Foods that Burn Belly Fat: When Crunches and Sit-Ups Aren't
You've been working out all winter and into spring, all that cardio, and circuit-training, not to mention all
those sit-ups and belly crunches. Great abs, right? No, you still have that roll around your middle and swimsuit
weather is rapidly approaching.
Belly fat is a problem, particularly for those of us who have experienced that approaching-middle-age metabolism
adjustment that usually comes somewhere in your thirties, but certainly by early forties. What to do, what to
Don't panic, there are ways to get rid of that stubborn excess on your midsection . . . and hard exercise isn't
one of them! The real elements to any fat loss program are exercise, diet, diet and diet.
Fat is stored energy. Your body stores energy to protect against famine, reduced food availability and for body
warmth in winter. We don't live in caves anymore, but our bodies still act as if we do. The key to any weight loss
is proper exercise and diet. We are what we eat.
There are a lot of dietary rules for weight loss and there are diets so complex that only a CPA or digital
engineering nerd gets anything from them. I don't know about you, but that description doesn't fit many people I
know, least of all me.
What we are going to accomplish in today's newsletter is to inform you of a few eating rules and the foods that
you can eat that will accelerate your muscle
building and weight loss program. The rules will be as simplified as possible so you don't have to carry a
ledger to keep track of it all.
This isn't a diet, rather it is some basic information about what to eat, how much and how often (more often
than you think).
The First Rule of Belly-Fat Loss:
Ditch the processed foods.You know, the ones in the boxes, cans, bottles and frozen food section of the
supermarket. A check of the labels of most, if not all of these time-saving products will show a number of
ingredients that sabotage your attempts to lose that belly fat.
Many processed foods are unhealthy, containing high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and are high in "bad"
carbohydrates and have little nutritional value.
Buy fresh, "live" foods instead; fresh organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry.
Instead of fish-sticks, sausage biscuits or chicken fingers (what part of the chicken do fingers come from?)
prepare some steamed vegetables and a grilled chicken breast.
It really doesn't take much longer to prepare fresh foods than it does to heat junk foods in the microwave
oroven, particularly if you don't overcook them.
The Second Rule
Drink lots of water. Water will boost your metabolism, keep your body
hydrated, help you control your hunger and it will increase your energy.
Your water may be mixed with something to give it a little flavor, but nothing with sugar or artificial
sweeteners. Try green tea, lemon or lime juice, or mineral water.
Green tea actually helps speed up the fat burning process. Drink a lot of water, flavored or not, before and
during your workouts.
Eat More Protein. Lean protein in every meal helps your metabolism while keeping blood sugar and insulin levels
in the proper zone. Protein is needed to rebuild muscle tissue. More muscle = more energy expended, so less fat in
your storage cabinet (your waist and belly).
The Fourth Rule
Eat Only Good Carbs. Avoid refined starches and sugars, these are not "good" carbohydrates. The best carbs are:
Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh or dried beans and other legumes, and whole grains. Sprouted grain breads are
touted as being healthy and easily metabolized.
The Fifth Rule
Eat Healthy Fats. Some dietary fat is necessary for good health. The fats to avoid are saturated fats,
especially trans fats. Good fats are olive oil, fish oil, flaxseeds and oil, avocado, nuts, nut butters and seeds
of all types.
The Sixth Rule: Control Your Cravings.
Eating is sometimes an emotional experience. One of the best ways to control your junk food urges is to never let yourself
get really hungry. Don't skip meals, in fact, eat a small meal or healthy snack every few hours. Have lots of fresh
fruits and vegetables readily available for hunger abatement.
The Seventh Rule
Exercise until you perspire (glisten for you ladies) on a regular basis. Forget the long and boring cardio
sessions, do something that's fun and makes you sweat.The first thing in the morning is the best time. It will
actually rev you up for the rest of the day.
Foods That Burn Fat
The heading on this section is misleading. Foods don't burn fat, your body does. What I'm trying to say is that
there are foods you can eat that will turbo-charge your metabolism causing a faster rate of fuel consumption.
Just like in an automobile, a turbo-charger will give it greater power, but at the expense of gas mileage. If
you are trying to lose belly fat, this is a good thing.
Mark Hyman, MD, points out in his book, Ultra Metabolism: A Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss that the key
to long-term weight loss is to eat foods high on the phytonutrient index (PI) and low in glycemic load (GL).
This simple phrase is the clue to how his program works. Lean meats do not register on the Glycemic Index, nor
do they have phytonutrients.
Low GL/High PI Foods
Vegetables Fruits Beans Nuts Seeds Olive Oil Whole Grains Teas Herbs and Spices
High GL/Low PI Foods
Flour or Flour Products Refined Grains (White Rice) Sugar in any form Processed Foods Junk Food Large Starchy
In his Fat Burning Furnace food chart, Rob Poulos is more specific on which foods will increase your metabolism
until it is a "fat-burning-furnace."
Brown Rice/Wild Rice Whole Wheat Pasta Oatmeal/Whole Oats Whole Wheat/Grain Cereal Sweet Potatoes Rye (the
grain, not the 100 proof kind) Quinoa
Apples Oranges Melons Papaya Bananas Berries
Lean Beef Lean Ground Turkey Chicken Breast, Skinless Lean Ham/Pork Skim Milk No-Fat Yogurt Fish Shellfish Low
or No Fat Cottage Cheese Unprocessed Soy, Soybeans, Tofu Dried Beans Edamame Lentils/Peas Peanuts Almonds Cashews
Walnuts Natural Peanut Butter Seeds
Broccoli Salad Greens Spinach Green Beans Green Peppers Carrots Asparagus Bean Sprouts Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower Celery Cucumber Mushrooms Onions Tomatoes Zucchini Artichoke Kale
Let's summarize what we've learned today: There are simple rules for burning off that belly fat and they include
avoiding processed foods because they contain ingredients that will sabotage your weight loss program.
Drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated and metabolism on "high."
Eat more protein, both animal and plant, to rebuild your muscle tissue. Muscles burn fat.
Eat "good carbohydrates," those that come from whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits.
Eat healthy fats, those from olive oil, fish, seeds and nuts, avocado and nut butters.
Don't let yourself get hunger, don't skip meals. Break into a sweat through exercising, preferably in the
Eat foods that are Low GL and High PI to turbo-charge your metabolism and lose weight.
If you're interested in getting leaner, there is a great new ebook called "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" that
you must check out by Tom Venuto.