Fat-burning superfoods

Include these in your daily diet and sizzle off your paunch…

Fat-free yoghurt
Eat three servings of fat-free yoghurt each day to rev up your body’s fat-burning engine. Researchers at the University of Tennessee found that blokes who did this lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than people who didn’t eat yoghurt. The yoghurt eaters also lost 81% more fat from their belly than those who shunned this fat-munching superfood. It’s thought that its high calcium and protein content was responsible for the dramatic weight loss.

Whey protein
Protein shakes aren’t just for muscle heads. Grab a low carb tub of whey protein to boost your fat-burning potential. Have two shakes a day. Research by the University of Toronto found that when men were presented with an all-you-can-eat buffet, those who drank a whey protein shake 2 hours earlier ate 200 fewer calories than those who did not. Whey is also reported to increase muscle mass by 8% and burn up to 3% more body fat.

Cottage cheese
Eat at least 200g of cottage cheese a day. Research by the United States Agriculture Department found that this amount of cottage cheese has as much protein as a small steak (about 32 grams) and it also contains casein. These two nutrients make it a very slow digesting food that will make you feel full and less likely to overeat later. It’s also rich in calcium (found in yoghurt) which is reported to be an additional catalyst for weight loss.

We all know they boost the brain, but omega-3s also help shift the flab. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet rich in omega-3 dramatically helped with weight loss. Fish also alters the level of leptin in your body, which is a hormone that positively influences your metabolism by determining whether you burn or store calories as fat. Eat salmon or trout three to four times a week.

Breakfast cereals
Not the sugar-laden Coco Pops but any cereal rich in fibre such as Weetabix, Shreddies, oats or muesli. A study by the National Weight Control Registry followed people who had lost more than 30lbs and kept it off for more than a year. They found that 78% of them ate breakfast. These are all very rich in fibre which is why it will also work to keep your hunger at bay.

Slurp at least one serving of soup a day. A 2001 study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that blokes who ate soup five times a week had a body mass index of below 23, which is considered lean. Soups are packed with all the nutrients you need to spoon off those extra pounds.

Eat half a grapefruit three times a day. It is a highly concentrated source of Vitamin C, which reduces the effectiveness of fat by diluting it, thereby making it easier to flush out of your system. In a study at Louisiana State University people who ate grapefruits regularly lost four more pounds in 12 weeks than those who avoided this super fruit. Avoid sprinkling it with sugar.

Eat one to two handfuls a day. Aside from the calories you’ll expend trying to crack them open they are also extremely rich in lean protein. But that’s not all; research presented at the 2007 Experimental Biology meeting found they blunt the effects of carbs on your blood sugar. This means they stop carbs from packing on the pies and keep your waistline slim. Chuck a few mittfuls down your gullet especially before a carb-heavy meal such as a baked potato.

They’ve had a bad rep in the past but new research recommends that you scoff three eggs a day. The, er, eggheads at Texas A&M University discovered that eating this many doubled volunteers’ lean muscle and strength in 12 weeks, compared to those who only ate two eggs each day. Another study found that a breakfast of eggs reduced calorie intake at lunch and lessened hunger for the rest of the day.

Aim for at least one serving a day. Any bean will do but kidney beans are the magical kind. Studies at the University of California found that kidney beans stop carbs from breaking down into sugars, which slows down digestion and can prevent carbs from turning into love handles. This makes them an especially powerful weight loss aid when added to a pasta sauce.