How to Lose Weight by Eating More
Believe it or not, you don't have to shrink your diet to shrink your waistline.
In fact, you just might lose weight by eating more… especially if you’re adding foods that support you on the weight-loss path. In this episode, I share nine foods for fat loss you’ll want to add to your weekly rotation.
The beauty of these foods is that on top of encouraging the fat to melt away, they’re great for your overall health. They have the power to help you promote insulin function, tackle inflammation, and support healthy blood-sugar balance—which is absolutely critical for great, sustained energy. By eating these foods, you’ll also help cultivate a gut microbiome that can continue to promote weight loss. Amazing, right?
Give it a listen right now so you know how to make your next meal a delicious, fat-burning feast.
400:01:13 – You don’t have to eat less to lose weight
00:04:04 – How to increase satiety
00:06:13 – A few of my favorite protein sources
00:08:10 – What you may not know about inflammation
00:10:10 – Are there benefits to caffeine?
00:11:29 – Many Americans don’t eat these, but should
00:14:37 – The other type of dietary fiber you need
00:16:25 – A super simple way to boost metabolism
00:18:15 – The trifecta for blood-sugar balance
00:19:33 – Eating close to nature
00:21:11 – What does this look like in a day?
Resources Mentioned in this episode
ATHE_Transcript_Ep 588_9 Foods for Fat Loss You Should Eat Every Day
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] I'm JJ Virgin, PhD dropout, sorry mom, turned four time New York Times best selling author. Yes, I'm a certified nutrition specialist, fitness hall of famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe, but I'm driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing the information I uncover with as many people as I can, and that's why I created the Well Beyond 40 Podcast.
To synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode, we'll talk about what's working in the world of wellness, from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism, to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness. Join me on the journey to better health so you can love how you look and feel right now and have the energy to play full out.[00:01:00]
Fat free salad dressings, low fat yogurts, and other boring diet foods, they can actually make it harder for you to lose weight. They are not the healthy foods you think they are. Now here's the good news. You don't have to shrink your diet to shrink your waistline. You can actually add before you take away.
And I'm going to share nine foods that you're going to want to incorporate into your meals. That'll help you reach your body composition goals. So the first one is apple cider vinegar and gosh, it does so many cool things. First of all, it contains acetic acid and acetic acid can help regulate the genes that help your body store less fat and burn more fat.
The next cool thing it can do, and this is why I want you to take it before your meals. It can help lower the blood sugar response to the meal. It actually slows the rate at which carbs are broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. So what does that mean to you? Less stored fat, better blood sugar control, and big [00:02:00] one, less cravings.
Now, those weight loss drugs that we've been hearing about, Ozempic, Monjaro, one of the things that they do is slow down stomach emptying. Guess what? Apple cider vinegar does it too. It helps food stay in the stomach longer, which means you're going to feel fuller longer. And that means you'll eat less.
Now, here's just one caveat about this. Don't just chug it from the container. I know you wouldn't do that anyway, but that would trash your tooth and animal. So as long as you dilute it, you're totally cool. One of my favorite ways to have it, which we're going to talk about this one in a bit, is with green tea.
The next one. Lemon juice. So apple cider vinegar is great for blood sugar and so is lemon juice. And what I love about lemon juice is you can get a lot of flavor without a big sugar hit and a bunch of calories. So it's got a low glycemic load. It's low in the sugar impact diet. It's going to help with digestion.
It can actually help you absorb nutrients better and reduce bloating. [00:03:00] Plus, of course, it's rich in vitamin C. And vitamin C is super important because it's an antioxidant that helps make carnitine. And carnitine can help break down fatty acids so that you can use them as a, fuel rather than keep them stored as fat.
So you got to have enough carnitine so that your body can use fat better, which can help you lose fat better. Now, one other thing with lemon juice are these polyphenols that can slow the digestion or absorption of carbs. Again, very similar to apple cider vinegar, and that's going to help you not have those blood sugar spikes and elevated blood sugar, which then can lead to more fat storage.
Okay, so apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, number three should come as no surprise if you've been watching my videos, and it is protein. And when I think of great protein sources, I'm thinking wild fish, especially wild salmon, grass fed and grass finished beef, lamb, [00:04:00] collagen, bone broth protein. There's so many cool things that protein does.
First of all, it helps you not be hungry. It increases satiety. You know, all bets are off if you're hungry. It's impossible to stay on your healthy eating plan if you're hungry. Let's be real. So that's the first one is it can dramatically improve satiety. The second one is that it's more thermic. So we've got three macronutrients, right?
We've got protein, we've got carbs, we've got fat. Protein Has a 20 to 30% higher thermic effect than carbs or fat. Carbs are like around 10% fat. Doesn't really take much for your body to use fat, right? But protein, your body has to do a lot of work for. So that's fantastic. In fact, what we know is that even if all you did in your diet, same, it's isochloric, same calorie load.
If you took your protein up, say from 10 to 12%, which is the standard really, really awful diet, right, up to more of the 20 to 25%, replacing out, kicking out some of the fats or carbs, you would [00:05:00] lose weight. Now, the other things, and I think of this as that trifecta of satiety, thermic effect, and blood sugar control.
I'm talking a lot about blood sugar control, but gosh, that is so… Mission critical for great sustained energy. And of course, to help you not get insulin resistant. Speaking of insulin resistance, protein of course is necessary for you supporting good muscle protein synthesis, right? And we've got to have that for good insulin sensitivity.
So that's mission critical. We want you doing resistance training and then feeding your body what it needs in terms of those amino acids through protein so you can rebuild. And. If you're doing that, all that muscle protein synthesis is going to burn more calories at rest, right? So that's the next thing.
We know muscle is more metabolically active than your fat tissue, of course. Now, one other thing, protein's been found to increase fat burning. Fat oxidation is the process of using stored body fat as a [00:06:00] fuel source. I don't know about you, but I would much rather be burning off stored body fat, right? And we know, again, if you have that higher protein intake, it's going to help you use fat for energy better and help support fat loss.
So a couple shout outs. I started with the beginning going some of the things I love. I do collagen every day, either in my bone broth protein that's about 80% collagen or I add collagen. In fact, I even travel with these things because it's great for your joints. It's also great for your hair, skin, and nails.
I think of it as whole body, whole beauty type of collagen. Now, as far as wild fish, and I especially big shout out to salmon because of the astaxanthin and amazing antioxidant, and grass fed, grass finished beef, and you're going to get omega 3s from these. And omega 3s, as you know, are critical for helping reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and help with fat burning.
So, easy thing for you to do every single day. Start the day. With a loaded smoothie, whenever you're breaking your fast, which I would say [00:07:00] best time is generally two to three hours after waking up. I think two hours is about a great window, but it's a great way to get the protein in that you need. 30 grams or more at that breaking fast meal, right?
That's high quality. So for number four, I mentioned Throwing apple cider vinegar into green tea. Green tea is something that I put into my diet every single day. In fact, one of the things I like to do is do a big 32 ouncer of it when I'm going to the gym because green tea does so many cool things.
First of all, it's been found to help increase fat oxidation, which we just talked about with protein intake. That's how you can use stored body fat as fuel. It also can help impact your hunger regulating hormones, ghrelin and leptin. So your brain hears the message of, I'm good, I'm full, right? And again, you gotta work on satiety because if you're hungry, Like, how are you going to be rational?
Then it's got this catechin called epigalactocatechin 3 gallate, EGCG. I was always taught to [00:08:00] go, it's an egg with a C in the middle. EGCG. And EGCG can boost thermogenesis. It can help raise your metabolic rate. It also can reduce inflammation. Now, here's the big bad thing about inflammation. I mean, obviously, you know, inflammation is a bad thing.
It's its own risk factor for obesity because it basically locks the doors on your fat cells so your body cannot access that stored fat for energy. Also, chronic inflammation puts the brakes on muscle protein synthesis. Increases your risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And of course, it's not good for your heart or brain.
So big thing there. So green tea and the EGCG in it have these anti inflammatory effects because they suppress inflammation causing enzymes and molecules. And then the other one is what it's doing to your gut microbiome. And I learned this from Dr. Jason Fung. Green tea can influence the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
You want that. And it can also stop the development of the bad kind. [00:09:00] So it can help you create that balance that you want in your microbiome. And what we're just really seeing with microbiome is that the balance of your bacteria in your microbiome can impact your immune system, your mood, but it also hugely impacts your weight.
Depending on the types of bacteria you have in your gut, it can make the difference between you storing more calories from the food you eat as fat or burning more calories off. I know which one I want to have. Now, there's also prebiotics in green tea that can also help. And there's one more thing that I got to do a shout out in green tea, and it's the L theanine in there.
Now, L theanine is basically the precursor to the neurotransmitter GABA, and GABA is that calming neurotransmitter. So what you'll find is very different than coffee if you're drinking green tea. Yes, it has some caffeine, but the theanine is like calming. So it's this great calming buzz. But speaking of buzzing, coffee is also getting the shout out.
Now, coffee is the other [00:10:00] thing, and I literally will tell you, I go to the gym with a coffee and a green tea. That's what I go double fisted in every single day. They stop making jokes about it because it's just, like, my normal. But why is caffeine so important? Well, we know caffeine can increase metabolic rate and help you burn more calories.
It boosts metabolism. Temporarily, it will increase your body temperature and will stimulate thermogenesis and improve fat burning. While it's doing that, it's also suppressing your appetite because it influences the hormones. That regulate hunger and fullness. And of course, along with that, it can curb cravings.
Now we know it's something called an ergogenic aid. In fact, you know, it's monitored with professional athletes because of what it can do for exercise performance. It makes you more alert, more focused. It reduces that whole perceived exertion of how hard workouts are and which is why I always have some when I'm going into my workout so I can work out harder.
So here's a little hack for you with your [00:11:00] coffee. You can take your coffee in the morning, you can throw in some of my collagen, you can throw in some of my bone broth protein. Or if you want to make like the killer mocha, take some of my collagen and take this living ratio cacao calm with some mushroom extracts.
Amazing. It's a great thing that you can do to really get a great workout deliciously. All right, next one. Now, all of these things, I will tell you go in my diet every single day and this one too, but I, I had to do some exploration here with this. So we've all heard how good fermented foods are, and let's face it, the United States, they just really aren't part of the culture.
I have a good girlfriend who is Korean descent. And I remember we were having an event. She brought kimchi. Holy smokes. I was like, whoa. You know, it's like, did you have to open that in the room with everybody in it? But literally she wrote the kimchi diet because she eats it every single day. I tried, but kimchi, sauerkraut, I don't even like pickles.
So I had to figure out what was I going to do to have a little bit of fermented every [00:12:00] day. I tried it with wine. This is not what we're talking about here. So what I use is a nut style yogurt. So you can do it with a yogurt, a kefir. If you can do dairy, Greek style yogurt, it's an amazing one. If you can't do it, like me.
Then try some of the different nut style yogurts. You can do a water kefir, a coconut kefir, a coconut yogurt. So there's a lot of things here, but honestly, making that commitment every day to get in some fermented foods will have a huge, huge impact because it's going to do such great things for your gut microbiome.
And as we know, having great microbiome balance and diversity is super key for better metabolic health and of course, weight management. In fact, Again, what we know is that certain types of bacterias can actually lower your weight and help you burn more fat. And it's all about having that right balance.
Now, I'm going to give you a little hack too, and that is taking probiotics. So I use my Floral [00:13:00] Harmony from Reignite Wellness, which has several strains of probiotics. That's support weight management and fat loss. One is Bifidobacterium brevi and one is Lactobacillus rhinosus. I probably killed that pronunciation of both of those, but super important.
So that's a way you can kind of hack it, but you still want to get those fermented foods in because they make it easier for your body to absorb and use nutrients that really help. With weight management. Now another one, and again, I'm kind of hammering this home, but if you look at what is going on now with all these weight loss drugs, one of the key things that they do is make you not feel so hungry all the time.
Well, guess what? Fermented foods. Do this too. And here's what's cool about fermented foods. A lot of times they also have fiber and protein. And so now you've got this trifecta to help you with fullness and satiety. And quite often they also have anti inflammatory properties too. And as we know, like in obesity, fat cells [00:14:00] actually cytokines.
These are these inflammatory messengers, right? And so it starts to become this like chicken and egg situation. You get inflamed, you start getting more fat, you get more fat, you get more inflamed, and it just goes round and round and round and round. And when you can start to reduce inflammation, one of the ways you can do it.
is with fermented foods, it can also help here too. And finally, fermented foods have a low glycemic index. They're low in the sugar impact diet. Why? Because the fermenting ate up the sugar. So it can help regulate your blood sugar levels, so you're not having those spikes and crashes. Now I talked probiotics, but one of the things I think we don't talk about enough, although I see it's now coming out a lot in the literature, Prebiotics.
Prebiotics are different because they're a type of dietary fiber that actually provides the fuel for the bacteria in the gut. They fuel the probiotics. So you really want to look at how do I feed the bacteria in the gut? How do I [00:15:00] create this big diversity in the gut? So prebiotic foods are usually foods that are high in fiber.
And remember, fiber should be one of our secret weapons because it adds bulk to your meals. So you're going to feel fuller longer, right? Which of course, again, appetite control, you'll eat less. So that's super duper important. It also, I got to say it, will give you poops that you can be proud of, right? It helps you detoxify and it helps move things through faster.
Now, prebiotics also may influence the production and release of certain appetite regulating hormones. So beyond just… the keeping it in your stomach a little longer and then moving it through. It also can influence ghrelin and peptide YY, PYY. Now, ghrelin stimulates hunger. PYY promotes feelings of fullness.
So influencing these is a big deal. And it can also help with improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation. So Here's some you can easily Google go prebiotic foods, but let me give you some of the ones that [00:16:00] are the easiest ones to do because some of them you're like chicory root, like I just haven't really bought chicory root at the store lately, but garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas.
Remember, shout out on the bananas, get them as green as possible. You've got to be able to peel it, but get a more green for the resistant starch too. Sunchokes, whenever I see those on the menu at a restaurant, I get them. Dandelion green is great to work into your salads, leeks, apples, and legumes. And then water.
Holy smokes. There's so much to water. I think it's one of those things. I'm a big tracker. I think we need to be tracking our protein every day. And I really think we need to be tracking our water every day too, because that's so many things that it does. First of all, it can boost your metabolic rate.
When you drink water, it can boost your metabolic rate. 30% for 30 minutes. That's a major impact all throughout the day, right? Because the reverse of that is true too. If you're mildly dehydrated, stress hormones come up. Your body then starts to go into a storage mode where it actually takes glucose, [00:17:00] converts it to fructose.
This is not the pathway you want to go, right? You want to go fructose to glucose. It takes glucose, which you can get from your liver, convert it to fructose. And stores it as fat, just like a camel does. Because when we burn fat, we can liberate water. That's what your body does when you're dehydrated. So it makes sure you have some hydration to access.
We do not want that process to happen. And so you want to make sure that you're staying hydrated. So you have good metabolic function, right? You can use energy more efficiently. Now, you want to be drinking water throughout the day, especially in between meals, because it's going to help you feel more full.
So you don't eat as much with your meals, right? And if you're drinking cold water, maybe a little thermogenic as well, because your body has to warm it up. And that means that your body has to do a little bit of work. The other thing we talked about, fiber for detoxification. Well, water is critical for detoxification too, right?
It's going to be critical for your kidneys so they can work properly and get rid of stuff. And drinking enough water, your kidneys can easily remove [00:18:00] waste. And That also includes all those by products that happen from you breaking down fat, which we want to do. And then your body just stays clean and working well.
And then finally, talked a little bit about fiber with prebiotics, but let's really drive fiber home because when I talk about eating by the plate, I talk about eating protein first. You know, that's my mantra, right? And then getting in your fiber from lots of non starchy vegetables, two pieces of fruit, and a little bit of slow, low carbs.
And then healthy fats, because this is really the trifecta for blood sugar balance, for satiety. And so here's the fiber part of it. Here's where we want you to do this, because truly, fiber is a secret weapon for fat loss for a couple reasons. Again, number one is satiety. Number two is blood sugar. And number three is detox.
And I think we don't talk about this enough. As you're losing fat, you are actually freeing up toxins that are in your fat because our body, we're going to get toxins. There's just no way around it. Like if we're [00:19:00] breathing air, we're out there drinking things, we're touching things, our skin's a sieve, even if you go to the most pristine areas in the world now, there's toxins there because they fly, they drift, right?
And so we want to be actively getting rid of those toxins. But if we have more toxins coming in than our body can get rid of, it's stored in our fat. And that means as we start to free up fat, as we start to fat burn, we're freeing up toxins. We've got to get them out. And fiber is a great way to help do that.
It can glom onto them and help escort them out of the body. Protein's another key thing here too. Now, one of the things I like to talk about is eating as close to nature as possible. And when you do that, you're going to get higher fiber foods. Quite often all this ultra processing is ultra processing the fiber right on out of there.
So here's what I want you to do. First, non starchy vegetables, minimum, your floor for non starchy vegetables is at least five servings a day. What's a serving? It's a cup of raw or half a cup of cooked. So half a cup of cauliflower rice, [00:20:00] one serving. A cup of romaine lettuce or arugula lettuce, one serving.
So you can see how easy it is to go way past that. And I want you to be an overachiever here. Like 10 servings is my ultimate goal. And you can go past that. There is no limit here. There is a limit on fruit. What I want you to do is think about two fruit servings a day. That's about a cup. So say an apple, a cup of berries.
And with both of these, I really want you to go for diversity. Diversity is super key for all polyphenols, the nutrients that you get from that. Now, you can add on to that some of the slow, low carbs. And I like to say that you're going to earn those carbs through your exercise. Baseline non starchy vegetables, the two fruit.
If you're active, then you can add more based on that. And things that I love, legumes, potatoes for the resistant starch, winter squash is another one, wild rice. You've got to watch the amounts though. Half a cup is a serving there. It's easy to go overboard on that, right? And if you go overboard on carbs, that's what your body's going to focus on burning, carbs, not anything else.[00:21:00]
And it's got too much and it can't store it in your muscles, which are your sugar sponge. And your liver's full, guess what happens to it? Becomes fat. All right. So I just threw a lot at you. So what does this look like in a day? Here's what you do. Get up in the morning, have your coffee, make your loaded smoothie.
Now oftentimes now I've been making more of like a yogurt smoothie where I'm using nut yogurt and stirring in my bone broth protein, stirring in some collagen, adding in some fiber. I have an extra fiber product I love. And then I also might use chia seeds or freshly ground flax, of course, berries, another great one in there too.
Then again, green tea is going to the gym with me. I love a good green tea, lemon juice, ACV, easy thing to do. So another thing that is an easy one to do is take lemon juice, a little cayenne pepper, a little bit of a sweetener like allulose, and you put ACV in there too. Apple cider vinegar is kind of one of those easy things you can throw in, and it's especially great to get apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
before a [00:22:00] meal. Now in your two meals beyond that loaded smoothie, you're going to get in some clean protein. You're going to get in some fiber from the non starchy vegetables, maybe a little slow, low carbs, and get something fermented. Again, I got fermented in in my yogurt in the morning, but if you didn't get that in, maybe you are advanced and you're going to do some sauerkraut or kimchi.
Simple, easy peasy though. You see how easily that was to incorporate those things in. And that's what we really want to do is look at how can we take one by one, don't overwhelm yourself and go, okay. There's nine things here. I've got five I'm good at. Pick one and start adding that in. Now that's what you need to do for fat loss.
Next up are the lifestyle strategies you're going to want to have in place to reach your ideal body composition. So in this next video I'm going to talk about six simple strategies for fast lasting fat loss. So you can finally break through your weight loss plateau. Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great.
And more importantly, that you're [00:23:00] built to last. And check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and my website, jjvirgin.com. And make sure to follow my podcast so you don't miss a single episode at subscribetojj.com. See you next time.