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How To Take Chia Seeds For Weight Loss
Instagram is nowadays full of everything from smoothies to bars to puddings made of chia seeds and all of them look absolutely delicious. Chia seeds are now certified super foods and they are a sort of Holy Grail for the entire weight watching community. However it’s best to get some facts straight before you actually jump into the chia seed bandwagon.
Chia and its relationship with weight loss
Chia is scientifically a member of the mint family and it’s a native of Mexico. Though they are treated like grains they aren’t actually a grain and are often referred to as ‘pseudo grain’. They are carb heavy seeds of a non-grass plant and when you expose them to liquid they form a thick viscous gel. Many dieticians say that Aztec and Mayan diets used to have Chia seeds as a major component. They were also used as a part of many rituals and religious symbolism.
Chia seeds have a tremendous amount of fibre and therefore are very filling. Consuming Chia make the stomach seem fuller and curbs the appetite as a result preventing overeating. 2 spoons of Chia seeds have 10 grams of fibre and that’s almost 40% of the daily fibre requirement. It’s a scientifically established fact that a fibre rich diet helps in weight loss. In fact its recently been proved through pilot studies that 30 gems of fibre consumption daily will help lose equal weight in a more healthy manner than carb starved diets
However there is a catch. Chia seeds are high in calories and even have lot of fat. 2 spoons have 138 calories and 9 grams of fat (8 grams unsaturated and I gram saturated). So while they may have benefits when consumed in moderation they are sure to make you overstep your calorie limit if you have too much chia seed. So don’t dig into those delicious chia seed cupcakes with abandon…they will reflect badly on the scales!!!
Chia seeds are packed with lots of essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium and they pack in all that in their tiny fierce form. So learn about how to maximise the weight losing characteristics of these seeds while maxing their nutritional benefits and stopping yourself from going overboard.
A sophisticated and cool way of getting your daily chia fix is to prepare chia Fresca. Simply combine 1 cup of water with 1 spoon of chia seeds, 2 spoons of lemon juice and 2 spoons of honey to prepare a fabulous detox concoction. Chia seeds form a gel when they mix with water and hold ten times their weight in liquid. So a glass of water will fill up your belly and curb appetitive delivering all nutritive benefits and yet curbing the hunger pangs.
Make some jam
A great alternative to calorie dense overtly sweet store jam ….you can make your own healthy version of chia seed jam. Simply add chia seeds to pureed berries (strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry….go choose your favourite). And then add some brown sugar or honey to taste. Spread this puree over toast, crackers or top it on a bowl of creamy Greek yoghurt. A perfect and delish way to have chia, lose weight and not go overboard.
Your breakfast smoothie can be made healthier and fuller by adding a spoon of chia seeds in it. As mentioned earlier chia seeds can absorb ten times their weight from liquid….the consistency of the smoothie becomes really thick when you add chia. Of course a chia smoothie will make you feel fuller sooner and you won’t feel hungry for hours afterwards.
Put in your favourite fruit….apple/banana/ citrus/ watermelon etc. and put in yoghurt or milk and your favourite sweetener (optional) before adding chia. Put everything into a blender and top with berries/ mint or any other topping. This perfectly healthy and tasty smoothie will surely help tip down the scales if taken consistently.
Chia seeds are versatile and blend well with almost everything. Sprinkle some coarsely ground chia into eggs when you make omelettes or whip up tasty pancakes with egg whites, pureed banana and ground chia seeds. Chia pudding (home-made and not store brought) are also a good option and the base can be prepared by mixing whole chia seeds in unsweetened almond milk until a gel like consistency is formed in about 5 minutes, you can add sliced berries, bananas, strawberry, apple or whatever else you fancy to make delicious chia pudding.
No super food (that includes Chia) can single handed ensure that you lose weight. For losing weight in a sustainable healthy way you will have to follow a balanced diet that fulfils your calorie requirements. Falling short of needed calories sends body into starvation mode and automatically slows metabolic rate prompting fat storage and making you fatter in the long run. Overstuffing yourself with calories burdens the digestive pathways and prompts the storage of excess calories as fat. So always keep a check on the amount of food you are consuming and stop when you are feeling a little less than full. Only a proper nutritionist can tell you about your daily calorie requirement as the latter depend upon height, weight, activity level, body composition, gender and age. And if you do have to cut down on calorie intake do so by maximum 500 calories per day which will make you lose 1 pound a week on average. That’s the safest rate of weight loss.
So enjoy the sensational benefits of chia and its weight losing properties but do so only under the guidance of a proper nutritionist.
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