Today, more and more people are health conscious, since science and research has revealed that 40% of all diseases that affect us are a result of being overweight as well as leading an inactive lifestyle. While getting a few exercises done daily is not so hard, because the options are just so many, most of us do not really understand what foods are good at burning fats and how they affect the weight loss process on the whole.
To explain to you the concept of foods that burn fat, we will talk in detail about the process of fat deposition and how your food choices can make a difference in this process. Having that information on your fingertips will not only make you more prudent towards your choice of foods, it will also help you create a healthy meal plan for yourself and your family that is based around smart food choices. Losing weight is an ongoing process; it can take years for you to achieve your goal weight is you are trying to lose weight the healthy way without crash diets. But knowing just a little more about foods that burn fat makes this job a lot easier for you.
How does fat deposit on our bodies?
Before we understand foods that burn fat, let us understand a little more about fat deposition and factors that affect it. Your body needs food to convert it in to energy. The energy quotient of the food you eat is measured in Calories. This energy is then used by the body for its various processes – like digesting food, breathing, talking, repairing muscles etc. but the simple fact here is that the tougher it is for the body to create that energy from the food you eat, the more calories you burn naturally.
The food we eat has 3 major macro nutrients, namely Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. To understand how many calories you get from them, here is a simple fact to note:
- Each gram of protein releases 4 calories,
- Each gram of carbohydrate releases 4 calories
- Each gram of Fat releases 9 calories
So there you have it, fats release the highest number of calories and this is why, eating fats in excess makes you store the unexpended calories too. But don’t think fats are bad for you; good fats are very important for the body as many nutrients are only fat soluble and cannot reach your blood stream without a healthy supply of fats.
Now, let us talk about how fat deposits on your body. The body digests the food you eat, converting it all to energy. To fuel its sustenance, the body uses up the part of energy it needs and the rest is stored. You need to burn off this energy, or calories, in order to maintain your weight. You need to burn off more calories than what you ate in order to lose weight. However, if you don’t exercise of indulge in foods that burn fat, these extra calories get stored in the form of Fat Cells.
How do foods that burn fat help you?
After you have understood the process of how fat deposits in your body, it is time to understand the role foods that burn fat plays here. All foods contain some calories, but there are a few foods that quicken the process of fat burning in the body and help you with your weight loss purpose.
- Some foods that burn fat contain minerals and vitamins that accelerate metabolism. As your metabolism increases, your body naturally burns off excess fat. These are food with high protein content.
- Some foods that burn fats have such few calories in them, that it takes a lot more calories for the body to digest them and these calories are higher than the number of calories contained in the food. These are called ‘negative calorie foods’. These are foods with high fiber content.
- Some foods that burn fat are complex in nature, and make you feel full even when you eat just a small amount. These are foods that are high in water content.
An extensive yet practical list of foods that burn fat:
In your frenzy to fight off extensive weight, many a times you might have considered crash dieting. Eating too less doesn’t do anything good for your body. In fact, it disrupts the harmonious process of the body and reduces your metabolism further, making you burn even fewer calories. The right way to lose weight is to include more foods that burn fat, so that the question of unnecessary fat deposition in the body doesn’t arise at all. If you also lead a physically active lifestyle, all you really need to do is include these foods that burn fat in your daily diet and see the difference in your waistline within weeks!
Now, you might wonder why we are mentioning a carbohydrate like Oats in our list of foods that burn fat. We will explain why – Oats owe a huge portion of their caloric count to insoluble fiber. So oats work in 2 ways to help you reduce weight:
- First, they are high in fiber so they make you feel satiated with even a small serving
- Secondly, the insoluble fiber is very hard to digest, making the body burn off extra calories just to digest and process this food
There are many other cereals that will give you similar effects, like cooked barley and Raisin & Barn Cereal. Look for breakfast cereals that have more insoluble fiber in them and you will find your secret to fitness!
Citrus Fruits –
Fruits in general are very good for you. They are high in fiber, water content, vitamins and minerals and most fruits are also low in sugar. However, citrus fruits are one of the best foods that burn fat, and must be included in your breakfast daily. These fruits give your body instant energy, thus raising the metabolism, and the Vitamin C in these fruits helps to burn fat readily. You can try to eat just citrus fruits for breakfast for a few weeks to feel the difference. It readily burns fat deposits around your hips and waistline.
Some great citrus fruits are Kiwi fruit, Oranges, Lime, Clementine, Lemons, Grape fruit and Tangerines.
All vegetables are great foods that burn fat. This is because they all have high fiber content and also a multitude of vitamins and minerals that accelerate the body’s fat burning process. Even high calorie vegetables like potatoes, yams and sweat potatoes can help you with your weight loss goals. How? Simple – cook potatoes with their skin on as the skin is another form of insoluble fiber. There are many negative calorie vegetables to choose from – spinach, pumpkins, artichoke, broccoli and cabbage being a few of them. Another plus point – vegetables don’t have fats in them naturally. The only fat comes from the oil you use to cook them. So when looking to lose weight, eat your veggies boiled or steamed or simple raw in a salad.
White meat –
For non vegetarians, there is no better foods that burn fat like white meats. Unlike red meats, white meats like chicken and fish are low in both carbohydrates and fats, with a better protein profile too. These proteins are more complex in nature, making the body work extra hard to digest them. So make sure you eat a lot of lean meats and avoid the skin because that is where most of the fat accumulates in animals.
On the other hand, fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that your body needs to maintain elasticity of the skin and sheen of hair. They are low in fats, high in protein and makes for an excellent choice for both lunch and dinner.
Edible pulses or lentils are not only filling, they are also a great source of proteins. You can cook them up in delicious gravy to eat with brown rice or brown breads, or simply use lentil flour to make your breads. Not only are they a great source of dietary fiber, they are also excellent for your heart health.
Just like white meat, eggs are a great way to satiate hunger pangs and get a god source of complex proteins and carbohydrate in your body. They are low in unhealthy fats and calories, and the best thing is that eggs are highly versatile. You can cook them in a variety of ways, adding new flavor to your egg based meal each day. Eggs also offer you good cholesterol and are great for heart health.
No list of foods that burn fat can ever be complete without nuts like Walnuts, almonds and pecans. They are a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, healthy fats and vitamins. Not many foods can offer you healthy fats, and fact is these fats are essential for the normal functioning of your body because most cell structures comprise of fats. In your attempt to try and eliminate fats from your daily diet, you could be doing your body more harm than any good. Indulge in a fistful of nuts every day to ensure your body has the necessary healthy fats that can help you burn more calories.
You might think that water cannot really be counted as food, but without water foods that burn fat cannot really do their job well. Water boosts your metabolism, removing toxic waste from your body and enhancing your body’s fat burning process. In fact, 40% of the times that you think you are hungry, what your body actually is craving for is plain water! This is why fruits with high water content count as foods that burn fat; they fill up your tummy without giving you extra calories.
In the end, know that any whole food is better than processed food when it comes to weight loss. You can use our list of foods that burn fat given above to get a basic idea of what is healthy for you and create structured menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 mid-meal snacks. Also, to lose weight, you need to break down your 3 big meals in to 6 smaller meals for optimum results. This boosts your metabolism, and when combined with foods that further rev up your metabolism further, the affects are drastic and fast achieving.