This might sound counterintuitive, but food can help us burn fat. It’s not a magic trick; we don’t actually eat little sparkly, mystical fireballs that come through and burn up fat instantaneously. It’s about how we store fat, react to hunger, utilize storage, and feel satiated. A big part of that has to do with hormones. Holistic nutritionist and founder of Soul Wellness Method, Shauna Faulisi, explains.
“When it comes to burning fat, the key is to support your blood sugar.” Yes, our hormones are directly tied to our relationship with maintaining healthy blood sugar. This is because insulin itself is a peptide hormone we secrete from our pancreas.
Faulisi goes on to share that “every hormone in the body works to help remove fat out of your fat cells except for insulin. So if we’re sending our blood sugar up throughout the day by eating foods that raise blood sugar levels, and/or are eating without allowing our body to rest between meals, then we’re inhibiting our body from utilizing its own fat for fuel, and instead, storing it. The trick is to keep insulin down, maintain stable blood sugar, and allow your body to do its thing. This means eating the right foods, eating smarter, not less, and getting enough sleep.”
Yes! Even sleep plays a role in our ability to burn fat. Even while we are just lying there. We know talking about the importance of sleep stresses people out, but we promise this is good news. Rest up, hunnies. But back to food.
Faulisi recommends staying on top of our blood sugar by not trying too hard to “eat light.” We need to eat nourishing foods that make us feel satisfied and full, not uncomfortably so, just satisfied. “Here are some foods that you can focus on that will energize and satiate you, all while keeping insulin down:”
“Protein helps the body stay satiated for long periods of time and has very little effect on insulin levels. And another benefit even more noteworthy is that protein has a high thermic effect of food (TEF), which refers to the number of calories needed by your body to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients in your meals. Use this perk by increasing your protein while reaping the benefits of feeling fueled, strong, and satiated throughout the day.”
For a quick protein boost:
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“Medium-chain triglycerides contain fatty acids that are naturally found in coconut oil, palm oil, goat milk, and breast milk. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are quickly burned and metabolized and turned into energy, which helps to increase stamina and focus and can even curb cravings.
I recommend using MCT oil as a final stage in weight loss coupled with a whole-food, minimally processed, higher-fat, lower-carb diet—remember lower insulin levels allow our body to use its own fat for fuel. Disclaimer: when starting on MCT oil, go slow as the rapid absorption can bring on loose stool.”
This is yet another lesson from our lovely Shauna on eating strategically and healthfully, not less. The mindset that eating lighter foods and fewer calories will bring on the physique we desire is dangerous, and unhealthy. We need nourishment to feed our cells and to operate optimally, so fuel your bodies, and everything will work as intended, including weight loss.
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