Sticky: Foods That Promote Weight Loss

by admin on July 27, 2014

Foods That Promote Weight Loss

What we do and do not put in our mouths is one of, perhaps the most important factors in terms of weight loss and body composition. In fact, getting lean, cut or ripped is all about food. You can build muscle all day eating like a hog but nobody will ever see those muscles unless you do away with the fat. I hover around 4 to 5 percent body fat. I have been into to exercise and fitness my whole life and that has little to do with my body fat percentage. I credit my lean physique to my nutrition. When my diet changes, the fat starts coming on, 1 lbs, 2 lbs, 3 lbs, 4.. This is important to note because during these periods I am still training hard. I always bring my natural diet right back into place and I lean right back up in a couple short weeks. So just what is it about the foods that cause body fat storage? And what is it about the foods that that work with our bodies to bring us back to our “natural” lean state?

Before I get into that bigger picture, I will mention the most powerful dietary additions that are scientifically studied to directly and significantly reduce body fat stores.  After all, you are likely looking for powerful foods that you can simply add into your diet to lean up without exercise or strict diet. It is true, there are compounds in plants that will regulate hormone and enzyme production in your body causing rapid shedding of body fat, without diet change or exercise.

Common “Foods” With Moderate Fat Burning Actions

Food can increase metabolism in a number of ways. The first one I will mention is stimulants. Not everyone does well on stimulants but if you do, they certainly increase metabolism. Coffee, tea, yerba mate and real dark foods-that-promote-weight-losschocolate are all examples.

  •  The caffeine alone in coffee or tea stimulates the central nervous system to increase metabolism by 5-8% which will burn an extra 80-128 calories per day. Not bad for a morning cup of jo.
  • Green tea is especially beneficial to weight loss as, though a cup has a bit less caffeine, it contains antioxidants called catechins which will raise metabolism a further 4%, burning about 80 more calories. Drink several cups of green early in the day to get full benefits. In fact it would take 7-9 cups of green tea to reach the maximum recommended intake of daily caffeine, 300 mg.
  •  Real dark chocolate contains both the beneficial catechins and caffeine’s cousin, theobromine, which is also a stimulant. Do not eat processed chocolate as the catechins are removed and it is loaded with sugar. High quality dark chocolate that is not processed with alkali is what we want (it will say on the ingredients label if it is). Even better, buy some pure raw cacao bean (cocoa) powder and add it to smoothies, yogurts, milk etc. Again, make sure it is not processed with alkali.

The next type of food that will burn fat (without stimulating) is any warming food. Warming foods increase your body temperature by raising the metabolism. The best example is any hot pepper. Other warming foods are ginger, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, bay leaves, turmeric and fennel.

  • In hot pepper, a chemical called capsaicin is what brings the sensation of heat to our nerves.In a study cunducted at UCLA, this compound doubled the metabolism of those consuming it for several hours after consuming it. I personally purchase extremely hot dried pepper powder, put a pinch of it in a shot glass, cover with water, and shoot it back three times per day. This insures a high metabolism through the day.
  • The other warming spices also provide great benefit and are additionally loaded with antioxidants. The next one I would make sure to use is cinnamon, which is not only warming, but is one of the best spices for lowering blood sugar. Lowering blood sugar is always beneficial for weight loss. Add as much of these warming spices to your foods as you can handle. Be consistent and you will get great results.

Now that we have covered some quick food additions, I will go on for those looking to go much deeper into the rabbit hole of weight loss, wellness and health. So let me pose a question: are there any obese wild humans? Let me jump in with an answer, no, wild humans almost never have excess body fat issues, in fact, no wild animal species deals with an obesity epidemic as we domesticated humans do. Here in lies the solution to how an overweight individual can return to a “natural” body composition. Now it is unrealistic to ask somebody to start living as a wild human, most can not do this and that is perfectly fine. We can continue living in our homes with the goal of imitating our natural environment. Think like you are in a zoo, like a chimpanzee. If the zoo wants to keep a happy healthy chimp, do they feed it corn flakes, pastries and candy? Of course not.. Even though the chimp has been taken out of its natural environment, like us, the zoo is going to imitate the natural environment. When this is done properly, the chimp is happy, healthy, robust and lean. If the zoo animals consumed processed food, it is likely they would have an obesity epidemic similar to ours with heart disease and cancer being the top causes of death.

So to become naturally fit, we need to make sure that our zoo is providing us with foods that are as close to our wild foods as possible, the foods that we are actually biologically adapted to.`In comparison to a wild human (indigenous tribes/hunter gatherers) diet, our domesticated agricultural diet is

  • Higher in calories and contains significantly less micronutrients (skip to “plant fiber” for more specific weight loss foods)

The bulk volume of processed foods is composed of pure starch, sugar and oils (macronutrients) glued together, textured, flavored and preserved with various food additives and chemicals. One huge problem is that this processing removes the vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) that were in the original foods before processing. Now we have a food high in macronutrients and low in micronutrients. How does this cause fat storage?

The body is designed to consume and assimilate foods as they naturally come, using the vitamins and minerals to eventually turn the carbohydrates and fats into the final energy source called ATP. For the body to turn a carbohydrate or lipid into ATP, many enzymes must be manufactured. For these enzymes to be created, vitamins and minerals are required. For these enzymes to work properly, again, vitamins and minerals must be present to act as biological “spark plugs”. When the vitamins and minerals are artificially removed, concentrating the carbohydrates and fats, the body is unable to convert these fuels into ATP.

What happens when calories cannot be used? They travel to the liver to be converted into fat droplets where they are then added to fat cells, making them grow. When the fat cells reach full capacity, new fat cells are created.

So what foods will reverse this? Real whole food contains all the micronutrients required to metabolize the calories within. Think of it like this, an apple tree is going to manufacture and deposit all of the vitamins and minerals required to metabolize, for itself, the calories contained within the apple. Consume this whole food unprocessed to get your macro and micronutrients in balance. To reverse the years of excess macros and deficient micros, one can consume foods, or supplement foods, that have excessive amounts of micros in comparison to macros.

Great examples of these foods are greens such as kale or spinach. Even better greens would be wild, like we talked about before. Examples of wild greens are young dandelion greens, lambsquarters, amaranth greens, purslane and winter cress to name a few. At least a couple of these wild greens grows where most anyone lives. Get out in the spring and forage a spring salad. Nutritional yeast is an extremely dense source of vitamins and minerals and can be used as a cheese substitute in recipes. Beef liver is not a food that everyone will enjoy but may be the most micronutrient dense foods in existence, I enjoy a plate of liver and onions once a week. The biggest benefit is that one serving of liver provides over 100% daily value of retinol which is an absolutely huge vitamin in terms of keeping fat off the body. Retinol works on an enzyme called PPAR which will inhibit the addition of fat droplets into existing fat cells and prevent the creation of new fat cells all while metabolising (burning) the fat droplets already inside fat cells.

We must look into nature with an eye to find where organisms concentrate the most nutrition to keep their progeny and themselves. A great example of this is bee pollen, sweet, flavorful little granules collected by bees as a superfood to keep the hive healthy and robust. Each granule contains over two million pollen cells, each one containing all the nutrients needed for life. Bee pollen is delicious sprinkled into salads, stirred into yogurts and many other foods.

  • Much lower in plant fiber

Fiber is extremely important to our health. In the context of weight loss, fiber time releases the carbohydrates/sugars which prevents insulin spikes. Without this time release the sugars are dumped right into our bloodstream which shocks our pancreas into unloading all available insulin into the blood. This insulin blast results in low blood sugar causing abnormal sugar cravings several times per day. Consuming fiber as a time release allows a small amount of insulin to maintain a healthy blood sugar, avoiding the crash of low blood glucose and preventing the 24/7 sugar cravings.

What fiber food is best to add to meals as a time release? Chia seeds are over 1/3rd fiber by weight and most of this is beneficial soluble fiber as oppose to insoluble fiber which irritates the intestinal lining like twigs and branches scratching its way through your intestines. The fiber is of huge benefit but chia seeds assist in weight loss and health in many other ways. For example, chia has 8 times more omega 3 (ALA) than salmon (EPA/DHA), 3 times more fiber than oats, 6 times more calcium than milk, 70% more vegetable protein than soy, 15 times more magnesium than broccoli, twice the potassium of bananas, 5 times more folate and 3 times more iron than spinach and 30% more antioxidants than blueberries. Pure wonderment.

The amazing thing is, you could probably leave your diet unchanged, other that consuming chia before each meal consistently, and get significant weight loss results over time. If you are only interested in the fiber benefits, you can eat the seeds whole. If you want to better absorb the massive quantities of omega 3 fats, vitamins and minerals, then eating milled/powdered chia seeds is best (I recommend this). The best way to do this is to either buy pre milled chia seeds or to grind whole seeds in a coffee grinder and then cover them in ten times their weight in water. Because of their high soluble fiber content, whole or milled, they will absorb all of this water in about 10 minutes and transform into a gel/pudding. From here you can stir in your desired amount of stevia extract, a natural non calorie sweetener. Put this sweet pudding into your refrigerator with a lid and consume 1-3 tablespoons just before each meal for carbohydrate time releasing and resulting weight loss. Make sure to finish each chia batch within a week. You must be consistent with this. It took time to put the weight on and it will take time to remove it.

Aside from chia seeds, we can make sure that all of our food is low glycemic. The first place to start is removing any sugar sweetened drinks. Soda is the first thing that anyone should remove from their diet. Even fruit juices spike blood sugar, promoting weight gain. Try to replace sugary drinks with water, tea or soda water sweetened with flavored stevia drops. If you must consume a sweet drink, consume some chia gel before and it will dramatically lower the glycemic index of the drink.

  • Much higher in omega 6 and lacking omega 3 oils

Processed foods are filled with vegetable oils and grains, both of which are high in omega 6 fatty acids and lack omega 3 fatty acids. In nature, we would consume closer to a 2 to 1 ratio of omega 6 and 3 oils. With the Standard American Diet (SAD) the ratio is closer to 20 to 1 in favor of omega 6, often the ratio is even worse. Why is this a problem and how does this affect body composition?

Omega 3 fatty acids have been extensively studied to work on an enzyme called PPAR to inhibit adipogenesis (creation of new fat cells) and also prevent the growing of existing fat cells while simultaneously increasing the utilization of fat already stored inside fat cells. Omega 6 on the other hand, has been studied to induce adipogenesis (creation of new fat cells).

Another benefit of higher omega 3 and less 6? Omega 3 lowers inflammation in the body while omega 6 raises inflammation. Since inflammation is linked to every degenerative disease, and weight gain, it would benefit us greatly to get our omega 3 and 6 in balance. How can we most simply do this?

Remove from diet

-All vegetable oils other than coconut oil, palm oil and chia oil. (Flax oil is almost always rancid)

-Processed foods

Consume in moderation

-Grains

-Nuts (a handful per day, loaded with omega 6)

Eat more

-Clean fish and seafood

-Chia seeds

-Only high quality omega 3 supplements (krill oil or omega 3 algal oils are my preference)

The Importance of “Clean Food”

The last topic I will mention is the role of removing “unclean” foods and replacing them with “clean foods”. By this I mean eating foods that do not have pesticide, herbicide, plastics etc. residues in and on them. This does concern those looking to lose weight as these chemicals so often act as xenoestrogens. A xenoestrogen is a chemical that comes from the environment and acts as an estrogen hormone once inside our tissues. So many modern chemicals fit this description because any chemical derived from petroleum acts as a xenoestrogen. Obviously the majority of our chemicals are derived from oil, additionally, plastic in made from oil.

Xenoestrogens contribute to fat storage through an estrogen receptor pathway. Testosterone has an effect of making us more lean while estrogen promotes body fat. This is why men are more lean than women. So when a phthalate (plasticizer) compound comes into our body and latches to an estrogen receptor, the signal to store body fat is made. Additionally these compounds contribute to heart disease and cancer.

To avoid these chemicals we must know which foods to buy organic. All meat and dairy should be organic as conventionally raised animals are consuming large amounts of these chemicals which make it into the final product. Fruit and vegetables with thick skins (ex. bananas, avocados, watermelons and oranges) can be purchased and peeled before consumption. Any produce that has thin skin or requires the consumption of the peel is always best bought organic.

Conclusion

While there are many foods and spices that can be added to result in weight loss, the best results will always be found when the whole lifestyle is improved. Do not worry if you are overwhelmed. Take one step at a time. Change one single lifestyle habit at a time. Master one step at a time and soon enough you will have walked miles. In the mean time, relax, enjoy yourself, we only live once.

Also important for weight loss is:  Mastering Your Leptin Hormone For Weight Loss and Longevity

The role of vegetable juicing in weight loss

 

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