This fantastic guest post was written by Megan Kelly, a nutrition practitioner, licensed esthetician, and specialist of quantum hormonology. We encourage you to check out her website here!
We are living in a time where there is now an abundant amount of research around certain types of fat burning foods which, if combined correctly with other foods, can boost metabolism and weight loss potential all day long.
Combining specific proteins, fats, and fibers at each meal is a powerful technique for weight loss because it balances your blood sugar which then stabilizes your hormones and allows your body to burn fat instead of store it. It also reduces cravings, encourages muscle growth, and provides you with the enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals you need for a healthy, energized, and lean body.
20 Fat Burning Foods You Can Add to Any Meal
You’ve got a lot of options here! But add just 1 tablespoon of any of these fat burning foods to a meal and it’ll help with weight loss.
1. Chia Seeds: Chia seeds contain flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants. They have three times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries and are also loaded with the small chain omega-3 fatty acid ALA and soluble and insoluble fibers. Chia seeds expand in the digestive tract leaving you full while also clearing out toxic waste in the body that contribute to weight gain(1).
2. Flax Seeds: Natural fat burners like flaxseeds are the richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world! Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it will help you feel satisfied longer, so you will eat fewer calories overall. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation that causes the body to store excess weight.
3. Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are full of key nutrients like magnesium and zinc that regulate carbohydrate and protein metabolism, balance glucose levels, and regulate hormones(2).
4. Avocado: Avocados are natural fat burners that are loaded with good fats that enhance cell membrane activity, balance hormones and speed up metabolism. This is also one of nature’s richest sources of potassium which helps remove excess water and cellulite from the body.
5. Coconut Oil: Next to turmeric, when it comes to popular foods that burn fat, coconut oil is definitely held in high regard. The medium chain saturated fats in coconut oil help to rev up the metabolism by boosting thyroid function. The thyroid plays a very important role in metabolism, fat burning & fat distribution (12).
6. MCT Oil: MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. MCTs seem to have positive effects on fat burning and weight reduction. MCT oil can help increase satiety and even raise the metabolic rate at which the body functions (12).
7. Ginger: Ginger is a warming spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. Research also suggests that ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as have an appetite-suppressant effect (9).
8. Sauerkraut: The state of your gut health directly affects the way you think, feel, act and view the world! Because the probiotics found in sauerkraut help regulate various hormonal functions, they can have a positive effect on your cravings and appetite control. Studies now even link intake of probiotic-rich foods with a lowered risk for obesity and easier weight loss (3).
9. Tahini: Tahini is high in healthy fats and amino acids, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, can help balance hormones, and boosts nutrient absorption. The fats in tahini also keep hunger stabilized.
10. Coconut water kefir: The acetic acids and probiotics in coconut water kefir help control sugar cravings and improves satiety during and after eating (3).
11. Collagen: When you think of foods that burn fat, collagen probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your head. But a boost in collagen may help increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your frame and helping with the conversion of essential nutrients. Add a tablespoon of collagen to soups or smoothies.
12. Butter/ghee: It may be hard to believe that butter can be grouped into foods that burn fat, but it has to be a healthy fat! Grass-fed butter and ghee contain the ideal ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids, which is especially important for optimizing cell membrane function and reducing inflammation. Grass-fed butter and ghee also contain Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which speeds up metabolism and increases the process of fat breakdown. Many researchers have hypothesized that a lack of CLA in the modern diet is a significant factor in the obesity epidemic (5).
13. Mustard: Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25 percent, which means you’ll burn calories more efficiently (11).
14. Apple cider vinegar: Unpasteurized ACV is rich in acetic acid, B vitamins, potassium, enzymes, and probiotics. The acetic acid stabilizes blood sugar, reduces insulin surges and improves satiety during and after eating(3).
15. Cinnamon: Natural fat burners like this spice have impressive benefits for blood sugar regulation, making it an ideal seasoning for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Cinnamon has been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (6).
16. Broccoli Sprouts: The compound glucoraphanin found in broccoli sprouts appears to have a protective effect against toxic pollutants that can cause weight gain by improving your body’s ability to excrete them (10).
17. Cacao nibs: Not all fat burning foods are green you know! Pure cacao or cacao nibs are full of fiber and antioxidants that make you feel fuller and reduces cravings.
18. Lemon/Lime: Sometimes the best fat burning foods are that subtle, behind-the-scenes touch that totally enhance a dish! Lemon and lime contain citric acid, potassium, vitamin C & vitamin P. These unique nutrients increase energy levels, alkalizes the body, enhances liver detoxification and reduces inflammation which lead to weight loss (4).
19. Cayenne pepper: Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering blood fat levels, as well as fight fat buildup by triggering beneficial protein changes in your body (8).
20. Turmeric: Few natural fat burners are talked about as much as turmeric is. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s most thoroughly studied active ingredients, reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it and therefore may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain (7).
Just one tablespoon of any of these 20 fat burning foods can turn your next meal into a metabolism-boosting one.
- Mohd Ali N, Yeap SK, Ho WY, Beh BK, Tan SW, Tan SG. The Promising Future of Chia,Salvia hispanica Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology2012;2012:171956. doi:10.1155/2012/171956
- Gomes MB and Negrato CA. Alpha-lipoic acid as a pleiotropic compound with potential therapeutic use in diabetes and other chronic diseases. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2014 Jul;6:80. PMCID: 4124142
- Additive postprandial blood glucose-attenuating and satiety-enhancing effect of cinnamon and acetic acid. Mettler S, Schwarz I, Colombani PC. Nutr Res. 2009 Oct;29(10):723-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2009.10.002. PMID: 19917452
- Fukuchi Y, Hiramitsu M, Okada M, Hayashi S, Nabeno Y, Osawa T, Naito M. Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in beta-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008 Nov;43(3):201-9. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.2008066. Epub 2008 Oct 31. PMID: 19015756
- Hayek T, Ito Y, Azrolan N, et al. Dietary fat increases high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels both by increasing the transport rates and decreasing the fractional catabolic rates of HDL cholesterol ester and apolipoprotein (Apo) A-I. Presentation of a new animal model and mechanistic studies in human Apo A-I transgenic and control mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1993;91(4):1665-1671.
- Cinnamon Extract Spices Up Sugar Metabolism : USDA ARS. Arsusdagov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2000/cinnamon-extract-spices-up-sugar-metabolism/. Accessed March 8, 2017.
- Ejaz A e. Curcumin inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and angiogenesis and obesity in C57/BL mice. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19297423?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum. Accessed March 8, 2017.
- Joo JI e. Proteomic analysis for antiobesity potential of capsaicin on white adipose tissue in rats fed with a high fat diet. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359164. Accessed March 8, 2017.
- Mansour M, Ni Y, Roberts A, Kelleman M, RoyChoudhury A, St-Onge M. Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study. 2017.
- Nestle M. Broccoli sprouts as inducers of carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme systems: Clinical, dietary, and policy implications. Pnasorg. 2017. Available at: http://www.pnas.org/content/94/21/11149.ful. Accessed March 8, 2017.
- Kirschmann G, Krischmann J, Nutrition Search i. Nutrition Almanac. 1st ed. Whitehouse Station: McGraw-Hill; 1998.
- Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive … – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326600. Accessed March 8, 2017.
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