Fat Fighting Foods

Boosting your metabolic rate can help you lose body fat.
Most “fat-burning” supplements on the market are unsafe, ineffective or both. 
Natural foods and beverages have been shown to increase your metabolism and promote fat loss. 
Here are healthy foods that help you burn fat.

Apples & Pears
Pears and apples are also high in water content. Eat them with the peels for extra fiber, which will keep you full longer. 
Go for whole fruits rather than fruit juice. You’ll get more fiber, and you have to chew the fruits. 
This takes longer and you’ll burn a few calories chewing, as opposed to gulping down a smoothie.

Many raw fruits and vegetables are full of water and nutrients and low in calories. 
Foods rich in water take up more room in your gut.
Watermelon is a great example as it’s a good source of lycopene and gives you some vitamin A and C.

Salads/ Raw Vegetables
Another way to fill up before a meal is by eating salad.
Lettuce has plenty of water content to take up space in the stomach. That leaves less room for fattier foods that might come later in the meal. 
Make your salad interesting by adding a variety of fruits and vegetables or grated cheese. 
Be careful about dressing, which can add a lot of calories.

Soup — we’re talking broth-based, not creamy — has a lot going for it. 
It’s full of water, which fills you up with the fewest possible calories. It’s hot, which prevents you from eating too much. 
Have it before a meal, and soup can take up space that might have gone to higher-calorie foods. 
You can also make a satisfying, low-calorie meal out of soup alone by adding chicken, fish, cut-up vegetables, or beans.

Skim Milk
Skim milk provides plenty of protein, calcium, and vitamin D with none of the fat found in whole milk. 
And even though it’s fat-free, skim milk can help you feel full. It takes longer to leave the stomach than drinks with less protein.

Carbs are not the enemy. Not whole-grain carbs, that is. 
People who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains (such as oats) had 10 percent less belly fat than people who ate the same number of calories from processed white carbs (bread, rice, pasta), according to a Tufts University study. 
It’s theorized that this is due to whole grains’ high fiber and slow-burn properties, which keep you satiated longer.


Lean Meat
You know that protein can keep you full longer and burn more calories during digestion. 
Choose your protein carefully. 
Dark meat tends to be high in fat, which could cancel out some of the benefits. 
Skinless chicken breast is a great choice. 

A handful of almonds packs a serious fat-burning punch. 
A study of overweight adults found that eating about a quarter-cup of almonds for 6 months led to a 62 percent greater reduction in weight and BMI, thanks to a compound that limits the fat absorbed by the body. 
For added effect, eat almonds before working out: The amino acid L-arginine can help you burn more fat while building muscle. 

Spinach is packed with energy-boosting nutrients such as vitamin A, iron and folate. 
Can also reduce your appetite and encourage your body to burn fat. 
A research found that over three months, women who consumed a five-gram thylakoid supplement from spinach reported a 25 percent reduction in hunger and cravings and significantly more weight loss (5kg) than the control group.

Kickstart your morning—and your metabolism—with this warming spice. 
Cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that are proven to alter body composition and improve insulin sensitivity (which means it keeps blood sugar stable, preventing hunger-inducing spikes and crashes). 
​Add it to your overnight oats or sprinkle some in your coffee to reap the benefits.

Cauliflower is a thermogenic superfood. 
Thermogenic superfoods are foods that require more calories to digest than they contain. 
Thermogenic foods are also high in fiber, which causes a person to feel fuller faster. Because of the low-calorie content and high fiber, thermogenic foods aid in weight loss. 

Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent beverage choice for good health. 
In addition to providing a moderate amount of caffeine, green tea is an excellent source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that promotes fat burning and the loss of belly fat.  In a study on healthy men, fat burning during bicycling increased by 17% in those who took green tea extract, compared to those who took a placebo.​

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. Eggs are a killer weight loss food. 
In a study in men, those who ate three eggs for breakfast consumed 400 fewer calories per day and had a 16% greater reduction in body fat, compared to the group who ate a bagel breakfast. 
Eating three eggs several times a week can help you burn fat while keeping you full and satisfied.

Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth. 
In a small study in postmenopausal women with abdominal obesity, eating extra virgin olive oil as part of a meal significantly increased the number of calories the women burned for several hours. 
To incorporate olive oil into your daily diet, drizzle a couple of tablespoons on your salad or add it to cooked food.

Beans and Legumes
Beans are a vegetable, a protein, and a great source of fiber. 
You feel full for very few calories. One cup of chickpeas packs 12.5 grams of fiber, just 4 grams of fat, and almost 15 grams of protein. 

Sweet Potato
Sweet potato contains “slow carbs”. Slow carbs are digested slowly, which keeps you feeling fuller and energized longer. 
Among the magic ingredients here are carotenoids, antioxidants which stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which helps your body efficiently convert calories to energy rather than stored as fat. 
And their high vitamin profile (including A, C, and B6) give you more energy to burn at the gym.

Berries are packed with polyphenol antioxidants that will help burn fat—and prevent it from forming—as well as boost your workout benefits by improving blood flow to your muscles. 
They are high in water and fiber, which can keep you full longer. They’re also sweet, satisfying your sweet tooth for a fraction of the calories. 
Blueberries are a good example because most stores carry them and they’re loaded with antioxidants. 

Each slice of grapefruit you add to your salad acts like a match to spark your body’s fat-burning ability. 
A study found that those who ate grapefruit for six weeks lost a full inch off their waistlines. 
What’s behind the belt-tightening effect? The fruit is rich in phytochemicals, bioactive compounds that recent research shows stimulate the production of a hormone called adiponectin, which is involved in the breakdown of body fat.

Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains the complete chain of amino acids that are necessary for muscle building and fat loss. 
In a 2015 study researchers discovered that patients who ingested higher amounts of vegetable protein were far less susceptible to metabolic syndrome (a combination of high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and obesity). 

Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is teeming with flat-belly nutrients such as cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats and plant-based protein. 
According to a recent study researchers found that when protein is digested and broken down into amino acids in your body, one of those amino acids—phenylalanine—triggers hormones that help reduce appetite and ultimately leads to fat burn and weight loss. 
Go for brands that have 2 ingredients: nuts and a little salt, and no added preservatives, sweeteners etc.

Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is delicious and incredibly good for you. Fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein. 
Digesting protein leads to greater feelings of fullness and increases metabolic rate significantly more than digesting fat or carbs. 
To boost fat loss and protect heart health, include a minimum of 100 grams of fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. 
In a study, those who took caffeine an hour before exercise burned nearly twice as much fat and were able to exercise 17% longer than the non-caffeine group.
To get the fat-burning benefits of caffeine without the potential side effects, such as anxiousness or insomnia, aim for 100–400 mg per day. This is the amount found in about 1–4 cups of coffee, depending on its strength. 

Full-Fat Greek Yogurt​
Full-fat Greek yogurt is extremely nutritious. Full-fat Greek yogurt also contains conjugated linoleic acid, which seems to promote weight loss and fat burning in overweight and obese people. 
According to research that includes a large review of 18 studies eating Greek yogurt on a regular basis may provide several health benefits. 
But make sure to choose plain, full-fat Greek yogurt, as non-fat and low-fat dairy products contain little to no conjugated linoleic acid.

Pumpkin Seeds
One of the reasons your metabolism isn’t burning away fat as efficiently as you’d like? Look to your magnesium levels.
This essential micronutrient is required for the body to produce and store energy, and also helps boost lipolysis (a process by which your body releases fat from its stores to use as energy). 
Just a half cup of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 100 percent of your daily magnesium needs. 

Disclaimer: The advice provided is intended for informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice.  Consult with your doctor if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.​

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Rithika Rajgopal

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