Saturday, July 23, 2011

Diets Specifically Designed to Burn Fat and Feed Muscle

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Your metabolism determines how efficiently your body does this. If your metabolism is slow, fewer calories are burned and more are stored as fat. If you metabolism is fast, more calories are burned and fewer are stored as fat.

Some people think the best way to lose weight is to drastically reduce calories. This is a wrong approach for two reasons. The first is that your body will actually lower its metabolic rate to burn fewer calories. It thinks that you are in danger of starvation, so it tries to burn as few calories as possible and store as much fat as possible. The second reason it is the wrong way to try to lose weight is that when calories go too low, your body can start trying to burn muscle tissue for energy. Not only is this hazardous to your health, but since a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat, you want the greatest proportion of muscle to fat you can achieve. Therefore, you want a diet that will raise your metabolism without allowing your body to reduce your muscle.

One of the best foods to do this is lean meat. Your body has to work a lot harder to digest protein than it does to digest carbohydrates and fat. Lean beef and pork and skinless chicken and turkey are excellent choices, since you want high protein content with a low fat level.

Hot spices, such as cayenne, chili powder, white pepper, and cumin all raise your metabolic rate. These spices not only increase your metabolic rate while eating them, they can keep it elevated for several hours after your meal. Peppers such as jalapenos, and chili, also have the same effect.

Caffeine is also a good way to boost your metabolism. Black coffee and orange pekoe will both increase your heart rate, but green tea has the added benefit of ECGC, which also boost your nervous system. Naturally, anyone with a heart problem, such as arrhythmia or a past heart attack should consult their physician to determine what level of caffeine is safe for their condition.

Fish, specifically tuna, salmon, and sardines, which are high in fat can also help raise your metabolism. Many people assume it is because they are high in protein, but the best benefit comes from their Omega-3 levels. Omega-3 helps to lower leptin (a hormone in your body) and lower leptin levels result in higher metabolic rates.

Ice water is also good for a diet, because your body has to bring it to body temperature before it can process it. Water is necessary for good health, especially when you are dieting. It will keep your system flushed, reducing the toxins that can build up in your system.

Dark chocolate (and only dark chocolate) can also help you lose weight. Dark chocolate contains a high level of antioxidants, which can help reduce the free radicals in your body. Free radicals have long been suspected of having a link with obesity. However, milk chocolate and white chocolate are actually counter productive, so only dark chocolate should be included in a diet.

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