Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which, besides lowering cholesterol, also hasten the metabolism rate. Omega-3 fatty acids alter the level of leptin — a hormone that directly influences metabolism and determines whether you burn calories or store them as fat. Fish also provides ample protein and the best way to eat it is grilled, with steamed vegetables on the side.
Fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, sweet lime, papaya, guava and tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and fibre. Vitamin C helps the body process fat faster and also stimulates the amino acid known as carnitine — carnitine speeds up the body’s fat-burning capacity. Citrus fruits also have high water content and provide around 50 to 75 kcal, leaving us satiated for a longer period of time.
Spinach, asparagus and broccoli have a high thermic effect on the body and a low calorie density. This means that it’s almost impossible for them to be stored as fat because most of their calories are burned off in the digestion process. Apart from that, the fibre in these foods provides roughage and contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help you feel full.
Popcorn is rich in fibre and low on calories. Also, since eating it keeps our mouth busy for a longer time, the satiety levels are high. However stay away from the overly buttered, caramel and cheese cousins.
Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate which takes longer to digest — hence it releases energy slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer. It also keeps blood sugar and insulin levels stable, which helps prevent fat storage. Oatmeal is the most satisfying breakfast cereal, providing more protein per serving than any other grain. Mix it with yoghurt or skimmed milk and it’ll keep you full all morning.
Almond and Walnuts
Raw, unsalted nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, provide essential roughage, protein, fat, minerals and micronutrients. Munching on handfuls of these nuts keeps you full and energetic for longer without adding to your waistline.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yoghurt are a good source of calcium, which helps break down fat cells. Some studies indicate that not getting enough calcium may trigger the release of calcitrol, a hormone that causes fat storage.
Beans are high in fibre and a good source of protein. They also take longer to digest, making you feel full for a longer time. Also, protein has the highest satiety index (which determines how long will you feel full) than any other element.
Jowar, bajra and ragi contain complex carbohydrates, which release glucose slowly when broken down during digestion. The glucose helps in maintaining your blood sugars levels and combats sugar craving. They are also a rich source of fibre and Vitamin B complex that play an important role in metabolic control.
High water content and ample fibre is the reason why you feel full after eating an apple. An apple’s skin contains pectin soluble fibre that is a natural appetite suppressant. Seems like an apple a day keeps the weight away.