7 Best Foods That Help Burn Fat

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Some foods can increase resting energy expenditure (REE), making fat burn at rest. One example is tomato juice, which has esculeoside A that boosts REE. Whole grains need more energy to break down, so they use up more calories. Foods high in omega-9, like almonds and sunflower oil, also increase REE. Protein melts fat by sparking thermogenesis, a bodily process that makes heat by speeding up metabolism. You can get a high protein intake from lean chicken, eggs, and chickpeas.

When people think of eating, they usually think of gaining calories. But what if you could burn fat while chowing down?

It’s possible to prepare meals that double as fat-burning foods for weight loss. These work by increasing resting energy expenditure (REE), or the amount of energy the body uses during rest. Some foods do this by boosting thermogenesis, or the body’s production of heat that uses energy.

Your REE together with the energy you spend during exercise add up to give your total energy expenditure (TEE), the total number of calories you burn in a day.1

The following foods help increase your REE and, hence, your TEE. With a higher TEE, you’ll lose more pounds! Start by adding these 7 healthy fat-burning foods to your grocery list.

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

1. Tomato Juice

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

Tomato juice is jam-packed with a plant chemical called esculeoside A. It has the power to increase energy metabolism, helping you burn calories at rest. Esculeoside A can even stop cholesterol from building up! You’ll also get a healthy dose of vitamin A.2

This juice tastes best when cold. If you’re not keen on the taste, blend it with veggies like cucumber or carrots. Other tomato-based products can also double as fat burner foods.

2. Whole Grains

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

When you eat whole grains, the body needs to work harder to digest them. This will boost the amount of energy burned, unlike simpler refined white grains. As a result, REE will increase and help the body reach a favorable energy balance.

Whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice are natural fat-burning foods. Make them the main part of your meals and avoid white bread, pasta, and rice when possible.3

3. Almonds

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

Almonds are full of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids called oleic acid, or omega-9. It stimulates mitochondria – the energizing “battery” cells – which then increases REE. Omega-9 has even been shown to encourage physical activity because it contributes to a healthier brain function. On top of that, this healthy fat is linked to good mood.4

Add almonds to your cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. Try tossing them into your salads in place of croutons. To keep things simple, simply snack on this super food that burns fat.

4. Sunflower Oil

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

Sunflower oil also has high levels of omega-9. Like almonds, it helps mitochondrial function stay healthy and well. This uses up more of the body’s calories, boosting REE and melting fat.

To turn meals into foods that burn fat, add a drizzle of sunflower oil. It works great on salad, pasta, and rice dishes. You can even whip up a simple dressing by mixing sunflower oil with vinegar and honey.

5. Lean Chicken

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

Lean chicken is a source of healthy protein, one of the major macronutrients. And compared to carbohydrate and fat, protein is extremely thermogenic. This means that it produces heat by stimulating metabolism, which burns fat. Thermogenesis is a result of the body turning over extra protein since it doesn’t have a way to store it.5

For a filling food that burns fat, add skinless lean chicken to your list. Eat it with whole grains or salads.

6. Eggs

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

Eggs have all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. So they can boost thermogenesis just like lean chicken. Eggs will also increase satiety, stopping you from overeating later on.

As fat-reducing foods, eggs are a great way to start your day. For the ultimate fat-busting snack, munch on almonds and hard boiled eggs to curb hunger.

7. Garbanzo Beans

7 Foods That Burn Fat Best

When it comes to foods that help burn fat, legumes like garbanzo beans can do it all. Their high protein content increases thermogenesis, while their fiber boosts fat oxidation. Legumes have also been associated with the greater mitochondrial function, another factor in higher REE.6

Even after eating a food that can burn fat, don’t forget exercise. Physical activity is essential for losing more calories than you take in. Think about your diet as a whole, and include the foods on this list as much as possible.

References   [ + ]

1, 5. Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.
2. Hirose, Asuka, Masakazu Terauchi, Moe Tamura, Mihoko Akiyoshi, Yoko Owa, Kiyoko Kato, and Toshiro Kubota. “Tomato juice intake increases resting energy expenditure and improves hypertriglyceridemia in middle-aged women: an open-label, single-arm study.” Nutrition journal 14, no. 1 (2015): 34.
3. Karl, J. Philip, Mohsen Meydani, Junaidah B. Barnett, Sally M. Vanegas, Barry Goldin, Anne Kane, Helen Rasmussen et al. “Substituting whole grains for refined grains in a 6-wk randomized trial favorably affects energy-balance metrics in healthy men and postmenopausal women.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 105, no. 3 (2017): 589-599.
4. Kien, C. Lawrence, Janice Y. Bunn, Connie L. Tompkins, Julie A. Dumas, Karen I. Crain, David B. Ebenstein, Timothy R. Koves, and Deborah M. Muoio. “Substituting dietary monounsaturated fat for saturated fat is associated with increased daily physical activity and resting energy expenditure and with changes in mood.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 97, no. 4 (2013): 689-697.
6. Marinangeli, Christopher PF, and Peter JH Jones. “Pulse grain consumption and obesity: effects on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, body composition, fat deposition, and satiety.” British Journal of Nutrition 108, no. S1 (2012): S46-S51.