Losing weight can seem like a daunting task when you just are starting out. Especially, if your schedule or health prevents you from engaging in high-intensity exercise or if you see no results even after religiously sticking to your workout routine for at least a month.
That’s where dieting comes into play. After all, it’s no secret that we are what we eat.
Nevertheless, while eating healthy, reducing your carbohydrate intake (but not eliminating it completely), and making sure you get all necessary macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals can go a long way in helping you shape up, sometimes you need to adopt stronger tactics to get rid of the stubborn fat disfiguring your body.
Like the tactic of eating the following 10 foods on an empty stomach to lose weight.
Just remember: You don’t need to eat all of them to see positive results. You just need to choose one and adopt the habit of eating it every day in the morning!
1. A Bowl of Papaya
Papaya is a fruit native to the Central American region. But now it is grown pretty much in all the tropical countries around the world. And the reason why you should eat a bowl of this fruit on an empty stomach every morning is because it contains within it the natural compound, papain, which has the ability to burn fat, reduce inflammation caused by free radicals, and get rid of excess water from your body.
Plus, papaya contains very little calories and is rich in soluble fibers. So it will fill up your stomach fast without adding anything to your fat stores.
Caution: Don’t eat more than one bowl of this fruit at one time as having too much of it will make you run for the bathroom.
2. Oatmeal Water
You can prepare oatmeal water by blending oatmeal and cold water in a ratio of 1:3. And this fiber-rich drink can help you lose weight in four ways when consumed on an empty stomach in the morning.
Firstly, the high-fiber content of oatmeal water fills up your stomach fast and protects you from untimely hunger pangs.
Secondly, fiber-rich foods pull away the fats stuck to the lining of your gut, thus, improving your digestion and ability to absorb vital nutrients.
Thirdly, oatmeal water is rich in lecithin, a complex carbohydrate known for its detoxifying effect on the liver and its ability to improve digestion and prevent fat accumulation in the body.
And finally, oatmeal water is a natural diuretic capable of removing excess water from your body, thus, reducing your water weight.
3. Aloe Vera with Lemon
Aloe vera may be more famous for its ability to heal second-degree burns, but the gel contained within its fleshy leaves has powerful anti-inflammatory properties too. And while lemon will always be the poster child of vitamin C-rich foods, known for its ability to boost our immunity and general health, it has other beneficial properties too.
That’s why, when you combine aloe vera and lemon together, the sum always ends up greater than its parts in the form of a drink that can help you lose weight by improving your digestive health and getting rid of your water weight through aloe vera’s laxative properties.
You can prepare this drink easily at home using the following recipe:-
Step 1: Cut an aloe vera leaf one inch from the tip from the plant you have at home.
And in case you don’t have an aloe plant, buy one. It is cheap, super low-maintenance, and grows fast.
Don’t buy the preservative-filled gels from the market. They do not have much nutrients left in them.
Step 2: Now slice off the fleshy, outer surface of the leaf until you are left with just the block of gel inside.
Make sure the leaf you have harvested is not coated with the waxy, yellow substance secreted by the plant. It is a strong laxative and should be avoided at all cost.
Step 3: Put this aloe vera gel in a saucepan and add the juice of 1 lemon to it and 1 glass of water.
Step 4: Heat the mixture over low-medium flame and keep stirring the ingredients until you have a uniform mixture.
Step 5: Consume it lukewarm.
Caution: Aloe vera gel has a mild laxative property, which can make you feel like pooping after you drink this concoction. So make sure you have it at least an hour before you have to get out of your house.
Some tips: You can harvest the gel from a large leaf and store it in an airtight container as well to save you time. Just make sure the container is clean and dry before you put the gel in. Store it in a refrigerator and use within 3 days as the gel will start to lose its potency as soon as it is cut from the plant.
This wonderful fruit is not just good for keeping the doctor away, but is also great for helping you shape up and lose weight, when consumed on an empty stomach, whether in the morning or when you are struck by hunger pangs.
Why? Because apples contain a high amount of insoluble fibers in them (around 4.4 g each, which is equal to 20% of your daily fiber requirement). And these fibers contain pectin, which is a compound capable of increasing water absorption from your gut and slowing down peristalsis.
Thus, you will stay full for a longer period of time on eating apples, and can get rid of annoying hunger pangs at odd hours of the day with a snack that contributes very less calories to your body.
You may not know this, but one of the most popular health tips in India that we have grown up hearing from our parents and grandparents is to eat a fistful of almonds every day in the morning, after soaking them overnight and taking off their skin.
And while this maxim is passed down to help us improve our brain power, current research shows that having almonds can help you lose weight also.
In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, participants who consumed almonds in addition to a low-carb diet lost a lot of more weight in a span of 6 months than those who did not consume almonds (18% compared to 11%).
Just remember: Almond skin contains a compound named tannin in it, which inhibits nutrient absorption. So if you want to imbibe all the benefits of eating almonds, it’s recommended to submerge them in water overnight and then consume them after peeling off the skin in the morning.
Watermelons contain a whopping 92% water in them. The rest is made of up natural sugars and soluble fibers. That’s why eating this fruit in the morning on an empty stomach is a great way to lose weight.
Why? Because it fills you up fast (haven’t you wondered why they ask you to drink a glass of water before every meal if you want to lose weight?), but has very little calories.
7. Wholegrain Bread
The difference between white bread and wholegrain bread is simple. The former is made of refined flour, which is nutrient-deficient and has very little fiber, while the latter is packed with whole grains that are low in saturated fats and chock-full of fiber.
That’s why, when you eat wholegrain bread for breakfast, you remain full until lunch time, thus, cutting out the urge to munch on unhealthy snacks in between.
8. Green Tea
“Green tea can help you lose weight only if you climb a mountain to get it”, says a famous joke. And the reason why people love to believe this is because most people expect green tea to help them lose pounds of fat after just a few days, which is not how things work in real life.
Instead, if you stick to the practice of drinking a cup of green tea every morning on an empty stomach, you will lose weight in time because green tea is more than just a cup of flavored water.
It is a beverage that contains caffeine and catechins, which are capable of boosting your metabolism, burning fat, and reducing your appetite, all of which slowly work on your fat stores until one day you realize that you are slimmer than you were when you started the practice.
If you want to lose weight, eat eggs for breakfast. Why? Because proteins are digested slowly in your gastrointestinal tract, and thus, keep you full for a long time, preventing hunger pangs before lunch.
In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that participants on a 1000-calorie-deficit diet lost up to 65% more weight when they ate 2 eggs for breakfast as compared to those who were asked to eat a bagel, instead.
10. Lemon Juice with Water
The benefit of having this drink early in the morning on an empty stomach is two-fold.
One, lemon juice is rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C, and therefore, drinking this over time will reduce the number of times you fall ill throughout the year. In fact, when I adopted this practice a few years back, I did not suffer from a single episode of cough and cold for an entire year, until I stopped drinking it.
Two, drinking lemon juice and water without salt or sugar in the morning is a great way to flush out toxins from your body, especially your liver, which in turn improves the function of your digestive tract so your body can absorb vital nutrients and engage its metabolic pathways better (which is important for losing weight).
Just remember: Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can damage the enamel of your teeth. So it’s recommended that you rinse your mouth thoroughly after drinking this to prevent chemical-erosion-induced tooth sensitivity.
Caution: Please avoid this remedy if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux disease, as the acid in this drink will aggravate your problem.
The Key to Losing Weight Permanently
You may want to get rid of the fat freeloading on your body fast, but the key to losing weight and maintaining it lies in changing your habits.
And this is how you can do it:-
1. Start small.
Human beings don’t respond well to drastic changes in lifestyle. Instead, we function better when change is introduced gradually. That’s why, when trying to change your habits, you should always start small.
That means, you don’t need to eat all 10 items on this list on an empty stomach to lose weight. You just need to eat (or drink) one.
2. Make it fit your lifestyle.
Over 80% people who join the gym on the 1st of January, stop exercising by the end of week 2. And this is because our willpower peaks and troughs over time, and so we cannot rely on it to keep us going for too long.
Therefore, if you want to make a habit stick, always take the path of least resistance and fit it in your routine such that it becomes a no-brainer activity to do at the specified moment. For example, if you drink coffee in the morning, switch to green tea to maintain your routine but change the habit.
3. Choose a habit that makes sense.
If papayas are not easily available in your locality, skip it and choose something else on this list that makes more sense to you, given your lifestyle, health condition, and geography.
4. Announce your intention and plan for it.
Just thinking about doing something will not make you do it. You need to announce your intention and plan for it.
So let us know in the comments below, which food (or drink) on this list you are going to start with first and how you plan to make it a habit.
And if you have tried eating any of these, let us know your experience too.
Ria Majumdar is an eccentric human being who lives for three things in life – writing, kickboxing, and dreaming of the first human settlement on Mars. She heads the Health section of Boldsky, a lifestyle website for Indian women. If you want to lose weight fast, you should read her full scoop on the gm Diet Plan which is a radical and tough, 7-day diet plan you can do at home with the commonest kitchen ingredients.