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What to eat this summer to lose fat

Instead of embarking on fancy diets, know your options and eat clean for effective weight loss.

Instead of embarking on fancy diets, know your options and eat clean for effective weight loss.

Lean meats, apples, watermelons, tomatoes and cucumbers - nothing fancy, readily available during summers. These feature in most regular recipes and you never took them seriously. Sad!

Often dubbed as negative-calorie foods, these are a sure-shot ticket to weight loss if made a part of one's daily diet regime. A negative net-calorie food is one that requires more energy to be digested than it provides. However, the concept of "negative-calorie food" is debatable due to lack of profound scientific evidence.

Also read: Why we should stick to eating what our ancestors ate

Thus, if someone is successful in weight loss by following a diet using negative foods, it's typically because they are whole foods that are not calorifically dense. Nevertheless, the negative-calorie food fad can actually work in your favour. Eat these for cashing in on ample goodness of being low calorie, no fat, low sodium, high fiber, packed with micronutrients and lots of water to help you achieve those envious curves and good health simultaneously. So if you love to eat clean and keep looking for guilt-free options to include in your menu, start today.

Want to know more? Read on:

1. Watermelon

Crunchy, cool, juicy, yummy and mostly water. This summer fruit is definitely an asset for people aiming at weight loss - those who suffer a lot from cravings in between meals, often ending up eating junk. Crowned with negligible calories and brimming with water-soluble B vitamins and fiber, it reduces the need to overindulge in eating when feeling sluggish due to dieting or soaring mercury.

 

Presence of vitamin B, fiber and protein gives this juicy beauty the power to boost your metabolic rate.

The potassium found in watermelon helps regulate blood pressure and eases muscle soreness. Citrulline, a natural substance present in watermelons improves artery function making blood circulation better and providing each body cell with enough oxygen. Boasting of maximum "hydration power", watermelon is your armour against dehydration in scorching summers and combats related headache, poor concentration, fatigue and mood swings effectively.

Also read: If you're tired and sleepy all the time, this is what you must eat

2. Cucumber

Another antidote to dehydration, cucumbers are mostly made up of water, have almost no calories, have enough fiber to provide bulk to stools to help clean one's gut and consequently, improve digestion. A good source of vitamin C, these make a great snack to be eaten with low-fat humus or desi chat masala.

 

Vitamin C strengthens immunity and keeps bacteria and viruses at bay. Cucumbers, when included in daily diet, can curb cancer due to presence of triterpene phytonutrient, "Cucurbitacin". Antioxidants like quercetin, apigenin, lutolin and kampferol gives cucumber a rare anti-inflammatory property similar to a drug like Ibuprofen.

Also read: 7 ways turmeric can change your life

Relish cucumber sandwiches or pickled cucumbers everyday guilt-free and see the magic of weight loss.

3. Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, Let me decode this centuries old proverb for you. Capable of providing instant satiety, this crunchy fruit is a great anytime snack. Loaded with vitamin C and polyphenols, it acts as an excellent antioxidant aiding in weight management, improving bone health, pulmonary function and strengthening gastro-intestinal function.

 

A good source of pectin, a soluble fibre, along with other insoluble fibres, it helps cut deposition of bad cholesterol reducing the risk of atherosclerosis (arterial blockage) and heart diseases. An antioxidant, quercetin lowers the risk of stroke and mitigates the effect of asthma and Alzheimer's. Women who have a genetic history of breast cancer must compulsorily make apple an indispensable part of their diets.

Also read: Make your body burn calories even as you rest

4. Tomatoes

The divine red fruit makes the skeleton of most sauces, soups, juices, salads and sandwiches. Along with providing taste and satiety, tomatoes also provide lots of nutritional benefits. Presence of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene keeps vision and skin healthy (bye-bye dark circles and acne).

 

The red colour-giving pigment Lycopene, aided by vitamin C, is known to inhibit growth of cancer cells also . Rich in chromium, tomatoes regulate blood sugar levels and acts as a boon for type 2 diabetics. However, people with history of kidney stones should reduce the consumption or totally abstain, depending on their condition as oxalate compounds present in tomatoes enhance stone formation.

5. Chicken/ fish - the lean meats

Human body needs energy and proteins for its functioning, thus, it cannot exclusively sustain itself on water, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, lean meat is the perfect energy and protein provider. Proteins take longer to metabolise, thus giving longer satiety and forcing the digestive system to work harder.

 

This boosts metabolic rate and makes one burn more calories. The key, however, lies in the process of cooking them. Resort to deep-frying and you lose all the benefits of eating lean meat. Grilling or oven baking with a light yogurt marinade, basted with light olive oil or any fruit juice makes them sumptuous and more healthy towards the purpose of weight loss.

Often, we presume that embarking on fancy diets (mostly fads) or giving up on eating is the only way to achieve weight loss - classic mistake. Lower metabolism due to not eating, or abstaining for a while and then pouncing back on food with vengeance or not following a customised diet plan makes one gain more pounds and become nutritionally deficient, kick-starting a vicious cycle of weight-loss-weight-gain-ill-health.

However, knowing your options and eating clean will make you lose weight slowly and steadily, which is the ideal way to do it. Eating is integral to living. Enjoy food and eat to your heart's content.

Choose wisely; remember diet is your therapy.

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