20 minutes on the treadmill, 10 laps of the swimming pool, movie night with 1 large pizza and 1 liter of soda, 40 minutes of a basketball game, 45 jumping jacks, 1 chocolate malt smoothie topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, 5 rounds around the park…
Of course not. We sadly negate all our efforts toward staying fit and in shape by indulging in the fattiest foods we can find and…poof!
We’ve gone even farther away from our weight loss goals.
The food bump that we see in the mirror…
…may be good ol’ fat. It also may just be gas (from eating bloat causing foods) or retained water.
You already know the whole consistent exercise and weight loss drill. Losing weight may seem a little unrealistic depending on your starting point i.e. how much weight you need to lose.
A low-calorie, nutrient-rich drink can give you the much needed nudge in the right direction. It’s not a short-cut, it’s an enhancer.
First you need to understand how each ingredient works.
- Increases thermogenesis: Thermogenesis or the thermic effect of food is the increase in your basic metabolic rate (BMR) after you eat. This extra energy is used to process food. Ginger induces your body to burn more of its fuel reserves (including your obstinate fat bulge) to digest food.1
- Makes you feel full: When you don’t feel hungry often, your ‘casual, unintentional’ strolls to the kitchen will become less frequent. In other words, you will binge less.
- Increases the frequency of your visits to the bathroom: Toxins can impair proper digestion of food. Being 96.3% only water, cucumber enhances urine production (it is a natural diuretic) and, thus, helps in flushing out accumulated waste materials and toxins.2
- Toxin removal=proper digestion=better metabolism=weight loss.
- More urine also means lesser water retention and lesser bloat.
- Creates a calorie deficit: Cucumbers are high in nutrients but low in calories. Despite being rich in carbohydrates, vitamin A, C, and K, sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium, 100g of cucumber contains only 16 calories. (100g of french fries=312 calories).3
This helps create a calorie deficit (you eat lesser calories than you burn) and your body starts using the stored fat for fuel, to keep you up and running.
- Reduces your urge to binge: What’s not water is fiber. Because of its fiber content, cucumber helps you feel full for longer. Your popcorn and nachos expenses will definitely take a plunge.
- Enhances the effect of exercise: Lemons are rich in vitamin C. According to a study, if you have sufficient levels of vitamin C, you will oxidize (read: burn) 30% more fat while exercising than individuals with low vitamin C levels.4 You MUST exercise for lemon to work its magic.
- Stimulates enzymes that burn fat: The polyphenols in lemon increase the production of fat-burning enzymes.5 This helps suppress weight gain and fat accumulation. Clinical trials are yet to validate this claim in humans.
- Suppresses your appetite: While bestowing an instant calm, just the smell of mint can suppress your appetite and help you induce and sustain weight loss.6 Sniff before you eat.
- Boosts metabolism in adipose tissue: Again, this is in context with thermogenesis. Water stimulates the oxidation (read: burning) of stored fat for energy.78 FYI, drinking 2 liters of water per day increases your body’s energy expenditure by approximately 400 kJ.
This is how you can make a ginger, cucumber, mint lemonade to drop a size or two…
A glass before your meals or just at the start of your day can help you slice off those love handles.
|↑1||Mansour MS, Ni YM, Roberts AL, Kelleman M, Roychoudhury A, St-Onge MP. Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: a pilot study. Metabolism. 2012.|
|↑2||Mukherjee PK, Nema NK, Maity N, Sarkar BK. Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber. Fitoterapia. 2013.|
|↑3||A.H.M.M. Rahman, M. Anisuzzaman, Ferdous Ahmed, A.K.M. Rafiul Islam and A.T.M. Naderuzzaman. Study of Nutritive Value and Medicinal Uses of Cultivated Cucurbits. Journal of Applied Sciences Research. 2008.|
|↑4||Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2005.|
|↑5||Yoshiko Fukuchi, Masanori Hiramitsu, Miki Okada, Sanae Hayashi, Yuka Nabeno, Toshihiko Osawa, Michitaka Naito. Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in β-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 2008.|
|↑6||A.R. Hirsch, R. Gomez. Weight Reduction Through Inhalation of Odorants. J Neurol Orthop Med SufI. 1995.|
|↑7||Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, Jordan J. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003.|
|↑8||Michael Boschmann, Jochen Steiniger, Gabriele Franke, Andreas L. Birkenfeld, Friedrich C. Luft, Jens Jordan. Water Drinking Induces Thermogenesis through Osmosensitive Mechanisms. he Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2009.|