Losing weight over the holidays is quite a challenge. There are delicious desserts, holiday cookies and an array of delectable dishes that are sure to send your calories counter into overdrive. There are also bowls of nuts in shells to tempt you. But wait, sometimes nuts can be your best ally in the fight against the fat. That means the type of nut that grows on a plant, not crazy Aunt Ethel that tells you that you have such a pretty face…but! Some of the best nuts not only fight fat, they also add extra benefits to your diet.
Try a Brazil nut as a weight loss booster.
Some foods can actually help make you thinner. Brazil nuts, the ones often left in the bowl after all the cashews and pecans are long gone, are those types of nuts. They contain a nutrient called selenium that not only helps boost your immune system and makes your reproductive system stronger, it boosts metabolism too. That’s a great help for weight loss. A Brazil nut also helps by providing heart healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and riboflavin. Even though Brazil nuts are healthy, don’t eat a whole package. Plus cracking these nuts can provide an excess amount of exercise to open just one!
Crack those walnuts and feel no guilt.
Nuts contain a lot of fat, especially the walnut, but it’s good fat. It’s polyunsaturated fat that actually signals your body to active a gene that shuts down fat storage, while improving your ability to use insulin. It provides scarce and powerful antioxidants, promotes heart health, fights cancer, fights diabetes and promotes brain health. Eating a handful a day will increase your feeling of fullness, thus making you eat less. Sprinkle them on salads for protein or on your cereal in the morning.
Almonds help the weight loss challenge.
One study showed that people who added a quarter of a cup of almonds to their calorie-restricted diet each day improves the potential for weight loss after just two weeks. In fact, if you eat these little miracle foods right before you workout, it’s even better. They contain L-arginine, an amino acid that aids in burning fat and carbs during exercise. They also can boost your energy level during the workout, so you accomplish more.
Pistachios are power packed for dieters and can help reduce the BMI when eaten daily as a snack.
Considering peanuts as part of the nut group. Even though they official are rhizomes and part of the legume family, not nuts, peanut butter can help you keep your sugar levels from dipping. Use the all natural type made strictly from ground peanuts. You’ll have to stir it before using it.
Cashews can make you feel full and be a great midday snack. The high fiber content and difficulty of digesting the cashew prevents many of the calories from “sticking.” You often “flush” them away, so even if a handful is 160 calories, you will have the effect of fewer calories on your body.
Be aware that roasted nuts, with the oil still clinging to them, are more fattening than fresh or shelled nuts without extra ingredients or oils. Sugar coated nuts or other flavorful types are also higher in calories and less beneficial for your diet.