10 Best Fat Burning Foods
If only there was a magic potion to melt away those extra pounds and keep them off for good! Unfortunately, no such thing exists and the only way to lose weight for good is through changing your diet. Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as we are often led to believe. It’s simple – eat the food that grows naturally and avoid the food that doesn’t.
Stick to homemade over ready meals, and choose the foods that fuel and nourish! There are three rules when it comes to successful weight loss, which are:
- 1 Don’t go hungry
- 2 Create a calorie deficit
- 3 Eat protein, but don’t ditch fat and carbohydrates!
The truth is, whichever way you look at it, these three rules are non-negotiable! Confused? Don’t be! Stock up on the 10 best fat burning foods and eat your way to a slimmer, healthier you.
Poor old fat has been demonized for far too long. Not only do we need fat to burn fat, but it also keeps your brain happy and is the king of satiety. One study, published in nutrition journal proved that those who ate half an avocado with lunch were 40% less hungry or two hours afterwards. But Avocado isn’t just for lunch – you can serve it with breakfast to help quill the mid-morning biscuit cravings!
2. Leafy Green Veg
Kale, spinach, swiss chard and other dark green leafy veg are low in calories but packed with our friend, fibre. You can double (or triple) the size of your meal using leafy greens without doubling the amount of calories. You will, however, boost your body-friendly nutrient and antioxidant intake! Pack them into salads, melt them into pasta dishes, or shred and add to your stir-fries and curries.
3. Brown Rice
An easy way to lower the GI of your meal and stabilize your blood sugar level is to simply swap fluffy, white rice for its nuttier counterpart. Brown rice is what your white rice used to look like before it was stripped of its fibrous hull. It’s far fleshier than white rice when it comes to nutritional value, too, as it’s rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
4. Homemade Soup
Perhaps you’ve heard that drinking water with your meal will make you feel fuller, quicker. However, a study from Pennsylvania State University found that consuming the same amount of water within a soup with your meal, rather than as a drink, means you’ll go on to eat less of that meal and less throughout the rest of the day! What better way to use up your leftover vegetables?
5. Greek Yogurt
Put the fruit-flavoured ‘diet’ yogurt down and get yourself to the Greek! It may add a few more calories to the pot initially, but it has a higher protein content and far less sugar. You should aim to consume more of your calories from protein, in order to help with hunger control, preservation of muscle mass and gain better overall calorie zapping powers. Try a few heaped tablespoons topped with fresh fruit as a post-workout snack, to soothe your muscles and keep that ‘after cardio’ appetite at bay.
6. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate for weight loss? Not quite. But denying yourself everything you enjoy won’t work long term. Damage limitation is the key to this one – opt for a couple of squares of good-quality dark chocolate in the evening and you’ll not only satisfy a sweet tooth, but you’ll get the added benefits of heart-friendly flavonoids and cholesterol lowering nutrients, too!
Yes, we should eat fewer carbohydrates if we want to lose an inch or two, but should we cut them out altogether? Absolutely not. Carbs are essential for optimal brain function and they provide energy, something you need if you want to make that HIIT session count! Stick to complex carbohydrates, such as porridge, to give you longer-lasting energy. Try a bowl of oats before bed to balance blood sugar levels and help you sleep soundly until morning. Their high phosphorus content also aids muscle recovery.
Researchers in Australia asked a group of volunteers to add a serving of chickpeas to their daily diet for 12 consecutive weeks. Results showed that the participants ate less food particularly grains during this chickpea-fuelled three months! Make like our friends down under and add these knobbly legumes to your stews and soups. Or blend with some good-quality olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, to whip up homemade hummus in a flash.
9. Chia Seeds
These trendy little seeds magically expand in water (and in your stomach!), so they keep you satisfied for hours. It’s not really magic – it’s lots of indigestible fibre! The nutritional profile of chia seeds shows that they are high in carbs, but because the majority of those carbs are fibre, you won’t get the same insulin spike that comes with your average high-carb food. Chuck them over your muesli or into a smoothie for a gut-filling fix.
Research studies have found that those who ate the most unsaturated fatty acids had a lower body mass index and less fat around their middles. They found this was primarily because those eating more unsaturated fats were eating foods of a higher overall quality. Still a fat-phobe? Nuts also contain vitamin E, which can actually help to prevent a fatty plaque build-up in your arteries! Not to mention they taste great, too. Try adding 25g of mixed, unsalted nuts (not including peanuts) to your daily fruit snack, or top two oatcakes with a heaped teaspoon of almond or cashew nut butter.
11. Eggs (Bonus)
Forget what you think you know about eggs. They are not responsible for high cholesterol, but they are nutrient powerhouses and one of the best sources of protein around, sitting up high on the Satiety Index scale. Hard-boiled eggs are the perfect, pre-packaged snack, just keep the shell on until the last minute to avoid offending sensitive noses in the office!