While there’s no one magical supplement or miracle exercise to help you burn fat like melted butter, meaning instantly, several foods and beverages have known metabolic effects on weight loss when paired with a regular exercise regimen.
So rather than waste your money on the latest, unscientifically proven “fat-burning” supplement that will have you running for the toilet, try noshing on these well known foods that help increase metabolism and torch unwanted fat:
- Chili peppers
If you want to turn up your inner furnace, introduce chili peppers to your diet. Spicy foods, like red chili peppers, are loaded with capsaicin, a potent antioxidant known for it’s calorie torching and inflammation-fighting powers. If you don’t want to chow down on a side of spicy peppers, try sprinkling a little bit of cayenne pepper into your soups and sauces to reap the appetite-suppressing, metabolic boosting, inflammation-fighting benefits of capsaicin.
- Green tea
This energizing sipper is a well known weight loss aid. The green brew is loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG), a specific antioxidant that encourages fat loss, particularly around the midsection. But green tea has so many healthy benefits, including increased metabolism, lower risk of cardiovascular disease and thanks to the many polyphenols and catechins (both antioxidants) within, many health experts consider green tea a powerful cancer-fighter.
Eggs are considered the perfect protein. Not only are they well known heart allies when it comes to protecting us from hypertension and heart attack, eggs also help torch fat. How you ask? Eggs are like high-quality protein bombs, and good protein sends metabolism soaring. Not only that, but protein-rich foods, like eggs, also keep us satiated for much longer so we’re not inclined to snack or overeat.
- Coconut oil
Like eggs, coconut oil boosts HDL (or “good”) cholesterol while lowering levels of triglycerides, which help lower our risk of heart disease. Coconut oil is considered a good fat, thanks to the fact that it’s largely made up of medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs), which have both fat-burning and appetite-suppressing benefits. Take for example a 2011 pilot study published by journal, ISRN Pharmacology, which monitored the effects of consuming 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil (VCO) per day by 20 obese individuals during a 4 week timeframe. Findings showed the average participant shed 1 inch from their waist circumference without making any other changes to their diet or exercise regimen.
Salmon and other fatty cuts of fish (i.e., herring, mackerel, and sardines) are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and proteins that help lessen inflammation, shed body fat, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies confirm that eating fatty fish (or taking fish oil supplements) twice or three times weekly, increases efficient digestion and decreases stress hormones (cortisol), which in turn triggers fat burning vs. fat storage.
Great news for coffee lovers! In addition to boosting mental alertness and positive mood, this brew is also known to increase metabolism, and physical energy thanks the caffeine within. Research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) found that individuals who drank coffee an hour prior to exercise showed significantly increased metabolic rate during and after exercise for approximately 3 hours. This means drinking coffee, or caffeinated beverages before physical activity enables individuals to exercise longer compared to non-caffeinated individuals.