Burning fat can seem like a science project at times. You need the correct numbers (calories), the right tools (protein, carbs and fats), and the right time to put it all together in the cup (your body) to get the perfect formula (your goal body!). I don’t know if that made sense, but I hope so. Burning fat comes down to this: eating fewer calories than you do now, burning more calories through cardio and weight training, combining the right foods together and eating at the right times. This might sound a little overwhelming, but once you have all the tools in front of you it’s fairly easy to maintain this new way of healthier living.
The first thing I have all of my clients do is find out what their BMR (basal metabolic rate) is. This will tell you how many calories your body needs each day to function properly (like breathing, digesting, mental focus, etc.) and how many calories you need each day to maintain the current weight you are. You’ll always get two numbers – the smaller number is what your body needs to function and the larger number is the number of calories you need to eat daily to maintain your current weight. To lose one pound each week (the most you’ll want to lose is two, three is pushing it) just subtract 500 calories a day from the larger number you got.
This will give you a 3,500 calories deficit for the week, or approximately one(1) pound of fat loss.
Side Note: In the beginning, especially if you are bigger, you will lose more weight – a good part of it is water weight. As the weeks go on it will get harder to get the scale to budge, but let me reassure you about what is happening. You are probably gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat. So, as long as your clothes are getting looser and you can see a visible change (I recommend taking a weekly photo of your progress for motivation) then you are on the right track my dear. Yay!
With this said, I’m now going to share with you some foods that should become a staple in your house and help you with your weight loss journey!
- Whole Grains (Quinoa, Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Cereal) – In small doses, whole grains prevent the body from storing fat. Also, the fiber in them helps hold you over longer, which helps curb hunger and burn calories just from breaking them down.
- Water – New research in Germany found that after their subjects drank approximately 17 ounces of water, their metabolism increased by 30%. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant and a critical part of overall good health. The more water you drink, the more extra water weight and bloating goes away too!
- Fatty Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel) – Helps trigger fullness and fires up the fat burning process. *fat burns fat* Fatty fish helps lower your leptin levels, which is associated with a higher caloric burn.
- Nuts and All-Natural Peanut Butter – The protein and healthy fat found in these helps build muscle and burn fat. Look for high grams of poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and low grams of both saturated and trans fats.
- Green Tea – A study done in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking 4 cups of green tea a day helped participants lose more than 6 pounds in 8 weeks. You can thank the antioxidant EGCG for contributing to your weight loss. Click this link to learn more about green teas benefits.
- Dairy – Calcium, combined with vitamin D helps to preserve and build muscle mass. Cottage cheese and greek yogurt are my favorite. Opt for plain fat free. They are both low in sugar, calories and protein packed.
- Eggs – Low in calories, they help build muscle and burn fat. One large egg white has 17 calories and 3.6 grams of protein.
- Lean Meat – Lean meat has a high thermogenic effect, burning close to 30% of the amount of calories that the food contains. Example: you’ll burn about 90 calories just digesting a 300 calorie (8oz) chicken breast. Amazing!
- Chili Peppers – Capsaicin, found in peppers, increases your body temperature and help burn through extra calories. You have options – raw, cooked, dry or powder form. I’ve even seen capsaicin in pill form if you aren’t a fan of the heat – or sweating.
- Whey Protein – An easy protein to have on the go. Whey is a fast digesting protein, ideal for right after a workout. It helps build muscle and burn fat.
- Beans and Legumes – A serving will help you regulate digestion, burn fat and build muscle. They are loaded with fiber to hold you over longer and curb hunger.
- Coffee – Contains caffeine which speeds up your heart beat, making you burn more calories. Add in some skim milk for added protein and calcium. If you like your coffee sweet, Splenda or Stevia are going to be your best options.
How many of these do you already incorporate into your diet? How many will you start introducing more often? Feel free to leave me a comment or question below 🙂