Avocados used to be every dieter’s nightmare because of their high-fat content. What we now know, however, is that avocados and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids – both of which have shown to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Organic apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV for short, has a host of useful benefits, from cleaning the house to skincare. Taken before meals it’s also great for digestive health and can, therefore, stimulate weight loss. Data published in The Journal of Food Science showed that regularly consumption of vinegar resulted in taking in 275 fewer calories a day. Be sure to buy the organic kind which contains a natural substance rich in good bacteria and nutrients.
A study conducted by researchers at Penn State University in the US found that eating a small handful of almonds daily can reduce the fat around your stomach and legs.
Cinnamon isn’t a food as such, it’s a spice, but it’s a very useful one to eat. This is because it helps the body metabolise sugar – which is especially helpful if you’re pre-disposed to diabetes – and can cut bad cholesterol. Promising preliminary studies on mice also found that cinnamaldehyde, a compound in cinnamon, can reduce stomach fat. You can sprinkle on coffee, juice, cereal or toast, or add it to pies or curries.
Perhaps ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ should be rephrased to ‘An apple a day keeps fat at bay’ after research discovered that pectin in this tree fruit binds to water when consumed and prevents our cells from absorbing fat. Apples are also abundant in satisfying fibre so we’re inclined to eat less after eating one.
Blueberry is high in catechin a form of flavonoid which can invigorate the genes responsible for fat burning in your body especially the stomach areas.
Bananas is another fruit that helps with the metabolism, thus helping with the fat burning process within your body.
Numerous studies, including one from Canada, have isolated capsaicin in chillies an effective form of fat burning aid. When you eat chillies, it heats up your body which generates heat and helps the burning of calories within your body. It’s a very effective aid to weight loss.
Researchers have said Brown rice contains a source of resistant starch that is good for fat burning. It goes through a process that uses body fat that is stored in your system as heat.
Repeated studies have found that people who eat eggs for breakfast lose more weight than those who eat a carbohydrate-based meal – in part because eggs are more filling. But this high protein, nutrient-rich foods also increase metabolism and the body’s ability to burn calories through a process called thermogenesis and contain the amino acid leucine, which stimulates fat loss over muscle loss.
Coconut oil is on trend now and is popular for its many uses, from cooking to skincare. As well as being useful in promoting belly fat loss, it’s high in medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids), which are easier to metabolise than other fats. The oil also boosts energy levels and curbs the cravings and stabilises blood sugar levels.
Research undertaken at the University of Tennessee in the US found that a low calcium diet increases the body holding on to fat reserves and that a calcium-rich diet helps the body to burn fat. Another study at the University of Perth in Australia found that overweight people who ate five portions of dairy a day, including cheese and yoghurt, lost the most weight out of the study group, if they were expending their energy intake, and lost the most stomach fat.
Combined with lots of fruit, veg and fish as part of a Mediterranean diet, olive oil has long since been regarded as healthy. However, research was undertaken by scientists at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Vienna also found that even the aroma of olive oil helps people to eat less. This is because the smell stimulates the satiety hormones that tell us when we’re full.
The good news? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are credited with preventing insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes). Without these sugar spikes, the body can work on metabolising fat properly. The bad news? It needs to be good quality 70% cacao and only a slab or two a day is recommended.
This tangy citrus fruit is high in a type of flavonoid called naringenin, which balances the levels of blood sugar and encourages the liver to burn, rather than store, excess fat. This keeps metabolic syndrome at bay. For best results drink fresh grapefruit juice before every meal but check with your doctor before doing as it’s known to interfere with medications such as statins.
Not only is miso soup low in fat and calories it aids weight loss. The Hokkaido University Graduate School of Fisheries Science found that one serving a day could help people lose weight by up to 10%. This is, in part, due to two of its fat-busting ingredients – soybeans in the paste and seaweed.
Green tea is particularly healthy and it’s also known for its fat-burning ability, which is triggered by its rich flavonoid and caffeine content. Drink at least three cups of tea a day, hot or cold, to reap the benefits.
A small glass of good quality red wine with or after your evening meal may contribute to weight loss. This is because it contains resveratrol (found in the skin of red grapes), which can transform ‘white’ fat into calorie-burning ‘brown’ fat. It also curbs sugar cravings and even increases good cholesterol (HDL). However, the jury’s out with some researchers to confirm the effectiveness of wine as a dieting tool.
Peanuts and peanut butter
Peanuts are high-fat food, but the humble peanut can increase metabolic rate, which is good for burning energy. Like most nuts, peanuts are a good source of fat and fibre, which makes you feel full very quickly. It also has a low glycaemic index so no senseless blood sugar level spiking ups and downs after eating.
Eating foods containing fatty acids – such as pine nuts – may sound counter-productive but fatty acids are the right sort of fat for our bodies. Eating them can prevent the build-up of stomach fat, which is the treacherous kind that leads to heart disease and diabetes. Eating pine nuts also boosts ghrelin, a hormone that tells us when we’re full and helps us to resist cravings.
Though it’s regarded as a grain this nutritious seed is an excellent source of fibre and protein and has a low glycaemic index, which is good for maintaining steady sugar levels. It also contains resistant starch, which is known to reduce our fat stores, increase the feeling we’re full, and balance insulin spikes.
Salmon like other oily fish such as mackerel it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which early research indicates are potentially useful in the prevention of insulin resistance that may lead to diabetes.
Researchers have indicated that Phytoestrogen in soy products such as soy beans, soy nuts and tofu may help women who are prone to gaining weight during or after the menopause because of hormonal changes and cravings. Soy is thought to mimic oestrogen production, which slows down as women age resulting in body fat that’s hard to shift. Make sure you only use organically produced Soya as a large percentage are genetically modified.
Research undertaken at the University of Newcastle in the UK found that seaweed contains alginates, fibres that prevent the body from absorbing fat. It’s also high in iodine, which triggers the metabolism – this is especially useful for people who have gained weight from having an underactive thyroid. And other studies discovered that fucoxanthin, a pigment found in brown seaweed, has fat-burning qualities that quick weight loss.
Like brown rice and quinoa, sweet potatoes are fibre-rich and a source of resistant starch, which plays a big role in the quest to lose weight fast.
You may well know that choosing and eating the right foods would help you to keep your weight down and increase your quality of life. I hope you would add some of these 25 fat burning foods to your diet and weight loss plan to help you keep your weight down and beat the bulge.