Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fat Loss Basics

Before you blame mom and dad for your “slow” metabolism, consider what you can do to take control of your fat-loss plan today. Oxygen Magazine.

Fat-burning facts

By Sandy Braz

You’ve heard this before: Thin people have fast metabolisms and overweight people have slow metabolisms. Experts say it isn’t so and that weight loss can be boosted if you know how to ramp up your natural fat incinerators.

The truth about metabolism and fat loss. The simplest way to break it down is that your metabolism converts food into energy. Your metabolism is just waiting to unleash itself, so go for it!

Here’s what you can do today to take your metabolism up a notch . . . or 10:

Quit “dieting.” Eating clean is a lifestyle (not a fad diet) you can start today. Make simple changes like swapping fatty cuts of meat for lean ones and passing on calorie-laden salad dressings for a tangy balsamic vinegar, a natural appetite suppressant, that has fewer calories yet all the flavor (one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar contains approximately five calories). For your next metabolism-revving meal, check out our online recipe section: My Recipe Book.

Eat small meals, five to six times a day. This will help satisfy hunger, plus leave room for another small meal in two to three hours. Your metabolism will be on high all day! As a tip, try to keep each meal between 300 and 400 c
Combine right. Eat lean protein (e.g., fish, chicken, turkey and flank steak) and complex carbohydrates (e.g., Ezekiel bread, sweet potato and whole grains) together at every meal. This super-charged combination keeps metabolism balanced and insulin levels in check.

Portion control. The golden rule: Getting clean food is just part of the full clean eating picture – you have to apply the basic principles of serving sizes, too. Although all food servings are not created equal, Oxygen’s Tosca Reno, author of the Eat-Clean Diet (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2007), states in her book that following these simple rules can help you navigate the right portion sizes for your needs: A protein serving should be the size of your palm; complex carbs from whole grains and starches is the amount you can hold in a cupped hand; and complex carbohydrates from fruits and veggies is the amount you can hold in two hands cupped together.

Eat spicy food! Spices (or “thermogenics”) including taste-bud pleasers like cinnamon and cayenne, actually burn fat by keeping metabolism in drive. Consider thermogenic foods when looking to add some personality to your meals.

Train major muscle groups at least three times per week. Now that you have all this food energy stored up, it needs somewhere to go! Be sure to work out, hitting all muscle groups, at least three times per week. To learn the moves fitness professionals swear by, check out “Express Fitness: Flab to Firm . . . Fast” in the Spring 2009 issue of Oxygen.
Photography: Terry Goodlad, Model: Valerie Waugaman

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