My Simple Food Formula To Shrink Fat
You often hear dieters talk about metabolism. That’s because a slow metabolism means that the body is not burning calories. To rev up your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day, it comes down to the kind of fuel you’re filling up with. When you consider all the foods possible, it boils down to two key metabolism-maximizing nutrients:
The Formula: Protein + Fiber
Protein: The Power House
Protein is the most important nutritional element for molding your body. Proteins are broken down by the body into amino acids, the “building blocks of life.” Proteins repair and rebuild muscle tissues, grow hair and nails, create enzymes and hormones, and maintain the health of internal organs and blood. Your body also needs protein to break down fat. Just as water provides transport, so does protein. In order for fat cells to open their doors and let the fat out to be burned as fuel, protein and water must be handy.
Protein supports weight loss because it causes you to feel full, making it much easier to leave the table, which is partly due to how much effort it takes your body to break down and utilize protein.
Foods high in protein also help you feel full because they usually contain fat as well. The combination of fat and protein can keep you less hungry between meals. Because protein is necessary to build and repair muscles, it is critical that you have a sufficient intake of protein to improve recovery from workouts. Without it not only will you feel low on energy and experience more muscle soreness, but you will also increase your risk for injury.
For those of you who are meat-free, my ReShape recipes can easily tweaked to suit your lifestyle. For example, Tempeh, tofu and seitan are all vegan protein sources that can generally be prepared and substituted for poultry and meat in most recipes. And of course, don’t forget your protein powder.
QUICK TIP: One of my go-to meals that’s packed with protein is to bake a salmon filet, top with fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic and pepper and serve with asparagus and a small side salad (see photo above).
Fiber: Go Green!
Science has proven fiber’s many benefits: It improves heart health and can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk for developing diabetes and some types of cancer. This is reason enough to love it, but there’s more: Fiber keeps metabolism maximized. It allows the digestion of food to slow to a speed that supports muscle feeding and fat shrinking. It keeps you feeling fuller longer.
If you eat a food that is high in simple carbohydrates and is quickly digested, it will enter your bloodstream quickly, causing a spike in insulin that is largely responsible for making you feel hungry for more. Foods that satiate you take longer to get into your system, somewhere between 30 and 120 minutes. They help prevent insulin surges and maintain a healthy blood sugar balance. This ideal window of 30 to 120 minutes is created when you eat proteins and high-fiber vegetables like kale and broccoli. Because they take longer to enter your bloodstream, it actually requires more energy to break down. The body needs to process those protein and fat molecules and expend energy to do so, which is like exercise for the body without you physically moving. That is the science of food.
Fiber becomes a key player in creating a meal that will be digested slowly and is less likely to be converted to fat. Glucose in the presence of fiber will be released gradually into the bloodstream, providing continual bursts of energy over time while you’re still feeling full. In fact you can combine a quickly digested food with a slowly digested one that has fiber and change the entire chemistry of a meal.
QUICK TIP: When you think about making a shake, try a green smoothie, then join me on
Kathy’s Green Smoothie Recipe:
2 C. kale, lettuce or arugula (to taste)
1 sliced cucumber
1 sliced kiwi
1 T. lemon or lime juice
1 avocado (take off shell and take out pit)
1-2 C. water
1 T. ground flaxseed
Mix all ingredients together and blend until you reach the right consistency of your tasting.
Here’s to your health!