Monday, May 20, 2013

'Tis The (Swimsuit) Season: Do Certain Foods 'Burn Fat'?

Can I shot gun hot sauce because it’ll rev my metabolism as the ads claim?  Do those added boosts at the over-priced café protein shakes really work? 

Fat burning is such a great cliché term to get people to buy stuff: green tea, chia seeds, ‘energy shots’, spicy food.  But with swimsuit season amongst us, what do we really need to eat to burn fat? 

·         Eat less.  This is the number one way that no one really wants to hear.
·         Vegetables that are NOT corn, peas, beans.  Green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower) use more calories than they contain which would help keep you full with a calorie deficit.
·         Protein sources (tofu, meat, beans, nuts) can help increase the release of human growth hormone (HGH).
o   Side Note: HGH is a somatotropin or somatropin.  These are peptide hormones (peptides are the building blocks of protein) that increase growth through cell production in humans.  It only works on certain kinds of cells.  Growth hormone is used to treat children’s growth disorders and is only available legally from pharmacies, it’s use is also in livestock and you’ll notice milk labels that are rBST free or free from this growth hormone.  The safety of HGH has not been tested in clinical trials but the body can make its own naturally and regulate itself in the pituitary gland.
·         Another way is to help thyroid function by eating (notice not taking oral supplements) foods that are high in selenium and zinc (eggs are a good example as are oysters). 
·         Dodging processed foods or the inner aisles of the grocery store helps as well. 
·         As always, the best way to burn fat is to exercise.

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator, those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at  (Resolve to increase your online exposure in 2013!)

She can also be found blogging at  Find her on SCAN: