Calories-in/Calories-out is basically the only way to lose weight. But, you can help reduce hunger cravings, burn fat and boost your metabolism by incorporating these 5 fat burning foods. Unhealthy eating, stress, not getting enough sleep, little or no physical activity, and bad habits in general can take a toll on your body. Fat is stored everywhere in the body but in the majority of people it accumulates in the abdominal region. The first step to a healthier and leaner body is to change your diet. Even if you get enough exercise, if you are not eating correctly you will not lose weight. If your diet is full of unhealthy processed foods and you are performing millions of sit-ups, you will not be able to achieve a washboard stomach.
If you want to lose weight and reduce stubborn fat, what you eat is very important. Just like most things in life the 80/20 rule applies to weight loss as well. If you want to lose weight, 80 percent of the results will probably be accomplished through diet and 20 percent from exercise. Exercise is very important to your overall health, and building strong bones and muscles, but it will not necessarily reduce your weight unless you focus on your diet too.
The following foods will burn fat and increase your overall health.
This fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, iron, potassium, and calcium, as well as nutrients like bioflavonoids, citric acid and lycopene. All those enzymes lower the amount of insulin and glucose in the blood. Grapefruit accelerates the metabolism and helps burn calories. Consuming grapefruit produces a feeling of fullness; hence, you will eat less. Grapefruit is also great at cleansing the body of toxins and heavy metals. Grapefruit can help the decomposition of fat and lowers the risk of kidney stones. Grapefruit can be consumed fresh, used in salads, or added in a smoothie. Grapefruit is one of the super-foods rich in fiber pectin, which allows the liver to break down fat. The best way to consume this fruit is whole, with grapefruit juice being the second best option. When I am trying to watch my weight I will eat half of a grapefruit before lunch and dinner, it makes me eat less during those meals.
Ginger and garlic are the two staple foods of Chinese culture with many health benefits. Ginger increases blood vessels and generates body heat (thermogenic) which triggers a 20% greater ability to burn fat. With the help of ginger’s thermogenic effect it increases the metabolism, and the fat is transferred into energy. Ginger also helps reduce cravings and appetite because it stabilizes blood sugar, lipids and cholesterol. Drinking hot green tea with grated or a slice of ginger before a big meal will stimulate digestion and reduce the amount of food you eat. Ginger can be consumed both fresh and in powder form. If possible use fresh ginger. I enjoy juicing a piece of ginger whenever I make green juice. I have also tried it in smoothies. Use a tiny piece at first, because it is very strong.
- Whole grains
Studies have shown that whole grain products lower the risk of chronic diseases. Some of the most healthy whole grains are steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, wheat germ, bran, barley, bulgur, whole oats and even popcorn (air popped without butter)*. Whole grains are included in almost every healthy diet, be it for losing weight, muscle building, energy building, even part of healthy eating during pregnancy. Since whole grain requires a lot more work and time to digest, our body feel fuller longer. The body burns double the amount of calories and fats processing unprocessed food (especially food rich in fiber). Whole grains are also rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Whole grains are a great source for key nutrients similar to fruits and vegetables.
- When I eat my air popped popcorn, I have a small dish of apple cider vinegar, and I dip my popcorn in it. I know it sounds weird, but it is actually really good, very healthy and it cures your craving for a salty snack.
One egg contains only 70 calories, 6g of proteins, 5g fat and around 13 vitamins and minerals. Eggs will boost and accelerate your metabolism, essentially helping burn more fat. Additionally, eggs contain more protein than chicken meat, and it is the best alternative for vegetarians. Eggs are rich in vitamin B12, a vitamin that burns fat within the body and increases energy, allowing the body to be more active during the day. Egg yolks contain vitamin D, which is not common in many foods. Having hard-boiled eggs on hand is essential if you are just starting a diet and trying to reduce your calories. The initial couple of weeks can be difficult. I can eat a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, and it keeps satiated longer than any other food I eat in the morning. It is also great to be able to grab a hard-boiled egg if you feel like you are going to give into your cravings. After eating the egg you might not need to have a snack and if you still want a snack, I bet you won’t eat as much!
- Green Tea
An extraordinary drink that boosts metabolism, green tea originates from Asia, and it is included in the everyday diet of so many people. Green tea contains valuable nutrients and super antioxidants called catechin. Catechin protects your cells from damage. Besides green tea protecting your body from cell damage, it boosts your metabolism, increases blood flow, helps prevent heart related issues, stabilizes blood sugar and helps burn fat. Studies reveal that it is best consumed before exercise as it will accelerate the work of the metabolism, thus increasing the amount of fat burned during physical activity. Additionally, green tea contains some caffeine, which increases your heart rate and burns more calories and fat through the day. Green tea also reduces appetite. During the summer, I always have fresh iced tea in the refrigerator. I am actually drinking some right now, with a couple of drops of Lemon Essential Oils. It is a refreshing summer drink. My favorite Iced Tea recipe is this Green Ginger-Mint Detox Iced Tea:
Green Ginger-Mint Detox Iced Tea
4 – Green Tea bags (You can use flavored Green Tea to give it a different taste.)
4 – Dandelion Tea bags
1/2 inch – Ginger
Fresh Mint to taste
8 Cups – of water (boil 4 cups – add 4 cups after)
Honey if desired
- Boil 4 cups of water with slices of ginger (about a half an inch)
- In a separate pan place the 4 green tea bags, 4 dandelion tea bags and some mint.
- Pour the hot water and ginger over the tea and mint, cover the pan and let it “steep” sit until cool.
- Remove the tea bags.
- You can either combine the additional 4 cups of water before refrigerating, or I wait until I’m ready to drink it and combine 1/2 cold water to my tea. Saves space in the refrigerator.
- Use Raw or Organic Honey – If you like your tea sweet.