Obesity is one of the most prevalent health concerns in the world. Nearly two-thirds of the US population is overweight. The benefits of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are many, such as controlling cholesterol, regulating blood glucose levels and protecting against some diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, etc…
Benefits of White Kidney Beans for Weight Loss
White kidney beans contain a large proportion of nutrients for a rather low amount of calories. They are also rich in fiber and protein that may help in achieving an ideal weight.
Fiber increases satiety (the feeling of fullness) and thus prevents overeating. Protein reduces levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for stimulating the feeling of hunger.
Research has shown that people who rely on a diet rich in legumes have a 22% lower chance of becoming obese. Accordingly, eating white beans helps maintain a healthy body weight, increases muscle mass and supports a healthy digestive system.
African Mango for Weight Loss
African mango seeds contain large amounts of fiber, which gives a sense of satiety when consumed. This contributes to loss of appetite and weight loss. African mango also helps speed up the body’s metabolism and reduces the accumulation of fat.
Studies have shown that African mango works by several mechanisms that aid in losing weight, such as:
- Inhibiting the enzyme glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, which contributes to the conversion of glucose into stored fat. It has a beneficial effect on peroxisome proliferator-type gamma receptors involved in lipogenesis and insulin sensitivity.
- Reducing leptin levels, which leads to an increase in leptin sensitivity and thus loss of appetite and the induction of thermogenesis.
Green Tea for Weight Loss
Green tea contains active substances that help in losing excess weight, namely:
- Caffeine: One cup of green tea contains 24-40 mg of caffeine. Although this may seem like a small amount, it contributes to an increase in fat burning.
- Antioxidants: Green tea is rich in antioxidant catechins, the most important of which is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG increases metabolism and burns calories. In order to burn fat, it must be broken down in fat cells first and then transported to the blood, where it is converted into energy.
Caffeine and EGCG increase the levels of hormones that stimulate the process of lipolysis (fat breakdown) and burning of fat. Some studies have indicated that the effect of green tea increases during exercise.
Exercise & Weight Loss
To lose weight, a person needs to burn more calories than consumed from daily foods. Exercise is a good way to achieve a negative balance of calories in versus calories out. Research has also shown that when following a low-calorie diet without exercise, the body breakdown muscle protein and fat stores for energy, therefore exercise helps burn body fat, build muscle, improve metabolism and support overall health.
Some people say that exercise increases the feeling of hunger and thus increases their food intake. Therefore, exercise and a balanced diet must be combined to obtain an ideal weight.
Types of Diets
Recently, a large number of diets have been tested and found to be effective for many people, but it is necessary to have the right diet that caters to each individual’s needs. The following diets have been scientifically proven to be effective:
- Low-carb diet: Ideal for people who want to lose weight, stay healthy and reduce their risk of diseases. This diet is a comfortable and flexible diet that helps control carbohydrate intake and absorption. It contains large amounts of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and fats with a low amount of starches, sugars and processed foods.
- Mediterranean diet: A great heart disease prevention diet, focusing on foods used in the Mediterranean region during the 20th century and even before. It incorporates a high portion of vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, whole grains, legumes, dairy products, and olive oil.
- Paleo diet: Known for its effectiveness in losing weight and supporting overall health, it is currently one of the most popular diets in the world. It relies on unprocessed foods that are believed to be similar to the foods that were available to humans during the Stone Age.
- Vegetarian/Vegan diet: Over the past century, these diets have gained popularity since they offer several health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart health and blood sugar control. They are completely based on plant foods only while abstaining from all animal products.
- Gluten-free diet: An important diet for people who are allergic to gluten (a protein found in wheat). This diet revolves around avoiding all food products containing gluten and focusing on natural foods void of gluten. In addition to staying away from all processed foods, even gluten-free ones because they are considered unhealthy.
Reasons for Weight Gain
- Eating large amounts of processed foods that contain unhealthy ingredients such as sugars, fats and preservatives.
- Excessive intake of foods high in sugar, which leads to obesity and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
- Following a yo-yo diet, where after each weight loss journey, the weight is regained in unintended ways. And here the need for healthy and sustainable diets appear.
- Certain health problems may lead to weight gain such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, as well as some genetic causes.
- Some medications also lead to weight gain as a side effect, including antidepressants and antipsychotics.
- Stress and extreme fatigue increase the secretion of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates the feeling of hunger and increases the desire to eat. Yoga and relaxation may help reduce stress to aid in weight reduction.
- Excessive consumption of foods high in calories and low in nutrients. This means that the amount of calories entering the body is greater than the amount burned by the body.
Reasons for Difficulty in Losing Weight
- Not eating enough whole foods in addition to a diet containing a high amount of processed foods.
- Getting insufficient hours of sleep at night. Studies have shown that sleeping for seven hours or more increases the likelihood of losing weight.
- Adopting a sedentary lifestyle such as working desk jobs, sitting in front of the TV or computer and driving a car all cause lack of weight loss.
- A diet that yields no negative balance in calories consumed versus calories burned.
Healthy habits that help in Weight Loss & Weight Maintenance
- Eating a protein-rich breakfast helps reduce the feeling of cravings for calorie-dense foods during the day.
- Refraining from sugary drinks and fruit juice, which are among the foods that cause weight gain due to their high sugar content.
- Drinking water half an hour before each meal increases the likelihood of losing weight due to feeling full and consuming less food.
- Drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, which have the ability to speed up metabolism.
- Eating soluble fiber and focusing on a whole food diet.
- Eating slowly increases satiety and balances hunger hormones.