If you’re going to eat, and of course you are at some point, why not add some of these fat burning foods to your daily diet? Hey, if they actually do help you burn a few extra calories, why not? What have you got to lose? Wait a minute…maybe some fat? Now that’d be alright!

15 Fat Burning Foods

Milk: The calcium in milk increases the breakdown of fat cells in the body. Some argue that adding fat free milk to your diet in moderation can help you lose double the amount of fat compared to those who don’t drink milk.

Researchers at Purdue University found that women who consumed 3 to 4 servings of milk and milk products each day during the year-long study burned more fat and calories from a meal compared to women who ate little dairy. In a 2007 study, researchers from McMaster University in Ontario found that men drinking milk after workouts burned more fat and gained more muscle.

Oat Meal: Oats contain a lot of fiber which promotes good digestion and cleansing of the digestive system by removing excess fat in your body. Consuming plenty of fiber leaves you feeling fuller longer and helps to prevent insulin spikes.

Fiber does not actually raise your metabolism like some may say, but it does play a role in regulating your digestive processes helping to mediate your appetite and level of fullness – both connected to healthy metabolism and weight management. Check out Randy’s recipe for healthy oatmeal.

Whole Grains: Another excellent source of fiber. It’s true that whole grains like brown rice, dark bread, and bran have more calories than white varieties, but studies show that simple carbohydrates and sugar are much more weight producing than calories.

In a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School evaluated the dietary intake of more than 74,000 women for 12 years. Overall, women who regularly ate the most whole-grain foods (about 1.5 servings a day) gained less weight than women who ate the least.

Garlic: Allicin is the working compound here in garlic. It has anti-bacterial properties that aid in the reduction of cholesterol and unhealthy fats. Garlic can help to regulate blood sugar levels and raise your metabolism as well.

In addition, oils in garlic promote peristalsis which loosens fat and aids in elimination of it from the body. Eating garlic can raise body temperature too, stimulating your body’s ability to burn fat more efficiently. If your body temperature drops, your body responds by storing fat to keep warm.

Coffee: Almost didn’t list coffee, but I drink 3-4 cups daily and… I’m a huge fan. Coffee’s stimulant, caffeine, can raise your metabolic rate resulting in more calories burned. It may work as a temporary appetite suppressant for some and will as a diuretic for most. Therefore, it made the fat burning foods list.

However, with all that said, there is much debate over the benefits of coffee and fat loss to be addressed. One study in particular revealed coffee’s ability to affect insulin sensitivity which could actually reduce your ability to burn fat. So, it may be wise to not drink your cup of Joe around the same time you consume a starchy carb filled meal. Most nutritionists will say that drinking a few cups a day is alright, therefore I do, and thus gain all the other benefits of coffee too.

Heat: Our favorite of fat burning foods. Adding hot peppers like cayenne chilies, habaneros or jalapenos to your meal gives your body a natural thermogenic boost. All spicy hot peppers contain a chemical compound called capsaicin. It’s responsible for setting your mouth on fire, affecting your energy expenditure, body temperature and appetite in a way that will help you lose more weight. You know something’s going on when you sweat from eating!

Consuming these fiery peppers results in a boosted metabolism, enhanced ability to process food, and amplified ability to burn off stored body fat. As your body’s thermogenic process is activated, the body is simply increasing its production of heat, resulting in all of the subsequent benefits that help you lose weight.  Capsaicin may, also, regulate your body’s blood sugar levels, thus helping to control hunger and food cravings. Bring on the heat – whew!

Green Tea: Green Tea contains a chemical referred to as EGCG. Consuming ECGC helps the brain and nervous system run faster while burning more fat and calories. It’s the most heavenly of fat burning foods…

The polyphenols (especially EGCG) in green tea dissolve excess triglycerides and help prevent us from gaining extra body fat. The antioxidants and caffeine contained in green tea, also, signal our nervous system to release the already stored body fat into the blood stream so that it can be used to fuel our body. Consequently, green tea makes us more energetic and accelerates our metabolism to burn extra calories. Read more about the benefits of green tea.

Lean Proteins: Lean turkey, chicken, and pork are great sources of high protein having little fat. They help to build muscle, keep you full longer, and make the body work harder to digest them promoting stronger metabolism. Eat lean proteins, hit the weights, build more muscle, and you can turn your body into a fat burning machine – even at rest!

Eggs: Another of our favorite fat burning foods. Egg whites that is, are one of the healthiest sources of lean protein. An egg white is composed of 16 calories – all from protein = 4 grams. Eggs as a whole are also a good source of Vitamin B 12 which contributes to the breakdown of fat cells as well. Read more about the benefits of eggs.

Omega- 3 Fatty Acids: Consuming Omega-3 lowers Leptin levels in the body. Leptin is a hormone that directly influences your appetite and metabolism. People with lower Leptin levels have higher functioning metabolisms.

Some excellent sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids are: Flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, navy beans, kidney beans, salmon, halibut, tuna, winter squash, and olive oil – frying with the olive oil will destroy the omega-3s.

Interestingly, Wikipedia notes Interactions with Fructose, “A study published suggests that the consumption of high amounts of fructose causes leptin resistance and elevated triglycerides in rats. The rats consuming the high fructose diet subsequently ate more and gained more weight than controls when fed a high fat, high calorie diet. These studies however did not control against other mono saccarides or polysaccarides, therefore leptin resistance may be a result of a diet that contains high saccaride indexes, (sodas, candies, and other easily liberated sugary foods). Check references 64, 65, and 66 for case studies noted at the bottom of Leptin link above – keep this tidbit to keep in mind, the next time you reach for a candy bar or soda.

Fish Oil: Fish oil is a source of omega 3 with other potential fat burning foods properties as well. Sardines, anchovies, and herring are good sources.

Much research has been done on fish oil’s ability to aid the body in fat reduction. Tom Venuto explains in an article at Critical Bench two current studies done and concludes, “The bottom line is it looks like fish oil may be a legitimate help to your fat loss efforts, especially when combined with exercise, as there may be an important synergy there.”

Citrus: Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are great sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps breakdown fats and dilutes them to make it easier for the body to flush them out.

Dr. Moreno, author of The 17 Day Diet, recommends drinking hot water with lemon juice first thing every morning as a part of his fast fat burning diet to get the digestive juices flowing.

There are many veggies high in vitamin C, too, to name a few – broccoli, cabbage and celery. Veggies, also, offer a high fiber content giving you a double fat burning foods fighting wammy!

Pectin: Start shopping for apples and berries. Pectin has a water-binding property that when ingested limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb. Consequently, this watery buildup drowns out the fat from the cells and helps to prevent your body from absorbing it.

Most fresh fruits contain pectin, but apples and berries have it in abundance. Eat your apples with the peels on and do try to purchase organic to get the most nutrition. One of my favorite snacks is apple slices with low fat cheese – the pectin may be helping to drown out my cheese fat. 😉

Bananas: An excellent source of Potassium and providing all 8 amino essential acids, a banana has a natural ability to boost your metabolism, regulate your body’s water balance, and build muscle.

Bananas contain approximately 450 milligrams of potassium, that’s almost 25% of what you should aim for ingesting daily. Because they help build muscle as well, you get a double potential fat burning foods booster!

Ginger: Ginger is a known vasodilator, meaning it increases the diameter of small arteries and enhances circulation of the blood. It helps to expand the blood vessels, increases body heat, and metabolism.

Keep in mind, claims that ginger can increase metabolism rates by 20% are based on animal studies where concentrated ginger extract was applied to external tissues. Consumed internally, even in high doses, ginger does not increase metabolism beyond 2%- to 5% which is comparable to ephedrine and caffeine, according to “Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Metabolism.” So, don’t start whoofing down the ginger…

Cinnamon: Couldn’t stop at 15, so here’s a bonus. Research conducted by the USDA has proven that as little as a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon added to food helps your body metabolize sugar 20 times faster and lowers your body’s blood-sugar levels. Hmmmm…

This does not mean you can run out and enjoy your favorite fatty foods by sprinkling a bunch of cinnamon on them… I checked. Bummer, I know… But, it does mean that cinnamon makes a great addition to your fat burning foods grocery list and tasty one, too, if I might add.

I spent many, many days looking through research and articles about fat burning foods and how they relate to fat loss. There’s a lot of information out there…talk about information over-load! I found a whole slew of foods that I just couldn’t go further into. To quick name a few though: green vegetables; spices like black pepper, turmeric, basil, and mustard; soybeans and tomatoes.

When all was read and done though, I came to this conclusion: Eating these fat burning foods won’t do you a bit of good while eating an unhealthy diet. No matter how you serve it, eating a bag of chocolates followed by citrus, sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger won’t save you from the consequences of eating a whole bag of chocolate.

The bottom line is this: It’s all about healthy balance.

It’s as easy as this: Eat smart. And then, add these fat burning foods to your smart diet. Consider them as a boost. Like I said before, what have you got to lose? You’re going to eat anyway, so why not eat fat burning foods? Hell, I’m up for it! – and that’s coming for an EX junk food, soda addict, smoking, partying crazy girl. Well, maybe I’m still a little crazy. The kids help so much in this department. 🙂

Eat these fat burning foods, eat for your good and less fatty health!