It doesn't matter how hard or smart you train in the gym, or what beauty treatment services you invest in if the food you are putting into your body doesn’t match the goals you are striving for. Our bodies rely on dietary fat to work at its peak. However, consuming too many calories causes your body to convert excess energy into body fat. The accumulation of body fat, particularly in the abdominal region, is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer (Harvard University, 2015).
The way you metabolise excess fat is impacted greatly by the foods you eat. Incorporating these best belly fat burning foods into your diet will keep your metabolism ticking along, will help strip away fat and build serious muscle as well as it may reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, anchovies, or sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fish contain two types of omega-3 fatty acids with excellent fat-burning powers (DHA and EPA). Aim to eat at least two or three servings of fatty fish per week to ensure you get enough of these beneficial nutrients,
Almonds are an excellent source of protein with significant fat-burning power. Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and protein. Eating almonds every day has been associated with greater weight loss and higher fat metabolism. Try to eat 1.5 ounces of almonds daily -- equivalent to a large handful of the nuts or approximately 30 to 35 almonds to stimulate fat burning.
Eating plenty of dairy products can actually increase your ability to metabolise fat. A 2004 study published in Obesity Research compared a standard diet, a high-calcium diet, and a high-dairy diet to determine which was most effective in helping obese individuals lose weight (Zemel et al., 2004). The results of the study showed that a high-dairy diet was associated with significant weight and fat loss, particularly from the torso. Aiming to get three or four servings of dairy products can stimulate fat loss.
Green tea is remarkably high in antioxidants and beneficial compounds that combat cellular oxidative damage. Tea is also an excellent source of a polyphenol known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. Drinking EGCG-rich green tea every day may help stimulate fat loss. Begin each morning with green tea or stir matcha green tea powder into a smoothie to jumpstart your metabolism. Then, enjoy two or three additional servings of green tea every day for fat-burning success.
Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, containing all of the essential amino acids your body needs to maintain its health. Eggs contain plenty of protein and have fewer than 80 calories each, helping your body burn excess fat. Eggs also contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body working well. The protein in egg prevents you from experiencing food cravings that can result in excessive caloric intake. Include eggs a few times a week in your diet.
The compound known as capsaicin gives you that fiery sensation when you eat a chilli. Consuming capsaicin fires up your metabolism and is associated with greater fat-burning power. In general, the hotter the pepper, the greater the amount of capsaicin it contains.
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries contain fibre and antioxidants and have been shown to limit the amount of insulin the body produces in response to eating them with high-carb foods. Raspberries, in particular, contain a unique class of antioxidant called ellagitannins, which improve the brain’s sensitivity to the hormone leptin, reducing hunger. Eat multiple servings of all three each day.
One avocado contains 250 calories and it also has 10g of fibre, 15g of healthy monounsaturated fat, 4g of protein and 20 essential nutrients. It is packed with antioxidants. Depending on your other fat intake, include avocado in a few meals each week.
Vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have compounds that interact with oestrogen-binding genes to help the body clear excess oestrogen, a hormone that promotes fat storage. Research also shows their high fibre content brings about a very moderate insulin response, making them an ideal fat-loss food. Dark green vegetables usually have lots of antioxidants as well, so eat multiple servings daily.
Vinegar aids the storage of carbs as muscle glycogen rather than fat, and studies show eating vinegar as a dressing can improve pancreatic function and lower the insulin response to carbs.
Including apple cider vinegar in your diet may help you lose body fat. Start with 1 teaspoon per day diluted in water and gradually work up to 1–2 tablespoons per day to minimize potential digestive discomfort.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. It's a great source of caffeine, which can enhance mood and improve mental and physical performance. Moreover, it can help you burn fat. Research has shown that caffeine increases metabolic rate by an impressive 3–13%, depending on the amount consumed and individual response.
To get the fat-burning benefits of caffeine without the potential side effects, such as anxiousness or
Coconut oil is loaded with health benefits. Adding coconut oil to your diet appears to increase "good" HDL cholesterol and decrease your triglycerides, in addition to helping you lose weight. The fats in coconut oil are mostly MCTs, which have been credited with appetite-suppressing and fat-burning properties.
Consuming up to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily may help maximize fat burning. Make sure to start with a teaspoon or so and gradually increase the amount to avoid any digestive discomfort.
Whey protein is pretty impressive, as it's been shown to promote muscle growth when combined with exercise and may help preserve muscle during weight loss. In addition, whey protein seems to be even more effective at suppressing appetite than other protein sources as it stimulates the release of "fullness hormones," such as PYY and GLP-1.
A whey protein shake is a quick meal or snack option that promotes fat loss and may help improve your body composition.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth. Olive oil has been shown to lower triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol and stimulate the release of GLP-1, one of the hormones that helps keep you full. Olive oil may boost metabolic rate and promote fat loss.
To incorporate olive oil into your daily diet, drizzle a couple of tablespoons on your salad or add it to cooked food.
The Bottom Line
There isn't a safe "magic pill" that can help you burn fat and hundreds of extra calories per day. However, a number of natural belly fat burning food and beverages may help increase your metabolic rate and promote fat loss in addition to providing broader health benefits.