When it comes to losing weight, some foods are better than others. Most of us are aware of the negative effects of fats and sugars, but less well known are the existence of fat-burning foods. These foods satiate our appetite and speed-up our metabolism, thereby increasing the rate at which our bodies consume calories.
Green tea and coffee
With their high caffeine content, these 2 ingredients provide an energy boost that speeds up our metabolism and helps burn off calories. It is for this reason that many athletes consume caffeine before training. In addition, green tea is well known for its excellent antioxidant properties.
One of the most beneficial types of carbohydrates are whole grains, as they are rich in essential nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. They also have great satiating power, thus helping us consume fewer calories. In addition, the body needs twice the energy to digest whole grains as it does refined grains, thereby accelerating our metabolism.
Dairy products low in fat and sugar are great if our goal is to lower our body’s fat index. Like regular dairy, they provide calcium, vitamin D, and make us feel satiated quickly. Yoghurts contain probiotic “good” bacteria which help our digestive system to run smoothly. In addition to all these healthy benefits, lactic proteins speed up our metabolism, which makes skimmed dairy products efficient fat-burning foods.
Lean meats are meats which are relatively low in fat. The most common examples are skinless poultry breast, fish, seafood and rabbit. To these, we could also add pork and beef sirloin and tenderloin (without the fat trims). Lean meats are included among efficient fat-burning foods because they are a low-fat source of protein that helps burn calories by accelerating our metabolism during digestion.
The spiciness behind hot peppers is due to the active component capsaicin. Besides a pleasurable release of endorphins, studies suggest that capsaicin can help us lose weight by suppressing fat accumulation via lipid metabolism.
Extra virgin olive oil is recognised as the healthiest of all cooking oils. One of the reasons for this is it provides monounsaturated fatty acids that calm the appetite and prevent fat from accumulating in the body. In addition, its high vitamin E content makes it a powerful antioxidant, which reduces the risk of many diseases.
With chocolate, the higher the percentage of pure cocoa, the better. While rich in calories, dark chocolate does not contain high amounts of sugars or fats. Consuming moderate amounts is a great source of metabolic energy that helps get rid of fat.
This popular spice helps lower blood sugar levels and makes insulin more effective, thus keeping glucose levels stable. Cinnamon also helps to satiate and is hence popular for adding flavour to many weight-loss diets.
Fruit is perhaps the single best type of food for burning excess fat and losing weight. While different types of fruit vary greatly in their nutritional value, many of them, such as melons and oranges, exceed 90% water. Despite containing fructose, they are mostly low in calories and rich in vitamins, water and fibre, which together make them very efficient at satiating. In addition, many types of fruit such as apples or grapes, are rich in pectin which acts as a purifying fat-burning agent.