If you cannot imagine life without table sugar, honey may be the solution. Honey is a great whole food that may help you lose weight by providing the sweetness you want with the nutrients you need. In addition to the nutrients, honey also provides the quick energy you need to exercise more and longer to help burn off fat and start shedding the pounds.
Benefits of Honey for Weight Loss
- The Glycemic Index (GI) of a food can be an indication of how good the food might be in a weight loss program. Foods with a GI above 55 are considered to be bad for weight loss since these foods actually raise sugar levels and create more hunger. Honey has a GI score of 55 which means that it may be a good source of quick energy – but only if you are going to burn the calories quickly.
- Weight loss involves the breakdown of fats that have been stored in your body. As these fats break down, free radicals are released. These substances are known to be carcinogenic so removal of them is critical. Honey is extremely rich in the antioxidants that help get rid of the free radicals.
- Many people feel depleted of energy during a weight loss program. Since honey is composed of simple sugars and can be used by the body for ready energy, your body can use honey to help give you an extra boost at those times when you run out of steam.
- The calories in table sugar are often called “empty calories” because there are no other nutrients in sugar. Honey, on the other hand, can provide the sweetness you crave and some of the essential nutrients your body needs.
4 Ways to Use Honey for Weight Loss
There are several ways you can incorporate honey into your diet to help you lose weight.
1. Honey and Warm Water
Each day, mix a tablespoon of honey in a cup of warm water and drink the mixture. Some studies show that taking this small amount of honey each day may actually help to move the body fat out of storage in your body to make it available to burn for energy. As the fat is burned for energy, it will no longer be stored in your body as extra weight.
2. Honey and Lemon Juice
For an extra boost, try mixing a tablespoon into the mixture of honey and warm water. The extra vitamin C you get will act as an antioxidant to neutralize the free radicals and will act to increase the metabolism of mobilized fats while increasing the functioning of your liver.
3. Honey and Cinnamon
Instead of lemon juice, try adding a tablespoon of cinnamon to your honey and warm water. Drink this mixture first thing in the morning before you eat to help regulate the metabolism of glucose in your body. Cinnamon seems to lower serum glucose levels. This means that your body will have to turn to fat stores for energy instead of sugar. The result will be burning fat and losing weight.
4. Homemade Honey Energy Drinks
Given the controversy over the healthiness of energy drinks purchased in the store, it is good to know that you can make your own energy drinks with honey that may actually help you have energy and lose weight while not having the negative side effects of the drinks that are full of caffeine. Start with one-third cup of your favorite unsweetened juice – grapefruit, pomegranate or cranberry juices are perfect. Mix in one-third cup of raw honey and 6 cups of water. If you will be sweating a lot during exercise, throw in a small amount of salt. Blend the concoction and store refrigerated in glass or plastic bottles. If you prefer the taste of tea to juice, simply substitute your favorite tea for the juice. Steep the tea in 6 cups of water and then mix with the honey. Again, refrigerate in bottles until you are ready to use the drink.
- Eating a teaspoon of honey at bedtime may help to keep your metabolism going during the night – burning fat calories while you sleep. Honey may also help you sleep better by reducing harmful stress hormones in your body.
- Try eating a teaspoon of honey after a large meal. Some studies show that honey may help to speed up your digestive process leading to weight loss.
- Whenever you would normally reach for sugar, reach for honey instead. While you are still adding calories to your cereal, desserts or other food, you are also adding vital nutrients instead of empty calories.
- Remember that honey contains calories, so it is important to control the amount of honey you use each day. Too much of a good thing can become a very bad thing!
- If you are creating a warm drink with honey, be sure that you do NOT boil the honey. Excessive heat will break down the nutrients that make honey so good for you.
- As with any diet, you should not stop eating regular nutritious food when you use honey to lose weight. If you stop eating a good diet, all the honey in the world will not keep you from getting sick.