You are what you eat. How many times have you heard that? When it comes to the appearance of your body, it's very accurate: Eat crap, and you'll look like crap.
We talk an awful lot about what foods not to eat when trying to burn unwanted bodyfat, but rarely do we discuss which foods we should be eating on a daily basis to get lean and
ripped. Without further ado, here are 13 foods you can load into your refrigerator and cupboards that will help you fight fat.
Though a lot of us don't especially care for broccoli (former President Bush was famous for his distaste of the vegetable), we know it's good for us. Packed with iron, fiber, and
antioxidants, this green veggie that resembles a tree also contains indoles - naturally occurring compounds that counter the effects of estrogen, the "female" hormone that make the
body more efficient at storing bodyfat in both men and women. Keeping your estrogen levels down can help you lose fat and avoid gaining more fat, so get that yummy broccoli down
WHOLE-WHEAT BREADS AND PASTA
If you want to get shredded, you can't overindulge in breads or pasta. You know that. But there are times when some carbs are desired, such as breakfast and pre- and post-workout.
You can have your morning toast with fat-free butter spray, and your moderate portion of pasta later, but be wise and make them whole wheat. They will be digested more slowly than
highly processed white bread or pasta. Whole-wheat products will also elicit a smaller insulin response. Remember, big insulin spikes are the dieter's enemy, as they signal the body
to store fat.
Many of us don't mean to eat too much, but we are just so darn hungry that we can't help ourselves. One very useful way to trick yourself into not overeating is to have a salad first,
before you start digging into the "real" food. That's because our sense of feeling full from a meal doesn't kick in until we have been eating for about 20 minutes. So if we delay
that process by spending at least a few minutes slowly munching on a salad, odds are we won't shovel down so much food afterward. Don't sabotage this by putting croutons, shredded
cheese or heavy dressing on the salad. A little fat-free dressing or vinaigrette will make it taste just fine.
Coffee not only helps you stay awake and alert, but it will help you exercise at a higher rate of intensity (burning more calories). Caffeine also helps you use a much higher percentage
of bodyfat for fuel than your body normally would, so don't feel bad about hitting the local Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts on your way to the gym. Just stay away from the sugary
concoctions topped with whipped cream, and leave the donuts and muffins alone!
Lamb may seem an odd choice for this list, as it's not the leanest of meats. However, it contains high amounts of carnitine. Carnitine is a nutrient responsible for transporting
long-chain fatty acids into the energy-producing centers of the cells (known as the mitochondria). In other words, carnitine helps the body convert fatty acids into energy. Most
people take it in supplement form, but here again is an excuse to include it in your diet if lamb chops make your mouth water. Dairy products also contain carnitine.
This bodybuilding breakfast staple is packed with fiber, which has been shown again and again to help decrease bodyfat and fight high cholesterol. The most fiber is found in rolled
oats, with much less in instant types. If you choose to go for instant flavored oatmeal you have defeated the purpose of this useful food. They have little fiber and are almost always
loaded with simple sugar. Flavor yours with fresh strawberries, cinnamon, apple, Splenda®, or Equal®. Personally, I like to use a little sugar-free maple syrup.
About 20 years ago, a fact-diet pill called "Grapefruit 45" did pretty well for a while among those wishing to shed weight. The fad diet faded away from interest long ago, but a
recent study conducted at the Nutrition and Medical Research Center at Scripps Clinic in San Diego showed that there actually does seem to be something about grapefruit and grapefruit
juice that helps us shed fat. Subjects who ate half a grapefruit with meals or drank eight ounces of the juice three times a day lost between four and ten pounds in 12 weeks, with no
change in the rest of their diet or exercise regimens. Just be careful when sticking that spoon in there - the juice will squirt you right in the eye!
LEAN GROUND BEEF
Red meat strikes again! You may be familiar with the supplement CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. Studies have shown that this naturally occurring fatty acid supports fat loss (yes,
eating fat to lose fat!) as well as gains in lean body mass. The substance was first isolated in ground beef. Lose fat and gain muscle, how can you go wrong? Just be sure to buy the
lean variety and cook on a Foreman Grill, a regular grill or a broiler pan so the excess fat drains off.
Nuts have always been a better snack choice than junk items like chips or candy bars. They help you feel full for a long time, and they contain valuable fatty acids. One study found
that test subjects who snacked on a handful of almonds a day lost 62 percent more weight, 56 percent more fat, and 50 percent more from their waistlines in a six-month period versus
a control group. Of course, this would not work with Almond Joy candy bars!
If you're a fan of spicy foods, you have probably noticed that you feel hotter and start to sweat as you eat them. You may not have known that you were actually burning fat. Different
forms of this plant produce paprika, red pepper, and all the chili peppers. Studies i have shown that these hot peppers speed weight loss. That's why capsicum is a very popular
ingredient in fat-burning products. You can take it as a supplement, or the old-fashioned way, in your food - just be sure to have a cold drink on standby!
This one may seem like a stretch, but hear me out. A lot of us are addicted to soda, and it keeps us from losing weight. A 16-ounce can of Coca Cola Classic has almost 50 grams of
sugar and 200 calories. Toss back three or four of those a day and you are really starting to add up the insulin spikes and empty calories (a pound of fat equates to roughly 3,500
calories, or just 17 1/2 sodas). Instead, try a diet soda. Most have zero calories and zero grams of sugar. The taste may take some getting used to, but eventually you will learn to
like it (I did). It can also help you feel full while eating because of the carbonation, so you won't eat as much at one sitting.
Here we go again with another food that may not seem to belong on a list of foods to fight fat. Aside from being a great source of iron and B vita-mins, red meat is also high in
creatine. Creatine is primarily known for helping increase muscle strength and endurance, but studies have shown it also works to reduce fat.
Studies show that creatine works to reduce fat. Those are just a few of the foods out there that can help you fight bodyfat. Look for them the next time you shop for groceries, and
start making your diet work more effectively to get you ripped.
SKIM MILK AND FAT-FREE DAIRY PRODUCTS
You know that skim milk is a better choice for losing bodyfat than whole milk or even two percent. But did you know that dietary calcium increases your rate of fat oxidation (burning)
as well? Of course, you could also get this effect from supplementing with calcium, but if you have a taste for milk or cheese, here's a good excuse to keep the fat-free versions in