As the old adage goes, “You are what you eat.” When you take a look at you’re eating, what do you see? Is it fattening, full of cholesterol, overflowing with unhelpful calories? Then it’s time to make a change.
If you want your body to be a fat-burning machine, you’ll have to feed it the right foods.
That means eating plenty of fat-burning foods. Yes, foods exist that give you a hot and helping hand in your battle against fat.
Curious about these seemingly magic morsels? Prepare to learn the secrets to a new world of fat-burning possibilities.
How Do They Burn?
In order to be considered a fat-burning food, the food must force your body to produce heat, a process known as thermogenesis. During this process, your body burns up the food you eat, releasing it as energy to power you through your daily routine.
While it is true that all foods force your body to work a little to burn the calories consumed, fat-burning foods make your body warm up more than most.
Now, a Word of Caution
While you may think you just stumbled upon the Fountain of Thin, take heed. Eating these fat-busting foods may lend your body a hand in fending off unwanted pudge and pound. However, the foods can only work their magic when incorporated into an otherwise healthy diet. So if your diet is as healthy as a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, don’t expect these fat-burning foods to give you much benefit.
Instead, you’ll need to first change your entire diet to consist of low-fat, low-calorie foods with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Then—and only then—will your favorite fat-burning foods be able to do their jobs well.
What are your favorite fat-burning foods?
It may be hard to believe, but the same food that is blamed for raising cholesterol levels is a helpful tool in getting rid of fat. Even more amazing is that while the egg white contains most of the fat-burning powers (and can be eaten without causing undue harm to your cholesterol levels), you should eat the entire egg to reap the maximum fat-burning benefits.
The secret to the egg’s ability to help you burn off fat is found in the protein and vitamin B-12 inside of the egg. Both of these give you a stronger body. They also work tirelessly to seek and destroy fats in your body.
Note: As protein is one of the most energy-intensive nutrients for your body to digest, eating any food with plenty of protein will also help you burn fat.
You may not know it, but you want your body to maintain low insulin levels. Otherwise, your body is going to feel the irresistible urge to cling to fat, making your fat-burning mission come against some rather difficult obstacles.
How can you keep your insulin levels at an ideal level? By drinking milk.
Inside each sip of milk are all sorts of complex carbohydrates that are responsible for helping your body obtain and maintain low insulin levels. In addition to helping you maintain fat-reducing insulin levels, the fat-burning abilities of milk are also due to its main claim to fame: having lots of calcium.
While calcium has been heralded rightly as the key component to strong bones, it also helps kick your metabolism into full gear to ensure you burn all the fat you can at all times.
Any pepper you eat has the potential to put a little sweat on your brow. With jalapeño, cayenne, habanero, and other chili peppers, you get the added benefit of burning off a little fat.
Peppers are given this burning ability thanks to a chemical called capsaicin. Responsible for giving peppers their strong flavor, capsaicin also gives your heart rate and metabolism a bump. It may sound risky to eat foods that raise your heart rate, but in this case, a few peppers now and then won’t push your heart too hard. They will, however, give your body a heated boost as you strive to burn off those unwanted calories.
If you’re accustomed to cooking with butter, margarine, and vegetable oil, it’s time to change your fat-increasing ways. When cooking, reducing the amount of fat in your meals is as easy as using olive oil instead of butter when possible.
By using olive oil, you’ll get a new flavor in some of your favorite foods and give yourself a substantial shot of monounsaturated fat. And while you may shutter at the thought of adding fat to your diet, monounsaturated fat is much better than the fats found in butter or margarine. Instead of adding to your waistline, monounsaturated fat actually helps you fend off extra pounds by grabbing your body fat by the love handles and forcing it to break down into immediately useful energy, while the junk you don’t need is done away with.
Able to boost your metabolism in a single cup, green tea is the most widely praised fat-burning drink on the market. The cause of green tea’s strength lies in the compound epigallcatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Research has proven that EGCG gives the body an instant metabolism lift that lasts for approximately 24 hours. And while one cup of strong green tea will help you burn a little fat, you’ll want to ingest about three or four times that much to really get the full benefit that green tea has to offer.
They may seem a bit unappetizing coming out of a tin can, but sardines offer your body superb fat-burning qualities. Jam-packed with all kinds of fat-burning properties, such as calcium and protein, sardines are such a great choice for burning fat that there is even a diet named after the little fish.
On top of the common vitamins and minerals found in other foods, sardines offer something unique to your fat-burning diet: fish oil. In a three-week study, researchers found that individuals who swapped out 6 grams of fat for the same amount of Omega-3 fish oil lost approximately three times as much weight and had substantially higher metabolisms than their non-fish-oil-consuming peers.
Wondering how big a difference these foods can make in your weight-loss goals? It depends on your view. If you expect these foods to do all the work for you, you’ll be very disappointed. After all, eating a little bit of any food here and there will never make too big an impact on your health and well-being.
On the other hand, if you see these fat-burning foods as useful tools to help you continually improve your health, you’ll be delightfully surprised. Because not only will the fat-burning foods listed above help you slowly and steadily increase your metabolism and burn off extra calories, but since they’re all good for you, they’ll make you feel and look better.
And that’s what weight loss is all about.