When you think of foods that burn fat, you can’t think that there are literally foods you can eat and get thinner. But rather, certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, they are low on calories, high in fiber etc, so consuming them for a certain period of time will speed up your metabolism, make you feel fuller, and eventually help the fat burning process.
Here is a list of 9 foods that burn fat (although technically not all of them are foods).
Although it’s not a miracle food, it’s safe to say that grapefruit can be put in the fat burning foods list. What grapefruit does is – it prevents insulin spikes which in term prevents fat storage in the body. Research has also shown that grapefruit juice can help in hunger control.
This doesn’t mean that you need to jump on the grapefruit diet. It simply means that you need to have a balanced diet, and add moderate amounts (150-200ml) of natural grapefruit juice to see faster results.
2. Green tea
Asian researchers say that drinking 3-4 cups of green tea a day, will make a difference on your metabolism. Drinking 3-4 cups of green tea a day helped people lose about six pounds in eight weeks, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. They credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after consuming green tea. It was also shown that green tea has an impact on growth hormone and increases its production.
3. Whole grains
Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods. Fiber also plays a key role in how satisfied you feel after consuming a meal, by improving digestion. This is why you should add some whole grains to your diet.
4. Lean meats
Lean meats are high in protein and protein has a high thermogenic effect in the body. In order to digest high protein foods your body burns about 20-30 percent of the calories the food contains. This means that 100g of protein in lean meats ( 400 calories from protein) needs 100-120 calories just to be digested.
5. Hot and spicy foods
Spicy foods, mostly spices: black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard, horse-radish are all known to speed up metabolism. Thanks to the substance called capsaicin these spices can be put on the list of fat burning foods. Capsaicin is the substance that gives them the hot taste and it has strong heat generating properties. Add as much cayenne or hot sauce as possible to soups, eggs, and meats.
6. Low-fat dairy products
Rich in calcium, these help preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a robust metabolism. Low fat dairy also increases the production of the hormone Calcitriol (bioactive vitamin D), which has long been known for its important role in regulating body levels of calcium and phosphorus and in mineralization of bone. This hormone also makes cells burn more fat as energy.
One cup packs 35% of your daily iron needs—good news, since up to 20% of us are iron- deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows down because the body is not getting the ingredients it needs to work efficiently.
One teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowers blood sugar levels, prevents blood sugar spikes which prevents the storage of excess carbohydrates as under-skin fat.
Even though water is not a food, it still can be added to this list. Water plays a great role in weight loss. Dehydration leads to excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity, joint and muscle soreness, and water retention.
To summarize: Even though you need to have a balanced diet (and a caloric deficit) in order to burn fat, there are foods that, when combined and taken in the right doses, can definitely speed up your metabolism and speed up the fat burning process. These foods usually have high nutrition density, they are low in empty calories, high in fiber and that’s why we can safely say that these are foods that burn fat.