Fat Burning Foods 101

picture of veggies
15 Sep

What REALLY Works to Burn Fat?
We all want “the miracle cure” for burning fat. We’ve done every diet on the planet, from Atkins and low carb to low fat, to no carb, to the juice diet, to the detox diet, to the maple syrup diet. All to lose inches around our waist and that stubborn extra belly fat that prevents us from taking off our cover ups at the beach or pool in the summertime, leaving us feeling insecure, under confident and eating potato chips under the beach umbrella while we watch all the bathing beauties parade around in their barely there bikinis. So what really works and what is termed a “fat burning food?”

Fat Burning Foods Increase Metabolism
Research has been done on every food under the sun, and the general consensus seems to be that the best fat burning foods are very “back to basics” in nature and lie in the vegetable and produce department. Foods like blueberries, strawberries, citrus fruits such as grapefruit all can be categorized as fat burning foods in addition to things you may not even think about such as vinegar. These foods are believed to increase metabolism in the body, which is what burns fat. Additionally, they have a high thermogenic affect, which means you’re actually burning calories and fat as you chew.

Some of the Best Fat Burning Foods on the Market
Here is a list of some of the best fat burning foods as listed by experts in the industry such as WebMD: Blueberries (and all berries in general), Kale, Oatmeal, almonds and other tree nuts, lean sources of protein such as fish and protein powder (it’s not just for gym rats. Keep in mind, it’s also not that tasty so consider mixing it with low fat, nonfat milk or even juice.), eggs, olive oil, green tea, beans and legumes and whole grains are just a few of the examples of fat burning foods. For a more complete list you can use your favorite search engine to find more in depth information as well as the who, what, when, where, why, and how these foods “do their thing.”

Balance and Moderation is Key
Keep in mind a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats is really the key to overall good health, and quick fixes are just that- quick. If you eat out of boredom or are an emotional eater, it doesn’t matter how many fat burning foods you consume, you’ll end up eating too much and for the wrong reasons and that will never get you to your goal. Moderation and portion control are key to any healthy diet, in addition to a regular exercise program suited for your specific body type and lifestyle. However, if you’re looking to drop a few pounds fast or need to flush out the toxins so you can don that little black dress and look fabulous for the office holiday party, then you may want to try the fat burning foods listed above and you’ll be “burning up the room” by lookin’ smoking hot.

WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET?

paleo diet
06 Dec

This weekend Doctor Who, one of the longest-running and most influential British television programs of all-time, celebrated its 50th anniversary with the sort of pomp and circumstance usually reserved for a grandiose national event, such as a royal jubilee or the Olympic Games.  The 50th anniversary special was simulcast across the world, and approximately 77 million people tuned in to watch the beloved Doctor—and more than one incarnation of him, in fact—save the day once again.

Not bad for a show which began 50 years ago on a shoestring budget and with a first story taking place with cavemen in the general vicinity of the Paleolithic Age.  The cavemen in this story seemed relatively physically fit as two of them bicker over who should be the “firemaker” and leader of the tribe (thus proving that partisan politics and grandstanding politicians are not an invention of the Twitter age; we’ve simply “perfected” such monstrosities.)

Were these first adversaries of the Doctor both results of the Paleo diet?

What is the Paleo diet?

For those not in the know, the Paleolithic—or “Paleo”—diet is a dietary plan which posits that modern food processing techniques as well as several modern cooking and food-borne techniques and substances are all, in fact, sources of sickness and malnutrition.  Rather than looking for a futuristic, sci-fi answer to the problem of proper nutrition, the Palo diet posits that the answers and blueprint to model nutrition reside in our past, and our distant past at that.  Thus, as you may have guessed by now, the Paleo diet attempts to recreate the diet of our distant ancestors in the far-flung past of the Paleolithic Age.

What, precisely, does that diet consist of?

Well, if you’re a fish lover, or a fan of “green” or “all-natural” diets, you’ll still be able to eat plenty of your favorite foods on the Paleo diet.  Since this diet refers back to the presumed diet of our distant ancestors, from hundreds of thousands of years ago, back when we lived primarily in hunter-gatherer societies, fish, which would have featured prominently in the diets of many groups adjacent to the sea or a large body of water, are a common enough dish, and a mainstay of the Paleo diet.  The same may be said of various pasture-fed animals and forms of meat.

It’s veggies, however, and legumes in particular, that have made the Paleo diet so famous and so popular with vegetarians and those who enjoy green and all-natural diets.  Veggies feature prominently in the diet; aside from legumes, which may arguably be seen as the “poster-food” of the diet, roots, fungi, nuts, fruits such as berries, and other similar fruits all make up parts of the Paleolithic diet.

Doctor Who has made a name for itself by successfully balancing interest in the past and future, all while remaining relevant in the present and presenting us with powerful, interesting characters and plots which serve our purposes now.

Will the Paleo diet last?  Only time will tell.

 

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT, THAT IS THE QUESTION: HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD YOU EAT IN A DAY?

eating
05 Dec

Hamlet’s “To be or not to be, that is the question” monologue is one of the most famous, influential, quoted and powerful lines in English prose.  It poses a question which, at once, seems so simply, and yet has so many layers to it that actors, scholars and writers alike have all tried to unpack that phrase for more than four hundred years.  Likewise, the question “To eat, or not to eat” has been a question which dieticians, nutritionists, personal trainers and anyone looking to drop a few pounds has mulled over at length.

So before we answer the question “How many calories should I eat in a day?” let’s tackle a more basic question, and the elephant in the room—

What, precisely, is a calorie?

We hear a lot of promises about products which can burn calories, but what exactly is it that you’re burning?  Simply put, in terms of organic chemistry and biology, a calorie is a unit of heat energy, roughly equivalent to 4.18400 joules.  A single calorie is able to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius.

The question of how many calories you should consume, then, becomes more complex than merely prescribing a number.  After all, calories are units of energy, and of course you need this kind of energy to function properly—but, of course, not all of us function the same.  We all have different lifestyles, and as such our levels of fitness vary not only from one person to the other, but one moment to the next; some are “morning people” while others are “night owls,” and this is due in part to the amount of calories you take in, how you take them in, and when you digest and metabolize nutrients.

In the UK, the National Health Service states that, in the broadest sense, adult males generally require 2,500 calories per day, while females require 2,000.  In the United States, these figures are different—2,700 per day on average for males and 2,200 for females.  As this alone shows, there is, at once, both a broad consensus as well as a lot of room for flexibility in answering the question “how many calories should I eat?”  In general, somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day is permissible for most adults, while a more specific number is likely tied to either your country’s specific standards or else another scientific vantage point.

Both the NHS and US authorities stress that, after all, it’s the quality of the diet you keep rather than a specific quantity of calories consumed.  As such, the question of how many calories you should eat in a day is, in one sense, a moot question.  In another sense, it’s a question which is as open to interpretation as the works of Shakespeare.

“What’s in a name?” muses Juliet famously.

What’s in a calorie?  Aside from those 4.18400 joules, about as much as you yourself put into them.

 

THREE OVERRATED SUPPLEMENTS

green coffee
05 Dec

1.    GARCINIA CAMBOGIA: This is a supplement which has gotten an inordinate amount of attention in the last year or so as a result of its endorsement on the Dr. Oz Show.  This (as with many supplements on this list) has been touted as a “miracle fat buster” or a “game-changer” in your diet and exercise routine or, more ludicrous still, as the “Holy Grail” of weight loss, a claim so absurd that it makes the Indiana Jones and Monty Python takes on the Holy Grail concept seem plausible by comparison.  A term which is bandied a lot with the supplements on this list is “clinically-tested.”  This is a term which, with regard to dietary supplements, can be stretched to fit a variety of meanings and various degrees of training.  Simply put, “clinically-tested” isn’t the same as “properly tested.”  Dietary supplements which are properly tested take months or even years to properly confirm that there’s a tangible and fair amount of evidence to suggest a positive correlation between said dietary supplement and weight loss; as such, any supplements which are “suddenly” discovered and make their way onto the market should be treated with the utmost suspicion.  Garcinia Cambogia embodies this idea perfectly.  Supplement which makes grandiose promises after just recently entering onto the market?  Check.  Promises that it’s been “clinically-tested” rather than proper testing?  Check.  Outstanding independent testing that points to this supplement not only being a “game-changer” when it comes to weight loss, but potentially harmful insofar as it can cause or lead to headaches?  Check.  Garcinia cambogia, aka the “African Mango Extract,” is the embodiment of all these ideas, and, as such, is the model of an overrated dietary supplement.
2.    GREEN COFFEE BEAN EXTRACT: This is yet another supplement which is overrated and, in fact, potentially harmful.  This potential for harm is yet another aspect of these here today, gone tomorrow extracts and supplements which is too often overlooked.  The alleged ability of these flash-in-the-pan dietary supplements to function as “fat busters” are widely publicized, while their harmful side effects are not.  This is exemplified in the case of green coffee bean extract.  Aside from having “clinical trials” and conflicting results to back up their weight loss claims, some of the not-so-publicized side effects of these extracts include headaches, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (this pertains to green coffee bean extract in particular), problems with blood pressure, and so forth.
3.    YACON EXTRACT: This is the latest in Dr. OZ’s long line of “miracle weight loss” supplements.  While the African Mango Diet and Green Coffee Bean extract are both dubious, there is some actual circumstantial evidence to suggest that yacon—a root-like vegetable that grows in South America—can, to a mild extent, help with weight loss.  The main problem here is, again, the exorbitant claims made of this product, particularly in its “extract” form; while there is some evidence to suggest that yacon can help one to lose some weight—as vegetables often do—to suggest that they are a “miracle weight loss” product is absurd.  Ultimately, you’d likely get just as much nutrition and “fat-busting” value from simply buying and preparing the product as a vegetable as you would buying an overpriced, largely placebo-like “extract” of this product.

 

Take a Peek at US HCG Shots for pharmaceutical weight management products.

SIX WAYS TO GET THOSE SIX-PACK ABS

6 pack abs
05 Dec

1.  I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN: Norman Vincent Peale published The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952, and it’s been the source of heavy criticism since and rightfully so.  Peale’s theories are often unsubstantiated and his claims are dubious.  As such, it’s important to draw a distinction between the “actual” power of positive thinking and the Peale-esque vision of positive thinking.  Positive thinking alone won’t do the job, nor should it be connected with hypnosis (Peale’s theories are often charged as being a veiled form of hypnosis.)  Nevertheless, the first step to getting those six-pack abs has to be a belief that you can do it and, subsequent to that, finding the commitment and wherewithal to stick with whatever workout plan you choose.

2.  LAY OFF THE OTHER SIX-PACKS: One of the mistakes people commonly make when trying to carve themselves some six-pack abs is thinking that it’s all a matter of doing the proper exercises—and a lot of them.  This is not the case.  As stated, you’ll and I’m not a fan of reclaiming those titles–why be defined by a title forged by an oppressor, even if you’ve “reclaimed it?”  Be your own being, better to need to have the proper mindset from the outset and both believe that you can achieve this goal and have the wherewithal to stick with whatever plan you choose.  Just as importantly, however, is learning to lay off foods and drinks that can give you a gut and undo all that hard work.  This doesn’t mean you should attempt a crash diet, however; on the contrary, you need some meat and muscle to fashion those six-pack abs, and all you’ll get with a crash diet is a skin and bones look, to say nothing of potential health problems.  Ultimately, it’s a matter of respecting the idea of the Aristotelian mean—everything in moderation.
3.  CRUNCHES: These are simply a must when it comes to six-pack abs.  However, it’s important to note that not all crunches are created equally.  There are a variety of different “crunch plans” out there which mix and match various crunch styles, rotating them either by day or time of day so as to maximize your yield.
4.  SUGAR IS YOUR ENEMY: Returning briefly to the food front, you definitely want to stay away from foods which are sugary or filled with simple sugars.  Foods such as chocolate, cookies, various candies, and so forth all contain simple sugars, which burn quickly and leave an excess of fat around your waist.  While glucose intake is important, complex sugars are far better for you overall—in any case, simple sugars should be avoided on the whole.
5.  SIT-UPS: Another obvious classic, but the importance of sit-ups cannot be overstated.  This is an exercise which, like crunches, work your abdominal region directly; unlike crunches, however, these can be potentially more accessible for those unaccustomed to working out, and there is less pressure on your neck.
6.  SPECIALIZED GUIDES: The truth of the matter is that to get the kind of six-pack that you commonly see on models and movie stars, you’ll need a special plan.  That look isn’t something which is just naturally attained, but is the result of a highly specialized plan.  There are a variety of plans out there—such as the Ryan Reynolds workout plan—that you can checkout and try.

ON AVOCADOS ”THE PROS AND CONS OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAN TREAT

avocado
05 Dec

 

Here in Southern California, avocados are practically a way of life.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what walk of life you’re from, avocados permeate the culinary cultural consciousness of Southern California.  You see them popping up everywhere from Whittier to Anaheim to West and east and South Los Angeles and beyond.  While avocados are a culinary treat all across the Americas, it’s here in Southern California that avocado love is taken to a whole new level.  However, how good are avocados for you really, and what are some of the pros and cons of this fantastic Los Angeles-borne fruit?  Let’s take a look.

To begin with, if you’re into counting calories, avocados as a good a food to east as you’re liable to find out there.  Most avocados only have about fifty calories, and are highly adaptable, meaning you can either eat them alone or with a variety of different things.  In LA, you’ll find a whole range of avocado-based concoctions, including everything from ice cream to crab meat to smoothies and so on.  As such, if you’re in the market for some versatile low-calorie foods, it may pay to look into avocados.

What’s more, while avocados are low on calories (as well as saturated fat, with many avocados containing as little as two grams of saturated fat) they’re likewise chock full of a wide variety of nutrients.  As with many fruits and vegetables, avocados are a high-fiber food, at least in relation to other food products, so if you’re looking for something different and slightly exotic to provide you with some much-needed fiber, an avocado can be a great alternative to more traditional sources of fiber and roughage.  Other vitamins and nutrients which are included to a significant extent are potassium, vitamins C and K—the latter of which is often cited as being instrumental in preventing cancer—folate, and B6.  Furthermore, with more unsaturated fat (fifteen grams) than saturated fat, the avocado would appear to be an all-around healthy treat.

So what could possibly be said against it?  To begin with, there’s a definite danger for some of having an allergic reaction, and an allergic reaction to avocados is no laughing matter.  If you have issues with or an allergy to—of all things—latex, you may likewise run into some difficulty when it comes to avocados, and should check with your doctor before consuming them.  What’s more, while they’re low in terms of saturated fat, avocados are likewise low or deficient in many of the different nutrients necessary to give you “energy” during the day.

All in all, taken in moderation, avocados can be a great supplementary food for your diet or exercise program.  It’s low in saturated fat, is chock full of nutrients, and goes with nearly anything.  As long as you’re aware of the potential allergy connection and don’t make this food your primary source of energy for the day, avocados can indeed be a tasty Southern California treat.