Did you know that you can eat your way to losing weight? It’s true! While crash diets may work for a short period of time, they can seriously mess with your metabolism and lead you down a dangerous path.
Clean Eating is an alternative way to shed the extra pounds while also improving your health, energy and overall enjoyment of life!
The best part? You get to eat foods you actually enjoy!
Below are 15 fat burning foods you can try incorporating into your diet along with some recipe suggestions.
Of course, if you eat these foods and you’re also going through the drive-through or having sugar filled lattes on a daily basis, you might not see the needle move much on your weight loss goals.
But if you incorporate these foods along with trimming your sugar intake and following a plan like the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge, you’ll almost certainly see and feel results!
1. Hot Peppers
A compound found in peppers called dihydrocapsiate or DCT can help heat the body and speed up metabolism. Spicy foods raise our body temperature, then our body works to cool us down and burns calories. This means adding some spicy peppers to a healthy meal can be a great way to burn a few extra calories – as long as you can handle the heat!
These green goddesses are rich in a good-for-us fat called monounsaturated fats – MUFAs for short – and fiber. Together these things help us to feel full meaning we are less likely to overeat on unhealthy foods. Some studies suggest that a diet rich in monounsaturated fat can help increase our metabolism and prevent the formation of belly fat.
This classic breakfast option is high in soluble fiber which means that our bowl of oatmeal gets digested slow and steady. This helps keep our blood sugar levels in check. Steady blood sugar levels mean that our body stores less fat. Be sure you aren’t sabotaging yourself by adding spoonfuls of sugar to your oats. Instead, try some fresh fruit like berries and a spoonful of almond or peanut butter to make a delicious fat-burning breakfast. Try these Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oats.
There’s a reason salmon ends up on so many “good-for-you” lists. Chronic inflammation can interfere with metabolism-regulating hormones and increase insulin resistance. The omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish help reduce this inflammation. Salmon is also a high protein food and eating enough protein can help us maintain muscle mass and burn more calories throughout the day.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes offer a lot of nutrients for not very many calories making them a great option when weight loss or weight maintenance is a goal. They have a high fiber and water content which creates bulk in the stomach providing a satisfying feeling of fullness. When trying to burn fat, there is no need to feel hungry all the time. Opt for sweet potatoes that are boiled or baked. When deep fried, they can hinder fat loss. Try this sweet potato n’ egg skillet!
6. Green Tea
This fat-burning plant has been used for thousands of years! One way this antioxidant-rich tea promotes fat-burning is by its caffeine content. Moderate amounts of caffeine have been shown to aid in burning fat and improving exercise performance. But the star of green tea is the antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies show that this compound can boost metabolism and help us burn more calories during exercise and at rest!
7. Dark Chocolate
Cocao, the beneficial ingredient in your favorite chocolate bar, contains flavanols which are plant-based nutrients. Flavanols can help control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and burn fat. To get the most benefits, skip the overly sugared milk chocolate bars that contain very little of the actual cocoa bean and choose the rich, bold dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or higher instead.
Acai berries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or goji berries – they are all good! Some research shows that certain flavonoids in berries increase production of adiponectin, a hormone that stimulates fat burning. And strawberries have been shown to reduce insulin and blood sugar levels after meals which leads to less fat being stored on our body.
Many studies have shown that eating a healthy amount of protein at breakfast can lead to weight loss and a reduction in belly fat. Eggs are a great option here. Not only are they a great protein source, but they contain many nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium. They also contain antioxidants to fight free radical damage. All good things that will help you to be an efficient fat-burner.
Many of the longest-lived people in the world eat beans daily and for good reason! These protein-packed, low-glycemic gems can help us burn belly fat. The soluble fiber found in beans helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut, thus reducing gut inflammation that has been linked to belly fat. Try this Fiesta Veggie Fritatta Skillet!
Quinoa, a pseudo-grain, is a gluten-free superfood that can help burn fat in a couple of ways. First up, it’s a complete protein – meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids not made by our body. The protein along with the high fiber content help to regulate our hunger hormone ghrelin, keeping our bellies satisfied and our cravings in check. Fiber also promotes healthy digestion and good digestion helps support a healthy metabolism.
12. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt stands out from regular yogurt because it has double the amount of protein (and less sugar) which boosts its fat-burning power. Research has indicated that calcium intake plays a role in our body’s ability to burn fat, as well. Calcium intake can decrease the amount of a hormone called calcitriol in the body which plays a role in fat storage. Try adding some berries to some unsweetened Greek yogurt for a perfect fat-burning meal any time of day. Try these Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls!
The more green plant foods we can consume the better. Spinach is a great food to fill up on because it is so low in calories but more importantly, it’s very high in nutrients such as vitamin K, magnesium, and fiber. The green leaves also contain something called thylakoids, which recent research is suggesting plays a role in weight loss by regulating our hunger and helping us feel satisfied.
If it’s not yet clear, protein-rich foods are great for fat-burn. This is because high-protein foods such as tuna help increase our metabolism directly due to their high thermic effect. This means you burn more calories simply digesting them. Tuna, like salmon, also contains omega-3 fatty acids which play a key role in fighting inflammation which is known to promote obesity and premature aging.
15. Peanut Butter
Many people trying to lose weight cut out high-fat foods such as peanut butter but you don’t have to! Peanut butter may be a high-fat food but that’s not a bad thing. The monounsaturated fat content promotes weight loss and helps boost the absorption of antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins. And with 7 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons, you’re going to be a lot more satisfied eating that instead of trying to fill up on something else that may not be as healthy. Try these Chocolate PB Protein Bites.