What good does all that working out do for you if you still have all that body fat, particularly around your middle? Belly fat is a problem for many people, most notably when their metabolism makes midlife changes in our thirties or thereabouts. The real enemies to any fat loss program are refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars.
There are foods that you can eat that will not add any more fat to your body, and they may even accelerate your weight loss. We all know about proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fiber, but which ones will help burn off that subcutaneous adipose that is hiding your six-pack?
Here are the guidelines for burning belly fat:
- Don’t eat processed foods – Those easy-to-prepare foods that come in boxes, cans, bottles and frozen food packages are loaded with preservatives and other chemicals to help them retain color. Most of these things, like high fructose corn syrup (found on many labels), are contributors to the obesity epidemic in the world.
- Eat Fresh, Live Foods – Organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, lean pork and fresh fish. Don’t reach for the fish sticks, chicken fingers, sausage biscuits or any of that garbage. Grill a chicken breast, broil a nice piece of sirloin or bake a fish fillet instead. It really doesn’t take any longer and it’s a lot better for you.
- Drink a lot of Water – Water will boost your metabolic function, keep you hydrated and it will abate your hunger. Don’t mix it with anything sugary or artificially sweetened. Try making green tea that will help burn fat.
- Eat High Protein Meals – Lean protein in every meal will help keep your blood sugar from spiking and it will pump up your metabolism. Protein is the building block of muscle. A bodybuilder needs a lot of protein, 25% or more calories should come from protein.
- Eat Good Carbohydrates – Avoid those refined starches and sugars. Eat good carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh or dried beans and other legumes. Sprouted grain breads are also healthy. Dried beans of any sort are very high in protein and fiber, as well as good carbs.
- Healthy Fats are Okay – Avoid saturated fats, especially trans-fats. Good fats come from olive oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid Getting Really Hungry – Don’t skip meals, rather you should eat five or six small meals per day. Use nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables for healthy snacks.
For long-term, automatic fat loss, as proscribed in Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultra Metabolism: A Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss”, you should eat foods that rank high on the phytonutrient index (PI) and low on the glycemic load (GL). Since lean meats do not register on either, what you are looking for are: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, olive oil, tea, herbs and spices. You should avoid flour, flour products, refined grains, sugar in any form and processed foods.
In Fat Burning Furnace, Rob Poulos recommends the following foods that will help your body burn fat: Complex carbohydrates like brown rice, wild rice, whole grain pasta, whole oats, whole grain cereals (without any added sugars), sweet potatoes and quinoa. He also advocates eating a lot of apples, oranges, melons, papaya, bananas and berries.
Proteins should include lean beef, lean ground turkey, chicken breast, skinless lean ham or pork and No-Fat skim milk.
Rob also says you may eat: Yogurt, shellfish, low-fat cottage cheese, dried beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts and natural peanut butter.
Vegetables that will help you burn fat are: Broccoli, salad greens, spinach, green beans, sweet peppers, carrots, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, squash, artichokes and greens.