Losing weight is easier when we incorporate natural fat burning foods into our diet.
Fat burning foods work in a variety of ways. Some work because the combination of their components increases our metabolic rate. Some work due to being low in calories and because they require more energy to digest.
Others work because along with containing few calories, we feel full after eating a small serving of the food. The cooking method used can also lower the calorie count.
Regularly eating natural fat burning foods with the above qualities will, over time, result in effortless fat loss. Add exercise into the mix, and fat loss will occur even faster.
Fat Burning Foods – 10 of the Best and Healthiest:
Along with being good for us and tasting great, most fruits have excellent fat burning properties. Citrus fruit, in particular, has an abundance of vitamins and minerals including a proven fat burner in vitamin C. It also has a high water content and a low calorie count.
Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mandarins, tangerines, kumquats, and clementines. Other fruits high in vitamin C include apples, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, grapes, and tomatoes.
Fruit, in general, increases metabolism and reduces bad cholesterol levels, so try to include it in your diet every day. Eat it for breakfast, for dessert, or anytime you feel like a snack. Other delicious, healthy and satisfying fruits to incorporate into your fat burning meal plan include blueberries, bananas, mangoes, papaya, and pomegranates.
Vegetables are excellent natural fat burning foods. The majority of vegetables are low in calories, and many contain vitamins and minerals that rev up our metabolism. Most are also fat-free and even lower in carbs than fruit.
Vegetables that can be eaten freely include spinach, broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, beans, and peas. Cucumbers, lettuce, and celery are ideal inclusions in a fat burning meal plan because they have a very low calorie count and a high water content.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes (yams) contain more calories than most other vegetables, so eat these in moderation. Cook them with their skin, on as this is an excellent source of insoluble fiber.
By steaming or boiling vegetables, you will not be adding additional calories. When stir-frying veggies, do so in the so-called “good” oils, such as olive, soybean, sunflower or sesame oil. Steer clear of deep frying and heavy, fat-laden sauces. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices to add flavor.
- Oats & Barley
Whole grains such as oats and barley are top fat burning foods. Being high in insoluble fiber, they digest slowly, satisfying our hunger and keep us feeling full for longer. When we feel satiated, we are less likely to eat large meals or snack on junk food, so try starting your day with oats or barley. While oats and barley are commonly thought of as being high in carbohydrates and therefore taboo if you are trying to lose weight, not all carbs are bad.
Unlike processed carbs, unprocessed carbs, such as those in oats and barley, cause only moderate increases in blood glucose and insulin levels. A bowl of oats or barley makes a great breakfast for anyone wanting to lose weight, as it is filling and will keep most people going until mid-morning and beyond without feeling hungry. If choosing oats, rolled and steel-cut are the better option as they contain around 5 grams of fiber per serve, compared to the 3 to 4 grams instant oatmeal contains.
- Edible Pulses
Chickpeas (garbanzos) and lentils fall under the category of edible pulses, or legumes. They are nutritious, satisfying and, with the addition of herbs and spices, appetizing. They are also low in calories and cholesterol, high in fiber and abundant in amino-acids/plant protein. Budget-friendly, make edible pulses a part of your fat burning meal plan and your hips, as well as your hip pocket, will thank you.
Edible pulses can be added to a variety of dishes, or they can be the main ingredient. They can be eaten hot in soups or stews or cold in salads. Containing close to 25% protein, they make an ideal meat substitute for vegetarians who can find it hard to get sufficient protein in their diets. Other edible pulses include kidney, navy, string, lima beans, soybeans, and peanuts.
In the old days, we believed that egg yolks elevated cholesterol. We were told that we should only eat the whites, and a maximum of one or two whole eggs a week. Medical opinion on this has changed, and eating an egg a day is now not just considered safe, but encouraged.
Eggs provide us with protein and minerals. They are quite low in calories and low in the saturated, or “bad” fat we should avoid. Some studies have, in fact, shown that regular consumption of eggs can increase our level of “good” cholesterol.
Veggie omelets combine two fat burning foods, in eggs and vegetables. They are quick and easy to make, and the flavor can be varied by using different vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Some dietary studies have concluded that dieters who eat an egg for breakfast on a daily basis, along with, or instead of, toast and cereal, lose double the amount of weight as dieters who eat a carbohydrate-based breakfast.
10 Top Natural Fat Burning Foods
Nuts contain fat, and we’ve all had it drummed into us that fats make us fat. This is not necessarily the case. Numerous studies have shown that people who lack healthy fats in their diet are far more prone to piling on the pounds than those who regularly include moderate amounts of healthy fat. The key here is moderation.
Nuts are filling and nutritious, and they contain monounsaturated fatty acids. Also known as MUFA’s, these healthy fats burn fat. This makes nuts a far better snack choice than a donut or candy bar, and they are just as convenient to grab on the run or pack in your lunch box. They can also be tossed into salads and stir-fries. Crushed nuts make a healthy coating for baked fish fillets.
Eat a small handful of peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds or walnuts every day and reap the health and weight loss benefits. Any more than a small handful, though, and you will risk consuming too many calories, which will sabotage your fat burning efforts.
No fat burning food list would be complete without fish.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and. Being rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, provides us with the good fats our bodies need to stay healthy. It has a low calorie count, and it is low in saturated fats. Choose any fish you like, as long as it has been grilled, baked or pan fried and not deep fried or smothered in heavy, calorie-laden sauce. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, trout, and tuna.
- Chicken & Turkey
For those who eat meat, white meat such as chicken and turkey is a better option than red meat. Chicken and turkey are excellent fat burning foods as they are high in protein with a low calorie count and a low carbohydrate level.
It takes longer to digest protein-rich foods than it does foods containing little or no protein. These means you will stay full for longer after eating them. We burn more calories digesting high protein foods, too.
It’s important not to consume the chicken or turkey skin, as these are high in fat. If you must have red meat, limit it to a small serving two to three times a week at most, and choose lean cuts or pork.
As with most foods, the cooking method and ingredients added can increase the calorie count substantially.
While not a food, water warrants a place in this fat burning foods list. Water is essential for life. It keeps our metabolism ticking over; therefore, it helps us burn body fat. It also helps flush toxins from our system, and it is calorie free. Drink it iced, and your body will burn extra calories as it warms in your system.
Foods that contain a lot of water impart a feeling of fullness, so we need less of the food to feel satisfied. Examples include cantaloupes, cucumbers, gourds, chard, papaya and watermelon.
- Green Tea
Again, not food, but worthy of inclusion because along with promoting weight loss, green tea benefits heart, and brain health and it has anti-cancer properties.
Green tea burns fat due to a compound it contains called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which temporarily increases the metabolism. An 8-week study of participants who drank 4 cups of green tea a day, found they lost more than 6 pounds.
Final Thoughts on Fat Burning Foods
When possible, choose whole foods over processed or refined foods, using the fat burning foods above for reference. These natural fat burning foods contain lower levels of fat and sugar and fewer calories and carbohydrates than cakes, cookies, pizza and the like. Centering your diet around the former foods and limiting consumption of the latter, will ultimately result in healthy weight loss.
For more information on fat burning foods, read 10 Foods That Boost the Metabolism and Help to Burn Fat.