June 12th, 2007
Foods That Burn Fat – The Top 10 Lists
In a previous Burn the Fat Blog post, I wrote about the “skinny fat” phenomenon, and this obviously struck a nerve as many burn the fat readers chimed in with their opinion about how real this phenomenon is and how accurate this rather unscientific description (“skinny fat”) really is. Others said, “OMG! You described me to a T.” There were dozens of comments and I got easily as many private emails. Oddly enough, I got MORE private mail about my grocery shopping list in that post than about the “skinny fat” commentary! Well if you really wanted to know what I eat every day, why didn’t you just ask? Here you go! I just compiled 4 top 10 lists of what I’m eating on a regular basis to burn fat, build muscle and get healthier…
Below you will see the “Top 10 Lists” of what I eat every day or almost every day. Exact quantities and menus are not listed, just the foods.
Of course my food intake varies. I aim to get as many different varieties of fruits and vegetables as possible over the course of every week and there are a lot of substitutions made, so you are not seeing my full list here. This is just what I eat the most of every day.
I also want to point out that while I don’t believe that extreme low carbs are necessary or most effective when you look at the long term, I do reduce my carb intake moderately and temporarily prior to bodybuilding competition, so my starchy carb and grain intake goes down during that brief pre-competition period when I’m working on that really “ripped” look (lots and lots of veggies though!)
This list reflects my personal preferences, so this is not a prescription to all readers to eat as I do.
It’s very important for compliance to choose foods YOU enjoy and to have the option for a wide variety of choices. In the past several years, nutrition and obesity research – looking at ALL types of diets – has continued to end with the conclusion that almost any diet that is not completely moronic can work in the short term.
It’s not so much about the hi carb low carb argument or any other debate as much as it is about compliance. The trouble is, restricted diets and staying in a calorie deficit is HARD in general, so most people can’t stick with any program and they fall off the wagon, whichever wagon that may be.
I believe that a lot of our attention needs to shift away from pointless debates (low carb vs. high carb is getting really old… so… get over it everyone, its a calorie deficit that makes you lose weight, not the amount of carbs, high or low… and cutting carbs is cutting calories… duh).
Instead, our focus should shift towards building an eating program that we can enjoy more while still getting us leaner and healthier, and especially towards asking and answering this question: how can we build an eating program that improves compliance? (and that includes the emotional and psychological techniques that can improve compliance as well)
Here’s one good answer: Eat foods you ENJOY that still fit healthy, fat-burning, muscle-building guidelines! (ie, hitting your calorie and macronutrient goals for the day, while also providing optimal levels of micronutrients).
Here are the foods I choose to achieve this outcome. This eating plan is not difficult to stick with at all, by the way. I enjoy eating like this and it feels almost weird NOT to eat like this after doing it for so long. Remember, habits work in both directions, and as Jim Rohn Said, “Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with and good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.
These are listed in the order I frequently consume them. So for example, if oatmeal is on the top of the list, that means this is the food I am most likely to eat every single day.
My 10 top starchy carb and grains
1. Oatmeal (old fashioned)
2. Yams (or sweet potatoes – not same food, but very similar)
3. Brown rice (a peersonal favorite is basmati, a long grain aromatic rice)
4. White potatoes
5. Multi grain hot cereals (mix or barley, oats, rye, titricale and a few others)
6. Beans (great for healthy chili recipes and some cold salads too)
7. 100% whole wheat bread (not a daily staple food for me, but I do eat and enjoy it)
8. 100% whole wheat pasta (same note as bread above – a favorite on high carb / re-feed days)
9. Chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) or other peas
10. Quinoa (slowly but surely starting to learn some quinoa recipes)
My Top 10 top vegetables
4. salad greens / lettuce
6. bell peppers (green and red)
My top 10 lean proteins
1. Eggs (I include at least one whole egg per meal and use the rest whites)
2. Chicken Breast
3. Salmon (wild alaskan)
4. Turkey Breast
5. Top round steak (grass fed beef)
6. Flank Steak (grass fed beef)
7. Tilapia Fish (from U.S. – Seafood Watch has warned to avoid Chinese and Taiwanese Tilapia)
9. Trout (rainbow)
10. Whey protein, Casein protein or both (protein powder supplement)
My top 10 fruits
By the way, remember – fruit is nature’s candy!
And also note, I DO include healthy fats as well, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil (supplement – not to cook with), avocado and a few others that are slipping my mind at the moment.
Also, YES I eat dairy and I have nothing aginst it, nor am I lactose intolerant. I just don’ t eat as much dairy as the rest of the stuff on my lists (although it’s worth noting that whey and casein protein powders are milk proteins). When I eat dairy its usually skim milk, low or non fat cottage cheese, low or non fat yogurt and low or non fat cheese (I love cheese! Love cheese omelettes too).
Hope you found this helpful and interesting. Keep in mind, this is MY food list, and although you probably couldn’t go wrong to emulate it, (if your goal is more muscle and less fat), you need to choose foods you enjoy in order to develop habits you can stick with long term. There are for example, hundreds of other fruits and vegetables out there…enjoy them all!
Train hard and expect success!