10 fat-burning foods you need in your life

26 June 2015 by
First published: 29 June 2015

From the must-have croissant in the morning to that tempting chocolate brownie at 4pm, it can feel like exercise is the easiest way to shed pounds, but you can speed up your metabolism without lifting a dumbbell with these 10 fat-burning foods you need in your life.

  1. Cinnamon

If you haven’t started adding this belly-busting ingredient to your oats and bakes yet, why not? “Cinnamon is a brilliant weight-loss aid thanks to its ability to control blood-sugar ups and downs and increase insulin sensitivity,” says Louise Pyne, registered nutritionist (LINK louisepynenutrition.com). Since excess sugar can destable fat loss, make sure you add a dash of this wonder spice into your homemade shakes or even your curries to boost your chances of fat burn.

  1. Avocado

Technically high in fat (the good kind) this diet-friendly food is surprisingly helpful in combating excess weight. It contains monounsaturated fats that help prevent the blood sugar spikes that lead to fat storage. Results published in Nutrition Journal concluded that avocado consumption (one half every day) is associated with improved overall diet quality and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. The lower your metabolism, the less fat you’ll be likely to burn so keep it high by introducing this source of good fat into your meals.

  1. Chilli

Chillies have been proven to burn more than just your tongue. Evidence from the American Chemical Society showed that capsaicin (the chemical that provides the kick in chillies) could lead to weight-loss and the build-up of fat by triggering beneficial protein changes in the body. It also helps in suppressing hunger, meaning your daily struggle to refuse that extra biscuit just got easier.

  1. Oats

Hailed as the breakfast of champions, oats can be more than just a base for delicious toppings. “Oats are a great source of slow-release energy,” says Annemarie Aburrow, a spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association. “A 40g portion can help keep you going until lunchtime, preventing the mid-morning snack-attack and therefore reducing your overall calorie intake.” Be careful though as “if you eat too large a portion, you can even convert its carbohydrate content into fat”, says Annemarie. 

  1. Green tea

The benefits of green tea just keep on getting better: now it’s thought to aid fat loss. Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University found that fat loss can occur if you combine drinking green tea with exercise. Volunteers who took a green tea capsule saw their exercise performance increase by almost 11 per cent over a four-week period. Increased energy thanks to the catechins found in green tea can lead to fat-burn, so forgo your usual mug of coffee for this power brew instead. 

  1. Blueberries

These little blue fruits could help you ditch the fat. A study conducted by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Centre found that rats that were fed blueberries had less abdominal fat and lower cholesterol levels. These are easy to incorporate into your breakfast (blueberry pancakes anyone?) or to eat as a snack (tasty with yoghurt) so you can bust that muffin top for good.

  1. Yoghurt

If you’re thinking of steering clear of anything remotely creamy in your bid to zap that fat, think again because yoghurt (plain or Greek) could help. “Greek yoghurt is a great probiotic source that helps to keep good gut bacteria in check,” says Louise. “Keeping your body’s microflora happy will help to curb bloating for a flatter tum.” Enjoy it cautiously as “it’s not uncommon for low-fat ‘healthy’ yoghurts to contain more than 5g sugar per pot,” says Annemarie.

  1. Eggs

Bursting full of protein, eggs may be prove useful for burning belly fat. “Eggs offer the perfect morning kickstart,” says Louise. “They are packed with protein which helps to keep hunger pangs at bay so you’re less likely to cave when it comes to cravings.” Protein is a star player in the fat-burning game as it helps to prevent you from burning muscle, making your body turn to fat instead. So next time you’re planning your day’s snacks, put a boiled egg on the menu.

  1. Coconut oil

Growing ever more popular, coconut oil is being used to enhance everything from your hair to your food. “This super-versatile cooking oil is made up of special fats called medium chain triglycerides,” says Louise. “Thanks to this special composition, coconut oil enhances your body’s metabolism.” The higher the metabolism, the greater chance you have of burning fat. However it is high in calories so use sparingly. “If you’re trying to lose weight or reduce your fat mass, it’s important to reduce your overall intake of all fats, including coconut oil,” says Annemarie. Use it in place of your ordinary vegetable oil when frying or use it instead of butter in baking.

  1. Grapefruit

An underrated fruit, this ball of goodness could just be the answer when it comes to shifting the fat. Research carried out at Vanderbilt University found that people who ate half a grapefruit (or the equivalent of juice) before their three main meals each day lost an average of 15lb in 14 weeks. This is because the liver reworks the flavonoids found in the fruit to burn excess fat rather than store it, scientists discovered at the University of Western Ontario. More beneficial than a cookie we reckon!