Cynthia Sass is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics by the American Dietetic Association and author of Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches shares five natural fat burners that you can add to your diet to help you win the battle of the bulge.
1. Vinegar. Vinegar can be used in a number of ways to flavor your food through salad dressings, dips and marinades and its weight-loss properties are amazing! A recent study has found that people who consumed just a tablespoon of vinegar before lunch and dinner lost an average of two pounds over a four-week period without making any other dietary changes. Some of Sass’ vinegar suggestions include apple cider, balsamic, champagne, wine and fruit-infused varieties.
Citrus Juice and Zest. Citrus juice is one of the best sources of vitamin C. One single ounce supplies 120 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance and vitamin C is linked to less body fat and smaller waist measurements. Sass uses orange juice to jazz up a vinaigrette dressing with a subtle, yet flavorful taste. But don’t forget about the rinds! “You can add freshly grated or dried citrus rind to everything from yogurts to water to vegetables,” she says.
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Tea. Antioxidants in tea called catechins are what help speed metabolism and fat burning. “Tea is not only a fantastic beverage, but also can be a seasoning,” Sass says. Brewed, chilled tea can be used to sauté, steam or marinate vegetables, tofu, poultry or seafood. Tea leaves can be ground in a peppermill and used as an aromatic seasoning.
Hot Peppers. Scientists are reporting that capsaicin, the stuff that gives chili peppers their kick, may cause weight loss and fight fat build-up by triggering certain beneficial protein changes in the body. The capsaicin is said to have a thermogenic effect, causing the body to burn extra calories after being ingested. Some hot peppers Sass suggests adding to main dishes or on the side include cayenne, habanero, jalapeno and serrano. “Try experimenting with milder varieties first,” she says, slowly building your tolerance to the hotter types of peppers.
Herbs and Spices. Not only do herbs and spices help to flavor foods, but most come with amazing health benefits! For instance, studies show that rosemary increases blood flow to the head, improving concentration and protecting the brain from stroke. Some spices to try: spearmint, lemongrass, lavender and tumeric. Before adding an herb or spice, smell it. If the aroma seems to blend with the other foods in your meal, then try it. “You don’t need to be a chef,” Sass says. “Keep an open mind, start with a small amount and keep tasting as you go along. It takes a little patience and practice.”
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By Rochelle Marapao