6 Ibiza based nutrition experts share their fat loss secrets with you.Virgil Brewster
We’ve all heard it before. 80% of fat loss happens in the kitchen. But what do we eat to keep ourselves on track? Do you need to diet or starve yourself to get the body of your dreams..?We have asked Ibiza’s best nutrition specialists 3 things you must eat or drink to support your fat loss journey. Fasten your seat-belts because this is going to be the start of your fat loss and nutrition ride!
If weight loss was as simple as making sure your calories in, are less than those you burn, then there wouldn’t be so many people who have to work hard to maintain a healthy weight, where others stay lean no matter what they eat. Digestive health, hormonal balance and inflammation can all play a role in our metabolism and these factors can differ from person to person.
If you are doing the basics of eating good quality protein, basing your carbohydrate intake around plenty of vegetables and have eliminated refined sugars and processed foods and are still finding it hard to shift those extra pounds, then here are my three top foods to include to step your weight loss up a gear!
Sea vegetables are extremely nutritious and a source of all 56 of the minerals essential to human health; one of these being iodine which many people’s diets are deficient in.
Further sea vegetables also provide us with Omega 3 fatty acids. Another Ibizan way to include sea vegetables into your diet is to go pick some samphire (also known as sea asparagus) from many of the coastal areas where it grows in abundance near the sea.
It is delicious when steamed just for a few minutes and then served with fresh fish and drizzled with olive oil, lemon and freshly ground pepper.
A key principle of successful weight loss is to teach your body to burn fat. If you still choose low fat products now is the time to embrace good fats. Fight fat with fat by replacing some of your non-vegetable carbohydrates with healthy fats.
Coconut fat contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which your liver turns readily into energy rather than store as fat. So it is a great addition to any diet to help promote weight loss.
Aim for 1-2 tablespoons a day. It is also a very safe and stable oil to cook with so use it when you cook curries, spicy soups, stir-fries or any foods where the coconut oil taste will work with the flavours or add it to post workout smoothies.
I like to add it to my coffee instead of milk or you can grab one from Wild Beets in Santa Gertrudis where they offer coffee this way. They taste delicious! And don’t be afraid to use full fat organic coconut cream and milk too for similar benefits in curries or in dressings to serve on fish, veggies or salads.
Beneficial flora are known as friendly bacteria because those little guys are there to help us out. They produce B vitamins for us, help us to absorb the nutrients from our food and produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) – all of which help speed up our metabolism. For these reasons I always recommend people eat fermented foods daily as part of a healthy weight loss programme.
So, look for labels that say raw or un-pasteurised etc. Choose from sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, kefir, tamari, apple cider vinegar and kombucha. A little and often is best.
Support some wonderful Ibizan companies that do the hard work for us. Can Caus farm make yoghurts and kefir from sheep and goats, and are available in many food and health shops here.
Yes, that’s right – want to lose fat? Then eat fat! Fat has been demonised in the media for many years, but the huge amount of ‘low fat’ and ‘fat free’ products on the market are packed full of chemicals and damaging to our health.
Fat slows down the digestion of foods, and the release of carbohydrates into our bloodstream. When excess glucose is detected our pancreas releases insulin. While our body is busy dealing with the glucose, it switches our fat burning mechanisms OFF, meaning we cannot burn fat.
Eating fat with our carbohydrate dampens down this effect and allows us to continue mobilising fat. Great sources of fat are avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and plain natural yoghurt.
Ok, so this isn’t strictly a food, but it’s important! We all know the importance of staying hydrated for energy levels, better skin and hair, and all round good health, but did you know that being even slightly dehydrated affects the rate at which your body burns fat?
When you’re dehydrated your kidneys cannot process all the waste products in your body on their own, and need to recruit your liver to help. Your liver is responsible for breaking down fat stores to
use for energy, which is significantly slowed if it has to help out your kidneys. So drink up (at least 2- 3 litres every day), and let your liver get on with its job!
Ninja’s need protein! Protein is the single most important nutrient for fat loss. Proteins are the building blocks of life, and enable us to keep hold of, or increase our muscle mass. Muscle needs more calories than fat, so the higher our muscle mass, the higher our metabolic rate.
Protein also increases levels of appetite-reducing hormones which send signals to our brains to tell us we’re full. It also requires more calories to digest protein than any other nutrient – this is why it keeps us fuller for longer. Great sources of protein are lean meats and fish, eggs, good quality protein powders, chickpeas and lentils.
Master Food Ninja
For me, the first things you have to eat to lose weight are green smoothies and juices for breakfast!
When you wake up your body has been in a fast during 10 hours more and less… It’s been working to filter the nutrients and push away the bad ones…
You need to be very kind to him and give him the nutrients he needs to have energy all day long… So with smoothies and juices you give him all the nutrients and no sugar… No fat!
The second thing is … water! We need to drink more water and even more to lose weight! We should drink 1 litre for 20 kg of weight so… If your weight is 60 you should drink more or less 3 litres of water to help your body to flush!
3 Unprocessed food
The third thing is… more raw food! Processed food has sugar in it most of the time, and not many nutrients! “Raw food keeps all the nutrients, vitamins and enzymes to give the body what he needs! No processed food=no sugar and no fat!
So… We love raw! For me there is no diet… There is healthy life-style! So stop counting calories…. Count colours and nutrients in your food! Hope this serves you!
To be honest, at first when people become vegan, they tend to lose weight in a short time. The explanation for this in one word: FIBRE but you’ll need to find a balance during a day and review the Vegan Food Pyramid.
When you eat foods rich in fibre, fibre drags toxic substances from your body to the outside. Giving your body a constant supply of fibre continuously cleanses your intestines. 3 Things helps to lose weight:
1. Drink a lot of water.
For the fibre you’ll ingest to do a good job you will need to drink a lot of water. Two or three glasses a day is not enough. The amount of water to be taken must be between 6 to 12 glasses a day (2-3 litres) or more. It may be less if you eat a lot of water-rich fruits and vegetables and smoothies, or more if you do not.
2. Eat lots of green veggies
as Kale, broccoli, spinach, chard etc. these types of foods provide vital nutrients including calcium which is needed to lose weight. If you are lacking in calcium, your vegan weight loss efforts could be hampered;
3. About fruits:
Basically the ones that contain more water, like Watermelon which is high in water content, are the best fruit for promoting weight loss. Grapefruit boosts up the metabolic rate of the body. Kiwis are extremely popular for weight loss thanks to the presence of both soluble and insoluble fibres in this fruit.
Of course you have to exercise for weight loss! Do you really think diet alone will cause the lasting vegan weight-loss you seek? There is no diet in this world that will work if you don’t exercise regularly, you need to WORK UP A SWEAT to lose the fat.
Raw Food Chef
Studies show that grapefruit can lower insulin levels. Low levels of insulin means your body can more effectively use food for energy rather than storing it s fat.
This is a great addition for a weight-loss plan, Low in calories, High in Fibre and mainly water content, so helps us stay fuller for longer and also helps keep us hydrated. Try topping with a smudge of almond butter for a mid afternoon snack.
3 Aloe Vera
This Miracle Plant grows in abundance here on Ibiza and is a great product to add to your lifestyle especially if wanting to lose weight. Fresh Aloe vera is a fantastic cleanser and detoxifier for the body helping us feel lighter and brighter. It’s great added to smoothies as it disguises the not so pleasant taste.
Lisa Strong Dip.N (Inst. NH)
Until only recently we believed that foods containing fats made us fat and sadly Superfoods like this one were avoided. Thankfully all the evidence now tells us that good fats are vital to maintaining a healthy weight.
Avocados are packed full of these essential fats along with high levels of many vitamins and minerals that also play a role in keeping us slim. Furthermore, avocados are a rich source of both fibre and protein, again making them pretty much an ideal weight loss food.
Lentils are rich in protein, fibre and resistant starch, which promotes a healthy gut and, thus, weight loss. They can be enjoyed in a number of traditional Ibicenco dishes or by adding a waistline friendly twist to classic dishes, my favourite being a red lentil Ragu where these lovely legumes replace the meat.
Greens are pretty much the number one category of food you should be eating regularly to improve your overall health. Kale, Spinach, Broccoli and Cabbage are all nutrient-dense but also play a vital role in assisting your liver to detoxify as well as regulating your blood sugar balance.
Aim to have one green smoothie most days to keep sugar cravings at bay and for improved energy levels.
Try a small handful of kale or spinach, ¼ an apple, ½ unripened banana, a tablespoon of oats, ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, 200ml of almond or coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Blend together and serve in a glass over a few ice cubes.
Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist (Dip CNM)