What’s Wrong With Your Summer ‘Diet’.

Wanting to trim up to look good in your swimwear?  Yes of course!  Wanting to lose fat and build muscle?  Oh yes!  Gearing up for the last minute ‘Summer’ diet?  NO. NO. NO!

Many, many people make this common mistake and instead of effortlessly achieving the slim and healthy body they desire, they set themselves up for muscle-loss, fat-gain and a damaged metabolism! So step away from the lettuce leaf – or in the long run, you will pay BIG time (pun intended) and lock yourself into a yo-yo dieting mindset and weight gain!  

But who’s not thinking about looking good for the Summer in strappy dresses, shorts, figure-hugging tees and cool swimwear?  So doesn’t it follow that the last minute ‘crash’ diet (you know, lots and lots and lots of leaves and maybe a little protein) will do the trick?  If you think this, then you’re making a big mistake.

‘Diets’ don’t work

I’ll keep saying it: ‘DIETS DON’T WORK’.  Sure, you’ll lose a little ‘weight’ in the very short term – but at the expense of disrupting your metabolism and, in the long term, of gaining that weight right back – and then some.

‘Diets’ (and it doesn’t really matter which) are essentially about restricting calories by restricting or removing those foods which we’ve been taught (brainwashed?) are responsible for weight gain.  The usual culprits are bread, pasta, potatoes and other starchy veggies, saturated fats, red meat, any and all sugars (refined, natural, fruit juices).  What’s left to eat… well, I guess the leaves?  Maybe some salmon (and usually it’s farmed and therefore one of the most contaminated foods you can eat!).

But these kinds of diets don’t provide us with enough energy, so our body tries to conserve it by slowing down metabolism, breaking down your muscles for energy and hanging on to fat! The secret of burning fat for the long-term is to stop, stop STOP DIETING and START EATING FAT BURNING FOODS.  Foods which support your metabolism and nourish your liver (a healthy liver is your most important fat burning organ).  Oh, they also happen to be delicious, as Mother Nature has made sure that the (whole) foods our body most needs for energy, vitality and health are also some of the most delicious.  Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

Okay, so what are these fabulous fat burning foods?

Coconut oil, ripe tropical fruits, 100% pure orange juice, gelatin/collagen, truly free-range, organic eggs, organic grass-fed meats and wild caught seafood, below the ground veggies (roots, tubers) and squashes, organic pasture-fed dairy products and real butter.

Are you gasping yet?  Well breathe easy – these foods are absolutely what we need to supply the right energy (a balance of proteins, fats and carbs) to keep our metabolism high and keep our body burning fat.

Why?  Well here’s why… and we like how Catherine at Butter Nutrition sets out the store:

Coconut oil

”Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, stimulating to the metabolism, easy to digest, and full of antioxidants. The refined coconut oil (flavourless) is great for cooking because it is stable at high temperatures.  Use coconut oil in place of harmful vegetable oils (PUFA fats) that slow the metabolism.”

“An important function of coconut oil is that it supports mitochondrial respiration, increasing energy production that has been blocked by the unsaturated fatty acids. Since the polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit thyroid function at many levels, coconut oil can promote thyroid function simply by reducing those toxic effects. It allows normal mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, without producing the toxic lipid peroxidation that is promoted by unsaturated fats.” Dr. Ray Peat, Ph.D

Ripe, tropical fruits

”Ripe fruits are among the best fat burning foods because when a fruit is fully ripe, the nutrients are at their peak and the sugars are broken down into single sugars that require minimal digestion. Fruit is perfect for your metabolism because it is rich in both nutrients and antioxidants.”

(Note from me:  Besides oranges, our favourites are pineapples and watermelons)

100% PURE orange juice

”Orange juice is one of the very best fat burning foods! However, this does not mean that any orange juice will do– I’m talking about PURE unadulterated OJ without additives, fillers, and NOT from concentrate. If you can find the pure stuff, it’s loaded with magnesium, potassium, vitamin C (that supports detoxification in the liver), folate, thiamin, and vitamin A. A fat burning body needs the nutrients that orange juice supplies!”

(Note from me: OJ is your friend. I regularly buy organic juicing boxes on-line and juice my own and most supermarkets now stock 100% pure (no bits) orange juice). 


Gelatin has a unique and very non-inflammatory amino acid profile, which consists of glycine, glutamic acid, proline, and alanine. These amino acids are medicinal to the liver. Due to the heavy consumption of muscle- meats and the dietary exclusion of important organ meats, these particular amino acids are lacking [in western diets]. Over time, this can produce more inflammation if not balanced by non-inflammatory proteins like gelatin. Although gelatin is primarily made up of non-essential amino acids (meaning your body CAN make them), many over-stressed livers are not able to manufacture all the non-essential amino acids in the amounts demanded by your body. The liver needs an abundance of these proteins to keep your liver functioning optimally and allow your body to detox in our toxic world!

(Note from me: We regularly make bone broth which is rich in collagen and use this (taste-less) gelatin powder and add it to anything liquid… including milk and OJ).

Truly free-range, organic eggs

”Eggs are like nature’s multivitamins containing everything that is needed to create life. Each egg contains about 6 grams of protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, B2, B5, B12, choline, and cholesterol. Getting a few eggs per day with a few extra yolks in your diet every day is a great place to start!”

(Note from me:  The whole eggs = cholesterol is a myth that is now well and truly debunked). 

Grass-fed, organic meats and wild caught seafood

Both organic proteins and wild seafood are less likely to contain hormones, additives, and toxins, which allows them to be fat burning supportive foods. Shellfish is particularly rich in minerals that nourish the liver (like iron, zinc, copper and selenium), making it especially therapeutic.

(Note from me:  It’s important to eat the ‘whole’ fish where you can.  I buy: whole fish and save the bones and head for stock; whole, shell-on prawns (to cook down the shells, blend and sieve for bisque); and buy fresh mussels (and occasionally oysters) on-line.

Root vegetables, squashes and especially raw carrots

”Roots and tubers are incredibly nutrient dense and easy to digest (easy to digest food supports fat burning). In addition, 1-2 raw carrots a day can be a digestive “helper” and can help detoxify excess estrogen and endotoxin in the colon that can impact digestion.”

(Note from me:  We dice and roast root veggies, pimped up with spices, and serve them at room temperature in, or with frittatas, meats, fish.)

Animal bones and organ meats

”Any protein that is bone-in, or try my favourite, which is whole chickens and chicken feet. The purpose of buying the bones themselves or with [the meaty] proteins is to use them to make bone broth and to give your body the protein balance of eating the ‘whole’ animal”

Organ meats such as liver a few servings per week goes a long way for your health and fat burning abilities. If you’re up for the challenge, 3-6oz of liver per week is a great target.

(Note from me:  I regularly make bone broth and I make liver pate and add blitzed liver to burgers, casseroles, pies etc.  You can also blend a little raw liver into smoothies (promise, you can’t tell), or make frozen liver pills. 

Grass-fed, organic dairy products

Additive-free dairy products, including whole milk, cottage cheese, and other cheeses can be great fat-burning foods if you do not have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance.  Dairy is nutrient packed with high-quality protein, fat, and calcium.  If you can’t do dairy you might want to find another way to get your calcium (like bone broth).

(Note from me:  I buy unpasteurised (raw) dairy from our local farm because all the nutrients and enzymes needed to digest the milk are intact; this is why so many who have problems with pasteurised dairy are able to tolerate raw milk.  Many raw dairy farmers sell online, but if you want pasteurised dairy, at least buy it non-homogenised (homogenisation is a ‘convenient’ dairy processing technique which alters the fat distribution and confuses your body).

Real butter

”The last of the best fat burning foods is definitely beloved butter.  Contrary to popular mainstream media advice that butter is BAD for your health, it’s actually quite the opposite– butter is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K2, saturated fat, lauric acid, and cholesterol (antioxidant). There is no reason not to love it and enjoy it as it helps you burn fat.”

Note from me:  I use raw butter which contains theWulzen’ or anti-stiffness factor – great for arthritic joints!

You can read Catherine’s full article here.

Start your fat-burning food transition now and you won’t look back!

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was your body.  Sacrificing your long-term health for a few short weeks of vanity is crazy.  Instead, be kind to your body by enjoying fat-burning foods and know that you’re transitioning your body and your health for life!


Izabella Natrins

I'm here to inspire and support women at midlife and beyond to re-ignite purpose and meaning to take back control of their health and create the radical, resilient heath they want and deserve. As a whole-health expert with over 30 years experience in the field, a qualified Health and Wellness Coach and Ballymaloe-trained nutritional chef, my real food nutrition and lifestyle medicine programmes support women fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues. As an advocate for real food nutrition, regenerative agriculture and whole-health, my book 'The Real Food Solution' is an evidence-based treasury wisdom for energy, vitality and better health for people and planet and a call to action to change the way we grown, source and cook our food. As the CEO at The UK Health Coaches Association, I'm proud to continue the task of leading the first professional association for Health and Wellness Coaches in the world and the gold standard for the UK and Ireland.

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