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“Foods that Burn Fat”… or how to make bland diet snacks sound like ‘secret potions’

I don’t mean to brag about my mom, but she’s always been an attractive woman. I fondly remember as a grade-school kid being secretly thrilled when she’d come to my school to visit. The other kids would see a very poised and shapely red-haired woman and then look back at me; “Wow… that’s your mom?” they’d ask.

Like many women, my mom was constantly monitoring her figure and adjusting her diet. She’s always loved chocolate and other treats (like most females) so she seemed constantly to be cleaning up her eating habits after letting them slide for a spell. While growing up, I saw her rely on the same ole’ foods, over and over, for getting her size back down to where she wanted it:

•    Carrots
•    Celery
•    Chicken Breast
•    Tomatoes
•    Lettuce
•    Oatmeal
•    Brown rice
•    Apples
•    Lean meats


"Foods that Burn Fat" or just 'gimmickry that burns brain cells'?

Now, thirty-five years later (in this age of gimmickry), the items listed here are being referred to as “foods that burn fat”. I’ve seen it repeatedly online; foods that burn fat.

But is there really such a thing as a “food that burns fat”? My momma never called them that; she would just chomp on a carrot or stick of celery and tell me it was “diet food”. It seemed like an unspoken assumption back in those days that these were foods that “wouldn’t make you fat”, and thus, would help you get “skinny” (skinny meant lean).

‘Foods that burn fat’ are being defined as
“foods that burn more calories than the calorie content of the foods themselves.”

WHAAAAAAAT… in sam’s hell? (I like that saying… funny) This sounds like a prescription for starvation to me. If I chow down on little birdie meals
consisting of the above items and my body burns more calories processing the meals than the meals contain, what’s left for my energy levels? Forget my energy; what’s left to even keep my brain functioning?

Oh, but we’re not supposed to eat these ‘foods that burn fat’ exclusively (thank God). We’re just supposed to include them (like my mom did) so that we’ll feel satiated and not pile down a lot of junk.

So let’s recall a basic principle; if I regularly burn more calories than I consume, I’ll lose body fat. The foods listed above are low in calories. So rather than being gimmicky and calling them “foods that burn fat”, maybe we should just call them “foods that help create a calorie deficit”.

Hmmmm! That doesn’t pack the same punch. It doesn’t sound as motivating as eating a “food that burns fat”.

So, let’s use semantics that work.

However, keep one point in mind: Long-term leanness evades many people not from a lack of semantic trickery or knowing what to do, but from lack of an empowering enough self-image. My mom was fully capable (physiologically) of becoming obese. Yet I’ve never seen her body fat vary by more than a few percentage points. I can tell in hindsight that the key reason for her ongoing terrific fitness level is that her subconscious self-image would automatically rein her in whenever she’d start going too far in the wrong direction. That subconscious ‘comfort zone’ was a very small window for her.

Whether they’re actually ‘foods that burn fat’ or simply foods with calorie content unlikely to deposit fat, they’re only pieces in a puzzle that needs to be held together by the “bonding adhesive” of a more empowered self-image.


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