By Matt Barlow
Weight loss fads come and go, and oftentimes you see the same tired fads circulating over and over again, passing from one generation to the next like Aunt Mildred's heirloom china. On the other hand, we live in an age of rapid scientific development, and an undying thirst for nutritional knowledge to combat the rising epidemic of obesity. So oftentimes these "heirloom fads" recirculate through the population with a new "scientific" twist.
However, it would be foolish to dismiss the fruits of scientific research altogether. Let's cut through the hype of various weight loss fads and present the principles of nutrition that are backed by the latest research. The topic of today is "fat burning foods", a somewhat general term which we'll define and then put to practical use.
Let's start by defining what a fat burning food is not. A fat burning food is not a negative calorie food. The theory behind negative calorie foods states that some foods require more calories to digest than the number of calories they contain, thereby causing a caloric deficit in the body which leads to weight loss. Celery is often toted as falling into this category. While it is true that some foods, especially plant foods, contain energy content (cellulose) that cannot be broken down, the amount of energy it requires to digest is, unfortunately, negligible. In fact, even if you were to eat nothing but celery (an unsustainable and dangerous diet), your "calorie deficit" would only add up to a few dozen calories at day's end.
However, the news is not all bleak. Yes, it is impractical to eat foods that burn more calories than they contain. However, there are fat burning foods that cause the body to work harder during digestion, thereby increasing the number of calories expended during the digestion process. These fat burning foods are termed "thermogenic", and some foods are proven to burn more calories through assimilation than others based on calorimetry readings.
The most thermogenic macronutrient is protein. Reducing your overall carbohydrate consumption and increasing protein intake will not only cause hormonal changes that promote weight loss, but will also boost the metabolism through thermogenesis. In fact, it is estimated that 30% of calories consumed from protein are burned off during digestion. This means with a typical boneless skinless chicken breast, containing 300 calories (with negligible fat or carbohydrates), roughly 100 of these calories will be burned away during the process of digestion. Now let's discuss the special properties of some foods that are easily included into your diet and which promote weight loss.
Cayenne Pepper - Stimulates the metabolism and cleans fat out of the arteries. This food should be eaten with protein since protein is required to transport and eliminate fat through the body.
Ginger - Expands the blood vessels, increases the metabolism, and stimulates circulation.
Olive Oil - It is a good monounsaturated fat that has health benefits and helps burn fat and reduce cholesterol.
Ice Water - Not technically a fat burning food, but indispensable to those trying to shape up. Drinking eight 16oz glasses of cool water throughout the day burns the equivalent of walking 3 miles at a moderate pace. Cold water burns more fat because the body must work harder to heat it to internal temperature.
Citrus Fruits - They contain Vitamin C which can liquify fat and allow it to exit the body faster.
Eggs - This fat burning food contains lots of B12 which helps the body break down fat and also excites the metabolism.
Garlic - A natural antibiotic, it regulates insulin and kills bacteria, purifying the blood.
Oatmeal - This is a great breakfast food because it slowly releases glucose into the blood without causing an insulin spike.
Now that we have covered the basics behind fat burning foods, you have the components for a successful diet which will work for you even hours after the meal has ended. Some of these foods work even better when consumed together. For example, if you combine olive oil with chicken breast and cayenne, the olive oil will work synergistically to further slow down the absorption of protein, and the cayenne will help transport and eliminate fat. While this list may not be enough to help you design the perfect diet, I believe these explanations will help point you in the right direction while simultaneously guiding you away from "heirloom fads".
Matt Barlow has prepared a workout system, using the latest scientific research, which increases the metabolism for up to 24 hours after the short routine is completed. Visit his site to learn more, and pick up a free PDF detailing more effective nutrition tips that burn fat. http://rapidfatburning.com