Can foods burn fat? Yes, the right foods can! Certain foods can induce thermogenesis and increase the metabolic rate to burn the fat effectively and quickly. And there are also other foods that can indirectly increase the metabolic rate by suppressing all the symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. But it’s crucial to know when to consume these fat burning foods. In this article, I have listed out 35 fat-burning foods, and the time you should have it—breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime, or post-workout. So get ready to burn ‘em all!
1. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter packs 8 grams of protein and up to 4 grams of fiber per serving, making it an ideal snack to help you fill up and stay satisfied. Peanuts contain L-arginine, an amino acid that works to improve blood flow throughout your body by helping blood vessels “relax” — all of which can help to mitigate fluid retention.
With more fiber than quinoa and more potassium than a banana, pumpkin puree is one of your best bets for snacking and cooking purposes. Try this the next time you’re craving sweets: Add pureed pumpkin to unsweetened Greek yogurt with cinnamon and chopped pears for a nutritious dessert.
Befriend a bowl of oatmeal for your breakfast if you are on a weight-loss regime. This fiber-rich meal leaves you full and content for a longer time as it boosts your metabolism. If cholesterol watching is on your checklist, then this is the best way to get the levels under control. 1 cup of cooked oatmeal is known to contain 234 calories and therefore gives a good kickstart to your day. Have you tried the Oats Chakli yet?
This unique fruit is high in fat content in contrast to most other fruits that contain carbohydrates. The monosaturated fatty acid present in it helps fight belly fat, thus making it a portion of healthy food to lose weight. 100 gms of avocado accounts for about 160 calories. Apart from aiding weight loss, it is a good source of vitamin C (16%) and vitamin B-6 (15%).
“If you’ve been eating the standard American diet, you have an overgrowth of the gut bacteria that trigger cravings, and you’ll keep eating the same way,” says Robynne Chutkan, M.D., author of Gutbliss. Fermented foods like kefir are naturally prebiotic, meaning they encourage the growth of good bacteria and help your body break down food more efficiently. Not a fan of the drinkable yogurt? Sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled veggies work the same way.
Wild salmon has more brain-, heart-, joint-, and gut-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than any other food, plus it’s low-glycemic, meaning it prevents insulin spikes and fat storage around the middle. “The key to staying lean is the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids,” says William Sears, M.D., author of The Omega-3 Effect. “And the fats in salmon are satisfying, making it difficult to overeat.”
Certain compounds in grapefruit help your body use insulin more efficiently, which keeps your blood sugar in check and can also help burn calories. Maybe just don’t sprinkle it with sugar before eating.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nutritional all-star that belongs in your weight loss plan. This whole grain has 8 grams of hunger-busting protein and 5 grams of fiber in one cup, and you’ll also get iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. Quinoa is as easy to cook as rice. For a quick dinner, mix in some vegetables, nuts, or lean protein.
9. Sweet Potatoes
The phrase “slow carb” is anything but sluggish when it comes to blasting fat. Slow carbs are digested slowly, which keeps you feeling fuller and energized longer—and sweet potatoes are one of them. 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. According to a Texas Woman’s University study, mice that ate three daily servings of berries had 73 percent fewer fat cells. Pop some of the blue guys into your next smoothie and boost the fat-burning potential: blueberries are a potent source of resveratrol, an antioxidant which an International Journal of Obesity study showed could convert excess harmful white fat in mice into calorie-burning beige fat, which correlated with a 40 percent decreased the risk for obesity. And when it comes to the sugar content in fruit, berries rank favorably on the list but are still a powerful way to curb cravings for sweets.
This protein filled healthy snack can help you beat your hunger without adding on to your pounds. Serve this low-fat hummus as a topping to the salads or the sandwiches to give it that yummy lip smacking taste. Also, the Glycemic Index or GI (ranking of carbohydrates on a level of 0-100 depending on their tendency to raise blood sugar level) is about 12, which means that it will keep you full for a long time.
A cup of peas packs 8 grams of protein and tons of key bloat-reducing nutrients. It’s got nearly all of what you need daily for vitamin C, plus magnesium, potassium, and iron — all of which aid in counterbalancing sodium and bringing oxygen to blood cells.
It doesn’t get any better than fish when it comes to healthy protein, especially tuna, salmon, and sardines. They’re filled with important omega-3s and lean protein, helping you fill up and curb cravings.
14. 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)—yet 75 percent of Americans do not get their RDA of this important metabolism-boosting mineral. Just a half cup of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 100 percent of your daily magnesium needs.
15. Hot Peppers
Hot peppers have a flavorless chemical called capsaicin. It’s more plentiful in habaneros, but jalapeños also have it. Capsaicin seems to curb appetite and speed up the metabolism slightly, but only for a short time. It probably doesn’t have a big impact on weight, unless you eat less food because it’s spicy.
Foods that are rich in water take up more room in your gut. This signals the body that you’ve had enough to eat and leaves less room for other foods. Many raw fruits and vegetables are full of water and nutrients and low in calories. Watermelon is a great example. It’s a good source of the antioxidant lycopene and gives you some vitamin A and C, too.
17. Pears and Apples
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.
18. Raw Vegetables
Raw vegetables make an outstanding snack. They satisfy the desire to crunch, they’re full of water to help you feel full, and they’re low in calories. Half a cup of diced celery has just 8 calories. Coat celery with a little peanut butter or dunking carrots in salsa. When you’re in the mood for chips and dip, replace the chips with raw veggies.
19. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
You say tomato, I say 9-oxo-ODA. That’s the name of a compound found in the brilliant red fruits that Japanese researchers recently discovered can effectively activate your DNA to burn more fat. Tomatoes are also brimming in beta-carotene and lycopene, two potent antioxidants that mop up harmful compounds that promote fat storage. One Journal of Nutrition study found people whose diets contained the most beta-carotene and lycopene had the smallest waists and the least belly fat. And at only 5 calories apiece, grab a few sun-dried tomatoes! Cooked tomatoes contain more bioavailable lycopene than raw tomatoes, according to Cornell University researchers.
20. Pork Tenderloin
A longtime enemy of doctors and dieters, pork has been coming around as a healthier alternative of late–as long as you choose the right cut. Your best bet is pork tenderloin. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin has slightly less fat than a skinless chicken breast; It has 24 grams of protein per serving and 83 milligrams of choline. In a study published in the journal Nutrients, scientists asked 144 overweight people to eat a diet rich in fresh lean pork. After three months, the group saw a significant reduction in waist size, BMI and belly fat, with no reduction in muscle mass! They speculate that the amino acid profile of pork protein may contribute to greater fat burning.
21. Coconut Oil
It’s a dietary miracle: A fat that makes you skinny. Dietary supplementation of coconut oil actually reduced abdominal obesity in a study published in the journal Lipids. Of the participants, half were given two tablespoons of coconut oil daily and the other half were given soybean oil, and although both groups experienced overall weight loss, only the coconut oil group saw smaller waistlines. And other researchers have also pointed to the waist-whittling effects of the tropical oil. In a separate study of 30 men, those who ate 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day shrank their waists by an average of 1.1 inches in one month. Thank C.O.’s medium-chain triglycerides, which are burned as energy instead of being stored as fat, and lauric acid, which has been shown to pinpoint belly fat and torch it.
One egg has only 75 calories, plus 7 grams of protein along with other vital nutrients. Remember, your body will burn more calories digesting eggs than a carb-heavy breakfast. And the good news is that eggs are no longer on the “no-list” for people concerned about high cholesterol. It’s saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol we need to be wary of.
Whole-grain rye crackers, sometimes called crispbreads, offer a low-fat, fiber-packed alternative to traditional crackers. Research suggests people who replace refined grains with whole grains tend to have less belly fat. Whole grains also provide a richer assortment of plant nutrients. This doesn’t just apply to crackers. You can get the same benefits by switching to whole-grain pieces of bread, cereals, and kinds of pasta.
24. Leafy Greens
Plant-based omega-3s belong in any healthy eating plan, but leafy greens and cauliflower are especially helpful for tightening up. They’re loaded with minerals like potassium, which can help offset the bloat-inducing effects of sodium.
Filled with potassium and magnesium, bananas offset the bloat caused salty processed foods and pack in plant-based prebiotics, “feeding” your good bacteria. Snack on one a day with a tablespoon of nut butter, or slice it into your morning cereal.
As a prebiotic-filled veggie, asparagus is a great addition to soups, pastas, and omelets, or served as a side dish. For extra bloat-beating benefits, try pairing asparagus sticks with other crudité and dipping in hummus.
27. Spaghetti squash
This low-carb gourd can leave you full for long, making it the perfect choice for any dieter. Bake the spaghetti, take the flesh and add it to pasta to make a perfect dinner.
Not everyone’s a fan of this fish, but if you do like it, you’re in for a real treat. In addition to low mercury and lots of omega-3 fatty acids, sardines are rich in vitamin B and cholane. “And unlike industrial or inhumanely raised animal products, high-quality protein like sardines aren’t inflammatory,” says Hyman.
Also known as sunchokes, these root vegetables are high in inulin, a prebiotic that promotes good bacteria in your body. Having trouble finding them? Other high-fiber foods that pack lots of inulin include asparagus and most leafy greens.
30. Olive Oil
Ditch the butter, put aside the cooking spray, and coat your pan in olive oil. Like fish oil, it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your gut, brain, and other organs working efficiently, thus regulating your appetite.
31. Green Tea
Sipping a cup of green tea every day will increase your metabolism while helping you suppress the appetite. It also keeps you hydrated and helps your body be in shape. Therefore, these drinks top the list of food to eat to lose weight.
32. Brown Rice
This natural whole grain is high in chromium, a mineral that helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. The result? Reducing insulin resistance and fat storage.
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.
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.
Resolve to do more prying. Oysters are one of the best food sources of zinc, a mineral that works with the hormone leptin to regulate appetite. Research shows that overweight people tend to have higher levels of leptin and lower levels of zinc than slimmer folk. A study published in the journal Life Sciences found that taking zinc supplements could increase leptin production in obese men by 142 percent! A half-dozen oysters only have 43 calories but provide 21 percent of your RDA of iron—deficiencies of which have been linked to a significant increase in fat gene expression.