Cooking Up Healthy Weight Loss with Fat Burning Foods

Cooking Up Healthy Weight Loss with Fat Burning Foods

Eating as a recipe for weight loss.

The key to sustainable, effective weight loss and weight control is of course choosing the right foods, but is also finding delicious ways to prepare these foods so you want to keep eating them. Over the years I have tried many approaches to losing weight, but it wasn't until I combined my understanding of nutrition with my love for cooking that I really discovered success. Basically it's just about knowing what food will gear my body up for optimal fat burning, and then making it yummy. It worked for me and it will work for you.

Here's a quick introduction to the process.

We have plenty of science that tells us how the body reacts to different foods. We know that certain foods get our system fired up and burning fuel efficiently, while other foods clog us up and make us sluggish. So I made a grand list containing all the foods I knew would help my body in the effort to drop unwanted weight. The effects of these foods on human physiology are pretty much the same for all of us, so this should work for most people, but when you are first making your own list (because it will be unique to each individual) make sure to check with your doctor for any issues specific to you (based on blood tests, allergies, history, etc.)

It's all about making the right decisions based on nutritional science.  

So what's on the list?

The foods we will be working with fall into three basic groups.

First are the unsaturated fats. Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are found in foods like avocados, olives, coconut, nuts, seeds, spices, and chocolate. An American Diabetic Association study found that eating a diet rich in MUFAs actually decreased belly fat, and may also help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for good blood sugar control. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are found in foods like fatty fish, pine nuts, and seeds like chia, flax and sunflower. Studies showed these fatty acids promoted weight loss in obese women and are thought to affect metabolism and promote the breakdown of fat cells while lowering cholesterol, as well as helping you burn calories at a higher rate (even when you’re not very being active.)

Secondly is soluble fiber from foods like beans, oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Studies prove over and over that this type of fiber has many benefits, particularly for weight control. Soluble fiber will catch bad fats in your digestive system, forming stable molecules with them and trapping them in stool. This prevents the absorption by your body, thus reducing both harmful fats and overall caloric intake. Soluble fiber also improves elimination and slows glucose digestion, reducing blood sugar and lowering the need for insulin.

Finally, we are looking for thermogenics which are mostly derived from spices like coriander, cumin, fennel, anise, and saffron. These foods affect our metabolic and liver function, help our systems ramp up for maximum fat burning, help control hunger, and some block an enzyme that plays a role in fat accumulation. A good example is chile pepper which contains capsaicin, a thermogenic compound that increases the body's natural fat burning mechanism. The best thing about this group is it acts as the seasoning and brings not just our metabolism to life, but our taste buds too.

So now I have my master list, I simply pick ingredients from each of the areas and combine them into something yummy. I am creating recipes that will drive my weight loss success automatically. It's not hard and if you need help, put your selections into a search engine, pick a recipe that looks appealing and use that as a spring board. I like the show on Food Network called Chopped, and I use that as my inspiration. I pick something interesting from each section of my list and then I come up with a recipe based on these foods, just like they do on the show. It keeps my creativity working, my enthusiasm going, and ultimately keeps me on track. Trust me it really works. Plus the benefits are not limited to weight control but will improve many other areas of your health.

What you will end up with is a diet that is custom crafted to turn your body into a fat burning machine. The longer you keep at it, the faster the fat will melt away. And the healthier you will become because these foods are not just good for removing fat stores, they are also the best foods for overall good health. You will notice that some foods are in more than one group, so those are the ones I opt for as often as possible.

Okay, here's my list:

Fatty Acid Foods   Soluble Fiber Foods   Thermogenic Foods

MUFA: Olives, Olive Oil, Nuts, Avocados. Tomatoes, Seeds (Flax, Chia, Sunflower, Sesame), Peanuts, Kidney Beans

PUFA: Peppers, Nuts (esp walnuts), Flax, Poppy, Chia Sunflower Seeds, Soy Beans, Asparagus, Broccoli, Alfalfa Sprouts, Arugala, Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines, Anchovies, Caviar, Trout, Catfish, Oregano, Basil, Paprika, Marjoram


Avocado, Brussels sprouts, Orange, Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Turnip, Edamame, Broccoli, Pears, Apricots, Nectarine, Collard greens, Eggplant, Peach, Peas, Carrot, Mango, Passionfruit, Grapefruit, Prune, Fig, Plum, Guava, Apple, Okra, Beet, Berries, Banana, Oat bran, Barley, Brown rice, Quinoa, Bulgur, all beans, Tofu, Chickpeas, Flax seed, Sunflower seed, Chia seed, Lentil, Kale, Spinach.


 Lentils, Peppers, Paprika, Chili, Cayenne, Anise, Fennel, Saffron, black pepper, whole grains, lean protein

This is not supposed to be an exhaustive list, but it's the most potent foods that I can work with.

Now to an example of putting it together. 

I'm no expert chef, but I have really improved just by being dedicated to this system. Even if the meal doesn't turn out perfect every time, the effect on your body is the real point.

I am choosing salmon as my protein from my PUFA list. I am using avocado and olive oil for MUFA. I am using white beans and lentils from my fiber list, and saffron, fennel, coriander, and anise from my thermogenics list. As I said, some ingredients like lentils are from multiple groups and that is even better.

And here's what I came up with for a dinner (recipe for 2 servings):

2 Wild Salmon Fillets
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Mix salt and pepper with a small amount of fennel and anise, season the salmon with it, and grill till just barely cooked through.

Separately, saute:
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 tsp Olive Oil

Then add:
8 ozs diced tomatoes (undrained)
10 ozs cannelini beans (rinsed and drained)
5 ozs lentils
1 tsp fennel (ground)
1 tsp of anise (ground)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp clam juice (or chicken stock if you prefer)
1 thyme (sprig)
1/2 tsp orange rind (grated fresh)
1/2 tsp saffron threads (crushed)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cook for 15 minutes, serve the salmon over the mix and enjoy. This is a big, beautiful bundle of ingredients that will have the fat melting off with every mouthful!

So you get the idea? Employ this process in constructing your diet and you are guaranteed to be successful. Plus you might even learn to be a brilliant cook in the process! Don't worry about being gourmet, though, the idea is to create recipes you will enjoy eating. Then keep at it consistently and reap the benefits.

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The opinions expressed in this article are of the author. Content and other information presented on the site are not meant to be medical advice or any substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider.

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