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Fat-Burning Foods for Weight Loss

March 9, 2010 by  

Fat-Burning Foods for Weight Loss

I hear it all the time: “I try to eat right and work out regularly, but I just can‘t seem to lose all the weight I want.” For some people, it’s the last 10 pounds and for others it’s the first 10. So what’s the deal?

Well, weight loss and the breakdown of food are linked to a properly working metabolism. That is, your body’s process of converting food into fuel. Some people are naturally lean, and chances are they have a “fast metabolism.” Other people just smell French fries and seem to put on weight; and they have what is called a “slow metabolism.”

One of the secrets to weight loss and continued weight management, then, is to obtain and maintain a fast metabolism. The first step to this is identifying those things that slow down your metabolism, and these include:

  1. Low levels of physical activity—Healthy weight loss depends on moving the body to increase heat to burn calories and invigorate digestion to break down food.
  2. The gradual loss of lean muscle tissue from that lack of exercise—While muscle weighs more than fat, it is healthy and also helps burn fat! For healthy weight loss you must increase your lean muscle mass, and this can easily be done with walking and doing simple chores about the house, like vacuuming and ironing.
  3. Not eating regular well-balanced meals—Every time you eat your metabolism is jump-started. Food is fuel, and eating starts processes in motion in the body for breakdown, digestion and elimination. Not eating regularly sends your body into starvation mode, where it begins storing fat!
  4. Fasting or dieting that restricts caloric intake for extended periods—This is unhealthy as it deprives the body of the essential nutrients it needs for optimal survival. Restricting calories depletes lean muscle tissue and when the diet is over people overeat in reaction to being “starved.”
  5. Insufficient daily protein consumption—Whether animal or plant as its source, it is advisable to consume protein every day. It gives energy and burns slower than carbohydrates, thus extending energy and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Balancing the above five issues will help you turn a slow metabolism into a normal metabolism. But a normal metabolism is generally not sufficient for many people’s fat-burning goals. A fast metabolism, on the other hand, will help you reach and maintain an ideal weight and ratio of fat to muscle. And the basic ways of improving metabolism include:

  1. Weight and strength training to increase muscle tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the day.
  2. Regular physical activity will turn up the heat and melt the fat calories away. Regular fitness is best, but even small things like taking brisk walks, raking leaves and cleaning the house at a faster pace… can burn more calories than taking an easier route.
  3. Keep hormones and blood sugar levels stable by consuming whole grain and low sugar foods while watching your saturated fat intake. Supplements can also help.
  4. Drink plenty of water to keep the system working optimally. Water, pure and simple, can flush those toxins that make the metabolism sluggish.
  5. Eat more frequently, but less each time. By consuming something every three hours you will maintain a steady level of energy while also keeping your blood sugar levels from dropping out. When blood sugar drops, unhealthy food cravings emerge.
  6. Eat foods that stoke your metabolism!

That’s right, there are actually foods and spices that can turn up your internal temperature, improve the breakdown of food and fat, remove toxins and increase your metabolism. The list includes drinks, foods, spices and supplements.

  1. Drinks… German researchers have proven that drinking 17 ounces of ice water daily can raise your metabolism by as much as 30 percent. This happens because it requires about 100 calories of energy to re-heat your body once it is cooled down. Just don’t drink it with food, or the food will sit in your stomach while your body tries to re-heat itself!

    On the other end is drinking hot green tea. The antioxidants in this tea will help eliminate toxins that cause metabolic sluggishness, and the drink itself has been shown in studies to also increase metabolism.

  2. Foods… Eating plenty of protein for energy and whole grain carbohydrates will do much to maintain energy, blood sugar levels and elimination schedules. The grains remove cholesterol from the blood and help maintain bowel function while the protein gives you sustained energy for exercise.
  3. Spices… Some people complain that healthy foods do not taste good. To them, I say: Spice it Up! Thermogenic spices, like the aromatics, stoke the metabolism while making plain food taste great. These pungent spices heat up your body, causing it to sweat and burn fat. So include plenty of chilies, mustard, allspice, ginger, garlic, onion, curries, turmeric, cloves, cayenne and other aromatic spices to your diet and your metabolism will speed up by around 40 percent for roughly the next two hours.

So there you have it; ways to balance and boost your metabolism for weight loss and optimal health. Avoid the pitfalls that contribute to a sluggish metabolism while at the same time doing what you can to increase metabolic functions. There’s never been a more tasty way to do it!

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley

is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. The Wiley Method provides a revolutionary way of providing recovery and prevention of chronic pain, illness and disease. Grab your FREE COPY of Dr. Mark Wiley's "The 3 Secrets to Optimal Health" HERE.

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  • s c

    Good article, Dr. Mark [my last remarks are not aimed at you] – We owe it to ourselves, our families and friends to stay healthy as long as possible. If nothing else, this will make addiction to prescription drugs rare, Big Pharma will have to
    re-think its emphasis on hosing Americans out of trillions of wasted dolars, the AMA crowd will be forced to rely on real science (instead of the science of business), and Americans will live longer and better.
    I’d like to hear from others who are far from impressed with the AMA/FDA crowd, who waited DECADES to conclude that high schools can live without pop machines. Does this not prove that “do no harm” means little or nothing to most American MDs, and also makes a strong case for the idea that
    most American MDs (and politicians) glady put money before lives?
    It’s bad enough that we have to endure politicans. When Americans can’t tell the difference between an MD and a politician, disease and decimated wealth
    are exactly what we should expect.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Thank you, SC, for your comments. My children are in school and the menu disgusts me. Since when are French fries a “vegetable”? And don’t get me started in processed cheese on toasted buttered white bread!

  • libertytrain

    Thanks so much Dr. Wiley, am trying really hard to eat the “right” foods.

  • http://none William Talaber

    First, while there are healthier things for you than French fries, what do you think they are made of?? Potatoes! And, secondly, for the information of many people, this is AMERICA!! Who the heck has the right to tell us what we can or can’t eat? Us older ones grew up drinking soda and eating sweets, but we had an ACTIVE life; Mom or Dad
    had to call us for supper ’cause we were always playing baseball,
    running, doing something active, not sitting in front of the video game. It’s the parents fault, not food that makes for obese children!

  • Time

    Hi Doc Mark,

    Overall a very good blog with many strong points that are valid. Thus very helpful to folks wanting to get in to better shape.
    People also need to understand that the BMR is not equal in all persons, thus you need to find your “Hot Spot” or what brings up your BMR that equals energy burn.

    I have only one point that I have to correct you on, and please don’t take it the wrong way but Logic is Logic.
    The point being that Muscle weight is more than fat, as you noted in grouping #1 part #2. { Thats not correct.}

    “Pound for pound”
    Thus a pound of fat is still just a single pound, just as a single pound of lean mass is just a pound.

    What should be said is that lean muscle mass is smaller in size per pound; than a pound of PURE FAT.

    Thus one may be thinner looking with lean mass but weigh as much as someone who is twice as large looking but has total SubQ as well as internal fat mass.

    Example a persons that has lean mass at 6 feet tall who weighs in at 200 lbs, will look much smaller than a person who is 6 feet tall and weighs in at 200 lbs of pure fat, who will look twice as large next to a lean mass person of equal weight.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Dear Time, yes you are correct. Thank you for the note. (I am smiling). I meant to say, as you did, that a pound of lean muscle and a pound of fat do not take up the same mass on the body. Also, that going by weight alone is not a good judge of health. Thanks again for the input!

  • Kim

    What specific hormones are you referring to in point # 3? Thanks.

  • s c

    Kim, I’ll be waiting for an answer, too. Most people don’t know that hormone deficiencies have much to do with how fast we age (regardless of how much the AMA tries to ignore it). Women tend to have more problems with hormones than men, but we have our hormonal problems, too.
    A specific article on hormones and hormone deficiencies would be very informative.

  • Sheryl Mercado

    I just finished reading your article and wanted to say that as a 63 year old female, I do everything you have suggested and am still unable to lose weight. I walk 3 miles five days a week, eat organic, healthy meals with small snacks mid morning and afternoon – lots of vegetables – no sugar – I drink hot green tea every morning. I am a textbook case of doing everything right with absolutely no results. I am beyond frustrated!!! I have had my thyroid and my hormone levels tested by an alternative MD. If anyone has suggestions, please help!

    • libertytrain

      sheryl, I know what you’re saying – I can’t figure it out either – hopefully we’ll get a hint.

    • Liz

      I’ve had the same problem The only way I was able to loose weight and increase my metabolism was to excercise with weights and do squats. Walk and run a little inbetween to increase your heart rate.

    • Time


      I may be able to shed a tad of light on your issue. As we age our systems slows down, so your BMR drops in turn so will your HBPM, so your resting pluse will be lower than when your were 53, as well your THRZ will also drop.

      When you walk do you walk at a constant pace?
      Don’t swing your arms in an UN natural way like I see many do.
      But do move them, as well when your walking – talk you will incress your O2 intake, you may become known as the nut who talks to themselfs but who cares.

      Also some where in your diet you are eating something that fails to break down in your system, a food allergy of some type.
      That you will have to work out on your own.

      Also whats your body type, Apple or Pear? Do you do target work on areas where you have higher amounts of fat storage? Keep in mind that also will aid in your gaining lean mass.

      Note what I posted you may weigh the same amount but be smaller.

      Just so you understand that better, my friend is 6′ 1″ he has a 22% BFR, he weighs in at 175,
      I am also 6′ 1″ with a 7% BFR and weigh in at 175, yet I have a 31″ waist, he has a 37″ waist.
      Do you See where I am going with this? It comes down to working target areas more, as well large mass.

    • Steve RN

      Sheryl, I have heard this complaint from many of my patients who think they are doing “everything” correctly by conventional standards without seeing the results they desire. First, I assume you have eliminated all processed and fast foods (ie: junkfood). The two areas where many people don’t acknowledge the harmfulness of seemlingly “safe” foods are refined grains and Dairy products.
      If you are still eating pancakes, pasta, bagels, white rice, etc., get rid of it. Likewise, if you are still consuming yogurt, cheese, butter, sour cream, salad dressing, etc., eliminate them from your diet. This advice is easy to give and extremely difficult to implement, I know. However, I have done it and it is amazing how much better I feel eating this way.

    • Connie

      Hi Sheryl, It sounds like you are subconsciously hanging onto those extra pounds. May I suggest finding an EFT practitioner who will make weight loss easier than you ever imagined. Connie

    • usmadgirl

      Sheryl Mercado,

      I feel your pain! I lost down to 107# 8 years ago. I gave away all my “fat clothes” & swore I’d NEVER be overweight again! My motto was “I had to get old but I didn’t have to be old & fat”! I kept most of it off for 6 years then it started slowly creeping back on. Now I’m almost back to where I was.

      I am not quite 5’1″ & have a TINY frame (I’ve seen childrens’ wrists bigger than mine) & weighed 78# when I graduated high school even tho I ate like a pro lineman!

      I lost the weight before with “The Mayo Clinic Diet” (they swear it’s not their diet)! You can get it online. It’s high protein, low carbs. At that time, I had gained 12# in 2 weeks when my doctor put me on Beta Blockers for severe tachycardia & I was on hormones at the time. I came off both & lost 12# in 2 weeks so that gave me will power to continue to lose!

      I also exercised every morning, Tybo & crunches, leg lifts, squats with two 6 1/2# weights, then I power-walked almost every night! I lost 29# total! My tachycardia & hot flashes disappeared!

      I’m self employed & what I used to have to go to courthouses to do & lift big books, I can do most online now; so I sit on my butt 18 hours per day 7 days per week! Now, when I try to even walk, it kills me – not my muscles, joints or breathing, but the artery or vein in my neck; so I’m afraid I’m going to have a stroke or heart attack. Also, when I do the high protein, low carb diet now, I don’t lose an ounce; so it’s really frustrating. I can’t eat 1/5 of what I used to eat when I was skinny as a rail!

      I’ve always been able to run circles around my sons & daughters-in-law so I can’t stand myself right now!

  • http://gmail Raindancer

    I was taught since I was young, when you get up get to moving, get dressed, eat, and get busy doing some kind of work, wheather cleaning or taking care of your vehicle, feeding livestock, or what ever you do don’t drag along at a snail pace. Over the years the soft overweigh ones take a hr. to wake up and get going. As my Granddad and my Dad said show me a fat pot belly cowboy and I’ll show you a man that isn’t pulling his fair share of work. When working in offices or retail stores it holds pretty close to the truth. Letting kids start life by sitting and doing nothing creates problems, it is the parents job to set the course not government regulating every facet of our lives.

  • Suma G Nathan

    OK Loosen Up all you not able to loose weight ones~I always had that problem! I have found that most of my clients and mostly women have that excat problem-trying everything~doesn’t work. Well Ladies & Gents-mostly ladies, because men it seems, lose a lot faster and most have speedier metabolism. after all these years~this never fails.First of all no matter what they say~the bottom line is you really can’t eat! So here’s the topper! Donot eat dinner (don’t gasp)
    Dinner, as I have written in my many articles, FOOD just sits there.
    If you have a Protein Shake with Brewers Yeast, and maybe a small salad you will not be hungry for the rest of the night. So if you can
    do that, you will see~it’s the night eating,that puts a crimp in this.
    Of course, always the regular jargon of exercise and being careful on what foods to choose is important-don’t forget about the bowels and allergies which could hold one back. I love tuesdays because of Dr.Wiley. Suma G Nathan, Certified Registered Holistic
    Nutritionist/Chinese Herbologist

  • Sheryl Mercado

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback!! It seems a lot of us share the same problem and frustration. In response to SteveRN, yes I have eliminated processed foods – no white bread, potatoes, etc. – the only dairy I have is greek yogurt (plain non-fat) with blueberries and strawberries. I eat raw vegetable every day including spinach in my salad. The common thread in all your responses seems to be the weight bearing exercises to build muscle. Also, I have tested my PH and my body is alkaline so I doubt it’s a toxin overload issue. I do walk at the same pace in the morning – I am going to try adding an additional 2 miles of walking in the evening and see if that helps. Most doctors want us to get the weight off for better health, but if everyone is on a really good regimen and still can’t achieve the weight loss – what are we to do?? And, my sleep habits are really good – I get 8 hours a night.

  • Forrest Ganer

    Everyone wants to know how long does it take to get a six pack, but they dont realformy look at their diets. They all search for fat burning exercises but totally forget their diets, which is the wrong way round. You have to work on your eating habbits very long does it take to get a six pack

  • puremilk

    DIY numbers oil paintings,easy and simple everyone can be artist is a style of art performed by filling numbered areas with specific colors. It is a DIY craft very popular in Europe, Japan and Koreapaint by numbers singapore.


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