We all know that diet and exercise play the biggest role in our ability to burn fat and to keep it off. But which foods exactly are the best to be eating and what methods can we incorporate into our diet plan to maximize our fat melting capabilities here is a list of some of the best foods to be consuming if you want to shed that excess fat:
- Proteins – There is a plethora of various proteins we should be consuming when we are trying to burn fat from our bodies. These proteins also help to build lean muscle which keeps us strong and able to burn the maximum amount of fat. Some of these proteins include nuts (especially almonds) which can, not only help to build muscle, but also reduce food cravings. Eggs are another good source of protein which can help to build muscle and melt fat. Turkey and other lean and/or white meats can strengthen muscle as well as keep our immune system working in optimal condition. Peanut butter helps to burn fat, build muscle, and increase testosterone which can help in achieve weight loss goals. Beans and legumes, like these other proteins, help to build muscle and burn fat while also helping to normalize digestion and metabolism. Whey protein is another great option and can be consumed in delicious protein shakes. These are ideal to drink near the time of your workout.
- Dairy products – Yogurt, low fat cheeses, and milk can help to keep our bones strong while increasing exercise to lose weight. There are even certain hormones in dairy products that can help to burn fat and build lean and toned muscles.
- Fruits – Various types of berries can help with food cravings, especially when that sweet tooth hits, and we all know that sugary foods can be ever so detrimental in the fight against excess fat in the body. They also help to keep up feeling full throughout the day. Another great fruit that can help to keep insulin levels low (keeping fat cells at bay) is grapefruit. It can also help speed up metabolism and keep blood sugar levels low. Cherries are also known to help the body to more efficiently burn fat. Recent studies have also shown that they can be a great all natural pain reliever, which can be very helpful when putting in a lot of exercise that can leave your body sore and in pain.
- Fish – Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna have so many health benefits for the human body, one being to help burn fat more efficiently. Like berries, fish also helps to keep our tummies feeling full and satisfied long after having consumed it.
- Green tea – Research has shown that those who consume green tea are able to better burn fat than those who do not.
- Chili peppers – This spicy pepper helps the body to burn fat faster.
- Leafy green vegetables – These super foods help with digestion and metabolism due to high fiber contents. They also contain free radical fighting antioxidants that help to build and keep muscles strong. Think like Popeye, and eat your spinach. Some other good green leafy veggies include kale, bok choy, and broccoli.
- Whole grains – These wonderful foods ward off the storing of excess fat in the body. They also help to keep us feeling full. Also, when you consume good carbohydrates like these, you avoid enriched flour that can be found in white breads and other enriched carbohydrate carrying foods. Some good whole grains to be eating are quinoa, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice.
While eating the right foods is a huge step in the right direction, there are some other lifestyle changes you can make with your diet to help maximize its fat burning potential. Here are some tips and tricks to make your diet work for you instead of the other way around:
- Get your protein in the morning – Research has shown that those who get more protein in the morning burn more fat throughout the day than those who wait until the evening. It can be so easy to just fix a bowl of cereal or oatmeal in the morning, but you really should be including protein in the morning if you want to increase your body’s ability to burn fat more efficiently. You can do anything from having a whey protein shake to making some quick and easy scrambled eggs or an omelet. You can even get creative and have some smoked salmon on a lox bagel (just try to use whole wheat bagels). Just get that protein in the a.m., and include it in your lunch, as well!
- Drink your green tea early – Drinking your green tea in the morning can help your body melt that fat throughout the day, as well. This also holds true for coffee, so whatever your fix is, get it in earlier in the day and avoid caffeine later in the afternoon and evening when it can affect your levels of sleep. Getting plenty of rest is also very important in shedding excess fat from the body. Research has shown that those who do not get enough rest hold more excess fat, especially around the midsection.
- Do not starve yourself – It is suggested that you consume at least 1,200 calories per day and no less, even when trying to lose weight and burn fat. Your body still needs essential vitamins and minerals and you can do much more harm than good by eating too little. Getting less than 1,200 calories per day can lead to stress, which can increase cortisol levels. This leads to excess visceral fat in the abdomen, which is just the opposite of what you want to achieve.
- Adjust your diet gradually – If you are planning on reducing your daily caloric intake, make sure that you do not do it all at once. You should come up with a plan to reduce it slowly day by day or even week by week. The best thing you can do is to speak to your doctor or a nutritional specialist about the best way to reduce the number of calories you are consuming daily and follow the plan of a professional. Doing otherwise can significantly slow your metabolism, doing exactly the opposite of what you actually want.
- Reduce your alcohol intake – This can be a difficult one for many people these days. Many of us enjoy winding down from a day with a glass of wine or a beer or even a cocktail, but researchers strongly advise against this if you want to lose weight. Not only does alcohol contain many calories and carbohydrates, it can significantly slow your metabolism. Some suggest it can slow it by up to a whopping 73 percent.
- Snack throughout the day – Studies have shown that individuals who eat smaller meals throughout the day are able to shed excess body fat much more quickly than those who eat less larger meals or spend a great deal of time fasting. Depriving your body is one of the worst things you can do and it can even counteract the weight loss that you are trying to achieve.
- Eat real fruit instead of drinking juice – Real fruit is truly all natural. Many juices include added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients that can slow your body’s ability to burn fat quickly. Also, when you drink juice, you are drinking less water, which is the ideal drink to have throughout the day and evening when you are trying to burn fat.
- Take dietary supplements – Supplements like Conjugated Linoleic Acid and fish oil have shown great results in research studies when it comes to burning fat and keeping it off. Talk to your doctor about what dietary supplements may be right for you and your weight loss goals.
- Try the reverse diet – Most of us eat a smaller breakfast, a medium lunch, and a larger dinner, but studies done with the reverse diet (larger breakfast and smaller dinner) showed significant results in weight loss and the ability to melt away excess fat.