We’ve all heard the term calories mentioned in connection with weight loss. But what exactly are calories, and why are they important when it comes to burning fat and staying trim?
Interestingly, calories are actually just units of heat energy – a measure of the fuel that our bodies burn in order to function. Our weight is a result of what we eat, minus what we burn (calories). Basically, everything you eat and do not burn is stored as fat and everything burned over and above what you eat is taken out of your reserves (you burn fat). That is why diets require cutting calories.
All foods contain calories and different types of food contain different quantities of calories. The main food sources that provide calories are fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
What are the best habits for burning calories?
We are bombarded daily with promises of products that will help us burn more calories. But is there really anything you can do to increase the number of calories your body burns every day? Research suggests some effective ways to burn more calories and shed fat:
Dr Christopher Wharton, a certified personal trainer and researcher with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in the U.S, puts it simply: ”The more time spent exercising and the more vigorous the exercise, the more calories will be burned.” And you don’t have to go for a long run or a hard workout to burn fat – taking a brisk walk every day is one of the most effective methods of getting rid of those unwanted calories. When you exercise, your body burns calories to fuel your activity.
According to WebMD, when you exercise you use muscle. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories – even when you're at rest – than body fat. Strength training becomes more important as we get older as our metabolisms tend to slow down. Add strength training to your workout at least a couple of times a week. The largest muscles (and therefore the largest calorie burners) are in the thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Every time you eat a meal or snack, your gastrointestinal tract starts digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It burns calories to fire up the human digestion machine, so it makes sense that the more small meals or snacks you eat through the day, the more calories you'd burn. While there isn’t much solid evidence for this, experts believe that, compared to eating one or two very large meals, this is a more healthful way of eating anyway.
Don't skip breakfast
Evidence supporting a link between skipping breakfast and increased body weight is growing, according to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Research has shown that when people skip breakfast, they tend to eat more calories by the end of the day. Other studies suggest that skipping breakfast is associated with a higher body mass index in teens.
Eat low-fat dairy
While the calcium from low-fat dairy doesn't specifically help burn more calories, it may help discourage body fat. Results from a recent Danish study suggest we might absorb fewer fat calories from a meal when we consume calcium from low-fat dairy. In another recent study, eating more calcium-rich foods – including low-fat dairy products – appeared to be linked to lower amounts of belly fat, particularly in young adult white males.
Drinking eight cups of water (2 litres) per day may help burn nearly 100 extra calories a day, according to a German study. This may not sound like much, but it could add up to 700 calories a week, or 2,800 calories a month. And that's by doing something we should do anyway to keep our intestines and kidneys happy and to help keep us from confusing thirst with hunger.
What foods and drinks help you burn calories naturally?
Here are some of the best fat burning food and drink options:
Caffeinated green or black tea, or coffee
Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants increase the calories you burn. Caffeine may also cause metabolic changes in the body that can result in more calories being burned. Over the past few years, some studies have suggested that green or black tea may have benefits beyond the caffeine they contain.
According to research from Lausanne University in Switzerland, when 31 healthy young men and women were given three servings of a beverage containing green tea, caffeine and calcium for three days, their 24-hour energy expenditure increased by 4.6 percent. And drinking tea with meals may have another fat-fighting effect. Tea extract may interfere with the body's absorption of carbohydrate when consumed in the same meal, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Green coffee beans contain chlorogenic acid. According to a 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green coffee bean extract with at least 45 percent chlorogenic acid is found to induce effective weight loss.
According to Women’s Health magazine, eggs are a super-protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids your body needs to thrive. It's been shown repeatedly that people who eat eggs for breakfast feel full for longer, reduce their overall daily calorie consumption, and lose weight. Studies consistently show that eating a protein-rich breakfast lowers appetite throughout the day.
Chia has been used as a medicinal food in Central and South America and across many cultures to prevent diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Loaded with healthy anti-inflammatory fats, protein and fibre, these seeds also help prolong fullness.
Cinnamon is a fat-burning powerhouse that boosts metabolism, helps your body block the absorption of glucose and enhances the action of insulin to clear sugar from your blood. This anti-inflammatory agent also counteracts the effects of obesity. It's been shown to slow gastric emptying, which stabilises blood sugar by slowing its transit into the small intestine.
Berries are rich in disease-fighting polyphenols – compounds that provide many cardiovascular protective benefits. These effects are particularly notable in cranberries, strawberries and blueberries. Studies suggest these compounds reduce weight gain, inhibit fat accumulation, possess anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties and alter gut flora to inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens.
Often referred to as a ‘universal remedy’, ginger consumption has anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects on the gastrointestinal tract. It also eases hunger, increases fat burn and can be used as a remedy to help ease symptoms of digestive complaints, including constipation, dyspepsia, belching, bloating, epigastric discomfort, indigestion and nausea.
Avocados contain healthy quantities of anti-inflammatory fats, protein, healing phytonutrients and fibre. Avocado oil is especially high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), including an omega-9 fat called oleic acid – a MUFA that has been shown to quiet hunger. MUFA-rich diets also protect against abdominal fat.
Gluten-free quinoa is high in magnesium, which is a key regulator of energy and promotes good blood sugar control. It's also filling. A study at the University of Milan showed that quinoa has a satiating effect – the highest among the gluten-free grains.
Capsaicin lights up your fat-burning metabolism as few other spices can, in part because it triggers your stress hormone response system. When your sympathetic nervous system (also known as the fight-or-flight response) is activated, hormones called catecholamines are released into the bloodstream. This process increases thermogenesis, where fat is oxidised more effectively. That means your fat becomes fuel for your metabolic fire in as little as 20 minutes after eating cayenne.2
Turmeric helps boost your metabolism and keep more than a dozen diseases at bay including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It is also full of nutrition, which means you may eat less naturally as your body acquires the energy it really needs. What’s more, curcumin in turmeric is a great way to cleanse the liver, which is one of the biggest organs of detoxification in the body. A toxic body can’t lose weight.
Kelp contains iodine, which supports the thyroid gland – the master metabolism-regulating organ of the body. Kelp can also boost overall nutrition and health since it is full of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Recent research from the University of Newcastle shows that alginate, found in kelp, inhibits fat absorption by up to 75 percent. 3
Fat burning supplements
There is a range of natural foods and remedies that can help burn fat and cause loss of appetite. Reputable fat burning tablets like Vivano Kilo Manager contain the most effective of these calorie burning ingredients for men and women.
How can fat burning tablets help eliminate calories?
Some fat burning capsules, herbal remedies and natural ingredients on the market are targeted specifically at burning calories. However, while these and other similar natural remedies and supplements may help burn fat, it is sometimes better to consider a fat burning supplement that has a broader spectrum of efficacy, such as Vivano Kilo Manager.
Vivano Kilo Manager fat burning tablets
Vivano Kilo Manager is an all-new weight management supplement range. It is supported by the latest research and includes ingredients that promote natural weight loss. Its effective formula supports healthy calorie burning and fat metabolism.
Vivano Kilo Manager contains three key ingredients:
Key herb number 1 – New Zealand Kelp
Harvested from the pristine waters of the South Island, New Zealand Kelp is a fresh, natural source of iodine – an essential mineral for healthy thyroid function. It also contains 29 trace elements and three times more potassium than sodium. This healthy sea vegetable enhances the body’s use of energy – particularly fat – meaning less is stored by the body.
Key herb number 2 – Green tea
Green tea is brimming with antioxidants and active ingredients that promote weight loss. Polyphenols like EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) are extensively studied for their ability to induce weight loss. Catechin is a bioflavonoid that stimulates thermogenesis – the metabolic process in the body that generates heat. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes anti-anxiety and raises dopamine levels to induce calmness.
The active ingredients of green tea support weight loss by enhancing the energy utilisation of cells, which inhibits binging or impulse eating, promotes adipolysis (the breakdown of fat cells) and inhibits fat absorption.
Key herb number 3 – Green coffee beans
Green coffee beans may be a useful aid for weight management – and the effect is thought to have nothing to do with their caffeine content. The phytochemical Chlorogenic Acid found in green coffee beans has shown to inhibit weight gain in lab mice, possibly by reducing the absorption of carbohydrates. Small human studies – using daily doses of Chlorogenic Acid ranging from 120-300 mg – have produced similar results.
Vivano Kilo Manager is doubly effective when combined with Vivano Appetite Manager for healthy calorie burning and fat metabolism.
Vivano products are manufactured in New Zealand to the highest standards with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
Vivano Kilo Manager is most effective when combined with healthy eating and moderate exercise. Free eating and exercise plans included.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.