Fat-burning foods

19 February 2014 by
First published: 15 February 2014

Although many people think losing fat means eating less, choosing the right foods could really optimise your weight loss. Here’s our top fat-burning foods.

You’ve probably heard about the negative effects eating too little could have on your weight-loss goals. For starters, depriving your body of the fuel it needs not only for exercise but even for daily activities can put it under excess amounts of stress. Raising your levels of stress hormones will only cause your body to hold on to fat, so while you might think you’re doing the right thing by cutting calories right back, it does reach a point when this is extremely counterproductive – as well as dangerous.

Secondly, if you’re not consuming enough calories – protein-rich foods, in particular – you could encourage muscle depletion. Why is this an issue? Well, muscle tissue is essential for fat burn. The more of it you have, the faster your metabolism and the greater your body’s ability to burn fat.

So what are the best foods to fill your trolley with on your next trip to the supermarket? If fat loss is your goal, add these to your shopping list:

1. Wholegrains
If pasta, bread or white rice are a regular part of your diet, it’s time to replace them for their unrefined, wholegrain counterparts. Their fibre content gives them a lower glycemic load, which means the body uses more energy to process and digest them.

2. Cayenne pepper
Spicy foods – especially cayenne pepper – are packed with the compound capsaicin, which raises your body temperature to light a fire in your metabolism. Burn those calories by adding chilli peppers and cayenne pepper powder to your meals.

3. Cinnamon
As if we needed any more reasons to eat this delicious spice, cinnamon can help to stabilise blood sugar, hampering the body’s ability to store fat. Rather than looking to sweet treats for your cinnamon fix, try adding a sprinkling to tea, coffee or porridge, instead.

4. Dark-skinned berries
While raspberries, blackberries and blueberries might not directly burn your body’s fat, they could help you in your fat-loss goals by keeping you off the sweeter stuff. Opting for a portion of berries instead of a dessert could keep your weight in check, and because of their high water content, they can seem filling despite being low in calories.

5. Eggs
A breakfast of champions is one that needs to be extremely high in protein. Since most of us can’t stomach a whole portion of meat each morning, eggs are a great alternative and perfect for brekkie. Starting the day with a protein-heavy meal as opposed to carb-loaded breakfast cereals makes it more likely for you to make smart food choices throughout the day.

Why not combine the above ingredients to put together a super-meal? Try scrambled eggs with cayenne pepper on a slice of rye bread with a cinnamon-infused coffee next time you’re rustling up breakfast!