Have you ever imagined a day where you could eat great tasty food and still burn fat?
It sounds like the holy grail of weight loss to keep in great shape!
Science has made discoveries to realize the reality. By carefully selecting a variety of the top fat burning foods and incorporating them into your daily diet, you too have the potential to raise your metabolic rate, burn more energy, and melt away the fat.
Food is fuel. But not only in the sense you can use food to fuel your workouts. You can take advantage of certain foods that have a positive thermogenic effect on your body to fuel your fat burning. Thermogenesis occurs when your body burns more energy in digesting food, creating a ‘heating’ effect after you’ve eaten.
Maybe you’ve experienced this effect when eating spicy foods. You feel your heart rate speed up and your body temperature rise. Or after you’ve eaten a large, protein-rich meal, you feel content and satisfied. This is your metabolism fired up and working to burn the energy.
By eating more thermogenic foods, you are increasing your fat burning potential.
Let’s dive in and look at the top 14 fat burning foods for women.
1. Coconut Oil
If you were to consume 100 calories of vegetable oil and later, 100 calories of coconut oil, your body would digest them very differently. Coconut oil contains a large portion of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Research has demonstrated MCTs help to suppress fat deposition, especially around the abdominal region. This is significant because abdominal obesity is linked to many harmful health conditions. It's through enhanced thermogenesis fat is oxidized more readily in the body.
Unlike long-chain fatty acids found in many other fat sources, MCTs do not enter the cholesterol cycle. The body simply uses MCTs as its first point of energy rather than depositing them as fat.
When consuming just 15-30g of coconut oil (around 2 tablespoons), you have the potential to increase your energy expenditure by up to 5% (source). Depending on the individual, this could amount to an extra energy burn of 250kj to 750kj.
As a saturated fat, coconut oil can also help you to feel fuller for longer. This is good news for those of you who love to fry their eggs in the morning or make homemade potato fries. Now you have a healthier fat you can use that will help you burn fat!
2. Cayenne Powder
In the famous words of a popular 90’s girl band, spice up your life!
Cayenne pepper is a widely used hot pepper not only for its spicy heat but for its positive effect on raising the metabolism.
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in the cayenne pepper which research shows can increase your metabolic rate by 15-20%.
You can buy cayenne peppers either whole or in the powder form. It's also one of the main ingredients in Fit Affinity's popular fat-burning supplement.
Cayenne pepper makes a great addition to many curries, stews, casseroles or even sprinkled over your eggs of a morning.
Not so much a food but a macronutrient, protein has for a long time been worshipped in bodybuilding circles for its muscle building potential. But it should also be acknowledged for its fat burning effects.
Protein burns more energy than both fats and carbohydrates (source). In one study, subjects burned an extra 250 calories per day by switching to a higher protein diet. This was without any other lifestyle changes.
It's important when choosing to eat meat, to source it ethically and sustainably. This is not only healthier for you, but for the animal and environment.
The most nutrient-dense sources of protein come from wild caught fish (like salmon, mackerel and sardines), grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs.
The grapefruit may not be the most popular of citrus fruits due to its bitterness, but it should be.
One study found a significant reduction in two hour post-glucose insulin levels when half a fresh grapefruit was eaten before meals. Insulin resistance was improved for patients suffering metabolic syndrome patients when eating grapefruit products.
Further research shows promise in relation to grapefruit's potential to improve blood pressure and lipid profiles.
The science is in. Grapefruit makes a great addition to your fat burning diet.
Also known as Garcinia Cambogia, tamarind is an exotic fruit found growing in pods on a leguminous tree. It's commonly used in Asian cuisines and makes a delicious, sweet paste that's used as a base for curries.
Tamarind is abundant in a number of essential nutrients including thiamin, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
The rind of the tamarind fruit contains a potent compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
It's understood that HCA blocks an enzyme responsible for turning sugars and starches into fat.
While studies are still in their infancy, it suggests tamarind may support healthy glucose metabolism and help to prevent your body from storing fat.
This lesser known health food has deep rooted origins in India. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, Guggul is most commonly found growing wild in the Rajasthan and Gujurat regions of India. It's harvested from the native flowering mukul myrrh tree.
In Ayurveda, guggul is often prescribed when kapha is imbalanced, signalled by excess weight. It's pungent, bitter and astringent taste contributes to its potential as a powerful digestive aid. These properties help support a healthy thyroid and improve metabolic functioning.
It’s most commonly found as an herbal supplement.
7. Green Tea
Similar to coffee, green tea does contain some caffeine which contributes to its fat burning effect on the body. But it's not just the caffeine that's caught the attention of researchers.
Green tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which helps your body to more effectively use the hormone and neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine signals your body to burn fat and utilize stored energy.
Studies found a concentrated green tea extract can boost your metabolism by up to 4% while burning fat. This could amount to an extra 750kj over a 24 hour period for some individuals..
Green Tea Leaf Extract is one of the key ingredients used to maximize the fat burning potential of Fit Affinity's natural supplements.
Eggs are one of the healthiest whole foods that comes packed with all the nutrients to support life. After all, that's the purpose it serves in bringing life to a little chick. With a healthy balance of fats and proteins, it's a great way for you to start your day too.
But what about their fat-burning potential?
One study compared the effects of eating whole eggs for breakfast compared to eating a bagel. It should come as no surprise that participants eating eggs for breakfast experienced enhanced weight loss and greater satiety.
If you're concerned about the cholesterol levels in eggs, then you needn't worry. Studies found the cholesterol in eggs to have a negligible effect on blood serum cholesterol levels. Eating an egg a day does not increase the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke (source).
So bring on those fried eggs in coconut oil!
Surprisingly, the body finds it hard to digest a portion of the fats in nuts. This is because the body can't efficiently process the energy they provide. Studies have found an additional 10% increase in energy expenditure occurs when nuts are consumed. Individuals in this study also reported a higher satiety level after consuming nuts.
This is good news because nuts provide a host of wonderful nutrients and minerals and are recommended as part of nearly every diet known to man..
Of particular noteworthiness is the Brazil nut. By just eating 2 brazil nuts a day will provide your body with the recommended amount of selenium. This trace mineral is vital for healthy thyroid function which governs the metabolism. Your metabolic system has a significant role to play in weight control.
When your thyroid gland is not working sufficiently, your metabolism suffers and it becomes harder for your body to maintain a healthy weight.
Naturally, portion control is important when it comes to nuts as it’s easy to eat a couple handfuls without noticing. Avoid any that are roasted, salted or come flavored. Stick to raw and organic where possible.
A popular spice in Indian food that provides a rich yellow colour to cooking, turmeric also contains some of the strongest anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin.
Researchers have found turmeric may help in decreasing body fat levels and regulating leptin secretion.
Another study backed up this research in its findings of curcumin being highly effective in reducing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a huge contributor to weight gain. By consuming foods that help you to regulate your insulin levels, you'll be able to more effectively burn fat for weight loss.
11. Chia Seeds
An ancient seed harvested by the Aztecs, chia seeds have been used for many centuries to boost energy levels.
Researchers have more recently found chia seeds to be an effective tool in improving glucose metabolism and reducing insulin resistance (source).
About 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide 4g of protein. As mentioned previously, high protein diets have been associated with higher levels of energy expenditure.
For such a small seed, they also pack quite the nutrient punch in the form of phosphorous, selenium, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium. They're also high in fiber, helping you to feel fuller for longer.
When left to soak in a liquid, chia seeds expand. They make great puddings and additions to smoothies.
One of nature's most nutrient dense fats, avocado is a wonderful fuel source for your body.
A survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Nutrition Journal found that eating half an avocado a day helped reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome by 50 percent.
If you're eating salads rich in carotenoids without avocado, you're actually doing yourself a disservice. A study found avocado increased the body's ability to absorb carotenoids from vegetable-based foods. This is because many vegetables are naturally low in fat and require an external fat to help the body more effectively absorb their nutrients.
Do you need any more reason to make guacamole? Just go easy on the chips.
It's hard to believe a spice so delightfully nice could be associated with so many health benefits.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. It's rich in polyphenolics which have been shown to positively affect blood glucose and insulin signaling. Cinnamon exhibits anti-obesity, antidiabetic and antioxidant qualities. For people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, cinnamon has been shown to help improve resting blood glucose levels (source).
Further studies suggest cinnamon offers a protective effect for brain mitochondria against the negative impact of dietary-induced insulin resistance.
Including cinnamon as part of your habitual diet will help support your body to becoming a fat burning machine. So don't just save the cinnamon for special occasions. It makes a great addition to smoothies, pancakes, sprinkled on fruit, and added to Moroccan and Indian curries.
Ok, so coffee can't really be considered a food, but it's origins are rooted in a food source – the coffee bean. And when talking about the fat burning potential of foods, you can't NOT mention coffee. So we'll let that technicality slide.
If you like to start your day with a caffeine hit, then here's the good news. Coffee can help you burn fat.
One study suggests that for up to 3 hours after caffeine consumption, your metabolic rate can increase significantly. Energy expenditure has the potential to increase by up to 11%.
Caffeine is frequently included in many fat burning and performance supplements for its ability to burn fat, increase the metabolism and aid in faster recovery times.
The downside to coffee is your body may adapt to it over time. You may find yourself needing to consume more to get the same effect. But when consumed as part of a balanced diet, and intermittently used to boost energy levels and exercise performance, there' no reason it can't be included as a healthy addition to your diet.
Bringing this all together is Fat Affinity’s fat burning supplement. Incorporating many of these thermogenic foods mentioned, you too can take advantage of the fat burning potential of these foods.
While altering your diet to include more of these foods may help you burn more fat, including a workout routine into your lifestyle will provide the added bonus of building muscle and fitness to help you attain a lean and sculpted body.