You’ll hear it said that some foods will help your body to burn your stored fat and help avoid more fat being stored. But is it true and if so, what foods are they and how do they work?
Firstly, yes it’s true, there really are foods that will help you to burn unwanted fat and help to ensure you don’t put the fat back on. I’m going to list some of them here for you and explain how they work.
As an overview, there are 3 main ways that these special foods can help you burn your fat:
- Certain foods have vitamins and minerals that raise metabolism and work as virtual fat burners
These foods will force your metabolism into a higher gear, helping you to burn more calories, even when you’re simply getting on with your day. They won’t burn 1000’s of calories at a time, but if you make this part of your routine, you could soon see a smile inducing difference on the scales.
- Some have negative calories or very low calories that burn more calories during digestion
The principle of negative calories is that you’ll burn more calories eating, chewing and digesting these foods, than they actually contain. So you are eating but there are so few calories that there aren’t enough left to store as fat.
- Some of these foods, even eaten in small quantities, make you feel full but only contain a few calories
Certain high fibre foods for instance, can have a filling effect, even when they contain relatively few calories.
This is free and easy weight loss because all you have to do is adapt your diet to include some of the foods on the following list and you’ll be helping your body to burn fat. And when you look through this list, you’ll see the majority of foods here are average, everyday items, not super rare or hard to find foods.
Top 23 Fat Burning Foods
1. Citrus Fruits
Classed as one of the best fat burning foods, citrus fruit raises the metabolism and supplies a large amount of vitamin C, which is another great fat burner.
Whether it’s oranges, grapefruit, apples and even tomatoes, they all share strong fat burning food effects. You can mix them up too for different flavours and variety.
Apples are a great source of pectin which is known to restrict cells from absorbing fat and also helps your body to absorb water from food.
Apples are full of antioxidants which may reduce excess belly fat in cases of metabolic syndrome.
They’re a good source of soluble fiber too, which can help to control your appetite, by making you feel full but without the calories.
Try eating an apple first thing in the morning, rather than a cup of coffee and see if you notice a difference after a week.
Fruit in general is usually packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre, but berries such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries are very low on calories and high in water compared to refined foods.
Berries give the metabolism a boost which helps to break down food and stored fats.
Poultry, such as chicken is low in fat and carbs but high in protein and protein uses a lot of energy during digestion along with needing extra energy to store protein as fat.
Not only that but it’s also a good source of iron, zinc, and niacin.
5. Salmon & Tuna
Not only are salmon and tuna a great source of quality protein, they are an especially good source of healthy fats in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
They are also very satisfying while being low in calories and carbs. Salmon is known to positively effect leptin, which is the hormone in charge of burning or storing calories as fat.
Unfortunately, high levels of leptin make your body store fat, but salmon and tuna are known to reduce leptin, helping your body to burn calories.
According to research the ‘thermic’ effect of protein is the highest of all the food types. The thermic effect means how much it raises your metabolism and protein uses around 30% of its calories to digest and process itself. Lean proteins are also good for suppressing your appetite which can only help your weight loss efforts.
The main reason oatmeal gets the thumbs up is thanks to its large percentage of soluble fibre, which is known to help to control blood sugar, along with making you feel fuller, faster and for longer. Oatmeal is also good for lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
Old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal is the best and try eating it with fresh fruit.
The majority of vegetables (other than potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams) are low calorie, but high in vitamins and minerals known to speed up metabolism.
Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and artichokes are fat free and very low in carbs, so low in fact, they help your body to burn fat because your body will use more calories to digest them, than they contain.
Your body gets these extra calories it needs from stored fat. For example, a serving of Brussels sprouts contains just 50 calories, but your body needs to burn 75 calories to digest them. In other words you need to burn 25 calories of stored body fat to eat your brussels sprouts.
Beans can seem a bit underwhelming but don’t be fooled. They are full of minerals, low in calories and high in fibre and amino acids (Protein). These amino acids help to burn body fat while at the same time assist in building muscle, while keeping blood sugar under control.
Eggs are quiet simply one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Packed with protein in the form of broad spectrum essential amino acids, they boost metabolism and help burn fat. They are relatively low in calories, but high in vitamin D, vitamin B12, choline and selenium.
Eggs aren’t the bad guys when it comes to bad cholesterol because they actually improve the good cholesterol in the body.
10. Almonds, Walnuts and Pine-nuts
Not only are almonds and walnuts a tasty, crunchy snack able to quickly sooth your hunger pangs, they are also fantastic sources of the healthy fats responsible for the smooth functioning of the body’s cell structure.
They are very nutritious and just one ounce of almonds contains 12% of your daily protein needs, along with calcium, folic acid and a form of vitamin E which is especially beneficial to the body.
According to research pine nuts contain an abundance of healthy fatty acids:
“In a paper being presented in an American Physiological Society session at Experimental Biology 2006, Alexandra Einerhand, director, nutrition and toxicology-Europe at Lipid Nutrition, reports that “in this randomized, double-blind cross-over trial, the greatest effect was observed after just 30 minutes, with the 18 women reporting a 29% reduction in “desire to eat” and a 36% drop in “prospective food intake” scores. Their subjective feelings of appetite were evaluated by visual analog scales, a validated scoring system”
The essential fatty acids in pine nuts, including CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), help to burn stored abdominal fat. Pine nuts are also known to raise the levels of appetite reducing hormones, making you less likely to cheat eat.
It’s incredible how much nutrition is packed into the tiny mustard seed.
Not only do they contain protein and fiber, but they also pack a host of other nutrients including tryptophan (an amino acid), omega 3 fats, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, niacin and zinc.
And the spicy Asian and Mexican seeds speed up the metabolism a bit like ephedrine or caffeine does, but in a safe and more natural way. They also spice up your food and add fat loss benefits.
13. Green Tea
Green tea contains high levels of catechins, proven to raise your resting metabolic rate, which means they help your body to burn fat. It has also been shown, the catechins interact with the caffeine in green tea. A perfect substitute for coffee, green tea is high in antioxidants making it a natural stimulate.
The thing to remember about tea is that it’s the green tea’s not the black supermarket tea’s which carry the benefits. Green tea has been popular around the world for thousands of years for its health benefits and lately, for its fat burning properties.
You have to understand that tea is a collection of powerful chemicals which have a strong effect on the body, it’s had countless trials and research studies conducted on it and it works. So don’t think about it as just a beverage to dip your biscuits in.
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That spice that’s in almost every curry — that’s turmeric. It has been reported to increase metabolism by increasing bile production within the body, as well as lowering blood sugar levels. Be careful with curry, though.
Curries are full of creams and fats that do anything but increase your metabolism.
Further Turmeric (or Curcumin) benefits are that it can help detoxify your blood and support a healthy inflammation response. Turmeric or Curcumin should be taken with piperine or black pepper to help with bioavailability.
15. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper helps support body fat by increasing oxygen consumption. Cayenne pepper may also support blood pressure, blood circulation, and digestion.
Capsicum is a natural stimulant without the threatening side effects (palpitations, hyper-activity or rise in blood pressure) like most other stimulating agents.
Cayenne’s primary chemical ingredients include capsaicin, capsanthin, beta carotene, flavonoids, and vitamin C. Cayenne Pepper is a very high source of Vitamins A and C, has the complete B complexes, and is very rich in organic calcium and potassium.
It is known as an “insulin mimicker” meaning it minimizes the amount of insulin your body produces after a meal by transporting sugar molecules into cells within the body. Cinnamon also may slow down the emptying of the stomach after a large meal, leaving you to fill fuller and less likely to snack.
Kelp is a natural thyroid stimulant, which may support metabolism. Kelp, as well as other seaweeds, raise metabolism in two ways: they affect the thyroid gland and they increase basal metabolic rate (the speed at which your body burns calories while at rest).
Iodine, an important component of kelp, has a direct effect on basal metabolic rate. Kelp is believed to stimulate a thyroid hormone which is responsible for boosting metabolism. By returning the iodine levels to normal, it can help alleviate low-grade hypothyroidism.
Kelp contains large amounts of potassium, and naturally varying amounts of trace minerals, which may be useful in maintaining proper glandular function and metabolism. Some medications for high blood pressure can increase potassium levels in the blood. Taking Kelp along with some medications for high blood pressure might cause too much potassium in the blood.
Studies by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) show ginger supported the digestion process by absorbing the necessary nutrients into the system and regulated the metabolism cycle. The gingerol is the majorly active component in ginger.
Such active components in ginger activate the muscular activity in the digestive track and stimulate the chemical reactions in the digestive system.
Ginger is an important ingredient used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicines to support the metabolism and digestive system. Researchers have found that ginger may help settle the stomach during times of occasional nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.
19. Yerba Mate
A stimulant similar to caffeine, this herb can also increase blood pressure. Yerba Mate is also is a good source of antioxidants.
It also contains many nutrients like potassium, chromium, iron, niacin and magnesium. Yerba Mate suppresses your appetite and increases energy levels, therefore stimulating the ability to burn unwanted calories faster.
Yerba Mate contains mateine, which increase metabolism and energy. It also help you to get rid of allergy symptoms, act as a gentle diuretic and colon cleanse, nutritionally speed up the healing process and decrease stress. Yerba mate can be used in as a tea drink. It is also found in a supplement pill or energy drink. Those who are on blood pressure medication or are sensitive to stimulants should avoid Yerba Mate.
20. Coconut Oil
This is taking the nutritional world by storm at the moment. This ultra healthy fat source boosts the body’s energy. Unlike margarine or shortening, coconut oil is full of medium chain fatty acids used as an immediate supply of fuel.
Use coconut oil in your cooking to speed metabolism improve thyroid functioning and amplify fat burning.
21. Bitter Orange
Bitter Orange Peel which promotes fat burning by increasing metabolic rate, energy levels and body heat.
A clinical trial concluded that bitter orange was “the best thermogenic substitute for ephedra” (Journal of Medicine 2002).
Keeps your metabolic rate high and your body will burn up more fat, even when you’re resting, it really is that simple.