After Christmas and New Year most people complain that their wallets are too thin, while their waistlines are too thick! As the economy puts us under financial pressure, we all need cheaper ways to do everything, even losing excess weight. One such aide is the nutrient chromium, found in a number of affordable yet healthy low-kilojoule foods.
This mineral helps stabilise blood sugar levels and can be helpful for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. It’s also effective for appetite control. In particular it curbs a craving for sweet things.
Research has shown that chromium can help your body build lean muscle mass while helping you to lose fat. No wonder it’s included in so many diet pill formulas!
And how does it work? The trace mineral (of which your body needs only small amounts) plays an essential role in the efficient metabolising of carbohydrates and fats – your body’s main sources of energy. And you can get this benefit without any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle.
The greatest benefit of chromium is its ability to speed up your metabolism without that horrible “jittery” feeling you get from caffeine or the herb ephedra (which incidentally has been banned in the US). When your body detects artificial over-stimulation by these neuro-stimulants, it will depress nervous stimulation to get you back to the previous level of metabolism. What you want is something that will really improve your metabolism.
Taking vitamin C will increase absorption of chromium. Romaine, the firm, dark green, nutritious lettuce, onions and ripe tomatoes are three of the best natural sources of the mineral. Try grow your own or buy organically grown produce, which usually has more nutrients.
Other good sources are whole grains, in particular bran and germ. Since whole grains are high in chromium and fibre, you will also get the benefit of better digestion. Nowadays you can find a huge variety of delicious, unrefined bread and rolls in the shops. Feeling constipated when you are trying to lose fat is really demotivating!
Exercise is another cheap and easy way to make your body move into a faster gear. Combine it with an improved posture – it’s much easier to pull in your tummy when you walk and sit up straight – you will feel on your way to a slimmer figure. And tighten your “buns” while walking. – Johanita Louw |fw