Tips for Lean Living, Foods that Help You Burn Fat, Not Muscle
I’m always talking up the importance of spine health. But there’s also the whole body health that goes hand in hand with everything else. My good friend Dr. Philip Goglia – a certified nutritionist for more than 30 years – has helped many of my patients with his expert knowledge of elite performance nutrition and rejuvenative health.
This time, I asked Philip if there were any “secrets” to losing fat. The rationale, I explained, is that no matter how healthy we feel about ourselves, we should look for ways to keep excess fat off so that our bodies aren’t burdened with carrying around a lot of extra weight. Extra weight can be detrimental to our general health, but it can also play havoc on our muscular and skeletal systems.
But, says Philip, that all to often people connote “losing fat” to mean some program diet – and this is not ideal. Most diets lead to literally shrinking our bodies – fat and muscle mass – all at one time. Body strength melts away along with the weight, and this is never a good thing to do.
Dr. Goglia suggests that we should look for plans that lead us to “lean living,” – sticking to a nutritional plan that fits our long-term goals for staying healthy. He also says that living lean means that when we pause to refuel, we focus on foods that enhance these goals. Remember that good food does not come in a box (or from a fast food restaurant).
But does this mean you have to live like a monk? Not! Some of our patients are caught utterly speechless when Philip’s recommendations include meats – grilled, steamed, baked, and broiled (it’s all about portions)! But a “lean” nutritional plan will also include ‘fat burning’ veggies that are high in iron.
Asparagus contains the chemical asparagine. This is an alkaloid that stimulates the kidneys and improves the circulatory process. These alkaloids directly affect the cells and break down fat. It also contains a chemical that helps to remove waste from the body by breaking up the oxalic acid which tends to glue fat to cells. When you break the acid up, you also help reduce fat levels.
Beets are a potent diuretic that focuses on the liver and kidneys. Beets flush out floating body fats. They have a special iron that cleanses the corpuscles; blood cells that can contain fat deposits. It also contains natural chlorine that helps flush out fatty deposits. Natural chlorine stimulates the lymphatic system, which dispose of fat deposits and toxins that your body produces.
Brussel Sprouts? This oft-maligned vegetable stimulates pancreatic activity – especially hormones that have a cleansing effect on your body’s cells. Sprouts also contain minerals that stimulate the kidneys. It’s all about getting rid of toxins and other body waste as fast as possible.
Cabbage cleanses your body of waste matter because it contains sulfur-iodine, which helps to cleanse the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. Cabbage is also great food if you should have a pot belly or a middle age spread. The diuretic cabbage will help you break up belly fat.
Carrots contain carotene, a form of Vitamin A, which can start a fat flushing reaction in your system. Carotene works in the intestines to help speed up metabolism and help remove fat deposits.
Raw celery has a high concentration of calcium in a ready to use form. When you eat it, the calcium is sent directly to work. This pure form of calcium will ignite your endocrine system. Celery also has a high level of magnesium and iron which will clean out your system.
Cucumber contains a high sulfur and silicon content. These minerals work to stimulate the kidneys to wash out uric acid, which is a waste product. The process of washing out uric acid also loosens fat deposits from cells.
Garlic is on just about everyone’s “fat burning foods” list. The reason is that it is a natural diuretic. Garlic has mustard oils, and these oils create a cleansing action in the body. They promote a vigorous action of peristalsis, which is muscular contraction, and this will loosen fat and help wash out fats.
Horseradish tastes great on those grilled meats, but it also has significant quantities of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and tons of minerals that act as gastric stimulants that help with nutritional absorption.
Lettuce contains iron and magnesium. These minerals will enter your spleen; your spleen helps your immunity and protects the body from disease.
Onions are similar to garlic that they have minerals and oils that will contribute to breaking down fat deposits and speed up your metabolism.
Radishes, the regular kind, have minerals – like iron and magnesium – that help your body scrub the mucous membrane of the body.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and the three acids (citric, malic, and oxalic) that can accelerate the metabolic process.
But here’s the most important footnote of all. Philip reminds us that “portions” are important. That is, eating what your body needs to fulfill nutritional needs. But there’s another part of that equation: being consistent and keeping up with physical activity. You can’t live if you don’t move. Don’t expect much if you just try a dish or two. Make lean living a lifestyle choice – every day.
To your greatness!