By Dave Knapp, Princeton Adventure BootCamps
Now, before you go bathing in vats of cinnamon or start eating it by the cupfuls let me emphasize this one very important detail. There is no spice, supplement or “add on” in your meal plans that is going to be the miracle substance that is going to melt fat off like a torch. You know what will melt fat faster than you can even imagine? Healthy eating and exercise.
“Blah, blah, blah Isabel. You’re always lecturing me about that healthy eating stuff.”
What can I say? I don’t make the rules, I just follow them and in this case, I communicate them to you. Comprende?
So where does yummy cinnamon fit into your fat loss picture?
First, a few details about the spice…
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices. To prepare it, the bark of the cinnamon tree is dried and rolled into cinnamon sticks, also called quills. Cinnamon can also be dried and ground into powder, which is the form that people use most often.
Cinnamon has been used for years in traditional Chinese medicine for colds, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual cramps. They also believed it to improve energy, vitality and circulation. Sounding good already huh?
And it gets better. Most recently, several studies have found that those individuals who regularly use cinnamon were better able to control their blood sugar levels throughout the day (diabetics and non diabetics alike). These same individuals also experienced a decrease in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. Ok, now we’re on to something here.
Anything that will help you to better control your blood sugar levels and keep them balanced throughout the day will also help you to control your insulin levels. High insulin levels (as you’ve learned in the DSP) is one of the biggest contributors to fat gain. It is also one of the biggest contributors to NOT being able to lose fat. So anything we can do to keep our insulin levels in check is a good thing when fat loss is concerned.
How much do you need to consume to see these positive effects?
Several studies have shown improved insulin levels and blood sugar control by taking as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day (now, that should be pretty easy right?)
Well the supplement companies had to, of course, jump on the band wagon here and create “cinnamon pills” when they heard this good news. My opinion on these is that we are always better off keeping our supplement intake to an absolute minimum and when eating it in its natural form is an option, that’s the way to go. Getting in ½ tsp of cinnamon is super easy and pills are not necessary. It’s also been found that many cinnamon pills contain an ingredient that acts like a blood thinner in most people. Yikes…this could be quite dangerous for many people!
Add cinnamon to the grinds in your morning coffee. Add a tsp of cinnamon for every Tbsp of coffee grinds you put in the coffee maker. Cinnamon Flavored Coffee…yummy!
Add ½ tsp of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick to boiling water along with 1 black tea bag. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. Add some Stevia to taste and a bit of coconut milk and you have a variation of chai tea.
Add cinnamon to your morning hot cereal. I always add cinnamon to my morning oatmeal, quinoa or rice cereal. Along with a little raw honey or stevia and some raw nuts, it makes for a perfect, tasty breakfast.
Flavor homemade applesauce with cinnamon to taste. After making my own apple sauce just once, I can never go back to the store bought variety. I boil 5 or 6 apples (cored but I keep the peals on) in 1 cup of water. I add about 1 Tbsp of cinnamon (you can add more or less) and let it boil and then simmer for almost an hour. Once it cools, I put it through the blender…yummy apple sauce!
Toast 2 pieces of sprouted grain bread. Add butter, raw honey and cinnamon and pair this up with a good protein for a delicious breakfast snack or post workout meal.
Spice up your chicken. That’s right. Sprinkle ground cinnamon, Italian seasonings, garlic powder and salt and pepper to chicken breasts and bake in the oven.
Start shaking the cinnamon shaker on your own foods today
About the Author
David Knapp is a (NESTA) Certified Boot Camp Instructor and a certified personal trainer with (NCSF). The National Council on Strength and Fitness. He holds Certifications in Resistance Training, Program Design, Functional Fitness, Flexibility Training, Chek Institute Medicine ball Training, and is a Certified Boxing Instructor. Sports Performance Training and Power Training for Sports expert. Dave is the owner and trainer of Princeton Adventure Bootcamps.