Women always ask me how to tone up and get in shape. The truth is that it doesn’t have to be that hard. Most women spend hours on end at the gym but are still not seeing the results that they are after. Often, I believe that this is due to the fact that their diet does not match their goals. That is, people don’t know how much is going in (food, drinks etc.), or how much is going out (exercise and daily activities). To put it simply, you need to ensure that you eat less than you spend to lose weight. However, this is not the entire story as the quality of the food that you eat is important too. And this is what my F.I.T. programs are all about, getting ‘back to basics eating.' When you follow my programs you eat plenty of wholesome, nutritious foods that will ensure that you provide you with nutrients your body needs.
One of these nutrients is calcium, a mineral mostly known for it benefits on bone health. But did you also know that calcium might boost your fat loss? A diet high in calcium is been linked to lower an improved rate of fat loss. Before you go on and start having yoghurt for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you have to make sure you get all the other nutrients in your diet too.
Calcium is found in dairy products such as Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese and mozzarella. If you have a sensitive stomach like I do, or if you have to avoid dairy products for other reasons, there are other sources of calcium, such as dark leafy greens like spinach, turnips, kale and collard greens, as well as broccoli, rhubarb and dried figs that you can include in your daily diet.
Although calcium is no magic bullet, it might be worth adding some calcium-rich foods to your daily diet to boost your fat loss. Here are my top 10 tips to increase your calcium intake.
1. Have some Greek yoghurt for breakfast.
Top the yoghurt with fresh figs, almonds and cinnamon for an extra calcium boost.
2. Replace lentils in your salad with white beans.
White beans contain nearly 4 times as much calcium as lentils.
3. Make a healthy rhubarb crumble with almonds.
Rhubarb might not be the most common vegetable people buy; however in a 120g serve there is 103mg of calcium.
4. Mix up your salad and add some cress.
Cress is another hidden gem and a 120g serve provides you with 188mg of calcium.
5. Use cottage cheese as a snack.
Add some fresh berries and cinnamon for some flavour.
6. Have a Greek salad for lunch, and make sure you eat the feta.
The feta cheese will give you a nice boost in your calcium intake. You can also add white beans to your salad for even more calcium.
7. Try my Italian Inspired Tuna Salad (recipe below).
This recipe contains both white beans and mozzarella and will give you plenty of calcium.
8. Make your own vegetable dip using Greek yoghurt.
Mix in spices and herbs of your liking. Use the dip for vegetable sticks, or why not broccoli florets?
9. Make your own kale chips for movie nights.
I don’t know if you have tried this yet but is awesome. Sprinkle the kale with spices such as pink Himalayan salt, chilli or paprika.
10. Make a green thick smoothie.
Make a green smoothie with spinach, kale, Greek yoghurt and banana. If you want a slightly thinner consistency, you can add some water or coconut milk.
Italian Inspired Tuna Salad
95g (3.4 oz.) of tinned tuna in springwater
1 cup of baby spinach
1/4 cup of black olives, pitted, optional
1/2 cup of tinned organic white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of fresh basil
30g (1.1 oz.) of mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. of organic balsamic vinegar
1. Drain the tuna and set aside.
2. Drain and rinse the white beans and set aside.
3. Place the spinach in a bowl. Add the tuna, olives and white beans.
4. Top with fresh basil, mozzarella and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
I don’t like focusing on numbers, calories or on the scale for that matter, but rather on the quality of the food. I do no obsess over what I eat on a daily basis but rather focus on making healthy choices and on getting fit and healthy. One of the best things with my ‘back to basics eating’ philosophy is all of the nutritious foods that you will eat. And although, calcium is not a magic bullet for fat loss, with all of its health benefits and importance for your health it is essential that you ensure you get enough.
How do you ensure that you get enough calcium on a daily basis? Leave your tips in the comments below.