When you want to replace fat with muscle, it’s important to make sure your diet matches your goals. You can speed up this process by making sure you’re eating healthier, whole foods, as well as drinking plenty of water. But if you want your food to do some of the work for you, well, that’s where fat burning foods come in! Let’s explore some good options here. But first…
Fat burning foods?
When we talk about fat burning foods, what we really mean is foods that boost your metabolism. Because food in and of itself won’t make you burn fat (that’s what exercise is for!) but certain foods can help rev up your metabolism through the process of thermogenesis, resulting in more calories burned throughout the day, which in turn hopefully means more fat burning.
Fats for fat loss
Several sources of fat have actually been shown to help the body’s metabolism and help you lose weight. One example is fish oil, or fatty fish like salmon. A study showed that those who took omega-3 fish oil lost a modest amount of weight over a 6 week period. The study concluded that omega-3 fish oil increases lean mass and decreases fat mass. By eating fatty fish, you’re going one step further, getting those omega-3s (and 6s and 9s) and are also getting protein. Protein is filling, meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for snacks soon after finishing a good protein-packed meal, and protein helps increase your metabolism.
Another example of a good fat for speeding up your metabolism is medium chain triglyceride, or MCT, oil. Derived from coconuts, this oil is becoming popular for good reason. It has been shown in several studies to increase metabolic rate. Coconut oil and olive oil are also beneficial for fat loss as well. Just don’t overdo it on any oils, however, as they contain a high concentration of calories.
Celery sticks are a favorite snack due to the fact that they’re practically a “free food”…you burn more calories eating and digesting them than is included in a celery stalk. But all vegetables, even without “negative calories”, are good for fat burning purposes. Vegetables are high in fiber, nutrients, and minerals. Snack on them often and include them in your meals. Make sure to include a colorful variety, since different colors have different nutrients and different benefits. Also have them cooked at times and raw other times, since cooking sometimes activates or enhances different nutrients.
Caffeine boosts your metabolism and may help you burn more fat if consumed before exercise, according to a study. Coffee and tea are both excellent sources. If tea is your caffeinated beverage of choice, try drinking green or oolong tea. Both of these have many additional benefits, like being rich sources of antioxidants like catechins.
If you like your tacos with extra heat, you’re in luck. Spicy foods like chili pepper have been shown to be metabolic boosters. Plus, capsaicin, contained within most peppers (with the exception of bell peppers) is a powerful antioxidant which can reduce inflammation. Studies show it can also reduce feelings of hunger. So add some cayenne pepper to your chili, go for Indian when you’re thinking about takeout options, and don’t shy away from the spicy version of your favorite salsa when shopping!
These are just a few examples of fat burning foods you should include in your diet. Check out this link for some more! For more blogs on exercise and more, check out our blog section, where you can read about things like why music is so motivating during a workout!