Sometimes I worry I’ll run out of things to blog about.
Then I remember my life is a string of non-stop, ridiculous events… and I relax.
Take last week, for example.
I was brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed. I could hear my husband rummaging through the freezer in the kitchen. Part of me wanted to know why he felt a need to dig through slabs of frozen food at 9 p.m., but another part was afraid to ask.
The next thing I know he’s standing at the door of my bathroom, looking at me.
“What?” I ask.
He sighs and shakes his head as if he’s just realized life as he knows it will never be the same.
“What is it??” I repeat, toothpaste running down my arm.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
That’s such a loaded question, as you can imagine if you’ve read even one of my prior posts. I run through my antics of recent days.
- Does baby-talking to the cats count as “not okay”?
- Is it “not okay” to possess so many eyeshadow palettes that a 10-tiered, rolling, storage rack collapses under the weight?
- Is it “not okay” when you can only work with the sounds of a thunderstorm and coffee shop running in the background?
Based on these standards, then no, I’m not okay.
But these things did not come up in the discussion.
What did come up? Turkey meat.
Yes, ground turkey, to be specific.
It appears my husband found seven (count ’em!) packages of ground turkey meat in the freezer. “Are you preparing for an apocalypse?” he then asked.
Once again, if he were thinking logically, he’d know ground turkey would not be on my “last meal” list if we’re all about to get vaporized by a meteor. Not even close.
But unbeknownst to me, stocking up on packages of ground poultry is, apparently, a clear indicator of some sort of mental malfunction.
I’m not sure what particular part of my brain is firing less than efficiently, but it’s likely in the same area that routinely misplaces song titles of 80s and the name of that actor in that movie we watched last week that involved a car chase and exploding helicopters. Yeah, that one.
In reality, ground turkey is one of those grocery items that I buy nearly every time I go to the store and throw in the freezer “just in case.” So the apocalypse scenario was actually a viable argument, although I clearly didn’t think this through or the freezer would be stocked with better tasting alternatives, like Chunky Monkey.
I realize I can stop now and still have enough meat to make turkey burgers every day for the next six months.
This brings me to my topic du jour… FAT-BURNING FOODS. (And yes, surprisingly, this segue will eventually make sense.)
Let me say upfront that no one food is going to magically dissolve fat from your thighs while you sleep.
HOWEVER, some foods are proven to amp up your metabolism slightly, so that adding them to your diet on a regular basis can make a difference. Every little bit helps, right?
The worst case scenario? It can’t hurt
1. Lean protein
Here’s where I can legitimize my turkey hoarding. It takes a lot of work for your body to break down protein, creating a thermogenic effect. In other words, turkey, chicken, fish, and lean meats boost your metabolism. They also keep you full longer than carbs. Instead of reaching for a pure carbohydrate snack, include some protein. An apple with cheese, peanut butter and whole grain bread, etc. fill you up much more than one on its own.
2. Green tea
I love green tea for a couple of reasons. It’s my go-to beverage when I’m tempted to eat something even though I know I’m not really hungry. In other words, eating for emotional reasons vs. real hunger. Drinking a hot beverage is usually enough to push aside that craving. Green tea doubles the fun because it also contains a chemical called EGCG, which speeds up your metabolism. Win-win. In fact, one study showed drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people drop more than six pounds in eight weeks. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider that you’d have to do nothing other than down a few cups of liquid a day to make the scale move. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
3. Spice it up
Spices like chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin, which boosts your body’s heat production and can help you burn more calories. Not a spice lover? Another, non-spicy, alternative found in mild peppers called DCT may work similarly. Chop up a few into your next stir-fry or include them in a vegetable medley side dish.
4. Be unrefined
Eating high-fiber, unprocessed foods such as brown rice and oatmeal make your body work harder than eating processed and refined sugars and foods. The result? More calories burned. So swap the white rice for brown, choose whole grain bread over Girl Scout Cookies and french fries and you’ll be on the right track.
5. Go fish
Another fave of mine, salmon, also helps you lose weight by transforming fat-storage cells into fat-burning cells, research shows. Not a fan of salmon? Fish oil in general can help weight loss and is especially important for us post-menopausal women, since studies show our bodies are “less willing to part with fat cells” when estrogen takes a nosedive. Grill it up or ask your doctor is fish oil supplements may work well for you.
NOW YOU. Do you find yourself stocking up a particular food as if the end is near? Let me know in the comments below…
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Your Ageless Body Coach,