To do or not to do? To try or not to try? The majority of people stick with what they know. What most overweight people 'know' is unhealthy processed foods and drive-through dinners. The majority of people will choose excess over self-restraint. Self-Discipline and cutting out comfort foods is a scary thought that can wait in the shadows until tomorrow.
This is the perspective of the average overweight American these days. The information-overload that surrounds our daily lives has caused more stagnation than ever. People will search for weeks for the perfect 'fat burning foods', under the impression that all of those people with six packs have found some secret food that they're not telling anyone about. Just for the record, they haven't. But, if there was a secret to burning fat, and looking great in the long-term then it's this:
'Any plan can work in the short-term. Motivation will be high in the short-term and any calorie deficit will result in weight loss. If you want to burn fat in the long-term, and keep it off, then cut out refined foods. Eat real food. That's animal proteins, vegetables, natural fats, and natural starches'.
It's that simple. Really. If the average overweight American removed refined food from their diet, ate real foods, and didn't even pay attention to other nutritional concerns, they would burn fat, improve their health, and feel better. It might not be enough to get them into fitness-model shape, but it would get them on the right road. Food choices, are the single most important facet of 'how to burn fat'.
This simple solution came to me accidentally several years ago when researching nutrition papers concerning the effects of low-fat and low-carb diets. At that time, I was still on the fat loss path myself, strictly following a 'how to have abs' plan I'd found on the internet. I realized I was looking into a debate that was a minor scratch on the surface of the real debate; refined food Vs real food.
I could read every diet on the internet, I could read every opinion on why fat burning plan X was better than fat burning plan Y - it didn't matter. Food choices were always going to be more important than the exact plan I followed - whether it be low-carb or low-fat. When you peer deep into the health and fitness industry, you find an industry of extremes. Don't subscribe to a certain 'camp', you can improve your health, fitness, and physique all at the same time. individually exclusive goals are not the aim. The food choices you make are the key.
Any plan will work in the short-term despite how ridiculous it may be. This is a fact that many people don't realize. It is possible to lose weight eating only fries if calories are low enough. However, nobody wants to be counting 'points' or calories for the rest of their life. Why can't we just make good food choices and not worry about it? Do you really think that our ancestors, who never suffered from the obesity epidemic we see today, counted all their calories? Or, saved up their 'points' so that they could have doughnuts all day on a Friday? No, they didn't. They consumed mostly natural foods grown in the ground, animal meats, and fish. They were also able to work longer hours than us, often in hard manual jobs. So what does this tell you about their energy levels?
Eating natural foods is the secret to burning fat in the long-term because it's sustainable. Eating lots of processed foods leads to feeling constantly hungry, miserable and tired. If your idea of a diet is to just limit yourself to smaller portions of unhealthy foods, eventually you're going to go on an uncontrollable binge. I know because I've been there myself. It's also why so many people have yo-yo weight loss. As soon as the initial motivation declines, and the hunger get's more intense, it's harder to stop another binge. This isn't a sustainable way of living.
With natural foods you get far more nutrients from your calories than you would with manufactured foods. This is where the term 'empty calories' comes from. Not only are we getting more nutrients from our calories, it's very difficult to over-eat when only consuming real, natural foods. Remember, we're talking about 'real' foods here. Not foods which claim to be 'healthy' or 'low-fat' on the packaging, such as cereals, which are often heavily processed and full of sugars.
Remember the 'secret': Choose real, natural foods and avoid refined, processed foods. This is the most important basic principle of any diet you attempt. Making this change will get you on the path to success with your body transformation goals. Most other nutritional topics are just the bells and whistles to go on the solid base you'll have established.
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I'm a health and lifestyle author/journalist/geek. I've been published in numerous online and print publications. I love researching the optimum methods for burning fat and increasing muscle mass.
Check out my opinion of the much-hyped diet The Fat Burning Furnace http://www.food4abs.com/fat-burning-furnace-uk/.
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