Marina Maréchal, nutritionist, health coach
When I ask the average woman about her personal goals, there’s often one common response: losing weight. While the reason may be to look good in their summer clothes, the reality is that the benefits of losing weight go far beyond that, and fat-burning foods can help you get there. But how?
Understand that a calorie is not a calorie!
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body. They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.
Eating certain foods can help you drop the extra kilos and potentially reverse diabetes. It also reduces your risk of obesity, which has been linked to a higher risk of cancers. Introducing more fat-burning foods can also boost energy levels and help you feel better.
If you’re ready to add more fat-burning foods into your diet, lose weight and feel great, here are 12 of my favorites!
- LEAFY GREENS
Leafy greens include spinach, swiss chards, green leaves of beets and others. They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.
Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals and without increasing the calories.
Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning.
Chicken is a readily available and a protein-packed food. This nutrient helps keep our bodies energized, our muscles sculpted and our bellies satiated. Opt for quality, locally grown or organic chicken whenever possible.
3. BONE BROTH
Bone broth is by far one of my favorite healing foods. It has the potential to transform your health and help burn fat. It is very rich in amino acids, which prevents muscle breakdown, increases your metabolism and helps detoxify your body. Our ancestors ate bone broth regularly, but unfortunately it’s no longer as common in our daily diet. But you can bring in the benefits of this ancient elixir. Try making my favorite Chicken Bone Broth to add this nutrient-rich, fat-burning food into your diet.
4. WHOLE EGGS
Eggs don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks. They are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight. They are high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories. One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bread or bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours.
Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
5. CHIA SEEDS
These seeds, are a nutritional powerhouse and true fat-burning foods. Consuming chia seeds increase energy, and because it absorbs so much of its own weight in water, the seed also helps slow your body’s digestion, reducing hunger pangs and sugar cravings.
6. COCONUT OIL AND EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest, most natural fats we can consume. It can help decrease both body weight and body fat while keeping your thyroid running smoothly. Substituting vegetable oils for coconut oil in your cooking is a simple way to add another fat-burning food to your diet. Extra virgin olive oil is probably the healthiest fat on the planet, but should only be used in salads and not for cooking as the oil oxidizes on high temperatures.
7. CAYENNE PEPPER
This spicy seasoning is good for more than just increasing the heat in your foods. Cayenne pepper increases your body’s ability to burn fat and replace it for energy, just what you want when trying to lose those extra kilos. Cayenne pepper also increases your body’s metabolism, helping you lose fat faster and more easily. Try sprinkling it on top of your favorite foods for an extra kick of fat-burning food power.
8. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Cruciferous vegetables, such as, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, are highly nutritious and contain cancer fighting substances. A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.
9. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
ACV can help you lose weight by reducing sugar cravings. Adding a tablespoon of ACV to a glass of water and drinking it 20 minutes before a meal can also help you feel fuller with less food. Additionally, it works as a natural way to detox your body and balance your stomach’s pH.
Grapefruit is delicious, and, it’s a major fat-burning food as well. Enzymes found in the fruit help your body break down sugar, helping to boost your metabolism and drop the weight. Try adding a slice of grapefruit to boost your breakfast or squeezing the fresh juice into a glass of water.
These fermented drinks contain probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut. Having a healthy gut may potentially help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is the main hormonal driver of obesity.
12. YERBA MATE
It’s a nutritious source of energy, mental alertness and good health — Yerba mate ingestion has also been proven to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure during exercise. It has even been shown to fight cancer and other inflammatory diseases!
With less caffeine than coffee or black tea, it’s a smart choice for energy, along with 196 active compounds, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (green tea has 144). Yerba mate actually has higher polyphenol and antioxidant counts than both green and black teas.
Marina Maréchal, nutritionist, health coach