How awesome would it be if you could feed yourself delicious food and actually have your food work for you and burn fat at the same time? Can you imagine how much of a dream come true that would be? Well, the great news is that you can get food back on your side to help you tackle your muffin top or batwings. It all lies in the kind of food that you consume. Keeping a well-balanced diet is a given, but adding these fat busting foods to your repertoire will really help banish your stubborn love handles.
#1: Sweet Potatoes
We know what you’re thinking – carbs? Really? Yes, really. Sweet potatoes may fall under the category of a slow carb but that doesn’t mean that they don’t pack a decent punch when it comes to burning fat. Sweet potatoes take longer to digest thus keeping us fuller for longer with less calories ingested. They’re also fantastic at stabilizing blood-sugar levels, keeping insulin resistance down and providing you with tons of vitamins.
#2: Black Beans
Here’s another unlikely candidate for a fat burning food. Beans may be a humble ingredient but they’re probably the closest thing you’ll ever get to a magical fat burning pill in the food world. As a slow-digesting insoluble fiber, beans bring much needed healthy bacteria to our digestive tracts that triggers our body to consume fat as fuel. Don’t forget that they’re chock full of soluble fiber which has been shown to help reduce belly fat in numerous studies over a prolonged period of time.
This one’s a favorite of ours. Grapefruits are a humble fruit often overlooked and forgotten in favor of its sweeter cousin, the orange, but boy can they work miracles when you’re looking to knock a couple inches off of your waistline. Studies have shown that people who ate grapefruit regularly for a period of 6 weeks were able to decrease their waistline by a full inch. The grapefruit’s fat-busting properties are attributed to phytochemicals in the fruit that help produce a hormone called adiponectin, which is crucial in fat burn.
#4: Apple Cider Vinegar
People are going gaga over apple cider vinegar and with good reason. Tons of studies have shown that acidic foods actually help increase the fat burn rate of body by 40%. It would be a fair comparison to say that apple cider vinegar acts much like a fat incinerator for our digestive systems. Most people recommend ingesting apple cider vinegar with warm water every morning to give your metabolism the kick up the butt that it needs to be in tip-top fat burning shape.
#5: Black Rice
Not all carbs are the enemy, friends. Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is probably one of the cheapest ways to get a huge dose of antioxidants into your diet. Some studies have even concluded that black rice has more antioxidants that blueberries while also carrying that extra punch of belly-filling fiber and vitamin E. Bonus points? It has less sugar. Ingesting more antioxidants results in less inflammation in the body and, in turn, less fat storage.
Ever wondered how so many Koreans manage to stay so thin? Apart from their typically healthier diet, they’ve got a taste for kimchi, which is a powerhouse of a side dish that can really help you punch out some body fat. The dish is made by fermenting napa cabbages, onions and radishes in a blend of red paper, kelp powder and salted shrimp. Fermented foods have long been praised for their capacity to help improve digestion by adding tons of probiotics to the mix. Additionally, there has been tons of research put into kimchi in Korea where the Kyung Hee University concluded that kimchi was able to help suppress diet-induced weight gain by a whopping 28%. Say kimchi!
#7: Cayenne Pepper
Adding a punch of heat to your food is another fantastic way to stimulate fat burn in your body and make your food help you fight your battles. In fact, scientists contributing to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did an in-depth study on the correlation between a jalapeno burning your mouth and your muffin top. The fat burning capability of peppers comes from a compound known as capsaicin, which is typically found in all kinds of spicy peppers. Capsaicin helps to boost fat loss specifically in the abdominal region by ramping up the body’s ability to convert food into an ample source of energy.
If you’re the kind of person that hates a dollop of guac on your food, you’re really missing out. Bursting with vitamin B6, guacamole is a powerhouse food as just a single scoop of it is extremely effective at both squashing hunger and burning fat. It’s the huge amounts of vitamin B6 in the avocados that really make guacamole fantastic and burning fat as the vitamin fights the stress hormone called cortisol directly. Many of you may not have heard of it, but cortisol is a huge contributor to belly fat across the world. So the next time you’re feeling some uncontrollable hunger pangs, reach for some homemade pita chips and guacamole instead.
Salmon should be a staple to every person seeking to maintain a healthy diet. If you really think about it, burning fat only requires a simple formula: protein + building muscle = fat burn. It’s really very true. Consuming more protein helps us build more muscle and the more muscle we have the more capable our body is to burn fat. Fish, in particular, is an extremely healthy source of lean protein with salmon being the king of them all. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which doesn’t just keep the fat burn going, it also blocks the storage of fat cells and generally aids in the weight loss proess.
Before you freak out over carbs being on this list for a second time, take a moment to remember that not all carbs are created equal. Whole-grain carbs aren’t just kind to your body, fibrous carbs like oatmeal are incredibly effective in helping us burn belly fat. Research also shows that individuals who eat three servings of whole grains like oatmeal regularly have up to 10% less abdominal fat than those who eat processed carbohydrates. How’s that for awesome?