The number one challenge that most people struggle with nowadays is fat loss without depletion, hunger, or battle cravings.
To lose body fat healthily and sustainably, we must address the elephant in the room—inflammation.
There is lots of information out there that confuses and mystifies the concept of fat loss. The reality is that we must optimize our health and reduce inflammation in our body and body fat will decrease accordingly with exercise.
The diet and fitness industry are known to put false information out there. One common dogma tells us that fat cells are permanent and we only shrink them when we lose weight, that they will always be present.
We are told that once we gain weight in certain areas such as the waist or around the stomach, those same fat cells never disappear.
The reality is not only we can destroy existing fat cells, but we can even transform them into brown fat cells that increase the metabolism and resistance to future weight gain.
These fat cells are known as brown fat cells and do not have the actual appearance of “fat”.
To promote brown fat in our body and destroy stored fat, the key is to lower chronic inflammation present in many individuals. Addressing this issue and keeping active daily will move the needle in dropping body fat.
Other variables outside of the diet influence body fat. In this article, we will explore some diet factors that are keeping us from losing stubborn body fat.
Hidden Causes of Inflammation
Major causes of inflammation include poor sleep, stressful lifestyle, exposure to environments that contain toxins or pollutants, and consumption of expired or overheated vegetable oils.
Examples of vegetable oils are corn, peanut, canola, soybean, and palm oils. Most people are unaware of cooking oils going bad after sitting in that pantry for months!
Worse? Most of them eat out and cook as little as possible. Since the 1960s, the average time spent cooking went from 60 minutes to 27 minutes per day!
Understanding the ingredients and impacts they have on inflammation are major steps in fine-tuning the metabolism into a fat-burning machine.
Compounds such as turmeric, sulforaphane (found in broccoli), and resveratrol (berries and grape skins), assists in healthy Nrf2 expression in human genes.
Nrf2 is a protein that protects our body against oxidation and has a big impact on inflammation.
If Nrf2 is not functioning properly, our body will not process iron well, creating more free radicals and more inflammation.
Vegetable oils that are oxidized create an environment of chronic inflammation. Oxidation speeds up rapidly when certain oils are heated. These are the secret ingredients in otherwise “healthy” eating that can disrupt healthy digestion.
Vegetable oils are universally used in restaurants. When we eat out, we get a good dose of inflammation with those delicious meals.
Pizza, chicken wings, and fries are widely available in many fast-food chains and restaurants, making them easily accessible for everyone, especially among kids and young adults.
Even other foods that we think are healthy, such as store-bought trail mix or packaged sushi contain significant sources of these polyunsaturated fats that lead to chronic inflammation and gastrointestinal issues.
Healthy Options for Fat Loss
The best option to cook with is coconut oil, avocado oil, and macadamia nut oil. These oils can tolerate higher temperatures than vegetable oils and are more stable when used in cooking.
Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are also good options so long as they are not heated at high temperatures which breaks down the chemical structure of these oils, increasing oxidation. These oils are a great option for salad dressings at room temperature.
But first, check the oils to ensure they haven’t gone rancid before using them!
The other important thing to know is glycemic variability—the frequency and intensity of blood sugar fluctuations throughout the day.
Eating infrequently or too frequently will affect our blood sugar in non-favorable ways to fat loss. The foods we consume and the amount will dictate what happens with our blood sugar and constant fluctuations, and this leads to an increased risk of long-term diseases and body fat.
This includes those so-called guilt-free healthy sugars like bananas.
The best way to control blood sugar is to introduce strength training into our regimens, even 30% of our one-rep max is adequate to control blood sugar.
Walking and standing rather than sitting creates favorable shifts in blood sugar, especially after meals. Cooking with herbs and spices such as Ceylon cinnamon or supplementing with berberine and melon extract have powerful impacts on lowering blood sugar.
These are less commonly known methods, but incredibly powerful when introduced into our daily routines with minimum effort.
The other more common method is the increased fiber intake into our diet. This improves our blood sugar and reduces fat in our adipose tissue and liver. Heavily processed food like bread, noodles, and white flour-containing products lose their fiber in the process.
That makes these foods have such a major impact on our blood sugar—there is little to no fiber to control the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Avoiding food that comes in packaging and taking the extra time to prepare in advance will have a significant impact on long-term body fat reduction than any other crash diets out there.
Most importantly, we will feel better and we will lose body fat with less effort.
The unfortunate truth is that we are too attached to convenience at the expense of fat-fighting nutrition. For our bodies to be lean and healthy, we have to shift our mindset from hunger being an inconvenience to being an opportunity to show ourselves some self-love.