Holiday season is when most of us decide to put off losing weight until the new year. Because after all, we're not going to just throw out those sugar cookies, are we?
But you can indulge without guilt as long as you eat the right foods most of the time. And if you add in some of these natural fat-burning ingredients to your diet you might get just a head start on your annual New Year's weight loss plan.
First, a quick word about diet pills: Be careful. A lot of diet pill supplements contain amphetamine and their derivative compounds. These pills, which you can buy over the counter, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. They frequently cause increased anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches and much more. It's tempting to use them to lose a few quick pounds, but they aren't necessary. Instead, read on to learn about some safe and natural alternatives to diet pills.
The benefits of flax seeds could be an article unto itself, but suffice to say you should be consuming them regularly. They are high in fiber and calorie-dense, so even a small amount can help you feel full for hours.
Ginseng is an herb that's commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Although it's most famous for boosting memory, there is also some recent evidence that suggests ginseng can also regulate your blood sugar by lowering insulin resistance.
Cinnamon is another ingredient that's been shown (repeatedly) to help with insulin resistance, making it a great add-on component to treating diabetes. Of course, you don't have to be diabetic to benefit from better control of your blood sugar. Keeping your levels in check will help reduce fat gain and help prevent type II diabetes in the future.
Cardamom is a thermogenic herb found at most specialty food stores. As Dr. Mercola notes, it can help increase your metabolism which may lead to more fat loss. You can easily work it into your diet by making this simple cardamom tea.
5. Milk Thistle
Yet another herb that helps regulate your blood sugar, milk thistle acts to prevent excess fat deposit after consuming high amounts of glucose (great for right after dessert!).
Peppermint is a perfect ingredient for the holidays, and it just so happens to also be a great ingredient for burning fat. There are a couple ways to use peppermint for weight loss. One is to consume it (in herbal form) as tea or possibly a garnish. This is thought to have an appetite-suppressing effect. Another way to use peppermint is as an essential oil for aromatherapy, where it has been known to decrease stress levels – a common cause of weight gain during the holidays.
7. Caraway extract
Caraway might not necessarily be an everyday food item, but it's health benefits have been understood for centuries. A well-designed clinical study involving overweight adult women found that caraway extract may indeed have obesity-fighting properties. Although it may not actually have some of the sensational benefits that some natural health experts claim, the evidence suggests that it does help with weight loss.