First things first: Understand that taking chia seeds for weight loss does not make you an overnight diet miracle. However, three main elements about chia seeds make their support role in fat/weight loss very significant– fiber, omega-3/6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), and protein.
1. A diet high in fiber improves the health of the digestive system by feeding probiotic organisms in the gut. This increases the efficiency with which our digestive system breaks down our food and delivers nutrition to every cell in our body.
2. The essential fatty acids optimise production of energy, and discourage excess visceral (abdominal) fat formation. Omega-3 especially is something like a metabolic booster, or what experts would call a thermogenic aid, which causes the body to produce more than the normal amount of energy just to digest it. This is the ‘good’ fat burning the ‘bad’ fat. It has been reported that sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acid enables all our body parts to perform a ten times more efficiently. It’s rather like what motor oil does for your car.
3. Protein from chia seeds is of very high quality. Its amino acid score is in the high 90s, which makes it an amazing plant source of complete protein. Why is this important? Because amino acids are the building blocks of our body.
Ultimately, every amino acid that we get gets used up for some process to keep us in tiptop shape even when we’re sleeping — to build our muscle, keep our brains working well, build and maintain strong bones, keep our blood healthy, our skin, nails and hair glowing, and basically keep the structure of our bodies intact. Now that’s a lot of amino acids needed, don’t you think?
Other Ways Chia Seeds Can Support Weight Loss
4. Chia seed’s nutritional benefits stop your brain from feeling ‘starved’. There are times we can be the most overfed person and still want to eat more. Why?–because we may not be feeding our bodies with the right kinds of food, and our brain thinks we’re malnourished.
If we eat food that’s not good for us, our body sends stress signals to the brain. Our brain then ‘feels’ hungry, causing you to want to eat more. So eat a chia seed pudding with fruit or drink a chia smoothie first thing in the morning with a big nutritious breakfast so your body gets complete nourishment early in the day. This will stop you from obsessing about food too much as the day moves on.
5. Chia seeds serve as a food extender. After soaking in water for about 10-15 minutes, chia seeds turn into a gel which you can use to bulk up food. It will increase the volume of food you’re eating but add very little calories. You are however, packing your food with more nutrients, sending messages to your brain that you don’t need to eat anymore. People taking soups for example, can mix in a thick gel, making the soup bulkier, making it more nutritious and interesting.
TIP: Love that bowl of yoghurt? Double it up by adding chia gel (chia seeds mixed with water). You double your serving but not the sugar or calories.
6. Chia can substitute for naughty fat. Thick chia gel can be used to extend the following: butter, peanut butter, mayonnaise, tomato and barbecue sauce, carb- and fat-rich sauces, oily and processed salad dressings, dips, and thickeners in soups and toppings etc.
7. Chia seeds act as an appetite suppressant. Chia seeds expand in water. If you drink just five tablespoons of chia seeds with 8 glasses of water throughout the day, in between your meals, this will give you that satisfied feeling for longer. But the gel does one more thing to suppress appetite, and that is to prolong digestion of the seeds and of the rest of the food you eat, carbohydrates in particular. This suppresses your urge to eat again soon after a meal.
8. Chia seeds provide extra energy throughout the day. A bit of additional energy often motivates people to move around more and even try some light exercises. As we all know, healthy eating PLUS EXERCISE has much better results than dieting alone.
9. Chia seeds promote nutritional balance during dieting. Some diets are dangerously unbalanced. What chia can do is step in to correct and regulate proper functioning of cellular membranes, promote muscle development, help clear away toxic side products like free radicals, helps maintain healthy skin and hair, assists in healing, and enhances growth and repair – all of which suffer during dieting and even in the midst of normal eating.
10. And last but not certainly the least — chia seeds contribute to regular bowel movement. Moving our bowels regularly prevents bloating and retention of fluid, and releases accumulation of toxic elements in the body. When waste material is released, the body is free from having to deal with all that dead and poisonous stuff, and your energy is transferred to burning fat for more energy.
A Versatile Superfood
The best thing about taking chia seeds for weight loss is that you can add it to ALL your food as it has such as neutral flavor. You can even add them to cookies, snack bars, bread, cakes, muffins, and more.
Notice I’ve just named some of the favorite food of most people. They’re easy to make, easy to eat, and best of all, portable (I mean, who carries a slice of beef in their bag for a snack?)
If we can learn to replace other unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones, you can create a whole range of healthy food that you’ll love to eat.
Ahem. This is all assuming that we don’t overeat! And contrary to what others may say, it is simply not true that when you eat chia, you will automatically lose weight. You still need to exercise and stick to a healthy eating routine.