Wouldn’t it be great if eating certain foods could actually help you lose weight?
Well, those foods really do exist. And you might have some of them in your kitchen right now.
There are some foods that can help your body burn more fat faster than others. And if you work more of these foods into your diet, you can shed those extra pounds without starving yourself or feeling deprived.
So how do fat burning foods work?
Some Fat Burning Foods Build Muscle
The more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns.
Imagine there are two people who both weigh 140 pounds. But one has a higher muscle mass than the other. If both of them go for a walk, the one with the higher muscle mass will burn more fat, even if they walk the exact same distance.
Some fat burning foods that can help your body build muscle include nuts (or products made with nuts, like peanut butter), eggs, beans, and green vegetables.
Some Fat Burning Foods Raise Your Metabolism
Your body is always burning calories, even while resting. However, the higher your metabolism, the more fat your body will burn, whether you’re going for a jog or sitting on the couch watching TV.
The calcium found in milk, cheese and other dairy products can help raise your metabolism. So can the protein in lean meats (like chicken, turkey and fish), and the vitamin C in citrus fruits.
And if you like hot foods you’re in luck. The capsaicin’s found in hot peppers can also increase your metabolic rate.
Some Fat Burning Foods Make Your Body Work Harder
Even digesting the foods you eat burns calories. So it stands to reason that the harder your body has to work to digest a food, the more fat it will burn.
Whole foods—like whole grain breads, brown rice and beans—take more effort for your body to burn than processed foods. In fact, you will burn twice as many calories eating a piece of whole grain bread than you will if you eat a slice of white bread. Why? Well, with processed foods, a lot of the work has already been done, so your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest them.
Your body also has to work harder to digest foods that are high in fiber, like some fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables.
All Things in Moderation
Does this mean someone who wants to lose weight should only eat fat burning foods?
While many fat burning foods—like fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads—are packed with nutrients, they might not be enough. And if you don’t get enough of the nutrients your body needs, your metabolism will actually slow down, meaning you will burn fewer calories…and less fat.
But while you shouldn’t limit yourself to eating only fat burning foods, you can add more fat burning foods to your diet. Try making substitutions. If you usually buy white bread, buy whole grain bread instead. If you want a snack, a handful of nuts would be better than that bag of chips.
When you’re trying to shed those extra pounds, any little bit helps. And adding more fat burning foods to your diet can help your body burn more fat faster.