Trying to budge a couple of pounds for your summer hols or an upcoming wedding/party/event or simply trying to maintain a happy and healthy weight?
It’s no secret that good nutrition is even more crucial than exercise when it comes to shifting excess fat stores – and especially as you get older and your metabolism starts to gradually slow down.
These are four of the best foods to eat regularly to support your health, fitness and fat loss goals:
- Berries: Nature’s candy in a perfect package! Berries are amongst the fruit lowest in sugar and calories, and contain plenty of fibre to keep blood sugar levels and insulin stable. Rich in antioxidants, they help to lower inflammation in the body, protect your skin from the early signs of ageing and help to banish sugar cravings. I love to snack on berries when I fancy a sweet treat, and they work so well in smoothies too.
2. Sweet Potatoes: A great complex carb, sweet potato is low-calorie, with virtually no fat and plenty of fibre to keep you feeling satisfied between meals. It doesn’t raise blood sugar in the same way that regular potatoes do, making it a reliable and versatile fat loss food.
To boost their benefits even more, make sure to bake or steam them rather than fry. I love baked sweet potato wedges with a pinch of sea salt, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a metabolism-supporting hit of spiciness!
3. Cauliflower: Low-calorie, high in fibre, water and essential nutrients including vitamins C, K and B6, magnesium, manganese and zinc, cauliflower is an incredibly cheap and versatile vegetable. It’s filling enough to eat as a main component of your lunchtime or evening meal, and cauliflower rice has become a very popular low-carb alternative to rice and pasta for the health-conscious amongst us.
I love it roasted and crispy with a variety of spices and flavourings… have you tried my Eat Yourself Beautiful recipe for Cheesy Turmeric Cauli Bites or this recipe for Curried Roasted Cauliflower yet?
4. Kale: Kale is part of the Brassica family. It has a mellow, earthy taste and its large, waxy leaves provide more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food available. It’s rich in fibre and water to keep you feeling full, to boost fat burning, maintain a healthy digestive system and make you less likely to overeat, plus it has an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting antioxidant compounds. Kale contains a concentration of two types of important antioxidants, called carotenoids and flavonoids. Calorie for calorie, it is thought to contain more calcium than milk, more iron than beef, 10% more vitamin C than spinach and is high in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins A and E and minerals.
I love making huge kale salads, kale crisps and stirring it into soups and stews.