Lose your unwanted belly fat with coconut oil!

Coconut oil is one of the most weight loss-friendly fats in the world. Rich in a combination of fatty acids, it promotes optimal metabolism function which ultimately helps with weight loss!

Several studies show that by simply adding coconut oil to your diet, you can lose fat – especially the “dangerous” fat in your abdominal area, which has been linked to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

To learn more about how coconut oil can help you lose weight and belly fat, keep reading!

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Four ways that coconut oil helps with fat loss

#1: Coconut oil boosts your energy levels

Coconut oil is comprised mainly of medium-chain triglycerides AKA MCTs and lauric acid. This essential fatty acid metabolises differently in comparison to other saturated fats, such as those you find in dairy and meat products.

Your body doesn’t store MCTs as fat, but instead transports them directly to your liver, where they’re quickly converted into energy. So what does this mean for your weight loss efforts?

By adding two or three tablespoons to your daily dietary regimen, you’ll boost your energy levels by an average of 5% for a full 24-hour period! I find that adding coconut oil to my morning smoothie is the best way to get my energy kick for the day.

#2: Coconut oil decreases hunger and curbs pesky cravings

You already know that MCTs go directly to your liver during digestion. Not only does this provide your body with a natural energy boost, the processing of MCTs also forms keytone bodies, which have the added benefit of reducing hunger and curbing cravings.

I recommend enjoying two to three tablespoons of coconut oil each day to feel fuller for longer and to kick the habit of snacking on unhealthy foods between meals. You can enjoy the oil in tea, coffee, smoothies or directly from the jar!

#3: Coconut oil burns fat amazingly fast

Are you looking to reduce your daily caloric intake and lose weight faster without compromising your health? Well, then, you’re in the right place. Coconut oil enhances your body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients so that you can eat less without feeling unsatisfied, tired or weak all the time.

Plus, because coconut oil is a natural mood enhancer, eating it daily will help you reduce your stress levels and feel more motivated to partake in heart-healthy activities, which will only help you burn off persistent fat stores even faster – bonus!

Consuming coconut oil regularly will power up your body’s fat-burning potential – especially for losing stubborn belly fat. It will also regulate your appetite, improve digestion and just make you feel great!

#4: Coconut oil helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels

Because your body absorbs coconut oil easily without the need for digestive enzymes, your pancreas is less stressed and able to produce insulin more effectively. Plus, as a saturated fat, coconut oil makes it easier for your cells to bind with insulin during digestion.

When your body has the required amounts of insulin, your cells get the glucose (or blood sugar) that they need to fuel your daily activities. So how exactly does this translate into belly fat loss?

A daily serving or two of coconut oil will help your body maintain healthy blood sugar levels by promoting the efficient use and production of insulin. As a result this will provide your cells with more glucose to give you energy and help you lose fat.

PS: Just remember – coconut oil is high in calories, so it’s important that you use it in moderation. I recommend limiting your intake to one or two tablespoons a day to avoid unwittingly sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Good luck!

Kickstart your morning with this fat-burning green smoothie

It’s not often that a picture of some sort of green drink doesn’t show up on my Instagram feed – and for good reason. Green smoothies are the perfect way to slip in veggies before noon!

 

Here’s one of my favourite fat-busting, with a boost of pea protein to rev up your metabolism and keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Enjoy!

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Fat-burning green smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe pear
  • 2 tbsp green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop plain pea protein powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice

Method:

  1. Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high-speed until completely smoothie.
  2. Decant the smoothie into a tall glass and serve.

Note: This smoothie is even better if you chill it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before freezing!

Four comfort foods that surprisingly burn fat

They’re called “comfort” foods for a reason, right? They bring back warm memories, tickle your taste buds and soothe your soul. Though some comfort foods are packed with sugar, deep-fried in oil or oozing with cheese, some can actually help you lose weight! Beat the battle of the bulge with the following cosy eats.

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Four guilt-free comfort foods

#1: Red wine

In addition to being a heart helper, red wine may be a weapon against excess weight. According to a 2009 report from the University of Ulm in Germany, resveratrol (the renowned antioxidant found in grape skins) inhibits the production of fat cells.

What’s more, a substance found naturally in red wine called calcium pyruvate help fat cells burn more energy, some research suggests. Meanwhile, in a 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who had one or two drinks a day were 30% less likely to gain weight than those who didn’t. So, drink up! But be sure to stick to just one glass a day.

#2: Chicken noodle soup

According to nutritionist and author of The One One One Diet Rania Batayneh, people who eat a broth- or vegetable-based soup before their meal consumer fewer calories overall. She explains that the water in the soup helps fill you up and boosts satiety, and that just the act of eating soup helps slow down your eating so your body has time to notice feelings of fullness.

One Penn State University study found that people who ate soup before tucking into their entrees reduced their total calorie intake by 20%. Chicken noodle varieties pack the protein, fibre and vitamins you need to rev up your metabolism, even after your meal.

#3: Hot chocolate

Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants, which help reduce your levels of cortisol (your stress hormone). In fact, one Cornell University study found that the concentration of antioxidants in hot chocolate is up to five times greater than it is in black tea.

Hot chocolate’s combination of carbohydrates and protein can also help your muscles recover from a tough workout, according to research in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Adding a dash of cinnamon boosts your treat’s health benefits even more, as the spice contains compounds that keep insulin out of the bloodstream and from storing fat.

#4: Oatmeal

One cup of gooey, warm oatmeal contains about 4 g of fibre and 6 g of protein; a combination that slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, keeps you fuller for longer, and reduces insulin response. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutritional evaluated 38 popular foods and found that oatmeal was the third most filling.

 

When possible, opt for steel-cut oatmeal, which goes through less processing than other varieties and as a result has a lower glycaemic index score (a measurement of how much a food increases your blood sugar).

“Fat water” is now a thing – here’s the inside scoop

Earlier this month I told you all about Dave Asprey and his genius invention, Bulletproof Coffee. Here’s some exciting news: Mr Asprey has now created yet another weight loss beverage – it’s called FATwater.

 

The bottled water, mixed with fat, a sweetener and some flavours, is meant to be an alternative to sugary coconut waters and energy drinks. And at just 20 calories a bottle, who wouldn’t want to try it?!

 

Here’s all you need to know about this new beverage that’s on the market…

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The hype behind FATwater

Asprey says that FATwater is more hydrating than plain water because the nanoparticles of fat it contains “bring the water into the cells more effectively”. He adds: “Drink a glass of water, and some of it will absorb and some of it won’t. But when your body sees the fat, it says ‘oh, come on in, this is pure energy!’ It brings the water in with the fat.”

Plus, he says, “you get a little bump of energy”.

The bottles says this: “XCTs follow a special metabolic pathway to burn fat instead of storing it,” the labels reads, while giving your body “the clean, high quality fuel it needs – and nothing else”.

The research behind FATwater

It’s true that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are digested differently than other fats in your body, says Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition in the US. Instead of being stored into fatty tissue to be used for energy later, they’re typically just burned off.

But does that mean that these fats actually give you energy? “It’s actually the opposite,” St-Onge says. “You don’t have the energy – you’re not storing it – so you’re burning it. It’s not useful energy.”

Where MCTs are useful, St-Onge says, is when you use them to replace another fat. Cooking with a little coconut oil, for instance, instead of with butter. In one study by St-Onge lasting 16 weeks, people who consumed 18-24 g of MCTs lost more weight than those who ate the same amount of olive oil.

“The type of fat that’s used in FATwater increases overall thermogenesis, which is fat-burning in the body,” Asprey says. But St-Onge, who’s own research has shown that MCT oil does enhance diet-induced thermogenesis compared to longer-chain fats, is sceptical that just 2 g of MCT oil – the amount found in FATwater – would have an impact on fat burn.

When asked about it, Asprey said that he’s aware of the lack of research behind his new invention. “We’re working on specific studies for these exact formulations,” he said.

So should you try FATwater?

I can’t tell you what FATwater tastes like because I’m yet to try it out for myself. But here are some responses from people who have tried it:

“It tasted like lotion”

“It tasted like the sweet innards of liquid-filled chewing gum”

“It tasted like sweetened room water”

“I feel like something’s coating my tongue in a not-pleasant way”

 

Mm, interesting responses. By the sounds of it, it doesn’t take great, but I’m going to give it a try anyway being the water lover I am! I don’t, however, think it’s something I’ll replace my much-loved coconut water with, purely because I don’t find the contents of FATwater that remarkable. So why would I fork out a wad of cash for FATwater when I can spend the same amount on something better?

Perhaps when there’s more research to back all the claims, I’ll change my mind.

Four foods that’ll rev up your metabolism

Here’s the problem with many diets: They focus on what you shouldn’t have instead of what you should have.

 

I’ve started so many diets that have left me feeling so deprived because all they seemed to do was tell me what I’m not allowed to eat. The restrictions become so frustrating! And usually lead me to give up on the diet all at once…

 

So here’s what I’ve learned as a result: Before you dump sugary, highly reactive foods that stall fat loss and leave you feeling sluggish into your body, you must fuel up on healthy, crave-busting foods. They’ll stop you from feeling hungry, reaching for the junk and giving up on your diet!

 

You probably already from about the usual appetite-curbing adds on like fibre-rich veggies and green tea. And yes, those do work great. But I’m going to let you in one some unique, off-the-beaten-path ones that’ll rev up your metabolism so you blast more fat and feel fantastic!

 

Best of all, they taste delicious, so they’ll be easy to incorporate into your diet.

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Add these four foods to your diet for lasting fat loss

#1: Lemon juice

I’m sure you’ve heard that having hot lemon water in the morning is good for digestion. Turns out, a few tablespoons of lemon juice just before or during a meal may also help lower your blood sugar response from that meal. You can also have a glass of sparkling water with lemon during your meal if straight lemon juice is too strong for you.

#2: Cinnamon

What’s not to love about this delicious spice? It tastes so good, can curb a sweet tooth, and helps balance blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity! I love sprinkling this spice on top of nut butter smoothies or protein pancakes. There are many different ways to enjoy cinnamon!

#3: Kefir

Speaking of a sweet tooth, kefir can also help zap sugar cravings. The sour taste of cultured or fermented foods like this one kills your sweet tooth and feeds the good bacteria in your body. My favourite kefir is made from coconut water. You can also shop online for culture starter kits to make your own!

#4: Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a kitchen staple for everything from cooking to baking. It has some seriously impressive antiviral and antibacterial properties, which makes it the perfect food to eat to keep up a good balance of good bacteria in your body.

I’m always on the lookout for healthy little-known add-ons that increase your metabolism while ditching the excess kilos. Keep your eyes peeled for more metabolism-boosting “secrets”!

Banana, almond butter and chia seed toast – a tasty fat-burning breakfast

I’ll admit – I’m obsessed with almond butter and chia seeds. So when I came across this delicious breakfast idea, I was just delighted! (And I admit, it’s what I’ve been having for breakfast for the last week)

 

Banana, almond butter and chia seeds on toast is a quick-and-easy breakfast. One slice contains just 280 calories, and it’ll definitely stifle the tummy rumbles until lunch time! Plus, this tasty breakfast will help your body burn fat.

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How to prepare banana, almond butter and chia seed toast

You’ll need:

  • 1 slice whole-grain rye bread
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Toast the bread until crispy.
  2. Butter the toast with the almond butter.
  3. Topped the toast with the slices of banana.
  4. Finish off by sprinkling the chia seeds on top.

Why this toast is a great breakfast option

As I’ve already mentioned, it’ll help curb your appetite and burn fat. But there’s more…

The whole-grain rye bread and bananas are high in resistant starch, so they’ll help kickstart your metabolism. The almond butter adds hunger-curbing protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. And the chia seeds – they’ll provide your body with a good dose of omega-3s and soluble fibre.