Wouldn’t it be nice if we could achieve health and weight loss with just a little trick here or a little effort there? Unfortunately, you and I both know it takes more than that to lose excess pounds and live a healthy lifestyle that keeps the weight off. The good news is that in the midst of all our efforts, there are some simple but effective tricks we can use. Adding just a spoonful of these 14 foods into your diet are simple health hacks that will help you lose weight and be healthier:
1. Ginger. This tasty spice is a thermogenic, meaning it raises your body temperature. This boosts your metabolism by helping you burn fat more efficiently and lose weight faster. Ginger also gets your digestion working faster1 and more effectively.
Use it: Try it in smoothies, soup, or in tea. Ginger tastes great in Asian dishes particularly. Fresh ginger is best, but you’ll still get benefits from using powdered ginger.
2. Honey. Filled with vitamins and minerals, honey also has enzymes that aid your digestion tremendously. Some of the nutrients in honey work to dissolve fat and cholesterol in your body. Note: To get the best health benefits, use raw, organic honey.
Use it: Instead of sugar, try a teaspoon of honey in your tea, oatmeal, or shake. Dissolved in a small glass of warm water, honey combined with lemon and cinnamon (see #3 and #11!) makes a dynamic weight loss elixir.
3. Lemon. As you know, citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which is critical in keeping your immune system working well. Lemon juice not only boosts your immune system, but it also goes to work on improving your digestion. On top of all that, lemon removes toxins from your body, suppresses your appetite, and helps alkalinize your body!
Use it: One of the best ways to absorb the full benefits of lemon juice is by mixing it with a small amount of warm water and drinking it first thing in the morning. Adding honey, cinnamon, or even black pepper give this potion more power!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar. This powerful liquid contains acids and enzymes that increase your metabolism, reduce water retention, and lower blood sugar levels. To get these awesome results, always use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is the easily found gold standard).
Use it: Adding a tablespoon or two to a glass of warm water is a great way to get your cider vinegar in. You can also make your own simple salad dressing using equal parts oil and vinegar with a pinch of salt.
5. Tumeric. A vivid yellow-orange, this Indian spice is packed with antioxidants. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Use it: While it has a distinct flavor, tumeric works well with other spices and adds great depth to any protein you use it with. You can also dissolve it in water to make a tea.
6. Thyme. You may not know it, but thyme is a diuretic, which means it helps your body release water weight. Like many herbs, it’s filled with antioxidants that reinforce your body’s cells to be more resilient to stress.
Use it: Thyme tastes excellent with poultry, especially chicken and turkey.
7. Olive Oil. Chock-full of monosaturated fats, olive oil helps reduce your bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in your body. Carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds in olive oil help your body break down stored fat better.
Use it: Cook with it, use in salad dressing, or marinade protein in it.
8. Black Pepper. You might be surprised to see this common spice on the list, but pepper contains piperine, an element that stops the formation of new fat cells in the body and reduces current fat levels in the blood stream.
Use it: Liberally include black pepper in your meals, and even try mixing it with lemon juice and honey in water.
9. Coconut Oil. The fats in coconut oil help you feel full, and increase your metabolism.
Use it: Replace butter or olive oil with coconut oil in baking and cooking. Keep in mind some coconut oils retain a “coconutty” flavor that might clash with some dishes, though.
10. Dark Chocolate. The darker, the better! It’s the polyphenols in cacao powder that get your digestion working better, ultimately helping you lose weight. Another antioxidant powerhouse, dark chocolate is a healthier alternative to sugary desserts.
Use it: Up the taste of your morning smoothie or oatmeal with a spoonful of dark cacao powder.
11. Flax Seed. Guaranteed you’ve heard rumors about how great flax seed is, and they’re true. It’s one of the few plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important to keeping everything in balance.
Use it: Add a spoonful to your smoothie, sprinkle some over your oatmeal or even your salad. Just make sure to use ground flax seeds, since whole ones are so small your body won’t digest them.
12. Cinnamon. Familiar as a holiday flavor, cinnamon is filled with minerals and – surprisingly – quite a bit of fiber.
Use it: Potent in flavor, a small amount mixed in water with honey, lemon, or even apple cider vinegar is one way to make sure you get a good amount in. Try adding it to tea, oatmeal, and even dinner dishes.
13. Avocado. An excellent source of healthy fats, avocados also have lots of potassium, which is important when you’re trying to lose weight.
Use it: Versatile and delicious, add some to your morning shake, eat one as a snack, mash one up to be a dip, or add some to your salad.
14. Protein Powder. Upping the amount of protein you eat is one of the best ways to lose weight and then keep it off, but for many people, getting adequate amounts of this macronutrient is a challenge. Finding a good protein powder with a solid amino acid profile is a great way to get what you need.
Use it: Shakes are one of the best ways to use protein powder, but you can also add a spoonful to your oatmeal or use it when baking.
And there you have it – 14 easy spoonfuls to add to your diet for faster, healthy weight loss! We’d love to hear how you incorporate these into your diet – let us know in the comments below.