Weight-loss diets are a big thing nowadays, aren’t they? Be it for aesthetical purposes or in an effort to improve our health and our quality of life – sometimes all of that together – people struggle to lose some pounds, and one of the most popular ways to do so is a restrictive diet.
We become overweight when we take more calories than we use up, and the extra calories get stored up in our bodies in the form of adipose fat. But restrictive diets are not the only way to lose weight, and fat burning ailments are increasing in popularity; they are delicious, nutritive and healthy foods that help you boost your metabolism and get rid of those extra pounds that get in the way between you and your goals. So here is a list of 20 proven fat burning foods that boost your metabolism, that you can add to your diet.
A few years ago, thermogenic foods were all over the map. People saw in them the ultimate solution for weight loss and weight control without even quitting caloric food. They said that these aliments made you lose weight by just eating them, and the expression “negative calories” promised an almost miraculous way of staying in shape.
Even if the fab of a thermogenic food is already over, what was true back then is still true today. A few vegetables are so difficult for our body to digest than the number of calories that we spend to process them is actually higher than their total caloric value.
Cauliflower is one of the most thermogenic plants on the planet, so eating it can make you lose a bit of extra fat just by the effort it takes to digest it. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbages, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale.
Who doesn’t like guacamole? It’s delicious, filling and very healthy. You can also eat avocado in salad and other recipes. This is one of the best fruits for weight loss because it has many great nutrients that help you stay in shape.
For example, avocado is rich in monounsaturated fat. But wait, you might say, won’t eating food that is rich in fat actually make me, you know, fat? Well, the trick is, there are different kinds of fat, and some of them are actually beneficial for your health and, believe it or not, they can make you lose weight.
Monounsaturated fat actually reduces fat deposits in your body, that is the direct cause of your overweight. Also, avocado is rich in vitamin B-6, which reduces your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone released in times of stress or fear and, among other effects, promotes the creation of fat deposits in your body.
3. Cold potatoes
One of the types of food people usually associate with high-calorie count and gaining weight is potatoes, and they tend to avoid them all they can when in a self-designed diet to lose weight.
However, if you want to get in shape, potatoes can actually be your friends. Besides fat, the nutrient that is best known to play a part in gaining or losing weight is carbohydrates – also known as sugars – and potatoes actually have plenty of those, but the good kind, just as it happens with avocado and good fat.
Carbs found in sweet potatoes are heavy molecules, so they are digested very slowly; as a result, it takes more time for your body to be done with them and ask for more, so eventually you feel more full and reduce your food intake. When potatoes are cooled down, the molecules inside them crystallize, so they are digested even more slowly.
4. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes have all the benefits of potatoes: long strain carbohydrates that take a long time to digest, and as a result, reduce bursts of hunger and increase the time it takes for your digestive system to tell your brain that you need to eat again.
Besides that, sweet potatoes are actually a very nutritious meal. They have many great vitamins for your body, so your health is more balanced and your metabolism has all the ingredients it needs to burn all that fat. Also, sweet potatoes have high levels of a type of antioxidants called carotenoids, which act directly on the metabolism of sugars.
Carotenoids help the hormone insulin, which regulates the way sugars are released to the bloodstream and then absorbed by cells, do their job. The less sugar flows in your blood, the more fat you will need to burn to get the energy that you need.
5. Cayenne pepper
Good news for spicy food fans. Some studies show that the active components of the “spiciness” of your favorite recipes might actually be helping you lose weight. The burning sensation that is so characteristic of spicy food is due to a chemical substance called capsaicin, contained in many natural spices such as chili peppers and cayenne peppers.
Aside from their well-known effect on your mouth and throat, capsaicin keeps acting one it has been assimilated into your body. There is strong evidence that shows that capsaicin increases your metabolism and particularly, the rate at which you burn calories. Additionally, the chemical effects of capsaicin in your body inhibit your cravings for food and reduces your appetite.
The less you eat, the fewer calories you take, and as a result, your body will have to go get those calories wherever it can: it will metabolize your body fat.
While on the subject of spicy food, for those who like exotic dishes – or are simply fans of trying out new stuff – a traditional Korean dish called kimchi can do wonders with your fat metabolism.
Kimchi is a spicy dish made of different vegetables seasoned with spicy and salty ingredients, including red pepper. Some versions of this dish are apt for vegans as well as vegetarians, so you can incorporate it in that kind of diet. Aside from the before mentioned metabolic properties of capsaicin, kimchi is a probiotic food just like other fermented dishes.
Probiotic means that it contains good bacteria that help your digestive system process the food that you eat. Studies show that the particular strains of probiotics found in kimchi help you burn more calories and reduce the effect of fatty aliments that you eat every day. Also, the dish itself is very healthy.
7. Pumpkin seeds
When we prepare our pumpkin-based recipes, we often take all the seeds away. But should we? Few people know that pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of magnesium you can find in the natural world. And with a vast majority of the population, even in first world countries, having magnesium deficiency – and not even knowing it – it isn’t surprising that overweight and obesity are among the most widespread health conditions of advanced countries.
Magnesium is fundamental for fat metabolism because it plays a key role in the chemical reactions that break the fat molecules and release the energy that we use daily. Pumpkin seeds have such a high concentration of magnesium that you can pretty much reach your minimum recommended intake with a handful of seeds. Add them to your diet and you will see how it boosts all your other weight loss programs and exercises.
Berries, and particularly blueberries, are your best allies if you want to lose weight and get rid of that extra fat. They have a number of benefits for your body. Not only are they rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as in water, so they help you stay hydrated. Blueberries are very sweet, but strangely enough, they are quite low on sugar.
So they are great for reducing your much-dreaded sweet craving without actually adding too much sugar to your system. Additionally, blueberries help you metabolize your fat because they have a high concentration of polyphenols and other antioxidants that also prevent the formation of fat deposits in the first place.
Another powerful antioxidant worth mentioning is resveratrol, a component that induces the metabolism of bad fat into other types of molecules that your body can more easily burn during exercise or your daily routine of activities.
Garlic is regarded in many natural medicine systems as a great remedy for blood problems, and is used to improve circulation and fight the unbalance of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Garlic is a classic in natural medicine and helps with many circulatory problems; it helps reduce your blood pressure and stimulates your sugar metabolism, helping to keep your blood sugar levels healthy, so it is great for preventing many of the complications derived of diabetes; also, a regular intake of garlic can reduce your risk of having a heart attack.
All of these effects are due to an active component known as allicin, and if you want to increase your fat metabolism, then allicin can be your new friend. It prevents the formation of deposits of fat and lowers fat levels in your blood, just as it does with sugars. When you eat garlic you also benefit from all its other great effects on your health.
Quinoa seeds are often found in many naturist seed mixes and recipes. They are very nutritious, and for that reason have a number of benefits for your health. But let’s focus on fat burning. What’s great about quinoa is that it has a complete protein profile, which means that inside it there are all the components needed to synthesize all the proteins in the world.
These components are called amino acids, and our body absorbs them through our digestion and puts them together in the order it needs to make the proteins for the purpose intended. Among these amino acids, for example, there is betaine, that suppresses the action of genes that promote fat deposits, and increases our metabolism; lysine is also present in quinoa, which is great because it is involved in the process of burning fat. Quinoa is a great food for you, especially if you are working out and want to lose some weight.