So you want to lose that stubborn belly fat? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to starve yourself. In fact starving will only make the body want to hold onto fat. The delightful trick to burning off fat is actually to eat!
Now before you reach for that naughty treat, you can’t just eat anything. Did you know there are some very special foods that can actually fire up your metabolism and cause the body to burn more calories? Here are some of the best fat burning foods to help you shed those kilos.
Capsaicin is a compound with a fiery flavor that’s found in cayenne pepper, jalapenos, chili and red peppers. It raises your body temperature and helps your metabolism use up extra calories.
Research also suggests that capsaicin curbs your appetite and food intake for some time after consuming it, as well as preventing fat storage. So indulge in low-calorie salsa, chili or curry dishes and enjoy the delicious flavors and fat burning benefits.
Green Tea can speed up your metabolism because the caffeine it contains is a stimulant that boosts your heart rate and makes your body use more calories. It also contains catechins which can break down fat, according to research.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the green variety though because any type of tea can boost your metabolism. Interesting Swiss research suggests that drinking tea can burn 266 more calories each day.
If tea isn’t your bag, coffee has the same stimulant effect on your metabolism by raising your heart rate and causing your body to use calories at a quicker rate.The caffeine it contains can also trigger a process that breaks down fat.
But go easy. Anyone who has had too much coffee knows how it can leave you “wired”, so one or two cups a day is more than enough.
Beans – as in legumes – are full of fiber which slow digestion, causing your body to work harder and burn more calories to digest them. They’re also low-fat and packed with protein and your body burns more calories digesting protein compared with fats and carbohydrates.
Cannellini beans and fava beans are particularly beneficial. One long-term study suggests that the antioxidants in fava beans help prevent the storage of accumulated fat. They’re also extremely convenient as most bean varieties come ready-to-use in cans which can be easily added to casseroles, salads and wraps.
Another food that’s full of digestion-slowing and fat-busting fiber is oatmeal or porridge. Go for the whole grain variety which has more fiber.
Oatmeal contains lots of energy so you’ll be less likely to have a mid-morning snack attack due to a dip in bloody sugar levels, plus it will leave you feeling full for much longer than regular cereals. Other benefits include lowering cholesterol and ridding toxins from the body.
High-protein foods that are low in fat help work to burn fat in the body – and eggs do just that. As well as being high in protein, they are high in vitamin B12 which the body needs to breakdown fat. US researchers found that people who ate two eggs for breakfast lost almost 70% more weight than those who ate bagels.
Eggs also leave you feeling fuller for longer so you’re less inclined to indulge in high calorie foods mid-morning or at lunchtime. If you’re worried about cholesterol, remove the yolk and stick to the egg white which is where most of the fat burning elements are stored.
Nuts contain lots of fiber, healthy unsaturated fats and protein, which means that they help keep you feeling fuller for longer. This is great for helping you control your appetite. They also contain heart-healthy antioxidants.
Go for a handful of almonds or pistachios a day as they contain less fat and avoid salted nuts which can play havoc with blood pressure.
Yoghurt is full of calcium which has been shown in research to prevent the body absorbing fat in the small intestine. But it’s not just yoghurt that can fight belly fat.
Low-fat dairy products generally have been shown to do the same thing due to the high protein and enzymes they contain. Make sure you stick to low-fat high calcium products for the fat busting benefits and unfortunately ice-cream is not recommended.
All of these foods will burn belly fat as well as fat throughout the body, because fat is lost from the whole body not just in one area. If you want to super-charge the effects of these fat-busting foods, eat a low-calorie, balanced diet and boost your physical activity to burn even more calories. Happy eating and happy fat burning!