Fat Burning Foods – How It Works
The idea that you can burn fat by eating more food seems too good to be true.
After all we love to eat! Food is often our source of comfort.
When we are stressed or have one of those days where nothing goes as planned, our first impulse is to eat something that will make us feel better.
Food is also an outlet for celebration because nothing brings people together more than a good feast.
Thus, food is not just an essential source of energy. It has also influenced our lifestyle.
But we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that people around the world are becoming increasingly overweight.
A landmark study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) which covered the period of 1998 to 2013 revealed that 2.1 Billion people or 30% of the world’s population is overweight.
Australia, together with the United States and the United Kingdom registered the highest gains in obesity.
It may seem obvious that consuming more food would lead to weight gain but there is a correlation between global food consumption and rising obesity rates.
In 1966, the average global calorie intake was 2,358 kcal. In 2015, it was 2,940 kcal.
So if eating more food makes us fat, how is it possible to burn fat by eating more food? The premise alone reads counter-intuitive!
The answer lies in understanding what food is, its functions and its role in maintaining balance in our daily lives.
There is more to food than just an essential source of energy. Used judiciously and with purpose, food can make us healthy, fit and lean!
Here are the principles you need to understand to make food become an asset in your daily life…
Food Is A Source Of Energy
The heat energy produced by food is measured in calories.
The more food you eat the greater the amount of heat energy available in your body in the form of calories. But digesting food requires energy.
It takes calories to burn calories. So if you eat more food does that mean you will burn more calories?
Yes…. and no.
A large pizza with the works has 3,500 calories. If you eat that in one sitting your body has to undertake an activity that will use up more than 3,500 calories in order to burn all the stored energy.
All of the carbohydrates and fat in the pizza will make you feel sluggish and full throughout the day.
Your next meal won’t probably come until after six hours.
And there lies the problem with overeating. If you eat too much food in one sitting, it will keep you full for extended hours.
You feel tired because your body is trying to digest the food. But without physical activity, you will not have the means to burn the excess calories.
When you feel sluggish, your metabolism slows down and your ability to burn fat is compromised.
On the other hand, if the 3,500 calories were consumed throughout the day as 6 meals, it will be easier for your body to digest the smaller portions.
You would be satisfied but not full and your metabolism would be revved up the entire day.
Some Types Of Food Have A Thermogenic Effect
Thermogenesis is the process of producing heat within an organism.
Theoretically, if you can raise the body’s thermogenic rate, you can increase the loss of body fat.
And there are foods that have been found to have a thermogenic effect on the human body.
These are as follows:
Wild rice – High in fiber which keeps you full longer and slows down the release of insulin.
Walnuts – High amount of Omega-3 fatty acids which lower cholesterol levels.
Ginger -The popular treatment for inflammatory pain has been shown by studies to increase calorie burning.
Avocado – In addition to healthy mono-unsaturated fats, avocados contain a carbohydrate called mannoheptulose which slows down insulin release and improves calcium absorption. This combination can possibly increase fat burning.
Salmon – Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 can increase fat burning and inhibit fat storage. Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Grapefruit – This contains naringin which studies show can prevent fat storage.
Eggs – In addition to its high protein count, eggs contain lecithin which helps in fat burning.
Natural Peanut Butter – Do not go for the low-fat version! These are substituted with more sugars. The healthiest part of the peanut butter is the fat itself which is made up of mono-unsaturated fats.
Steak – Protein requires more calories to break down than any other macronutrient. Steak has a very high metabolic rate because of all the enzymes, hormones and metabolites needed to process its amino acids.
It’s All In The Timing And In The Grouping
So far we’ve learned that eating small portions can increase our metabolism and our body’s capacity to burn fat.
We also learned that certain foods create a thermic effect in the human body.
Increasing the rate of thermogenesis can potentially burn body fat.
Now that we know which foods can help us burn fat, how do we put them all together and come up with a fat burning meal plan?
Here are a few rules in timing and grouping your food choices:
• Restrict your intake of carbohydrates in the day time and limit it to small portions of wild rice or walnuts.
• Do not consume fatty proteins with refined carbohydrates especially if you are not physically active.
• Lean protein sources such as chicken and tuna are best eaten during the day time while fatty protein sources such as steak are more effective when eaten at night. Steak contains saturated fats which are effective in producing growth hormone and can increase testosterone levels.
A sample fat-burning meal plan would look like this:
Breakfast: Egg, Cheddar Cheese, Wild Rice, Grilled Tomato
Snack: Tuna Salad with Avocado and Light Olive Oil Dressing
Lunch: ¼ Roasted Chicken, 100 grams Lentils
Snack: ½ cup Cottage Cheese, Walnuts
Dinner: Steak, Broccoli
Before Bed: 1 tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter
This kind of meal plan has all the necessary components of fat-burning:
• Frequency: To Increase Metabolism
• Essential Fatty Acids: To Inhibit Fat Storage
• Fibre: To Aid in Digestion and Keep You Satiated
Lastly, always have time for physical activity. There are many benefits to exercise especially for your health.
In combination with a fat burning diet, you can be lean, healthy and strong at any age.