Fat burners aren’t just something you see in pill bottles and capsules at your local supplement store. In fact, you can find some very effective fat blasters right inside your own refrigerator or pantry. In fact, you may already have some in the house right now. If you want to flatten your belly this summer, you may be able to find some incredibly helpful fat burning foods without ever leaving home.
If blasting fat is your goal, add these five fat burning foods to your diet:
1. Hot Peppers
When it starts warming up outside, you probably want to reach for foods that cool you down, like gelato or popsicles. But don’t forget the hot foods, too. If you want to keep your belly flat and your waistline slim, grab any type of hot pepper you can, including habanero chili, Jamaica pepper, Africa birdseye, Thai pepper, cayenne pepper, jalapeño pepper, and Anaheim chilies. These hot peppers are some of the spiciest, due to their ultra-high content of capsaicin, the active compound that gives them their fiery flavor. This compound works as a fat burner to heat things up inside your body – a process known as thermogenesis. Capsaicin foods, including hot peppers, may help to increase calorie burn because of all that extra heat.
Studies have confirmed that consuming capsaicin at mealtime significantly increased fat burning over a 24-hour period. In one study, subjects who consumed capsaicin experienced 75 percent more fat burning than the subjects in the control group.1
In another study, capsaicin was shown to act as an appetite suppressant, able to increase feelings of fullness in participants.2
2. Seeds and Nuts
If you assume that a low-fat diet can help you lose weight, you’re not alone. Most people think that if they eat fat, they will get fat. In reality, consuming certain types of fats can help burn fat.
While you have been told your entire life that weight loss is a simple “calories in = calories burned” equation, it is much more complex than that. And for this reason, if you want to burn fat, you may want to consider eating more healthy fats, in the form of fatty seeds and nuts. Not only are the natural flavors delicious, but they also provide a good source of vital nutrients needed for a proper metabolism, including the omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Studies have shown that higher consumption of these long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids are able to reduce body fat, and offer appetite suppressive effects. Researchers in one study concluded that consuming EPA and DHA may be an effective strategy for improving overall body composition.3
Another study suggests that consuming nuts is associated with strong feelings of satiety, increased calorie burning, and energy utilization – all factors that help to promote fat loss.4
Try adding more of these nutrient-dense nuts to your diet: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, pine nuts, macadamias, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds. Grab them by the handful as quick snack, or add them to your favorite salads, side dishes, and dips.
3. Coconut Oil
While consuming certain fats can help you to burn fat, all healthy fats are not created equal. Coconut oil is a unique type of fat that contains a rare fatty acid known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which are metabolized differently in the body to increase fat burning.5
Studies have shown that consuming large amounts of these types of fatty acids (MCTs) have been associated with feelings of fullness, for a significant reduction in calorie intake.6
In another study, participants who consumed 15-30 grams per day of MCTs as a part of their daily diet reported enhanced calorie burn, suggesting that eating more coconut oil may help with controlling body composition for those with fat burning goals.7
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, may work wonders on your waistline. The sweet-but-tart taste of ACV has been clinically linked to lower blood sugar levels after meals with high amounts of carbohydrates. For this reason, consuming apple cider vinegar may act as a fat burner to help you achieve weight loss goals, especially if you tend to crave high-carb foods, sweets, or sugary beverages.8
In another study, researchers found that consuming just 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar was able to increase weight loss for participants over a 12-week period of up to 3.7 pounds.9
Researchers attribute the fat burning effects of apple cider vinegar to its high content of a compound called acetic acid. Found in the highest concentrations in what’s known as the “Mother” of vinegar, this compound is almost exclusively found in ACV – so, never purchase a type of ACV that does not offer the “Mother” for the best fat blasting results.10
5. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Consumed for it’s flavor and it’s many health benefits, including boosted immunity and energy as well as improved cardiovascular health, green tea has been shown in numerous clinical trials to also help burn belly fat.11,12
Antioxidants called catechins are believed to be behind green tea’s formidable fat blasting abilities. In one study, green tea extract high in catechins was associated with improvements in body composition and a reduction in abdominal fat for participants.13
In addition, the content of one specific type of catechin antioxidant in green tea, known as EGCG, has been shown in clinical trials to boost the activity of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Researchers believe EGCG can ultimately help to release fat trapped within your fat cells to be burned for energy.14
If you want to lose weight, you must remember that there is no magic pill that can burn the fat for you. That takes a little bit of time and effort, as well as a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Aim to always get plenty of whole, raw foods into your diet, exercise regularly, and add these five fat burners to your diet. All of them are effective ways to burn more fat, and they’re backed by science. So, get creative! There are tons of ways to use these tasty fat burning foods in your meals at home.
1. Pilou L. H. R. Janssens, Rick Hursel. Acute Effects of Capsaicin on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Negative Energy Balance. PLoS One. 2013; 8(7): e67786.
2. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Smeets A. Sensory and gastrointestinal satiety effects of capsaicin on food intake. Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Jun;29(6):682-8.
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9. Kondo T, Kishi M. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009.
10. Brighenti F, Castellani G. Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Apr;49(4):242-7.
11. Auvichayapat P, Prapochanung M. Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial. Physiology & Behavior. Volume 93, Issue 3, 27 February 2008, Pages 486–491.
12. Nagao T, Hase T. A Green Tea Extract High in Catechins Reduces Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risks in Humans. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jun;15(6):1473-83.
13. Wang H, Wen Y. Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Apr;18(4):773-9.
14. M.S. Westerterp-Plantenga. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiology & Behavior. Volume 100, Issue 1, 26 April 2010, Pages 42–46.
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