5 Food Synergy Secrets for Weight Loss
Healthy food habits that can give you a weight loss edge.
We've all heard over and over again how
overweight Americans are. How could a country that seems obsessed with
being thin, that spends billions a year on
fad diets and dieting products, get itself in this
situation? The answer, of course, is that fad diets and
quick weight loss tricks don't work in the long run. While we'd all like to
see the pounds melt away overnight, the real secret to
weight loss is to make changes in our eating and
exercise habits that will serve us well for the rest of our lives. It's not
a sexy message, I know, but it's the truth.
However, there are certain healthy food habits that just might give
you a slight weight loss edge. Some foods and beverages have what's called food
synergy. What that means is that certain components in these foods and drinks
(like minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, fiber, and fats) interact with
each other to boost health benefits. And sometimes, those benefits may include
aiding weight loss.
Food Synergy Secrets for Weight Loss
Here are five eating habits I found while writing my new book Food
Synergy that really seem to help put the weight loss odds in your
1. Go for Whole Grains. Whole grains have plenty of nutritional
synergy between their different components. And they just might be part of
America's weight loss solution.
One study shows that women who ate three or more servings of whole-grain
foods a day had significantly lower BMIs (body mass indexes) than those eating
less than one serving a day. (This was found in men too, but the link was more
significant in women.) Another study shows that women whose diets included the
most whole grains were half as likely to gain a lot of weight over a 12-year
period as another group that ate the least whole grains. And some research on
oats, one of the most illustrious of whole grains, has shown they slow the
emptying of the stomach into the small intestine -- and thus may help you feel
For all of you "apple" body types out there (those who tend to gain
weight around the middle), eating more whole grains may actually lead to less
VAT fat (visceral adipose tissue). This is the type of abdominal fat that's
most dangerous to health. A recent study of 50 men and women who were following
reduced-calorie weight loss programs seems to bear out this link. Half the
study participants ate whole grains instead of refined grains for 12 weeks; the
other half avoided whole-grain foods altogether. The result? The whole-grain
group lost more abdominal body fat than those who avoided whole grains.
2. Load Up on
Fruits and Vegetables. What do fruits and vegetables have that typical
fast food and junk food does not have? More water, fiber, and key nutrients --
but fewer calories. This makes them one of the best ways to lower your diet's
"energy density" (that is, to eat more food that is low in calories in
relation to its volume) and increase "nutrient density" (to add foods
that are high in nutrients in relation to volume).