10 Foods That Help You Burn Fat (Slideshow)

Hot Peppers

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Decotiis tells us that research has shown that hot peppers can help to suppress appetite and rev up metabolism. This is because peppers contain an active component called capsaicin, which gives them their heat but also has a direct thermogenic effect during digestion, too. Most spicy foods contain capsaicin, she says, so the hotter the better when determining what to eat.

Green Tea

Green tea is another food that is great for shedding pounds because of its thermogenic properties, says Decotiis. It contains a type of antioxidant known as catechin, which is known to boost metabolism. Because green tea can often be found in powdered forms these days, Decotiis says it’s an easy addition to any meal that you’re making.

Fibrous Foods

Fibrous foods such as apples, kidney beans, quinoa, and flaxseeds work indirectly to help you lose weight. Because fiber is the indigestible part of a plant, it takes our bodies more time to digest it and it therefore expands the stomach and helps you feel full. It also benefits you by slowing digestion because it also slows the rise of blood sugar and insulin, which can be some of the biggest culprits to excessive weight gain, especially in the abdomen area. And to make it a triple threat to fat, it is also a great way to push waste out of your body, helping you maintain a healthy and efficient digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, and beans are the best sources for fiber, and they’re an added bonus because of their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant qualities, too.

Liquids

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Hydration is one part of nutrition that makes a healthy body’s entire world go around. Like with many other things concerning health, staying hydrated is essential when trying to losing weight. If your body is dehydrated, its metabolic processes are slowed. Decotiis tells us that she recommends that her patients drink at least one full glass of ice-cold water before each meal, which helps expand the stomach and decrease hunger hormones.

Proteins

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Protein helps you lose weight in two ways: by increasing metabolism through digestion, but also by improving the body’s ability to metabolize because it helps to maintain lean muscle mass. The older you are, the more important it is to make sure you’re getting a good source of protein. Foods such as egg whites, lean meats, fish, beans, and low-fat Greek yogurt are great sources of protein and are easy to incorporate into every meal.

Heart-Healthy Fats

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Healthy fats are considered a great tool for losing weight because they help satisfy your appetite by slowing the emptying of food from the stomach and allowing you to feel fuller, sooner. Foods such as nuts and seeds, avocado, and oils such as canola and safflower are the best choices for incorporating healthy fats into your diet.  

Spices

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Your spice cabinet will now be looked to for more than just flavor. Different spices can help you lose weight in different ways. Cinnamon helps control blood sugar levels and therefore decreases the amount of insulin that is produced, while turmeric’s bright yellow polyphenol compound has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are optimal for weight loss. Remember that compound known as capsaicin that is found in hot pepper? Ginger has this compound, too.

Low-Fat Dairy

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Low-fat dairy foods such as Greek yogurt, mozzarella, and cottage cheese contain very little carbohydrates and a large amount of good bacteria that help promote a healthy gut, which in turns promotes satiety and healthy digestion. Because they’re also great sources for calcium and vitamin D, they help breakdown and release fats more efficiently, as well.

Herbs

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Herbs such as ginseng and basil are known for their abilities to increase metabolic rates. They are also low in fat and pungent, which will help you feel full and keep your taste buds occupied so that you won’t eat more than you need. Adding herbs to grilled fish, salads, and poultry is an easy way to not just make a flavorful meal, but to make it a fat-burning one, too.  As an added bonus, you’re also getting a lot of valuable antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. 

Nuts

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Nuts are a great food source for optimal health, and they help you burn fat, too. A relatively high-calorie food, they are very satiating and contain omega fatty acids, which help balance gut bacteria and lower cholesterol. Convenient because they can be eaten on the go and added to many different types of dishes like salads and vegetables, they’re an easy way to incorporate a fat-burning food into your daily diet. Decotiis recommends stocking up on pistachios and almonds, which are considered to be on the lower to middle end of the of calorie count scale.