Focusing on nutrition instead of calories with low glycemic index foods and exercise is the best way to burn fat and build muscle.
Overall calorie counts per day do matter, but by focusing on nutrition, your daily calories will naturally be reduced simply by eating healthier foods.
Add these low glycemic foods to your diet to help burn the fat.
Your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting fat. Low glycemic index foods like chicken contain few to no carbs and keep your blood sugar levels steady.
The key is to select lean cuts of meat like chicken breast.
Avoid buying pre-marinated chicken, so you can be in control of the fat, seasonings, sodium and preservatives. Be cautious of low fat poultry food labels because it can often be high in saturated fats if it includes dark meat and skin.
Salmon is a great choice to boost your metabolism and health since it contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids lower the hormone leptin in your body which is associated with a higher caloric burn. This essential fatty acid has many health benefits from reducing inflammation to reducing cholesterol and apoproteins in people with diabetes. So consume fish at least three times a week!
An egg is another one of those great low glycemic index foods. Eggs are super high in protein and contain vitamin B12, which your body needs to break down fat cells.
Be careful of consuming too many eggs though since it can put you over the recommended daily amount of cholesterol. Instead, remove the yolk and eat the egg whites which are still high in protein with no fat or cholesterol.
Beans are a great “no meat” source of protein, fiber and iron. Keep a variety of beans like black, soy, red, navy, kidney, white, and lima as an alternative or addition to your dishes.
A cup of these low glycemic index foods can replace a two ounce serving of meat or fish.
If using canned beans, be sure to rinse the beans well to remove any sodium added during processing. Avoid refried and baked beans. Refried beans contain tons of saturated fats while baked beans are loaded with sugar.
5. Whole Grains
Every body needs carbohydrates to function, just be sure that you’re choosing the right kind of carbs.
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole grain oats, and whole grain breadare excellent sources of complex carbs, fiber, and nutrients to help keep your metabolism up and insulin levels low. High levels of insulin in your blood is what causes your body to store fat.
Avoid processed carbs like white bread, white rice, bagels, and english muffins. It contains little nutrients and are loaded with starch which causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike.
Also, color is not an indication of a whole grain since molasses is added to give it a brown color. So don’t be fooled.
Here’s a tip! Look at the daily percent value of fiber on the food label. The higher the %DV, the better indication of whole grains contained in that item.
Oatmeal is one of the best low glycemic index foods available. It’s great to eat at breakfast and it’s loaded with soluble fiber which keeps you full, your blood levels steady and reduces cholesterol by flushing bad digestive acids out of your system.
The best type of oatmeal to consume is unsweetened coarse oats rather than instant ones since instant is made from smashed oat grains, it is digested quicker.
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