We’re Turning Up the Heat on Fat-Burning Foods
At one time or another, chili peppers, coconut oil, green tea, eggs, split peas, yogurt, fatty fish and nuts have been touted as fat-burning foods. Sounds great, right?
But can you really pick and choose foods to increase your metabolism so that you lose weight without being hungry? Are there foods you can eat to create a calorie deficit?
Sorry, but foods don’t really act like drugs to melt away extra calories or fat. They can’t speed up your metabolism, and they will not break down your fat.
“I wouldn’t be saying to go and eat any one particular food and you’ll suddenly be a Victoria’s Secret model. It’s a bit more complex than that,” sports dietitian Chloe McLeod told Huffington Post.
“For the best results, eat whole foods, mostly plants. Drink plenty of water. Make sure there’s plenty of fiber in your diet, which is mostly found in plant foods like vegetables, legumes and unprocessed whole grains.
“Include plenty of protein, whether that’s from plants like chickpeas and lentils, or animal sources, plus healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil. I know it sounds un-sexy, but follow a healthy, balanced diet.”
Bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true… it is! You can’t lose weight by eating magical foods, taking a pill or rubbing a cellulite reduction cream on your thighs.
You’ve probably heard about to the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet or diets that require you to eat more protein foods and cut out carbohydrates. These diets won’t work over time.
That said, by replacing certain foods with different foods you’ll create a calorie deficit and lose weight. It’s not magic. It’s just math.
Substitute lower calorie, high-fiber foods in place of higher calorie, high-fat foods and create a calorie deficit. Get better nutrition, great flavor, and balance the scale in your favor.
Make your body a fat-burning machine by increasing your muscle mass and decreasing your fat stores. Muscle is metabolically more active than fat, helping you burn calories. Building some muscle mass must be part of your weight loss strategy. Do it by starting gradually.
Meanwhile, here are some foods that will fill you up, but won’t fill you out.
Eating a large salad with lots of crunchy vegetables makes an amazing difference in your appetite for the rest of the meal. Practice the strategy of including salads before every meal, and – presto! – you’ll have less of an appetite for your entrée. You’ll effortlessly increase your fiber, lower your calories and lose weight without being hungry.
Similarly to salad, soup works magic on your appetite, filling you up so that you’re a less hungry for the rest of your meal. The secret is to choose a broth- or tomato-based soup and not a cream soup, as cream soups are higher in calories and fat.
Fill yourself up with fiber instead of white bread, white pasta, and white rice. Whole grains contribute to a feeling of fullness, but white flour contributes to blood sugar imbalance. Whole grains work to increase your metabolism, because they take longer to digest and absorb.
Studies show that calcium is a necessary component of weight loss, and other research points to calcium-containing dairy products as an effective adjunct for weight loss. Make sure your dairy is low-fat or nonfat, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you dislike dairy or you’re allergic or intolerant to dairy, calcium-fortified tofu and soy milk are good options. Choose products, fortified with calcium and vitamin D for good absorption, and read the labels to choose the soy milk without excessive sugar added.
Fruits and vegetables
Soluble and insoluble fiber in fruits and vegetables, plus the water content makes of fruits and vegetables a fat-burning food. Eat all you want of crunchy vegetables, and replace your usual buttered corn and starchy vegetables with crunchy vegetables and lose weight by creating a calorie deficit.
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.