The 10 Best Fat Burning Foods to Get Healthy and Lose Weight
If you’re like a lot of Americans, when you want to shed a few pounds, you might start working out at the gym or eating healthier foods. To cut down on your calories, you probably avoid eating fatty foods like steak or butter. However, what if you found out that you were accidentally avoiding some of the best fat-burning foods available?
We’ve been taught that weight loss is simply the result of burning more calories than we eat. In fact, dieting has almost become synonymous with counting calories. But how does that explain the thin person who seems to be able to eat anything they want without gaining weight? Or, on the flip side of the coin, stubborn belly fat which won’t go away no matter what we do?
Metabolism and the Foods You Eat
Metabolism is the process, which converts the foods we eat into energy. The speed at which this occurs is our metabolic rate, but most of us just call it “our metabolism and it can be associated with our metabolic body type.”
Considering that metabolism governs how the body breaks down the foods we consume, it would make sense to identify the factors, which control the metabolic process.
Hormones are chemical messengers, which control many different functions of the body—including metabolism. Our hormones have a powerful effect on our ability to lose weight. Some foods create hormonal reactions that prompt our bodies to burn fat while other foods prompt our bodies to store fat—especially as we get older.
A key thing to remember about weight loss is that hormones look at macronutrients differently. Dietary fats, for instance, are dense in calories but neutral when it comes to adding fat to the body. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, have a dramatic impact on body fat.
Without understanding the difference, all calories can appear the same. This leads people to believe that they only need to eat low-calorie foods and they will lose weight.
The problem is that calorie counting emphasizes how much food we eat but misses the key to effective weight loss—specifically, which foods we eat.
List of the Best Fat-Burning Foods
While the following list is not a cure-all, understanding how they work can make a world of difference. Here are ten of the best fat-burning foods you should know about:
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is one of the best fat-burners in existence. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy for the eyes, brain, and heart. We need to consume these fatty acids in sufficient quantities because our bodies can’t manufacture them.
Look for fish like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout. You won’t need large servings. In fact, when it comes to high-protein foods, including certain types of fish, you can limit your portions to three to six ounces per meal.
2. Whole Pastured Eggs
Eggs are excellent for burning fat. And pastured eggs are much better than commercial eggs from big factory farms.
As the name implies, pastured eggs come from pastured chickens—hens who are free to wander in an outdoor enclosure and eat what they naturally would: grass and bugs, along with some feed. According to a study by Penn State, pastured eggs contain a greater quantity of nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3s.
When shopping for pastured eggs, look for the words “pasture-raised” on the product packaging.
3. Grass-fed Beef
Similar to pastured-eggs, grass-fed beef provides higher-quality protein. It’s also richer in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.
Because grass-fed beef is a great source of healthy dietary fat, which supports weight loss, it is an ideal fat-burning food. Reach for beef with a higher fat content, such as 80% or 85%, instead of the leaner mixes.
4. Grass-fed Butter
Like eggs, butter has gotten a bad reputation because it’s believed to cause high cholesterol. However, there is no scientific evidence which establishes butter’s negative effect on cholesterol.
The fact is, grass-fed, hormone-free butter could be considered the next superfood. Not only does it contain healthy fats, but also is rich in nutrients and easy to digest. Additionally, it supplies metabolism-boosting lauric acid and makes foods, such as cooked veggies, so much tastier.
5. Coconut Oil
The dietary fat in coconut oil easily converts to energy and thus promotes weight loss. This oil helps relieve the strain on your liver and gall bladder and can help improve your cholesterol test results.
Coconut oil is more stable at high temperatures than many other oils, making it a good oil to use in cooking. It can also be used in rich desserts. (Yes, some desserts support fat loss.)
You’ll achieve the highest level of fat burning when you get the majority of your daily calories from healthy fats. Coconut oil helps you achieve this balance while making the foods you eat more delicious.
Avocados are packed with B vitamins, plus vitamins C and E. They are high in heart-healthy fats and can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Plus, they have plenty of potassium, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Avocados are loaded with fiber, which supports the good bacteria in your digestive system. Try them in smoothies, salads, and creamy desserts, or as a side dish sprinkled with a little sea salt. They have vital anti-inflammatory properties and are one of the most all-around valuable foods on this list.
7. Olives and Olive Oil
Olives are rich in vitamins A and E plus copper, which helps keep connective tissue healthy. Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which support a healthy heart and arteries.
Olive oil helps increase your metabolic rate, which can further support weight loss. A drizzle of olive oil can raise the nutritional value of many foods you prepare.
No list of foods that burn fat is complete without looking at the vital importance of vegetables. Veggies not only provide dozens of essential vitamins and minerals, but they also help protect your liver and control blood sugar levels. Some veggies, such as spinach and kale, are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene but there is a difference in the nutrition between raw veggies vs. cooked veggies.
The liver’s job is to break down fats. As you start burning fat and releasing it into the bloodstream, excess fat can build up in your liver (referred to as a “fatty liver”). Large servings of vegetables help clean your liver as you lose weight.
Which Vegetables Should You Choose?
To really start burning fat, you have to choose the right vegetables and eat enough of them. Here are some ideas to get you started:
A large salad for lunch or dinner is an excellent way to hit your daily target for natural fat-fighting foods. Keep it interesting with spring mix greens, cucumbers have great benefits, mushrooms, spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes and endive.
Steam a big plate of boy choy, carrots, beets or zucchini and top with grass-fed butter.
Dip raw or lightly steamed vegetables into a high-fat dressing like Caesar or ranch. Include sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, and asparagus.
Steam broccoli, butter it and then melt cheese on top.
Grill vegetables like zucchini, peppers, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Brush with olive oil before grilling.
You’ll find dozens of fat-burning food choices on our list of recommended vegetables, fats and proteins,
Cruciferous vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition, containing higher levels of iron, potassium and vitamin C than other vegetables. They’ve also been linked to improved cardiovascular health, among other health benefits. Look for kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress to reap big health benefits and keep you in fat loss mode.
9. High-fiber foods
High-fiber foods are not themselves fat burners, but they improve your body’s ability to burn fats by slowing down hormones that store fat on the thighs and hips and also create stubborn belly fat. Fibrous foods also feed friendly bacteria to your gut which the colon uses as food and converts to energy.
10. Potassium-Rich Foods
To keep getting the benefits of fat burning, you need a generous, daily supply of potassium. Potassium helps balance the level of sugar in your blood, which prevents cravings.
Potassium is also essential to the efficient operation of your cells. Your body is continually transporting nutrients into and out of the cells and needs potassium to do this.
Without potassium, your body cannot produce energy efficiently, leading to fatigue, muscle pain and even respiratory failure in extreme cases.
Keep your energy level high with potassium-rich foods such as avocado, spinach, squash, and Brussels sprouts.
Carbs and Sugar: Weight Loss Blockers
As mentioned earlier, the foods we eat interact with our hormones to create good or bad effects. For instance, refined sugar literally blocks your body from burning fat. And then, if that weren’t discouraging enough, the sugar itself then gets stored as body fat.
Therefore, rather than avoiding higher-calorie fats, stay away from most carbohydrates (including whole grains) as they are the opposite of fat-burning foods. All carbohydrates ultimately convert to sugar in the body and prevent fat loss. Additionally, chronically high blood sugar levels cause health issues such as diabetes, nerve damage, and other unwanted conditions.
Fat-Burning Diet Plan
Choosing the right food is important. However, the way you combine them can have a profound impact on the speed of weight loss. To learn more about the effects of hormones on your weight and health, check out the ketogenic diet plan.
The ketogenic diet is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to lose weight and has helped countless people get healthier and lose stubborn weight that they never thought possible.
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