How many times have you tried fad diets only to end up disappointed with the results - either you lost weight and then just piled on the kilos again, or you lost weight and your energy as well?
Well, stop dieting and start eating. New studies show that eating certain foods like dietary fibre, soy protein and calcium can help you shed weight.
So it's time to re-stock the fridge with milk, yoghurt, cheese, beans, fruit and vegetables and say "yes" to food - the right kind of food. You'll never have to go hungry again.
Milk, cheese and yoghurt
Fat-busting nutrient: Calcium in dairy products
Calcium does more than just build strong teeth and bones. According to a recent American study, an increase in dietary calcium can also contribute to weight and fat loss.
Participants were divided into three groups: Low-calcium, high-calcium and high-dairy intake. Individuals in the high-dairy group lost 70 per cent more weight than those consuming low levels of calcium.
Another study issue of Obesity Research also shows it's more than just calcium that helps shed kilos. Dairy has a greater effect on fat loss, specifically abdominal fat loss, than calcium alone.
Calcium is a critical factor in controlling what your body does with calories, and dairy is an even more critical factor. Researchers add that three to four servings of dairy foods per day may just do the trick. One serving is eguivalent to two glasses of milk (800 ml) or two slices of cheese (40g). And not just any dairy food - choose from milk, hard cheese and yoghurt.
But before you say "moo", remember that this should not be used as an excuse to binge on dairy products. The key to successful weight loss is still burning more calories than you take in.
Whole grains, bean products, fruit arid vegetables
Fat-busting nutrient: Fibre
Fibre has long been recognised for its protective benefits against chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. What most do not know is that fibre also has fat-busting properties. As fibre passes through our system it takes some of our undigested fat with it, earning itself the title of "nature's broom".
Although fibre offers a range of nutritional and weight-related benefits, it is best eaten as part of a balanced diet. More evidence is needed to prove that increasing fibre intake beyond what you can obtain f rom a balanced diet is more beneficial for weight loss or health.
So how much fibre should we consume? The recommendation is eating one serving of wholegrain products, one serving of bean products, two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables daily.
Tofu, soy milk, soy bean, and tempeh
Fat-busting nutrient: Soy protein
Animal studies have shown that eating soy protein which is rich in isoflavones (beneficial plant substances) helps decrease the amount of fat the body stores while increasing muscle mass.
Foods rich in soy protein are known to reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. But to achieve the cholesterol-lowering effect, it is important to consume soy protein with naturally-occurring isoflavones. Consumption of isoflavone pills (without soy protein) does not have the same effect.
Diet alone is not the key. Weight loss is not about eating or avoiding specific foods but ensuring that your calorie expenditure through physical activity consistently exceeds your calorie intake. So, exercise to give your overall health a boost and keep your weight in check.