Best Fat Loss Diet Plan for Lowering Body Fat Percentage
What is the best fat loss diet plan? If you are serious about losing body fat, without losing muscle, you should follow an eating plan that focuses on lowering your body fat percentage. The purpose of this section of HealWithFood.org's Guide to Fat Loss is to outline the 15 cornerstones of a good fat loss diet plan.
#1: Step Up Your Fiber Intake
Dietary fiber is the part of plant foods that the enzymes in the human body cannot digest and that therefore provides zero calories. Furthermore, the fact that foods high in fiber generally require more chewing and the fact that the brain is some ten minutes behind the stomach, give the body time to realize it is full and thus reduce the odds of overeating. High fiber foods also tend to make meals linger longer, leaving you feel full for a greater amount of time.
#2: Load up on Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Researchers have associated low blood levels of vitamin C with increased fat gain. It is however not clear whether it is the low levels of vitamin C that cause fat accumulation or whether excess fat depletes the body of vitamin C. In any case, it makes sense to include plenty of vitamin C rich foods in diet if you wish to shed off extra pounds: evidence strongly suggests that higher levels of vitamin C help the body burn more fat during a workout. One study found that people with low blood concentrations of vitamin C burned 25% less fat during a 60-minute walking session on a treadmill than people with adequate amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of carnitine, a compound that encourages the body to turn fat into fuel, rather than store it in the body.
#3: Be Sure to Consume Enough Foods Rich in B Vitamins
If your goal is to lower your body fat percentage, make sure your body gets enough B vitamins. B vitamins are important for the conversion of dietary fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy. Many of the B vitamins have also other properties that can aid in fat loss. Vitamin B6, for instance, is necessary for the proper absorption of the fat-loss mineral zinc, and vitamin B3 may help those whose weight problems are linked to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance refers to a condition in which the body is not able to respond appropriately to insulin produced by the pancreas.
#4: Consume Catechins to Boost Fat Burning
Catechins – natural compounds that are largely responsible for the numerous health benefits of green tea – have also received a tremendous amount of attention in recent years for their ability to promote weight loss. In one clinical trial, 132 overweight or obese adult participants were given either a beverage containing approximately 625 milligrams catechins and 39 milligrams caffeine or a beverage containing the same amount of caffeine but no catechins. All participants were asked to exercise at least 3 hours per week and to follow a similar diet in terms of caloric intake. During the 12 week trial period, both groups lost weight; however, weight loss was more pronounced in those who were given the catechin-rich drink than in those who drank the control beverage. The beneficial effects of green tea catechins are thought to result from these substances' ability boost energy expenditure and fat oxidation.
#5: Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Iodine
Most good fat loss diet plans include plenty of foods that contain iodine. Iodine is crucial for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland which is located in the front of the neck, just below the larynx. The thyroid gland is responsible, among other things, for controlling the basal metabolic rate (the rate at which the body consumes energy at rest) A lack of iodine can lead to sluggish thyroid activity, which in turn may result in fat accumulation or hinder fat loss efforts. Foods rich in iodone include strawberries, sea food, yogurt, milk, and eggs.
#6: Get Enough Calcium to Regulate Body Composition
Calcium is famous for its role in supporting strong bones and teeth, but in recent years the scientific community has established that this important mineral has a much broader role. Evidence indicates that calcium plays an important role in the regulation of body composition, and research shows that people who consume medium to high amounts of calcium (more than 6 grams per day) have a lower body fat percentage. One study found that a difference of 1 gram in daily calcium intake corresponded, on average, to an 8 kilogram difference in body weight!
Therefore, if you are looking to lower your body fat percentage, be sure to include plenty of foods that contain calcium in your fat loss diet plan. Dairy products are one of the best natural sources of calcium, but also many green leafy vegetables and seafood provide a good source of this fat loss promoting mineral. To get the most out of calcium's benefits, combine calcium rich foods with foods high in vitamin D (vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium from food in the intestines).
#7: Consume Zinc-Rich Foods to Control Appetite and Fat Storage
Zinc supplementation has been shown to increase the levels of circulating leptin in people with a zinc deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that plays an important role in regulating the body's energy expenditure, appetite, and fat storage. Leptin directly communicates to the brain when you should feel full and stop eating. Many experts firmly believe that inadequate leptin levels are the root cause of overeating, food cravings, and obsession with food. Zinc is found in large quantities in oysters, poultry, and red meat.
#8: Consume Enough Chromium-Rich Foods to Maintain Lean Body Mass
When combined with exercise, a diet rich in chromium may help increase or maintain lean body mass and aid in fat loss, research suggests. These positive effects on body composition are believed to result from chromium's ability to enhance insulin's activity and to improve insulin sensitivity. Mild cases of chromium deficiency are relatively common in Western countries due to the high consumption of processed foods (food processing significantly decreases the chromium content of foods). Physically active people and people who consume a lot of coffee, tea, and/or sugar also have a higher risk of becoming deficient in chromium. Good dietary sources of chromium include romaine lettuce, tomatoes, whole grains, onions, and potatoes. Absorption of chromium is enhanced by vitamin C.