When it comes to our diets and fat burning, the foods we eat can have a major impact on our outcomes. If we eat foods that are nutrition-poor and low in antioxidants, fiber and nutrients, our fat burning, muscle building and recovery will suffer. On the reverse though, foods that are nutrient dense can help regulate fat burning and muscle building hormones and pathways and ensure proper recovery and better outcomes. On that note, make sure these five foods are part of your diet plan:
These vegetables include Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale and Cauliflower. They are full of insoluble fiber that can help slow down digestion and balance blood glucose levels, which will help to reduce hunger between meals.
But that’s not all—cruciferous vegetables can help reduce toxic estrogen metabolites and can help remove excess estrogen from the body. These green super foods deliver DIM and indole that can bind to excess estrogen and package it for removal before it is reabsorbed by the blood stream.
They also deliver calcium-d-glucarate, which can reduce estrogen metabolites. Low levels of this mineral compound result in higher levels of beta-glucuronidase. This enzyme breaks apart estrogen from bound forms that are leaving the body and allows for re-absorption. Excess estrogen can block fat burning receptors and fat burning pathways from turning on, while also reducing our ability to build muscle. So, as you can see, keeping them balanced is important.
Usually, you hear about the polyunsaturated fats, like Omega-3 from fish and flax seed. However, monounsaturated fats like avocados and olive oil also have numerous healthy benefits, including promoting an increase in fat metabolism, thyroid function and caloric expenditure (or metabolic rate). It’s thought that when we eat MUFAs, the body is more likely to burn off these calories and use them preferentially instead of storing them.
One study showed that eating a high fat meal containing olive oil contributed to a higher thermic effect, which is the amount of energy it takes to burn off the food you eat. It has also been shown that subjects consuming a Mediterranean Diet, or low carbohydrate diets that provided the highest ratio of monounsaturated fats, experienced greater weight loss and favorable changes in HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and decreases in blood glucose levels. So, don’t be afraid to add a tablespoon of olive oil to a salad, or have a slice of avocado on top of your omelets!
Instead of eating lots of grains, switch to eating healthier carbohydrate options like non-starchy root vegetables. Vegetables pack indigestible fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals…a whole lot more good stuff than you will find in unnatural or processed foods. Plus, eating more vegetables can help you more successfully diet, because veggies add a lot of bulk without a lot of calories. Craving pasta? Try spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Want potatoes? Try butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
Protein and Fat
Don’t be afraid to eat some fatty protein options like red meat or whole eggs. These foods deliver a whole lot of protein and saturated fat, which you do need to some degree. Saturated fat offers up cholesterol, and that is essential for producing hormones including muscle-building testosterone! In fact, higher fat diets can lead to more weight loss and better body composition versus those following low fat diets.
Metabolic Stimulating Foods
Foods like Green Tea and Hot Red Peppers both increase norepinephrine—a key fat burning hormone. Red chili peppers contain the ingredient capsaicin, which has been shown to help reduce hunger, food intake and increase metabolic rate. While, Green Tea delivers EGCG, which has been shown to help increase energy expenditure, including enhancing norepinephrine production, and keeping it active in the body for longer. Add hot peppers to your meats or hot sauce to your eggs. Sip green tea throughout the day to help keep your metabolic rate working overtime.
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