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Jillian Michaels: Foods That Burn Fat

‘Daily Dose With Jillian Michaels,’ Jillian highlights a few foods that can help dieters burn fat and possibly even boost metabolism. Here’s her list.

When you’re trying to lose weight, your daily calorie intake is like walking a tightrope: Consume too many calories, and you’ll hit a weight-loss plateau or even gain weight, consume too few calories, and your metabolism will stall. And once you slow your metabolism, getting back to your original rate of calorie burning can be tough, if not impossible.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your metabolism on track and your body burning fat. Although there’s only one true way to increase your basal metabolic rate, which is the rate your body naturally burns calories (by increasing your body’s muscle mass), the foods you choose can help with the fat-burning process.

In a recent episode of Daily Dose With Jillian Michaels, Jillian and her co-host Janice reviewed a few of the top foods that can help burn fat, thanks to their antioxidants and hormone-regulating properties. Here’s a look at a few of Jillian’s favorite fat-burning foods.

Green tea. Studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea can moderately promote weight and fat loss. The secret to green tea’s fat-burning power is its catechins, the antioxidants in tea that combat free radicals and promote healthy cells. One cup of green tea contains between 50 to 100 milligrams of catechins, and most research shows that you must drink about five cups of green tea every day to see a fat-burning effect.

“It can’t hurt if you just sip it all day,” Jillian says. “It keeps you hydrated, and you get all those antioxidants and their cancer-fighting effects.”

Omega-3 fatty acids. A daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids, whether through a supplement or a natural source such as salmon, boosts weight-loss efforts when combined with exercise more than exercise alone, a study at the University of South Australia found. Researchers say this is because omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that can boost fat oxidation, but that exercise is also required to reap this benefit. Studies have shown that just a few servings of fish per week can help with fat loss in lieu of supplementation.

Pistachio nuts. The simple act of swapping pistachios for your other favorite salty snacks has been shown to produce weight loss, with no additional effort required. A recent study also demonstrated that pistachios can improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome, such as blood pressure, insulin levels, and blood glucose levels.

“The other thing about pistachios is that it takes a while to open them up, and it’s going to slow your eating down,” Jillian says. “You’re not going to house a giant bag of nuts like you would chips.”

Pomegranate.  Both pomegranate and pomegranate oil have been shown to help burn fat in overweight people and reduce inflammation in the body, which can lower risk for heart disease and cancer. Some recent studies have even found that eating pomegranates may help prevent obesity and diabetes in both mice and humans.

“These little guys are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant bombs,” Jillian says, “which is great for your overall health.”

Last Updated: 04/19/2012
 

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Top 10 Toxic Food Ingredients

Cover of "The Master Your Metabolism Calo...

By Jillian Michaels, creator of JillianMichaels.com

 

Most of us don’t think of the food we eat as poison, but some of the ingredients commonly found in processed foods can be considered toxic. By “toxic,” I mean chemicals or highly processed ingredients that aren’t good for you or can cause harm to your health. I’m talking about refined grains, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and all the other artificial junk you can’t even pronounce on the ingredient lists. Any food that has been canned, dehydrated, or had chemicals added to it is a processed food, and these foods make up about 60 percent of the average American diet. They’ve taken over, and we have to FIGHT BACK. Know which toxic food ingredients to avoid:

 

1. Palm Oil
When a regular fat like corn, soybean, or palm oil is blasted with hydrogen and turned into a solid, it becomes a trans-fat. These evil anti-nutrients help packaged foods stay “fresh,” meaning that the food can sit on the supermarket shelf for years without ever getting stale or rotting. Eating junk food with trans-fats raises your “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lowers your “good” HDL. These fats also increase your risk of blood clots and heart attack. Avoid palm oil and other trans-fats like the plague, and kiss fried foods goodbye too, since they’re usually fried in one of these freakish trans-fatty oils.

2. Shortening
Ditch any food that lists shortening or partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, since these are also evil trans fats. In addition to clogging your arteries and causing obesity, they also increase your risk of metabolic syndrome. Choose healthier monounsaturated fats, such as olive, peanut and canola oils and foods that contain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids instead.

3. White Flour, Rice, Pasta, and Bread
When a whole grain is refined, most of its nutrients are sucked out in an effort to extend its shelf life. Both the bran and germ are removed, and therefore all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because these stripped down, refined grains are devoid of fiber and other nutrients, they’re also easy to digest — TOO EASY. They send your blood sugar and insulin skyrocketing, which can lead to all sorts of problems. Replace processed grains with whole grains, like brown or wild rice, whole-wheat breads and pastas, barley, and oatmeal.

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup
The evil king of all refined grains is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The amount of refined sugar we consume has declined over the past 40 years, but we’re consuming almost 20 times as much HFCS. According to researchers at Tufts University, Americans consume more calories from HFCS than any other source. It’s in practically EVERYTHING. It increases triglycerides, boosts fat-storing hormones, and drives people to overeat and gain weight. Adopt my zero-tolerance policy, and steer clear of this sweet “poison.”

5. Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet’N Low, SugarTwin), and sucralose (Splenda) may be even harder on our metabolic systems than plain old sugar. These supposedly diet-friendly sweeteners may actually be doing more harm than good! Studies suggest that artificial sweeteners trick the brain into forgetting that sweetness means extra calories, making people more likely to keep eating sweet treats without abandon. Nip it in the bud. Scan ingredient labels and ban all artificial sweeteners from entering your mouth.

6. Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate
These preservatives are sometimes added to soda to prevent mold from growing, but benzene is a known carcinogen that is also linked with serious thyroid damage. Dangerous levels of benzene can build up when plastic bottles of soda are exposed to heat or when the preservatives are combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Don’t risk it, people

7. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
BHA is another potentially cancer-causing preservative, but it has been deemed safe by the FDA. Its job is to help prevent spoilage and food poisoning, but it’s a major endocrine disruptor and can seriously mess with your hormones. BHA is in HUNDREDS of foods. It’s also found in food packaging and cosmetics. BHA has many aliases. You can look them up. Or you can follow my advice and DITCH processed foods altogether.

8. Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites
No that’s not a typo. These two different preservatives are found in processed meats like bacon, lunch meat, and hot dogs. They’re some of the worst offenders, and they’re believed to cause colon cancer and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes. Protect your health by always choosing fresh, organic meats.

9. Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow
The artificial colors blue 1 and 2, green 3, red 3, and yellow 6 have been linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney, and brain cancers. Always seek out foods with the fewest artificial chemicals, especially when shopping for your kids. Look for color-free medications and natural food products that don’t contain artificial colors like these.

10. MSG
Monosodium glutamate is a processed “flavor enhancer.” While glutamates are present in some natural foods, such as meat and cheese, the ones exploited by the processed-foods industry are separated from their host proteins through hydrolysis. The jury is still out on how harmful MSG may be, but high levels of free glutamates have been shown to seriously screw with brain chemistry. Don’t fall prey to chemical flavor enhancing. Just play it safe and flavor your food naturally.

Get daily tips, motivation, and more from Jillian Michaels.

Last Updated: 12/29/2010

Often called “America’s toughest fitness trainer,” Jillian Michaels has appeared on the U.S. and Australian versions of The Biggest Loser. Jillian is a New York Times bestselling author of five books: Master Your Metabolism, Master Your Metabolism Cookbook, Master Your Metabolism Calorie Counter, Winning by Losing, Making the Cut.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/jillian-michaels-healthier-life/processed-foods-pitfalls.aspx

 

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