chili Peppers? Biophysical Society.|
|↑7||Golomb, Beatrice A., Sabrina Koperski, and Halbert L. White. “Association between more frequent chocolate consumption and lower body mass index.” Archives of internal medicine 172, no. 6 (2012): 519-521.|
|↑8||Mursu, Jaakko, Sari Voutilainen, Tarja Nurmi, Tiina H. Rissanen, Jyrki K. Virtanen, Jari Kaikkonen, Kristiina Nyyssönen, and Jukka T. Salonen. “Dark chocolate consumption increases HDL cholesterol concentration and chocolate fatty acids may inhibit lipid peroxidation in healthy humans.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine 37, no. 9 (2004): 1351-1359.|