Nutrition is the #1 factor when it comes to weight loss.
We can exercise all we want but in the end, no amount of exercise is going to make up for a crappy diet.
So, how then, do we clean up our diets? Are you as sick as I am of hearing that to lose fat all you have to do is eat more fruits and vegetables?
Well, too bad, eat your fruits and vegetables! You have to.
In 2007, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, when added to a reduced fat diet, fruits and vegetables not only promoted significant weight loss but also helped to control hunger.
But here are a few more fat burning foods that will promote both good health and fat loss.
And the best part is, they aren’t boring! In fact, chances are pretty good that you have never even tried any of them!
1. Whole Eggs from free range chickens: ok, so you’ve eaten eggs before. But have you ever eaten eggs from a free range/vegetarian fed chicken? Eggs from these chickens (not factory farmed chickens) are filthy with omega 3 fatty acids, a type of fat essential for our health and trim waistlines.
To yolk, or not to yolk? That’s a dumb question. Yolk me! Compared to egg whites, the yolks contain almost all of the nutrients available within an egg.
That’s where the omega 3 fatty acids are, as well as a boat load of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. There are almost too many to list out here.
But what about my cholesterol? You can breathe a sigh of relief on that one. Eating dietary cholesterol does NOT increase our cholesterol levels so go ahead and crack on.
(Insert rant here about how the drug industry just wants us to believe it does so doctors can prescribe drugs and they will make a ton of money. High cholesterol isn’t even a disease!)
But be weary of the junky eggs you get at your local supermarket. Those generic eggs are from chickens living in factory farms and they do not have the same levels of vitamins and minerals, including omega 3, as eggs from free range chickens.
Not only will the omega 3 content in free range eggs help whittle your waistline but it has been reported in research that those trying to lose weight who ate eggs for breakfast (vs. cereal of bagels) lost more weight.
2. Grass-Fed Beef: most of the meat we get from the grocery stores and in restaurants come from cattle who were raised in a factory farm. A factory farm is a farm whose only goal is to fatten their livestock as quickly and as cheaply as possible and then send them to slaughter. They make more money this way.
So, the cows are fed a diet of corn and soybeans (btw, cows are vegetarian by nature and eat grass) to get fat quickly. This type of diet disrupts the omega 3: omega 6 ratio within the meat of the cows.
Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for our health and our waistlines while omega 6 is not all that healthy and we already get plenty of those in the standard American diet anyway.
(Insert rant here about how the grain cows on factory farms eat makes them wicked sick so the farmers have to pump them full of antibiotics to prevent that from happening. So, essentially, when you eat beef from a cow raised on a factory farm, you are ingesting the antibiotics the cows were fed. Yum.)
When a cow is allowed to eat its normal diet of grass there is a much more healthy balance of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids.
Additionally, there is a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that is also highly prevalent in grass-fed beef which can help promote fat loss, lean tissue growth, and even help protect you from cancer!
3. Gogi Berries: the most nutritious berry in the world. How do you like that?
Also known as wolfberries, gogi berries come from Asia and resemble dried red raisins.
Gogi berries are super high in protein, containing 18 amino acids. They contain 6 key vitamins and have 6x the antioxidant power of blueberries!
They are also high in fiber and contain 5 different types of fatty acids, making this little, virtually unknown, fruit a small miracle.
Gogi berries are mostly sold in their dried form. Make sure to look for them at your local organic store with no added sweeteners.
They have a slightly tart taste and are great when thrown in yogurt, smoothies, in cereal, and on salads.
Gogi berries will strengthen your immune system, help promote fat loss, and slow down the signs of aging!
So, try incorporating whole eggs from free range chickens, grass-fed beef, and gogi berries into your diet and improve your health and drop the extra fat.
Susan, MS, CSCS
Author, Ultimate Home Workouts