There are probably a million different ways to structure a fat loss diet, using different foods at different times of the day. This often boils down to personal taste, convenience and cost! However, whilst these points are most certainly relevant I do feel that there are some foods which you just cannot justify NOT eating unless you have an allergy to them! These foods are what I call ‘’super foods’’ because one way or another, they benefit your goals to burn body fat, retain lean muscle mass and promote overall health within your body! So here goes, 5 ‘’must have’’ foods!
Eggs are fantastic because they contain around 9 grams of protein each, an array of healthy fats and healthy cholesterol and I personally think they taste bloody great! Eggs are also cheap which is important because eating healthy certainly isn’t always easy on the pocket! In terms of fat loss, I am a firm believer you should start your day with an egg based breakfast. The healthy fats help suppress your cravings because they slow down the rate your body digests calories! As a direct result you feel full for longer! Obviously, eggs do also contain SOME saturated fat and some bad cholesterol, therefore I recommend no more than 2/3 whole eggs with 5-10 egg whites added depending on your goals and size!
Broccoli is a fantastic source for fibrous carbohydrates, it is loaded with antioxidants and minerals making it a great all round health food! However, for fat loss I believe this food is absolutely essential! The fact is, due to the high water content in all probability your body spends more calories digesting this food than it gets from the food. Therefore I think it is a great way to load your plate up so you don’t feel starved, without having the guilt of over indulging. This food is one of the reasons I don’t believe in calorie counting, why would you count the calories of a food like this? Eat as much as you want along with your balanced diet to help keep yourself feeling full! This will greatly enhance your thermogenic activity as well, leading to great calorie expenditure and fat loss!
Oats are a fantastic and cheap source of carbohydrates with a very low glycemic index. The G.I score of a carbohydrate will determine to what degree it is beneficial for fat loss. Generally, the lower the score the better because this means it takes longer for the body to break it down. If you take in 30g of carbohydrates from a fast acting source it hits your blood stream within 20-30 minutes, if you take it from a slow acting source, it can take as long as 3 hours. The slow burning carbohydrates will enable the body to utilise the calories more effectively and not force it to convert them into glucose and then fat! However, slow burning carbohydrates like oats are also great because they keep your metabolism firing! If you give your body a constant trickle of low G.I carbohydrates then your metabolic rate should go through the roof! Oats are also fantastic for promoting overall cardiac health which the last time I checked is very helpful to anyone, let alone an athlete!
Oily fish like mackerel, salmon, bass and cod are all great for any athlete in my opinion. These fish are enriched with omegas which are not only great for your heart, they are also great for skin care and perhaps more importantly, fat loss! This is because the healthy fats within the fish enable the body to metabolise stored fats more effectively as an energy source, thus leading to a decrease in body fat percentages. Of course, fish is also very rich in protein which is key to stabilising blood sugar levels, which helps create a fat burning environment within your body!
OK this is a little play on words, but water really is that important and I felt by placing it in my top 5 ‘’foods’’ for fat loss you may get just how important it really is for fat loss. Water acts as a transportation system within the body, therefore by ensuring your water intake is high your body is able to utilise fats more effectively! It is also able to work more effectively during your workout leading to more calories being used! Of course, water is a fundamental part to a healthy diet, particularly for those of you following a protein rich diet because it helps decrease the strain on your kidneys from all of the protein. Water really is vital to promoting fat loss AND overall health and I would advise anybody to shoot for a minimum of 3 litres of clear water a day, and people who are very active in and out of the gym to aim for a minimum of 4 litres a day!
There are my top 5 foods for fat loss and overall health. Maybe you were expecting something a little more glamorous, but this isn’t telling you how to make something taste good, this is telling you what you NEED!