Sunday June 22 2014

You could shred that weight

By Henry Wanyama

Today, unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are two factors that cause excessive body weight or obesity, one of the leading causes of heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer, which are often realised after they start affecting our health .

The consumption of unhealthy foods, high in fats, carbohydrates and lack of proper physical activity always causes the accumulation of fats in the body. Though many people resort to dieting to lose weight rapidly, it is not a healthy approach. A proper exercise regimen and a balanced diet are crucial to build muscles and burn fats.

Do not starve to build muscles. Instead, you can try some food combinations that can help burn fats. A diet for building muscles and burning fats should include more protein- and fibre-rich foods, and less of fatty food and simple carbohydrates like sugars. But this does not mean that you should completely exclude fats from you diet. Replace bad fats with good fats. If you desire to burn excess fat and build muscle, in your diet include:

Cereals and whole grains
For example, oatmeal and barley are great for losing weight and burning fats. They help prevent the accumulation of excess fats. Oatmeal in particular helps lower the level of blood cholesterol and regulates the level of blood sugar. Whole grain bread and brown rice are also helpful in this regard. But be sure to avoid or reduce the consumption of refined carbohydrates.

Vegetables also help burn fats and build muscles. They are high in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. They can help you lose excess fats. Green vegetables like, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and green beans come in handy for those trying to lose weight.

Tomatoes and carrots can also be included in the diet and they are readily available but avoid cooking them or frying them in excess oil.

Lean Protein
Eggs, egg white, turkey, fish(tilapia), chicken (breast),and flank steak are some of the best foods for building muscles. Eggs are an important dietary source of proteins. Vitamin B12 found in eggs can help burn fats.

Red meat is also rich in proteins and vitamin B12, and thus, it can help you build muscles. But it should be kept in mind that along with a balanced diet, you need to follow a proper exercise regimen for building muscles. Also important is to eat breakfast regularly, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep and rest.

The writer is a presenter of Kitchen Delight on NTV.