THE BLOG
08/17/2011 11:48 am ET | Updated Oct 17, 2011

The Skinny on Fat-Fighting Foods

Cinnamon, almonds, walnuts, fish, flax seed oil, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, fiber bars, water with lemon, berries, low-fat dairy products, oatmeal, leafy greens, olives, olive oil, beans, apples, broccoli, chilies, oranges, turmeric, grapefruit and water. These are the most frequently mentioned "fat-fighting foods" found in over 50 random fat-fighting food articles that appear on the web.

Have you noticed that this list is exclusively comprised of whole unprocessed foods from every food group including spices? This list also includes fiber, protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.

My point is that many unprocessed foods are called "fat fighting" because you use a lot of energy to break them down and they give you a lot of energy from the nutrients that you absorb. They also don't have a lot of chemical ingredients that your body doesn't know what to do with so your metabolism hums at a nice pace while you digest them and while you expend the energy from them.

This is all well and good but how do these "fat-fighting" foods actually make you skinnier? You guessed it, portion control. Any "fat-fighting" food will eventually make you just plain fat if you eat more of it than you burn. For those of you who are saying to yourself, "I don't know how much a portion is?," this is not entirely true. You may not know what an exact portion is, but you know when you look at a plate or serving of food what is too much. And if you eat slowly you will know when you have had enough food; you will be satiated but not stuffed.

For those of you who want to be more exact with your portions or want to start learning what your usual foods consist of, here is one of my favorite references, http://nutritiondata.self.com/. This site gives great info on portions, inflammation and digestion factors as well as tips and tricks on how to eat right.

Imagine if you included a third of the above-mentioned foods in your diet on a weekly basis while being conscious not to overeat? The result would be you -- looking and feeling leaner, healthier and younger in no time.

Eating a balance of whole, unprocessed foods and getting in a little movement every day will always keep your body running like an efficient, fat-fighting machine. Try to fit in a few portions of each of the above-mentioned foods in your diet in the next two or three days. After a few days, make some of your newfound fat-fighting foods a regular habit. Sprinkle in a little extra fitness and a walk here and there and see what happens to your body and your spirits. I bet you find that thinner and happier you!