Weight loss and cutting down on fat are two things on many of our to-do lists. It can make us feel more confident, vibrant and healthy. Eating smarter is one way to help us reach this goal. Fat-burning foods are low-glycemic, fibrous and protein-rich that require more energy to digest.
Here, certified nutritional practitioner and co-founder of The Living Kitchen Tamara Green shares 12 foods that will help you burn fat.
Wild salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and is a lean protein. According to The Calorie Myth, it takes the body five to ten times more energy to digest proteins than carbs. About 30 per cent of calories we eat from protein are actually burned in digesting it. (And then some protein is converted into glucose and this process burns even more calories.)
Eating leaner cuts of chicken, like chicken breasts, helps the body burn calories. Surprisingly, it takes a lot of energy to digest chicken. Similar to wild salmon, we burn calories as we eat foods that require more energy to break them down.
Low-fat Greek yogurt
For those who can tolerate dairy, low-fat Greek yogurt is incredibly high in protein, with about 18g per serving. The protein content in Greek yogurt makes it an “inefficient” food. Inefficient meaning it requires more energy to digest it. This energy actually helps burn calories as the food is being consumed.
Broccoli is a superfood that is loaded in fibre. Since fibre is not digestible, it can’t be stored as fat in the body. The body burns calories while trying to break down fibre and then eventually removes it through waste. Broccoli is also a potent detoxifier and helps keep the digestive system healthy, strong and regular.
Kale is a leafy green that is an antioxidant powerhouse. Kale is loaded in fibre which helps burn calories, makes the stomach feel full, removes excess waste and keeps the body regular.
Ginger helps to increase body heat because of its natural spicy taste. The heat stimulates digestion allowing foods to be properly metabolized and absorbed. It also stimulates circulation which revs up metabolism.
Garlic offers an array of healing benefits and according to the World’s Healthiest Foods, research has shown that garlic can actually help regulate the number of fat cells that form in the body. It's also a natural antibacterial and antiviral that keeps the body healthy and strong.
Green tea is a metabolism-booster and contains EGCG, which helps break down fat in order to produce energy in the body. Try sipping on green tea throughout the day to get the weight-loss benefits.
Cinnamon is an amazing aromatic spice that is sweet and spicy. It helps to balance blood sugar by slowing the rise of glucose after eating. This reduces the spike of insulin and decreases it from circulating in the blood stream. Insulin is the fat storage hormone and actually blocks the burning of fat, so keeping insulin levels lower is important for weight loss.
Avocados are loaded in good, healthy fats that provide unique benefits. It’s not necessarily fat that makes you fat, it’s actually sugar and high glycemic foods, so no need to be afraid of the all-mighty avocado. Avocado is a natural source of L-carnitine, which helps the body produce energy and burn fat. They are also rich in fibre allowing the body to feel satisfied and minimize hunger.
Chia seeds are nutritional overachievers because they contain protein, fibre, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. The soluble fibre in chia seeds helps the stomach feel full while curbing hunger and reducing cravings. The fibre also helps to regulate blood sugar and deter insulin from spiking.
Quinoa is that easy to cook grain that is loaded in fibre and is a complete protein. This is shocking for a small, little vegetarian grain! The fibre in quinoa helps the body to feel full faster and longer; this prevents overeating and encourages satiety. The body also uses energy to break down the fibre, which helps burn calories.