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Fat-Burning Foods I Ate to Lose 100 Pounds

Updated on August 25, 2014

From size 20 to size 3


How I Doubled My Weight and Then Dropped 100 Pounds

I was a chubby child, normal weight in high school and thin in young adulthood. I weighed 110 pounds at 23, when I got married. I weighed 117 pounds when I went in for my first prenatal check up with my first child. Through four children, I stayed at normal weight. Then, after giving birth to two stillborn babies in 2000 and 2004, taking the antidepressant Paxil and starting early menopause at age 40, I doubled my weight.

In 2011, I began dieting, but truthfully, not very seriously. I learned a lot about weight loss and body reshaping. As I learned new things, I put them into practice. Then the weight started coming off in earnest. I have lost 100 pounds, dropped from size 20 to 3 and shaved off 14 BMI points.How? Several ways: the most important being a total eating makeover. I didn't stop eating or cut out major food groups. That's crash dieting and not healthy. I didn't have surgery or take drugs. Those are temporary band-aids, and don't produce the real changes needed for weight loss.

Literally, I ate my way to thin by swapping less healthy, fat-building foods for healthy alternatives and natural herbal supplements. Here are my top 26 fat burning weight loss food from A to Z.

The Fatty Acid Vs. Fat Fix

Fat is a double-edged sword. It can add or reduce weight.How? Bad fat--transfat, saturated fat--sticks to organs and accumulates on the body. Good fats, or fatty acids--MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), linolenic acids (GLA, ALA), omega oils (another name for the linolenic acids)--burn bad fat. So you have to eat fatty acids to burn fat! Here's my favorite fat-blaster foods.

At my heaviest, Sept 2011


Diet Dilemmas

What is your biggest hurdle to successful, long-term weight loss?

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Cream of the Crop Fat-Blasting Foods and Recipes from A-Z

A--almonds, almond milk, almond butter. Nuts are great belly fat burners and almonds are the best nuts to eat. For the same calorie count and protein as walnuts, cashews, peanuts you get loads more MUFAs and fiber in almonds.

B--berries and in particular, blueberries. I add them to salads, yogurt, even sandwiches.

C--coconut oil, coconut milk. Loaded with omega oils and fatty acids.

D--dark chocolate. Chocolate with 70-percent or higher cacao is a fat burner, happily for those of us with a sweet tooth.

E--edamame. These raw soybeans are high-protein, high-fiber and low-calorie (a diet-friendly combo). Sauté pods in Bragg's Liquid Amino. Eat roasted edamame for a healthy salty snack.

F--milled flax seed, flax seed oil. My new best friends--flax seed contains omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 (linolenic oils). Milled flax seed substitutes for eggs and oil in baked goods.

G--grapefruit. I eat half a grapefruit before breakfast to help it digest more efficiently.

H--high fiber foods. Fiber and fatty acids make the perfect fat-melting team.

I--Ideal sweetener (xylitol). Just as natural as stevia (Splenda) and tastes better. It's not a fat-burner per se, but it does calm the sweet tooth without adding calories.

J--home-juiced vegetables and fruits. I leave pulp in for more fiber and vitamins.

K--kale. No wonder it has a cult following--kale has more vitamin C and A than even spinach. I spritz kale with zero-calorie olive oil cooking spray, season with garlic sea salt, rosemary and pepper and bake. I like it better than potato chips!

L--lemons. Add a wedge to your water bottle for a good fat astringent.

M--lean meat, particularly chicken breast. I nixed tofu, soy and bean burgers for chicken breast (low fat, high protein, 110 calories for four ounces).

N--nut powder. PB2 is peanut powder without the fat. Two tablespoons have only 45 calories and one gram of sugar. Mix with water and use like syrup on Bob's Red Mill 7-grain pancakes

O--Oatmeal. Add almond milk, light yogurt butter (Brummel and Brown) and Ideal sweeteners and blueberries for a power fat-blast breakfast.

P--pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, winter squash. I love these betacarotene superfoods and the seeds are good sources of fatty acids.

Q--quinoa--Use in place of rice for a high-fiber grain substitute.

R--reduced-calorie mayonnaise, butter, milk, cheese. I like my dairy products and condiments but they are loaded with fat. The olive oil or yogurt blends actually burn it.

S--salmon. All fish is high in omega oils and protein--but salmon is my go-to fish.

T--tuna. Low-calorie, low-fat, filling--plain canned tuna packed in water gets my vote for best cheap diet food.

V--vegetables. If you want to lose weight, low-carbohydrate veggies are your best allies. Opt for green leafy and dark orange and red veggies. Avocados are high in good fat, too.

W--whole grain, wild rice. I've cut wheat and added ancient grains: rye, kamut, spelt, millet, amaranth. Bob's Red Mill and Kashi are my sources.

Y--yogurt, plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (more protein and bioflavinoids) is the best. .

Z--zucchini with zaatar spice. Zucchini is full of healthy fatty acids. Sprinkled with yummy Mediterranean za'atar, it tastes better. Spices and herbs are great for cutting salt and boosting flavor in otherwise-dull diet foods.

Here's to continued diet success.

Food Do's and Don'ts

  • Do eat, don't starve.
  • Do swap, don't delete foods.
  • Do count, don't mindlessly eat.
  • Do eat fatty acids, don't eat transfat or saturated fats.
  • Do look for monounsaturated fats, omega oils (3,5,6,7,9) and linolenic acids (listed as GLA, ALA)

Food Swaps

It's really, really important, with weight loss, to remember that hunger is normal and healthy. And food is probably the hardest "addiction" to give up. Smokers can, if they chose, put down the cigarette and never pick it up again. But I have to eat every day. It's not something I can give up. So temptation is ALWAYS there.

The trick is to find healthier food substitutes. I weeded those high-calorie, low nutrition foods and swapped them for similar ones with more protein, fiber and fatty acids and less sodium, sugar, starch and calories. Oh and natural and fresh are always better. The fewer processing steps, the more diet-friendly the food.

Fatty Acid Veggies
Fatty Acid Beans, Nuts and Seeds
Fatty acid Meats
Fatty acid grains and fiber
lean chicken breast
coconut oil
lean beef
cacao (dark chocolate)

100 Pounds Lost


Dr. Oz on Fat-Blaster Foods

Summer 2011, at my heaviest


Hungry Girl Cookbooks Give Great Food Swaps

Dr. Oz is My Diet Mentor

If I had a guru for weight loss, it would be Dr. Mehmet Oz. I learn so much about health, sensible dieting, fat-burning from this man. I know, he gets his share of flak--every wise person does.

But the proof is in the (missing) pudge! I try most everything he suggests and have never been disappointed.

If I had to choose a diet idol, though it would be me. That's not bragging. That's recognizing my own accomplishments--something we each have to do and something that believe it or not, can be difficult. Other people may have showed me how, but ultimately, I had to do the work.

Then and Now

The picture right shows me at my heaviest. The one below, shows me, 100 pounds lighter and 10 sizes smaller, wearing my daughter's clothes.

If you want to lose weight, you can. You have to find what works for you and keep doing it.

Daughter and I Share Clothing

That's me right, with my youngest daughter. We can share clothing now!
That's me right, with my youngest daughter. We can share clothing now!


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    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      I have scoliosis, so have issues with exercise too. I was going twice to an aquacise group, but needed surgery and couldn't go in the water for 8 wks. Then I joined a different gym, and didn't like it as much there. I want to go back, but have not been able to get myself motivated. I know the exercise would benefit me. It's easy and you don't hurt yourself in the water.

    • Marilisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Marilisa Sachteleben 

      4 years ago from Grand Haven, Michigan

      Dark chocolate is good! And good for fat-burning, so win-win! I'm doing less well with the exercise, due to some physical limitations. But yoga and long walks with husband work. Thank you for sharing your situation, Jean!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Good for you. I lost 60 pounds around the time I was 50, and kept 3/4 of it off. Part of it was water retention from hormone replacement therapy, and the rest over eating and lack of exercise. I wrote a hub about it too. But like you, I found I had to make permanent changes in my life, because when you go on fad diets, eventually you will return to your old habits. And there's two lines of attack, what you eat, and exercise. I try not to keep tempting foods in the house. But I need that dark chocolate now and then!


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