Eating nutritious superfoods most of the time boosts your health which in turn boosts your metabolism and makes losing weight and burning fat much easier.
Below are the top 3 healthy eating tips you must follow to lose weight and burn fat faster. There's also a quick list of healthy foods that increase metabolism. Plus the 80/20 formula of healthy eating and the grazing myth that stalls weightloss and fatloss.
1. Eat right for your metabolic type - There is no such thing as a perfect diet. We are all individuals with unique backgrounds and needs so the idea that we should all thrive on the same exact diet or workout is ridiculous and outdated. If you've never taken a metabolic typing test before be sure to take one now then start adjusting your ratio of protein to carbs to fat (macros for short) to your unique metabolic type and needs. Eating the right mix of fuels will not only speed up metabolism, it will boost your energy levels and help you get fitter than you possibly imagined.
2. Eat adequate calories for your lifestyle - Where you one of the thousands who bought into diet guru or health food expert claims that calories don't matter as long as you're eating healthy superfoods? Don't feel bad, most of America bought into this lie because who wants to count calories or control portions! But the truth is that calories in and calories burned with exercise and/or daily activity do matter a lot; as much as eating foods that increase metabolism and eating for health does. It's basic math! If you eat more than you burn you're going to store it as fat which is why you need to track calories in vs. calories burned for a while.
This doesn't mean you need to resort to obsessive calories counting but you do need to have a good idea of how much you're eating and how much your're burning. If the thought of tracking stresses you out then try a device of some sort like the Jawbone Up band, the Nike Fuel Band, or the Fitbit tracker.
3. Eat for health not for fatloss - As the saying goes "you get healthy to lose weight you don't lose weight to get healthy". This tip is something that countless health and holistic experts address in their books, blogs, documentaries, and on youtube because this is the foundation of weight loss. Without health weight loss may be possible but it won't last which is why so many people fail to keep off the fat permanently with quick fix diet pills, fad drinks or fad diets. In order for your body to burn fat efficiently all day every day you must optimize your metabolic system and the only way to do that is with healthy foods, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle choices day in and day out. Sure this isn't as exciting or as quick as the HCG Acai Paleo Tapeworm Hollywood Diet but it's the only thing that actually works so why keep resorting to quick fixes when you can just be healthy and get lean forever! Get started with the foods that increase metabolism below...
ALL Colorful Veggies are good for you despite what you may have heard from certain diets, especially the dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, arugula, chard, mizuna, which curb sugar cravings. Eat ALL the super colorful veggies like asparagus, artichoke, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, bok choy, cabbage white or red, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green beans, green red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, onion, romaine, radishes, snap peas, yellow squash, zucchini, etc. etc.
Aim for 8-9 servings of nutrient dense low calorie veggies per day and you'll be shocked at how fast you lose weight burn fat and get sexy. **A few veggies that are also chock full of nutrients but that you should enjoy in moderation include organic corn, potatoes of all types including sweet potato and yams.
ALL Colorful Fruits can also be enjoyed in moderation including apples, avocado (also listed in fats), bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, coconut (also listed in fats), grapes, grapefruit, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, melon, nectarine, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon. Fruit is great as a snack or as part of your meal. It's also great in weight loss smoothies, with yogurt, in salads or with nuts. Fruit fills you up because it contains waters, fiber and tons of nutrients your body needs to burn the fat but they are higher in natural sugars so 1-2 servings per day is more than enough for most women.
Whole Grains are not for everybody. Some people tolerate these starchy carbs better than others and can lose fat by eating more carbs while some people need to keep their starchy carbs to a bare minimum to lose and maintain weight. If you're not sure whether you're a carb, protein, or mixed type be sure to take a metabolic typing test to find out. If your body can handle carbs then aim for 1-2 small servings a day of whole grain carbs like amaranth, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, millet, pearl couscous, quinoa, wild rice, etc.
Avocados Coconuts & Olives actually fall under fruits and veggies but are also loaded with healthy fats that boost fat metabolism. These foods are higher in calorie than other fruits and veggies so should be eaten in moderation. Avocados can be used in salads, in smoothies and as dip. Coconut can be used in green superfood smoothies, puddings, soups, and the oil can be used to cook. Olives can be eaten as snacks, added to salads and the oil used to cook or for homemade salad dressings.
Nuts & Seeds are filling and great on salads or with fruit and in smoothies. Try raw almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans. All natural nut butters and milks made from these nuts are also great. Other healthy fats to enjoy include sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds or oil, sesame seeds, etc. Be sure to eat foods in this category in moderation as well since they are higher in calories. Measure your portions out with a tsp or tbsp so you don't overdo these healthy but high calorie superfoods.
Beans are not for everybody but if you can eat them they provide plenty of fiber and protein plus are filling and make your meals interesting. You can use 2-3 tbsp of garbanzo beans, black, pinto, or white beans on a salad or eat them with wild rice or quinoa or have as a side dish to steak or chicken. You can also make dips with them like hummus or black bean dip.
Eggs from hormone free chickens raised in humane conditions are the easiest way to get your protein and you don't have to resort to using some bizarre mix of egg whites and whole eggs to get your protein. Free range or pasture eggs are healthier so you can eat the entire egg, about 1-2 whole eggs is more than enough for a normal woman not looking to get or maintain huge bodybuilder size muscles.
Hormone Free Dairy including cottage cheese, healthy cheeses, milk, and yogurts from animals raised in humane conditions is a great way to get quick protein and can be eaten with fruit and veggies or added in moderation to salads or other dishes. Feta, goat cheese or, ricotta, are delicious and filling but stick with full fat or low fat versions which are more satisfying than fat free. Be sure to check labels for added ingredients too. Yogurt, kefir, and greek yogurt are also great snacks but be sure to avoid fat free which is typically full of artificial ingredients that get stored in your fat cells.
Lean Meats from hormone free animals raised in humane conditions help control appetite, build muscle or maintain lean muscles mass. Small amounts of animal protein works best for most people including chicken thighs or breasts, beef, bison, turkey, lamb and certain types of fish are all great choices.
Spices & Other Pantry Items - sea salt, pepper, basil, thyme, cayenne, curry powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin, organic chicken broth, all natural tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, raw honey, organic maple syrup, all natural salsa, low sodium soy sauce or tamari, sriracha, worcestershire, horseradish, area all great ingredients that can help you make healthy delicious meals in under 10 min. Be sure to read labels for added ingredients that your body doesn't need.
Weightloss Supplements That Work - including green superfoods powder, organic whey protein powder (better than soy which is the most contaminated crop in the world), multi-vitamin and wellness supplement, can help boost weightloss results. If you're super active outdoors electrolyte packets and whole food snack bars like Lara or Green Superfood bars can help replenish you during and after challenging activities. Herbal teas are also great for weaning yourself off unhealthy drinks such as alcohol, vitamin waters, sugar free teas or caffeine drinks or soft drinks.
Foods That Increase Metabolism Tip: Try to buy organic, free range, non-gmo, all natural, and/or local as often as possible. It does make a difference regardless of what you read in magazines full of commercial food ads. The cleaner your food the more nutritious and easily digested and used for metabolic functions like burning fat. If you want to learn more about this check out our best healthy foods article that covers Naked Calories: How Micronutrients Can Maximize Weight Loss, Prevent Disease and Enhance Your Life by Mira & Jayson Calton. The info in this book about the lack of nutrients in most commercial food will shock you and motivate you to start making healthier choices.
Want to avoid plateaus and months of weight loss frustration? Start by accepting the fact that you're going to fail to eat perfectly every single day. We live in a world that makes that fairly impossible to do which is why bodybuilders and figure competitors have cheat days and contest diets etc. The trick to eating healthy most of the time is to factor in those cheat meals by calculating your diet compliance with the simple 80/20 formula below:
meals per day x 7 days per week x 80% = number of clean meals you must eat per week. If you want faster results you can try a 90% compliance rate but 90% can be stressful and difficult while 80% is more realistic but it's really your choice.
So for example I eat 3 modest size meals and 1 small snack per day most of the time so that would be 4 meals per day x 7 days per week = 28 meals per week x 80% = 22.4 (round to 22) meals/snacks that have to be very healthy. That's 6 opportunities for me to indulge a bit without feeling guilty and believe me when I say that this works for weight loss or fatloss especially if you're just an everyday woman trying to achieve fitness or athlete range bodyfat.
Remember that setting realistic weight loss and healthy eating goals is the key to losing stubborn fat. You don't need to aim for a perfect diet or 10% or less bodyfat to be heathy or look great and feel good about yourself. An 80-90% diet compliance will get you to your goal faster and without feeling deprived. There is absolutely no need to feel guilty about eating a few decadent foods you enjoy a few times a week as long as it's in moderation and as long as you eat clean healthy foods that increase metabolism the rest of the time.
Eating 6 meals a day and not losing fat or weight? It turns out that grazing, which was recommended by EVERY single diet and fitness plan in the last 25 years, is a big fat myth. According to the latest research findings there is zero evidence that eating more meals per day boosts metabolism or weight loss or fatloss. Various studies have looked into this and found no correlation between grazing and weightloss or fatloss.
It only makes sense that if your body is constantly in a fed state it never really has a chance to burn it's fat stores. In other words your glycogen stores never have a chance to become depleted which means your body never has to tap into its fat stores for energy. Depletion typically happens 4-5 hours after a meal so if you're eating every 2-3 hours you could be blocking fat burning.
Another reason grazing may be working against you is that "humans are inherently nocturnal eaters." explains Ori Hofmekler, author of The Anti Estrogenic Diet & Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat.
According to Hofmekler, "The evidence for that is in your nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system regulates your circadian clock, and all your actions throughout the day and night are controlled by that system, including the way you were designed to eat. Your autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that regulates your activities during the day. The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) regulates your activities during the night.
During the day, your SNS promotes energy expenditure and fat burning. It keeps you alert, focused and ready for action..." and isn't really designed for constant feeding. So if you've been grazing for a while and it worked but is no longer working then you may want to consider switching back to 2-3 modest size meals in the day and 1 moderate size meal at night to deplete glycogen and use up those fat stores!