You can lose weight by switching from fat forming to fat-burning foods, say nutrition experts.
Eating foods low in calories but high in complex carbohydrates can actually change your metabolism from that of a fat person to that of someone slim, explains Dr. Jack Leedy, co-author, with Lorraine Dusky, of How to Eat Like a Thin Person (Simon & Schuster).
Foods high in water and fiber, such as watermelon and lettuce, pass through the digestive system so quickly they have no chance to turn to fat, notes Audrey Cross, a nutritionist in New York City.
But high-fat foods, such as nuts, take longerto digest and are more likely to be converted into fat.
“It is no secret that the basic reason people gain weight is that they eat too many calories,” says Cross.
“While it is easy to take in several thousand calories a day if you gorge on processed foods, desserts and rich sauces, it’s hard to consume too many calories if you stick to foods low in fat and high in fiber. “What’s more,” she adds, “they’ll actually help you burn fat, since they get the body’s metabolism working at its most effective calorie-burning level.”
The experts have compiled a directory of fat-burning foods that help you lose weight.
Complex carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, rice, beans and pasta help keep your blood sugar on an even keel; but simple carbohydrates found in sugar, honey, and molasses cause a quick rise in blood sugar followedby an even faster drop, which triggers hunger.
Foods that contain simple sugar are also often laden with fat. The sugar in cake, cookies, and candy plays havoc with your blood, which in turn keeps your metabolism from performing its fat-burning function.
Other good sources of complex carbohydrates are whole-grain cereals and bread, and starchy vegetables like peas and corn.
Foods high in B vitamins are essential to convert food into fuel for the body. The best sources for these foods are whole grains, beans and leafy, dark green vegetables.
Avoid slathering these foods with butter or sauces – it only makes them harder to digest and less efficient as fat-burners.
Raw vegetables and fruit are high in fiber, which satisfies hunger without adding extra calories. Fiber also pushes food through the system more rapidly; reducing the time the body has to extract calories from it.
Low-fat dairy products; such as yogurt, cheese, and milk, are metabolized by the body more quickly than the whole-fat kind. They also provide calcium.
Water is the best fat-burner by far. Water flusher through the debris left behind after the food has been metabolized.