The key to successful fat burning is boosting your metabolism with a balance of quality foods, including meals composed of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. Though no miracle food will make you lose 10 pounds overnight, the following foods can help you burn fat so you can lose those 10 pounds (or more) for the long haul.
Trim down with green tea.
According to Wendy Chant, a specialist in performance nutrition and author of Conquer the Fat Loss Code, green tea can fire up your core temperature by 4 percent. That translates to losing up to six to eight pounds in a month. Chant also recommends keeping your body well hydrated with water, because it is key to optimal metabolic function.
Almonds are a six-pack-abs food.
In The Abs Diet for Women, health and fitness expert David Zinczenko extols the virtues of almonds for their fat-burning, belly-flattening power. Almonds are considered a superfood because of their healthy monounsaturated fats, protein and fiber. A serving of almonds or other nuts is a healthy snack and far more satisfying than fat-free foods such as rice cakes.
Avocados contain flat-belly fat.
According to Prevention Magazine’s editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello and nutrition director Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D. — the authors of Flat Belly Diet! — avocados are a rich source of monounstaturated fatty acids, which specifically target belly fat.
Lose fat with oatmeal.
Chant recommends oatmeal as one of your main starches. “The high fiber keeps you full longer, and your body rarely wants to store this type of food as fat,” she explains. Starting your day with a bowl of oats is an easy way to jumpstart your metabolism.
Diet with dairy.
Low-fat dairy items such as milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese aren’t just excellent sources of bone-building calcium. According to Zincenko, research suggests that calcium prevents weight gain by increasing the breakdown of body fat.
Spice up your metabolic rate.
Those intoxicatingly fragrant spices so popular around the holidays also can heat up your body’s fat-burning ability. Chant says, “Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves… are all thermogenic; they raise your body’s metabolism so you effortlessly burn more calories even while you’re resting.” A mere half-teaspoon can give you the full thermogenic effect.
Eggs break down fat.
Another Abs Diet food, eggs are one of the most bioavailable sources of quality protein, which is key for building lean body tissue. Plus, they contain vitamin B12, a nutrient necessary for breaking down fat in the body.
Get slim with olive oil.
A key fat-burning food in Flat Belly Diet, olive oil helps your body burn fat. It also makes meals satisfying and keeps you full longer, so you end up eating fewer calories.
Lighten up with dark chocolate.
The real treat in the fat-burning bunch, dark chocolate can transform your tummy from fat to flat. Stick to modest amounts, and opt for the darkest chocolate you can find.