Nutrition 101: Eat To Burn Fat
The 15 Best Fat-Burning Foods
All nuts do contain some amount of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid, but most only contain trace amounts.
The real fat hero in most nuts is mono-unsaturated fats. Walnuts are actually a rich source of omega-3s.
One ounce provides almost 3g of alpha-linolenic acid.
It has also has been shown to boost calorie burn when eaten.
In fact, 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.
The mono-unsaturated fats found in avocados are burned readily for fuel during exercise and actually encourage fat burning.
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.
This way you know you're getting a direct supply of the fats that turn on fat burning and block fat storage.
6. Soybeans (Edamame)
Soy has also been shown to aid fat loss, possibly by decreasing appetite and calorie intake.
This just may be your best ally in fighting bodyfat. Studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of cold water can boost metabolic rate by 30%.
It has been estimated that drinking about 2 cups of cold water before breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for a year can burn 17,400 extra calories, which translates into a little more than 5 pounds of bodyfat!
They contain the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid. These omega-3 fats have been found to turn on genes that stimulate fat burning and turn off genes that increase fat storage.
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!
Results were likely due to grapefruit's ability to reduce insulin levels and to a chemical in grapefruit known as naringin, which prevents fat from being stored in the body.
Yes, 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
11. Peanut Butter
Another source of helpful mono-unsaturated fat that can actually aid fat loss. What's funny is that many food manufacturers make low-fat peanut butters!
Of course, they replace these healthy mono-unsaturated fats with carbs, namely sugar. Avoid these and stick with natural peanut butters that don't add the type of fat you surely want to avoid - trans fats.
Yes, we listed eggs in the muscle-building foods. So how can it also be a fat-burning food?
Research supports the notion that those who start their day with eggs not only eat fewer calories throughout the day, but also lose significantly more bodyfat.
13. Chili Pepper Flakes
Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that can enhance calorie burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake.
The boost in calorie burn is particularly enhanced when capsaicin is used with caffeine.
This fibrous carb doesn't provide many net carbs or calories, but it can make you feel full - one reason why it's a great food for getting lean.
Broccoli 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.
The Fat-Burning One-Week Meal Plan
The following plan is designed for a woman weighing 140 pounds. When trying to lose weight during a rigorous exercise program, a good rule of thumb is to shoot for an intake of about 12 calories per pound of bodyweight.
So for a 110-pound woman, total daily calories would be approximately 1,320; for a 150-pound woman, about 1,800. See muscleandfitnesshers.com for your supplements on workout days.
Whole eggs (hard-boiled)
3/4 cup (Mix in any desired vegetables.)
Late Morning Snack:
Sunday (High-Carb "Cheat Day")
Recipe A: Turkey Rolls
- Place two slices of turkey together and lay one slice of cheese on top; spread mustard on cheese and roll into a tube and eat.
Recipe B: Breakfast Burrito
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 slice reduced-fat American cheese
- 2 slices low-fat deli ham
- 1 10" whole wheat pita
- Heat tortilla in warm pan; fry ham in pan and place on tortilla.
- Scramble eggs and cook in pan using nonstick cooking spray, add cheese and place on tortilla.
- Roll tortilla into breakfast burrito.
Recipe C: Chili Con Carne
- 6oz lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1/4 can (14 1/2oz) diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1/4 medium onion (diced)
- Brown beef in pan.
- Add tomatoes and onion, ½ tsp ground cumin powder, 1 tsp chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe D: Omelet
- Scramble the eggs in a pan with olive oil or nonfat cooking spray; flip eggs.
- Mix together cream cheese and spinach in a bowl; spread cream cheese mixture onto cooked side of egg.
- Wait 30 seconds to ensure the other side of the egg is cooked, fold in half, wait 1 minute to melt cream cheese mixture.
Recipe E: Breakfast Pizza
- 1 large whole egg
- 1/4 cup fat-free mozzarella
- 1/4 whole-wheat pizza crust
- 2 slices extra lean turkey bacon
- Beat egg in bowl and slowly drizzle half over the crust.
- Spread cheese over crust and drizzle the rest of the egg over the cheese. Top with bacon.
- Bake in oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes or until egg is cooked and cheese is melted.
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I believe you are incorrect in stating "These omega-3 fats have been found to turn on genes that stimulate fat burning and turn off genes that increase fat storage" when referring to alpha linolenic acid. Perhaps you were referring to alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy. (University of Maryland web site: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/alpha-linolenic-000284.htm#ixzz1iSEHisrG)
This sounds very doable! I already eat a lot of these foods. Accord g to My FitnessPal I've been eating 1200 call per day but this gives me way more food I can eat... along with my workouts...
Very well-written article and a very good suggestion about a one-week meal plan. To the above list of 15 fat-burning, flat-belly foods I would also like to add: 1) Lean mean which is full of protein and therefore it has a high thermogenic effect, 2) Whole Grains because our bodies burn twice as many calories while digesting these foods and 3) Low-fat dairy products which build our muscles that are essential to keep our metabolism going and thus to help us burn fat. www.lifetoliveit.com