If you thought that following a rigorous diet is the only way to lose weight, you are mistaken. The good news is that you don’t have to go through the turmoil of intense dieting and starvation. Though you do have to keep an eye on what you eat and watch your calories, there are certain foods which can really burn calories through their thermogenic effect.
They contain certain nutrients and compounds that improve your metabolism and help in eliminating the toxins which make weight loss even more easier. So all you need to do is give up the unhealthy junk and processed foods and switch to the following food items that can greatly help your weight loss efforts.
Best Fat Burning Foods
1. Whole Grains:
Whole grains are a better and healthier option than processed foods. This is because your body burns twice as many calories in breaking down whole foods, particularly those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice. You can substitute your white bread with whole wheat bread and pasta.
Eggs are one of the richest sources of protein. Several dietary programs insist on increasing the intake of proteins for successful weight loss. Eggs contain all the nine essential amino acids required by the body to build lean muscle tissue. Thus, they have a greater fat burning potential. Maintenance of muscles requires more calories than fat. For breakfast, you can replace your waffles and cereal with scrambled eggs. You can cook the egg with avocado and enjoy an additional dose of healthy fats.
Avocado is often considered in the list of fat burning foods. However, actually the fat in this fruit is a triple fat burner. It is mostly in the nature of monounsaturated fat which plumps up the cell membranes, thus stimulating the fat burning hormones. Besides, it switches off the body’s fat storage hormones and boosts the metabolism by protecting the energy producing part of the cells from damage by free radicals. So swap your snacks with a halved avocado sprinkled with sea salt and tomatoes. You can also add this fruit to spinach and green bean salad or make an avocado smoothie with coconut milk and cinnamon.
This aromatic spice helps burn fat by moving glucose into the cells faster, thus lowering the accumulation of fats storage hormone, insulin. However, to obtain maximum fat burning results, you need to consume at least a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon. You can add cinnamon to a vanilla smoothie or warmed quinoa with raspberries and pistachios.
5. Peanuts and Brazil Nuts:
If you thought that all nuts are fattening, then you might have to think again because peanuts and Brazil nuts are wonderful exceptions which can actually act as fat burners. Peanuts are packed with fiber which curbs your intake of calories as well as boosts metabolism, even without added exercise. However, they should be eaten in moderation as they are calorie dense. Brazil nuts also aid in fat burning mechanism as they boost metabolism by converting the thyroid hormone to its active form. They also bind toxins thus preventing their storage in fat cells which contributes to cellulite. You can directly snack on Brazil nuts or sprinkle them on mango, papaya and citrus fruits salads. They can also be sprinkled on desserts and smoothies.
6. Lean Meats:
Protein can help you burn about 30% of the calories that the food contains during digestion due to their high thermogenic effect. Lean meats are a good option to burn fat as they contain less fat. Lean meats include skinless chicken breast, beef, turkey and lean pork. Consumption of a 300 calorie chicken breast requires around 90 calories to break it down.
Honey is considered a great home remedy for obesity. It provides a host of health benefits including its effectiveness in reducing calories. This is because it utilizes the extra fat deposits in your body to get energy for normal functions. To lose weight effectively, you can take about 10 grams or a tablespoon of honey with hot water early in the morning. Doing this regularly helps in cutting down fat within the body.
Those who say that Indian ingredients are fattening can have a look at the fat burning properties of turmeric, an Indian spice. It contains a compound called ‘curcumin’ which helps in reducing insulin and leptin resistance that are primarily responsible for accumulation of fat deposits. It has a host of other health benefits like maintenance of normal blood pressure, curbing cancer, elimination of bad cholesterol and antiseptic properties.
9. Bean Sprouts:
Commonly known as ‘moong dal’ in India, bean sprouts are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E as well as minerals like calcium, potassium and iron. They have a very low content of fat which makes them a recommended food in many slimming programs. Besides these, the abundant amounts of protein and fiber help lower blood cholesterol level. Fiber yields complex carbs which help in digestion as well as stabilize blood sugar level, thereby preventing its rapid rise after meal consumption.
10. Green Tea:
A great way to fire up the fat burning mechanism is to have four cups of green tea in a day. Its fat burning qualities can be attributed to the presence of a compound in the brew called EGCG which temporarily speeds up metabolism after sipping it. To boost your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the refrigerator.
11. Chilli Peppers:
Chilli peppers are effective in burning excess fat primarily because of the presence of a compound capsaicin which spurs the metabolic activity and its heat generating capacity melts the additional calories. You can use them in raw, dried or powdered form in soups, eggs and meats. Try to include these natural fat burning foods as much as possible.
12. Curry Leaves:
Besides providing flavor to your food, curry leaves can help you lose weight. These leaves can flush out harmful toxins and unwanted fat deposits from the body as well as reduce bad cholesterol levels. If you are battling obesity, all you need to do is incorporate 8 to 10 curry leaves in your daily diet. You can directly add them to soups and stews or chop them finely and mix them in a drink.
13. Dark Chocolate:
If you think that all sweets are guilty of loading your body with calories, then dark chocolate can prove you wrong. Stress is one of the causes of sluggish metabolism that results in the accumulation of fat deposits. Certain studies have proved that consumption of about one and a half ounces of dark chocolate reduces the stress hormone cortisol which may be attributed to the presence of compounds like caffeine and theobromine. Always look for the darkest chocolate which contains at least 70% cocoa. This is considered as one of the fast fat burning foods. You can consume it alone or have it with your morning cappuccino.
Water is often underestimated as a fat burning ingredient. Not only is it a calorie free appetizer but also boosts metabolism since your body has to work to match the temperature of the ingested water with that of your core. According to a study, people drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water in a day have a higher metabolic rate than those who just drink 4 glasses or less. It also aids in weight loss indirectly. This is because drinking a glass of water before meals can fill you up thus preventing you from overeating and consuming extra calories.