- Diet & Weight Loss
Fight Fat With Fat to Lose Weight
You're Not Hallucinating
If you're like me, you always thought of ALL fat as being bad. Most of us think of the fat on a flabby belly, or on an extra-bootylicious caboose, or on a double chin as being pretty bad for us. I spent most of my adult life believing that I should eat fat-free butter out of a spray bottle as much and as often as possible. And I worked that out, believe me. Little did I know, that spray bottle may have been hindering my vegetarian weight loss, along with the processed soy veggie burgers I thought were so great for me. Now that I've cut down on bad fats and embraced the good ones, I've taken the "extra" off my bootylicious caboose and the double off my chin. I'll probably always be working on the belly but we're getting there.
So along with changing my vegetarian status to a more doable diet of chicken, turkey and fish allowed, I also changed my ideas about fat. There's a stunning amount of information out there about the right way to diet, and it gets really confusing. But one thing is for certain: Reducing the amount of hydrogenated oils in your diet and staying away from certain chemical-infused weight-loss products can actually make your weight loss and maintenance easier. So here are some GOOD FATS that will help keep you on the right track.
Avocado in Heaven
I know they must be in the afterlife, mixed up in guacamole with just the right mix of cilantro and lime, or chopped up with onion and pear in a balsamic sauce to die for. Avocado slices straight up are pretty good, too. But the best thing about avocados, according to BeyondDiet.com, a fabulous site for health information, is that they contain that good fat that will actually increase your body's metabolic burn. In moderation, and in combination with lean meats and other organic proteins, avocados can help maximize fat-burning potential.
Real Butter, Baby
Who wants the imitation when you can have the real thing? In fact, hydrogenated oils, manufactured butter substitutes (yes, even those that have no calories and no fat), margarine, and canola and vegetable oils can actually promote weight gain -- either by convincing you that you can eat more of the "good stuff" on bread and other carb-rich foods, or by the chemicals in these packaged products that actually slow your body's fat-burning ability.
Whole Eggs, Rocky Style
You heard right -- though it is advisable to cook them and eat them in moderation, not exactly the Rocky Balboa way. They're better for your body than Eggbeaters or a six-egg omelet worth of egg whites poured from a carton. The yolk of a whole egg contains rich nutrients that your body needs to grow muscle and -- guess what? -- burn fat. And as it turns out, the egg is not considered the threat to cholesterol levels that it once was.
My favorite way to eat eggs is either in a light mushroom-(real) cheese sauce I make on the stove with a smidgen of real butter -- or, lately, I've gotten into eating hard-boiled eggs on the run. They come packaged at Sheetz and Wawa in a two-pack, so when I'm on the go that snack's a winner.
No, I don't mean the freakishly skinny, chiseled gym fans that make you want to turn right back around and walk out of Bally's. I am talking about almonds, walnuts, and other tree nuts that give you the essential fats your body needs to achieve its optimal metabolism. Chop them up and put them over a green salad with some sliced apples and grapes, and maybe some crumbled goat or bleu cheese, and we're talking good stuff. I like to make a vinegar-stevia-coconut oil blend as a dressing. If you like a little heat, put in some cayenne pepper or steep basil in the mixture in the fridge overnight. The result is a spicy, memorable dressing that's really good for you, too.
Coconut Oil, and Not the Sunscreen Variety
This healthy fat is delicious, works in dessert recipes, and better for your body than celeb chef favorite EVOO. It may cost a little more, but this good fat is much more of an aid to your weight loss than any plain old canola-in-a-frying pan could ever be. The very same fat burn that hydrogenated oils block is the one you'll get by substituting coconut oil. Recently hyped by Dr. Oz and a staple of BeyondDiet.com, this one is increasing in popularity, and I bet the prices will get more competitive as a result.
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