‘Top Fat Burning Foods for Weight Loss’ are probably one of the most googled and talked about words in the dieting and fitness world. With an epidemic of obesity in many parts of the world due to poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, everyone wants to know if there are foods that can burn fat.
Everyone wants to burn fat and look in their best shape for the summer season just around the corner or fit into an outfit for an event.
The harsh reality about losing body fat is that there is no magical food that can melt away the fat. Of course, there are certain foods that can catalyse fat metabolism and speed up the fat-burning process, but they are not magical solutions for a bad, fat-filled diet.
For example, you can’t eat a diet full of fried foods, saturated and trans fats, and then expect to have all that fat burnt away by eating some blueberries.
Fat-burning foods are there to complement your weight loss efforts, but they’re not enough to burn significant amounts of fat on their own. Burning body fat requires a combined effort of eating healthy and exercising regularly to be successful. But, fat-burning foods can definitely help these efforts.
Another thing to note is that many of the ‘fat-burning’ foods you will find on the internet or even touted by the media, don’t directly burn fats.
They simply encourage you to cut your calories and refined sugar intake. For example, apple may not directly burn fat, but it can be substituted for another high-calorie, high-fat snack. Hence, it will help you to reduce your calorie, fat and sugar intake and hence help you reduce body fat.
So, much of the ‘fat-burning’ foods reduce body fat indirectly by helping you to control your calorie, sugar and fat intake. They influence your eating habits and speed up your metabolism rather than burning fat directly.
There are also certain foods that require a lot of energy to digest them, thus helping you maintain your calorie intake. Foods that are high in fibre and protein require effort to digest them, so you will be burning calories in the process, and hence also burning body fat.
Top Foods that help in burning of body fat
1. Chilli Peppers
Chilli peppers are amazing, flavourful additions to any dish. Chilli peppers also have shown evidence of helping to boost the metabolism in the body which speeds up the fat-burning process. There are many ways chilli peppers can help you shed fat:
Chilli peppers have strong antioxidants which can significantly reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a side effect of eating a diet full of saturated fats and fried foods. Inflammation can lead to cell damage, increase the risk of heart disease, and speed up the ageing process.
Chilli peppers contain a potent compound called capsaicin which encourages you to feel full, hence helping to restrict your calorie intake.
Capsaicin also helps by suppressing your appetite and speeding up your metabolism to burn more fat.
A review of a number of research studies showed that capsaicin can increase your daily calorie burn by around 50 calories.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
You might wonder why there’s a sudden hype around apple cider vinegar among fitness enthusiasts. Their perceived fat-burning properties have been believed for many years.
The primary constituent of apple cider vinegar, acetic acid has shown evidence in several studies done animals, of being able to speed up the fat burning process and reducing body fat.
Another study done on obese individuals showed that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for several weeks, shows a body fat reduction of 0.9%.
It is also known to curb people’s appetites and help control their blood sugar.
3. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea has been overshadowed by the hype around green tea, but it is an extremely potent and underrated tea with many health benefits. Like green tea, oolong tea also contains caffeine and the strong antioxidants called catechins.
A large review of research studies done on oolong tea consumption showed that oolong tea boosted calorie burning by nearly 102 calories a day. This is due to caffeine and catechins working together to rev up your metabolism.
Although green tea is more popular than oolong tea, oolong tea encourages twice as much calorie blasting.
4. Green Tea
The most potent antioxidants in green include catechins and compounds called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). They help to reduce inflammation in the body caused by harmful chemicals in our surroundings and poor diets. ECG in green tea has also shown in several studies, to encourage the fat-burning process. In one study, a group of healthy adult males were tested while cycling. The group that consumed green tea showed a 12 % increase in fat-burning compared to the control group.
However, there are some studies that also show that green tea doesn’t have much of an effect on burning body fat. While this may be true, it is still a healthier alternative than other beverages that may be laden with sugar and cream.
5. MCT found in coconut oil
Another food that has received a lot of hype over recent years is coconut oil. There are some conflicting opinions on how effective coconut oil can be for burning fat, considering that coconut oil itself has an extremely high saturated fat content.
However, one convincing study done a sample of obese men showed that when they consumed a daily two- tablespoon serving of coconut oil, they lost one inch from their waistline. They did not make any changes to their lifestyle apart from consuming the coconut oil. MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides) have been shown to boost metabolism and speed up the fat burning process.
Although coffee has been demonized in the media for some time due to its high caffeine content, there are now some evidence-backed claims that coffee can actually help people burn more fat during exercise. Caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 13%.
In a study, one group of subjects were asked to consume coffee one hour before starting exercise. This group ended up burning almost twice the amount of fat burned by the control group who didn’t consume anything at all. They were also able to go on for 17% longer with their exercising than the control group.
However, these fat-burning benefits of coffee will be undone if you consume coffee laden with sugar and high-fat dairy.