Fat Burning Food Facts
- Studies have shown that multiple servings of dairy per day is a proven best fat burner till date.
- Protein will keep your metabolism revved up, but choose lean meats and remove the skin off of poultry to keep your calories in check.
- Whole grains and oats are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which can keep your insulin levels lower and help you feel full longer.
- Caffeine and EGCG (found in green tea) can raise your metabolism, but the coffee won’t do you any good if it comes with whole milk, extra sugar, and whipped cream.
- Water will help you feel more full before a meal, will eliminate bloating as it flushes sodium and toxins from your system, and it may even increase your metabolism!
To understand fat burning foods, it is important to understand that no foods will literally burn fat. The classic definition of fat burning foods or negative calorie foods is foods that use more calories while being digested than they contain. While it is debatable whether any foods truly fit that definition, the “fat burning foods” listed here will help increase your metabolism, so that you burn more calories, which will help you control your weight. These foods are also naturally lower in calories.
Weight control is entirely based on calorie intake and calorie burn. Dieting limits calorie intake; exercising increases calorie burn. Increased muscle mass resulting from exercise also increases even your resting metabolism (calorie burn). Foods can also rev up your metabolism and help to increase calorie burn. The following list of fat burning foods is a great place to begin taking control of your weight. However, it is important to remember that including a few healthy foods in your diet will not counteract the high caloric content of a daily fast food or mocha latte with extra whip habit. Watching what you eat and participating in daily physical activity is the best combination to lose weight in a fast and healthy manner.
The “Fat Burners”
Dairy products contain calcium, which acts as a metabolic trigger. A study at University of Tennessee found that when dieters consumed 1200 to 1300 mg of calcium daily, they lost almost twice as much weight as dieters who took in less calcium. Milk is also a source of complex carbohydrates, which help insulin levels stay low after eating, and therefore boosts metabolism.
Chicken, pork, lean beef, and turkey are all excellent sources of protein, which help your metabolism stay in high-gear. Removing the skin from chicken and turkey will help cut additional fat calories, and choosing lean cuts of pork and beef is also important. For burgers, substitute ground sirloin instead of higher-fat ground chuck. Be careful to prepare meats in a calorie-conscious manner so as not to negate the metabolism-boosting effects of the protein; seasoning with fresh herbs will have much fewer calories than slathering with BBQ sauce.
Eggs are another great source of protein. Eggs also contain vitamin B12, which is a great supplement for breaking down fat cells. If you are concerned about cholesterol, you can remove the yolks and still benefit from the high protein content. You can also buy cartons of egg whites, such as Egg Beaters for making scrambled eggs or cooking without yolks.
Beans are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron. While you want to make sure beans are thoroughly cooked to help your digestive track break down some of the proteins in beans, you’ll want to avoid refried beans (which are high in saturated fat) and baked beans (which are usually loaded with sugar).
Salmon and tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your body’s levels of a hormone called leptin lower. Lower leptin levels are associated with higher calorie burned. Sardines are also rich in fish oil, which can help weight loss. If fish isn’t your thing, fish oil supplements will have the same effect. Like fish oil, olive oil also contains monounsaturated fat, which helps increase metabolism and lower cholesterol.
Whole grains and oats:
Whole grain cereals and bread are good sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, which help to keep insulin low after a meal, and therefore boost metabolism. Oats are also rich in fiber. Oatmeal breaks down slowly in your stomach, so it doesn’t cause insulin to spike the way that other carbs, like bagels do. Since oatmeal is typically a breakfast food, it can help keep insulin down and metabolism up all day. Eating breakfast alone is a great way to start your metabolism up for the day; skipping meals slows down your metabolism and prepares your body to store fat. It’s best to select unsweetened and unflavored oatmeal because extra sugar can compromise the health benefits. Sweetening the oatmeal yourself with fruit or even a spoonful of honey will be much healthier and much more conducive to weight control than buying sugary flavored oatmeals.
Using cayenne pepper to spice up a meal can increase metabolism. Just one spicy meal in a day can boost metabolism by up to 25 percent, and the calorie burn lasts up to 3 hours after the end of the meal. Habanera peppers may also increase metabolism. A study from Laval University in Quebec found that men who consumed coffee and red-pepper packed snack and meals burned almost 1000 calories more per day than the control group. When it comes to jalapenos, a chemical called capsaicin gives them their pungent flavor and speeds up the heart rate which boosts metabolism.
Coffee and tea:
Caffeine speeds up your heart rate, which helps to burn more calories. Of course, a latte with whole milk, extra caramel, and whipped cream would negate the calorie burning effect, since there are so many calories in high-fat, sugary coffee drinks. Skim milk and minimal sweetener is best to maintain the calorie-burning effects of coffee. Tea, especially green tea, is also helpful for increasing metabolism because the chemical in green tea known as EGCG causes the brain and nervous system to run faster, helping to burn more calories. It works similarly to caffeine, without causing the heart to beat faster. Combining caffeine and a 90mg dose of EGCG three times a day can help you burn an extra 80 calories per day.
While the “grapefruit diet” is a potentially unhealthy crash diet, eating grapefruit does have very healthy weight-loss benefits. Grapefruit, which is packed with vitamin C, has been shown to reduce insulin levels, which keeps metabolism high.
Another great benefit of fruits is that they are excellent sources of fiber, which not only increases your metabolism, but it also helps you stay full longer. Beware of fruit juices though. Bottled fruit juices often have sugar added, and they do not contain the benefits of fiber that eating whole fruit provides.
Drinking water has many benefits for your overall health and watching your weight. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will help fill you up to avoid eating too many calories during your meal. Water also eliminates bloating because it flushes sodium and toxins out of your system. Some studies have also shown that water increases your metabolic rate. Another great benefit of drinking water is that we often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated can eliminate overeating because of thirst.