The frustrations that come with trying to lose weight or body fat can be excruciating sometimes, which is why many people turn to “quick fix” products on the market like weight loss pills or belly fat teas. Unfortunately, not only do these products not work in the long run, but they can even become harmful to your health.
Even though you may feel the need to eliminate tons of food from your diet when you’re trying to lose weight, it is actually quite often the foods that you can add that will make a difference.
One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to ensure that you’re filling your diet with healthy foods, and there are certain “fat-burning foods” out there that are full of helpful nutrients and great for your overall health—making them so much better than any quick fix diet product you can buy.
“It’s essential to understand that while certain foods may slightly boost metabolism or assist in weight management, they are not magical solutions on their own,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD. “To lose fat, a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle factors is essential.”
The following fat-burning foods contain certain nutrients that have been proven with research to aid in fat loss and overall weight loss. Again, this isn’t to say that these foods can make you lose body fat on their own, but when incorporated as a part of a balanced diet, they can help you achieve your goals. Read on, and for more healthy eating tips, check out the 12 Best Foods for Defined Abs.
Salmon is a popular fish full of nutrients like protein and healthy fats. For one, the amount of lean protein in salmon (17 grams per serving) can help you achieve your fat loss goals because of the positive effect that a high-protein diet has on weight loss and reduced body fat.
Along with that, Goodson adds that “Fatty fish like salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may influence fat metabolism,” she says. In fact, according to a study published in the journal Hindawi, supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can increase resting metabolic rate in adults.
One effective way to help burn some stubborn fat is to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet. “Protein has a high thermic effect, meaning your body expends more energy digesting protein compared to fats and carbohydrates,” says Goodson. “Additionally, a high-protein diet can help you feel fuller, which can lead to reduced calorie intake and weight loss.”
One easy, delicious, versatile way to get more of this nutrient is with a fat-burning food: turkey! In three ounces of turkey breast, you’ll get 24 grams of protein and less than seven grams of fat, and in a three-ounce serving of ground turkey, you’ll get around 23 grams of protein and less than nine grams of fat.
Chili peppers are good for more than just a boost of flavor in your favorite dishes. This spicy pepper turns up the heat in your weight loss goals with a key compound called capsaicin.
“The capsaicin in chili peppers can temporarily increase metabolism by promoting thermogenesis, which is the process of heat production in the body,” says Goodson. “This effect is relatively small, but over time, it may contribute to fat loss.”
Whether you’re sprinkling it on your oatmeal, adding a dash to your morning latte, or even taking it in supplement form, Goodson says that cinnamon can aid in your fat loss goals by way of blood sugar management. “Cinnamon has been suggested to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, and stable blood sugar levels can reduce cravings and overeating, potentially aiding in weight management.” Also, higher, more unmanaged blood glucose levels have also been linked to increased weight gain.