The ‘fat burning foods‘ debate over whether some foods actually burn fat and cause weight loss is a never ending one. Whether or not particular foods are thermogenic (fat burners), meaning that the food increases the rate at which the body burns stored fat, has not been proven in any controlled scientific studies where the calorie intake remains constant, so there is no documentation to prove one way or the other.
That is to say, no scientific studies have been done where subjects eat the same exact amount and kind of food, maintain the same exact exercise schedule, and in the same environment for the duration of the study.
The only thing that would change during the testing would be the addition of the ‘fat burning’ food to see if there are any noticeable differences in weight loss from one person to another.
Fat burning food is considered to be any food that burns more fat than the calorie content of the food itself, and here is a partial fat burning foods list that are thought to have this effect in the body.
1. Cayenne Pepper: Since eating spicy foods tends to make you break out in a sweat by speeding up your metabolism, Cayenne Pepper is said to be one of the best fat burning spices if used regularly. The capsaicin found in peppers seems to trigger a thermodynamic burn that, even hours after eating it, still helps to burn calories. It also decreases cholesterol which adds to its fat burning effects as well.
It sounds contradictory, but your body actually uses energy in an attempt to cool off. Adding Cayenne Pepper to your diet is as simple as sprinkling it on eggs in the morning, in your salad dressing, and on your entree. Many believe that the effects of Cayenne are enhanced by eating lean protein along with it.
2. Ginger: A valuable aid in fat loss, ginger – fresh, dry, or in a tea – has been shown in research studies to increase metabolic rates. The thermogenic process of ginger helps to burn off stored fat, boosting the metabolism and even detoxifying the body and stimulating circulation.
3. Apples and Berries: Most fresh fruit and berries contain a chemical called pectin which is found in high concentrations in the skins of the fruit, and is considered a fat burning food because of its ability to restrict the absorption of fat. Pectin also has a water binding effect which helps the cells to release fat deposits.
Some excellent choices here are raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and apples.
4. Citrus Fruits: The component in citrus fruits that is supposed to burn fat is vitamin C (commonly known as ascorbic acid) which is said to reduce the effectiveness of fat and can dilute or liquefy it to help flush it from the body. Lemons, limes, guava, oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit are all rich in vitamin C.
Adding lemon juice to the water you drink may be beneficial to your weight loss efforts and help control your cholesterol levels, as will drinking orange juice regularly and having some grapefruit every morning.
Perhaps the best known of the citrus fat burning diets is the grapefruit diet.
5. Olive Oil: Another one of the ‘good fats’, olive oil is actually good for you and it helps to increase metabolism, burn fat, and lower cholesterol levels.
6. Soybeans: The lecithin contained in soybeans is said to aid the body in preventing the accumulation of fat in the cells. They are also naturally high in protein and low in fat content, scoring them as another of the natural fat burning foods on our list.
You can consume soybeans in a number of different ways such as cooking the milk extracted from them in any way that you would cook any meat dish. You can also add raw soybeans to your salads.
7. Essential Fatty Acids: Shown through research studies to both boost the immune system and aid in metabolizing fat, essential fatty acids are considered the ‘good fats’.
Salmon and tuna are great sources of these healthy fats, which are not only a good source of protein but they also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Herring and Mackerel are also excellent sources of essential fatty acids. Try to eat fish three to five times a week.
8. Garlic: Garlic and garlic oil, which are said to regulate blood sugar, also have a thermogenic effect on the body and help reduce fatty deposits. In order to increase fat burning capabilities, garlic lowers insulin levels and boosts metabolism.
9. Whole Eggs: Other fat burning foods to eat include whole eggs, not just the whites. Eggs, which got a bad wrap for raising cholesterol levels several years ago, have been shown in more recent studies not be as bad as was originally thought, citing the real culprit was not dietary cholesterol but rather dietary fat which raises the bad cholesterol levels.
Eggs can help to burn unwanted belly fat due to their vitamin B12 content which helps to break down fat cells, and they are a high quality source of protein in the diet.
10. Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, macadamia, almonds, and some other nuts, although high in the ‘healthy’ fats themselves, actually increase the body’s ability to burn fat while at the same time helping to control cravings by making you feel full.
11. Low Fat Dairy Products: Research has shown that calcium in dairy products such as nonfat yogurt, low-fat milk, and cheese, not only strengthen your bones, but they are also foods that burn fat effectively.
Consumed at the rate of 3 to 4 servings per day, dairy products enhance the breakdown of fat in fat cells, thereby boosting your weight loss efforts.
It is difficult to know whether or not any of these fat burning foods will work for you, but it is certainly worth giving them a try for a week or two along with an active, healthy lifestyle. To find out which ones work best for you, gradually add them to your diet one at a time so that you can identify which fat burners work best for you and your particular weight loss program.
This article, of course, is not intended as medical advice and is comprised of information from many different sources. Your personal physician is always the best person to guide you in your efforts to lose weight, but natural fat burning foods are usually a much safer bet than some of the prescription weight loss pills available out there.
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