What to Eat to Burn Fat and Lose Weight
How would you like to lose an extra 10 to 15 pounds? What if I told you it was easier than any diet plan out there today? Sounds good doesn’t it? The truth is, losing weight is easier than most people think it is. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that you don’t have to cut out all your favorite foods or starve yourself to get that great body you want.
I know that as soon as you start to think about losing weight, you immediately remember a time when you starved yourself or only ate flavor-less vegetables. Can you feel the hunger pains now? No wonder people have a horrible time trying to stick to a ‘diet’.
The fact is, you can feel better than you do today. You can have more energy, you can improve your long-term health prospects and you can even get lucky more often (with better results). And food—the right kind of food—is your ticket to success. All the secrets are right here. I hope you are ready to eat!
Eat 5 Meals a Day
I’m not kidding. Eating more often throughout the day is actually better than starving yourself. Five meals a day breaks out into three meals and two snacks. In a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that men and women who ate four or more times a day had half the risk of becoming overweight compared with those who ate three times or fewer. This doesn’t mean three feasts and two 900-calorie “snacks”; read on for the foods to pile on your plate.
Fill Up on Fiber
“Fiber is the best food you can eat when you’re trying to lose weight,” says Gay Riley, R.D., a nutritionist in Dallas and the author of Pocket Personal Trainer. Here’s why: It slows your rate of digestion, which keeps you feeling full longer and reduces sugar cravings. And because it binds to other foods, fiber helps hustle calories out of the body.
A USDA study determined that people who consume 24 grams (g) of fiber daily earn a 90-calorie free pass. Your goal is 5 g fiber at each meal.
5 or more g fiber:
- 1 cup of any cereal with “bran” in the name—such as raisin bran or All-Bran. If the magic word is missing, check the Nutrition Facts label.
- 1 cup of cooked beans—pinto, kidney, navy, any kind
2 to 4 g fiber:
- 1 medium apple, pear, orange, or banana
- 1 cup of any fruit that ends in “berry”
- 1/2 cup of cooked asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, sauerkraut, or spinach
- 1 ounce (about a handful) of almonds, peanuts, cashews, pecans, or sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, or two slices of whole-wheat bread
Put a Limit on Starch
Since 1980, the average guy’s food intake has grown by 500 calories a day, nearly 80 percent of which can be attributed to carbohydrates; in that time, obesity has increased by 80 percent.
The lesson: Cap your intake of the most carbohydrate-dense foods—such as grains and potatoes—at three servings a day. (One serving is the equivalent of one slice of bread, 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or rice, or one small potato.) Always eat the highest-fiber, least-processed versions of these foods—whole-wheat breads, pastas, and cereals; brown rice instead of white; and whole potatoes, including the skin.
Don’t Count Calories
A good diet is effortless. By frequently eating the right foods, you’ll eliminate hunger and control your calorie intake.
Never restrict your produce intake. You can’t eat too many fruits and vegetables. Potatoes accepted, they contain very few calories, little starch, and lots of fiber.
Have some protein with every meal. Make an effort to eat a serving or two of high-quality protein—yogurt, cheese, milk, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, pork, eggs, or nuts. You’ll get the daily ideal 8 g leucine, an amino acid that’s critical for boosting metabolism and preserving muscle as you drop pounds.
Don’t be afraid of fat. Researchers at the City of Hope Medical Center, in Duarte, California, report that men and women who ate a low-calorie, high-fat diet lost 63 percent more weight in 6 months than those who followed a low-fat plan with the same number of calories. By replacing some of the starches with fat—which takes longer to digest—you’ll stay full longer and eat less. Emphasize healthy, unsaturated fats: In the study, the high-fat dieters ate 3 ounces of almonds a day.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
University of Massachusetts researchers found that men and women who skip breakfast are 4 1/2 times more likely to be obese than those who don’t. “Eating breakfast is like putting kindling on the fire of your metabolism,” says Riley, so your body will be less likely to store fat.
Make sure you eat within 90 minutes of waking—participants in the study who waited longer increased their chances of obesity by nearly 50 percent.