The BEST Fat Burning Foods

Eating whole foods and getting regular exercise is a great effort towards reaching your shape and fitness goals. Here are 16 Fat-Burning Foods, that when used throughout your weekly food plan, can help you with that journey:

1.       Walnuts

Researchers are convinced—more than ever before—about the nutritional benefits of walnuts, a tree nut, when consumed in whole form, including providing better skin. We now know that approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids.  In the majority of dietary studies, approximately one ounce of tree nuts per day is the minimal amount needed to provide statistically significant benefits, and that’s the amount we recommend that you incorporate into your daily diet. In the case of walnuts, one ounce means about 7 shelled walnuts, or 14 walnut halves. Of course, since tree nuts (including walnuts) are a high-calorie food, it’s important to incorporate tree nuts into an overall healthy diet that remains on target in terms of calories.

2. Ginger

Used for centuries to help relieve digestive upset/disturbances, ginger can also help reduce inflammation, boost blood flow to muscles and aid muscle recovery.

3. Oatmeal

This very slow-digesting carb keeps blood sugar and insulin levels low, so fat burning can stay high. Research has shown that athletes who consume slow-digesting carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the entire day and during workouts than those consuming fast-digesting carbs.

4. Avocado

The mono-unsaturated fats found in avocados are burned readily for fuel,  the high calorie count encourages you to use portion-control with them.

5. Salmon

This fish is one of the richest sources of the omega-3 essential fats EPA and DHA. Unlike flaxseeds, which provide a type of omega-3 that has to be converted into EPA and DHA, salmon provides your body a direct supply of them with no conversion required.  Sardines is also a great source for omega-3s.

6. Soybeans (Edamame)

Soybeans are a  soy protein, which has been shown to build muscle as efficiently as other forms of protein like whey and beef. Their versatility makes them a great addition to meals, pureed as a spread or sprinkled on salads.  Here’s a quick, easy edamame dip.

7. Water

This just may be your best  ally in fighting body fat. Studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of cold water can boost metabolic rate by 30%. Drinking water before a meal makes you feel satiated when eating appropriate portions.

8. Flaxseeds

They contain essential omega-3 fatty acids.  It is important to grind them before using to release the nutrients that otherwise pass through your system without the benefits being used.  You can add to shakes, oatmeal, cereals, baked goods, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.

9. Grapefruit

A study from the Scripps Clinic (San Diego, California) reported that subjects eating half of a grapefruit or drinking 8 oz of grapefruit juice three times a day while maintaining their normal diet, lost an average of 4 pounds over 12 weeks – and some lost more than 10 pounds without even dieting! I eat one in the afternoon to curb my craving for…everything!

Results were likely due to grapefruit’s ability to reduce insulin levels and to a chemical in grapefruit, which prevents fat from being stored in the body.

Be aware that if you use statin drugs or allergy medicines, grapefruit may nullify the effectiveness of your medications.

10. Honey

It’s a sugar, but it’s fairly low on the glycemic index. Keeping insulin levels low and steady is critical for maintaining a fat-burning environment in your body.

Honey is also a rich source of nitric oxide (NO) metabolites; ultimately, that means it actually encourages fat release from the body’s fat cells. I mix a small amount in warm water and cinnamon first thing in the morning to begin activating my metabolism for the day.

11. Peanut Butter/Almond Butter

A source of helpful mono-unsaturated fat that can actually aid fat loss. Stick with natural peanut butters that don’t add the type of fat you surely want to avoid – trans fats.

12. Eggs

Research states that those who start their day with eggs not only eat fewer calories throughout the day, but also lose significantly more body fat.  Eggs can be mixed with vegetables to ensure that you get your 5 servings of vegetables a day.  Hard-boiled eggs are portable and healthy for mid afternoon snack, and the protein helps you feel satiated till dinner and the low calories  helps you manage your daily calorie totals.

My favorite Egg Casserole Recipe

13. Chili Pepper Flakes/Cayenne

Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that can enhance calorie burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake.

14. Broccoli

This fibrous carb doesn’t provide many net carbs or calories, but it is filled with vitamin C and potassium.  Broccoli leaves you feeling full, and also contains phytochemicals that can help enhance fat loss.

15. Olive Oil

Like avocados, olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats.

Not only do they lower levels of the “bad” type of cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health, but they’re also more likely to be burned as fuel, which means they’re less likely to be sticking around your midsection.

16. Prunes

This powerhouse food has gotten a bad rap for being something only older people consume, but they are high in vitamin C and fiber.  They assist many with digestive issues and provide a nice source of something sweet.

Try to mix and match these ingredients throughout your meal plan.  In combination with exercise, you can use these whole foods to realize your weight/fitness goals with  energy and vigor for life!

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

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