If you are trying to lose weight, I would like to tell you that there are foods that will help you achieve your goal, but eating too little can put your health at risk. In fact, a study, published by ofmhealth, has shown that a diet of less than 1,000 calories per day does not provide the balanced nutrition your body needs, and can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies associated with serious health problems.
On the other hand, if you eat fewer calories than you need per day, your body has to separate its own muscle and body tissues to feed itself. This is what can affect your metabolic rate and put it too slow, and what is not ideal for losing weight.
So, instead of reducing your caloric intake, motivate yourself to fuel your body with healthier foods. This is a more effective weight loss strategy. So here are the best foods to support a healthy and sustainable weight loss plan, according to the experts.
The Important Role Of Food In Weight Loss
Did you know that a large part of your results come from your eating habits?
Think about it, we want to create a caloric deficit to lose weight. If our goal is to lose one pound of fat per week, we need to create an energy deficit of 3,500 calories in one week, which equals 500 calories per day. This deficit can be achieved through diet and physical activity.
If you decide to work out at the gym 3 times a week for one hour per session, that’s 3 hours out of a possible 168 hours in a week! Is three hours enough time to burn 3,500 calories? The answer is no. That’s why it’s important to adopt healthy eating habits.
On the other hand, your eating habits will influence your body composition. Let me explain. Most people are used to cutting back on their food intake as much as possible when they want to lose weight. However, when this strategy is combined with physical activity, it may be more harmful than beneficial since it leads to a loss of muscle mass and a gain in fat mass. Why is this? The body needs a minimum amount of calories to run its basic metabolism (maintain body temperature, keep the heart beating, etc.). When not provided with enough energy, the body uses the energy available, therefore the muscles. This allows it to slow down its energy expenditure at rest and thus to build up fat reserves. This totally defeats your initial goal of losing fat.
So make sure you change your eating habits in a healthy way first. This will optimize your results in terms of weight loss and your figure, and will make it easier for you to maintain your weight loss!
To that end, I want to remind you that there is no magic formula that will make you lose weight instantly. But, combined with exercise and good lifestyle habits, these fat-burning foods can help you lose weight, increase your metabolism and your energy level.
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26 Foods To Help You Lose Weight, According To Scientific Studies
Here we have collected this list of 26 foods to eat when trying to lose weight:
1. Milk, yogurt and cheese
Fat burner: Calcium
There are many myths about dairy products online. In fact, milk is known for its benefits to the body, as are yogurt and cheese. A 2016 analysis of 33 studies links calcium supplementation to weight loss in people with a normal body mass index (BMI). And no need for a low-fat version. A 2016 study of 18,438 middle-aged women shows a decreased risk of long-term obesity by consuming high-fat dairy products without any low-fat products. One hypothesis: fat fills you up and satiates you longer.
Go for these low-calorie, delicious foods!
2. Oats and barley
Fat burner: Carbohydrates
Let’s get one thing straight: carbohydrates are healthy as long as they are the right kind. In fact, they’re one of the fat-burning foods to add to your diet as soon as you wake up. A 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition states that people who ate instant grau for breakfast consumed fewer calories during the day than those who opted for ready-to-eat cereal.
Whole grains are filling and prevent overeating. Barley, in particular, slowly raises blood sugar levels, preventing blood sugar spikes and its fallout of making you feel hungry after meals, according to a 2016 study from Lund University in Sweden. Supplement with this blood sugar information that could save your life.
3. Green tea
Fat burner: Catechins
Get ready for it. A 2015 study in Scientific Reports found lower carbohydrate absorption after ingesting green tea extract. This could be a result of the catechins in this tea. And this is what happens to your body if you start drinking tea every day.
4. Eggs help with lose weight in several ways
Fat burner: Proteins
Proteins contribute to weight loss in several ways. First, the body uses more energy, and therefore calories, to break down protein foods. Secondly, it preserves muscle mass during weight loss, and since muscles burn more calories than fat, it becomes a priority to have as much protein as possible. Eggs top the list.
A single egg contains six grams of protein, making it one of the best foods for burning fat.
Did you know: you can lose weight at rest by speeding up your metabolism!
5. Nuts and almonds
Fat burner: The good fats
Numerous studies show the protective role of nuts against disease, as well as for their fat burning effect; we should add them to our diet (without excess). Their fiber, protein and good fats would optimize insulin sensitivity, thus promoting weight loss, according to the American Council on Exercise. Walnuts are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, along with fish, and almonds provide extra calcium that is essential for bone formation. Learn about other non-dairy sources of calcium that provide essential nutrients.
Fat burner: Omega-3
Consuming fat when you’re trying to lose weight may seem illogical, but getting omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon may be the answer, according to a 2015 study in PLoSOne. It reports that omega-3 supplements resulted in a decrease in waist-to-hip ratio.
Try to eat salmon or another fatty fish, such as mackerel, herring or canned tuna, more than twice a week. Or swap salmon for another fat-burning food rich in omega-3. It’s best to avoid eating these 8 fish!
7. Apples and pears
Fat burner: Flavonoids
What is the link between these foods? It’s the flavonoids they contain: these naturally occurring chemicals could work on fat. According to a 2016 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of 9,000 women, those who ate the most flavonoids had a significantly lower BMI than those who ate the least, over a 14-year period. “Animal studies have shown that these flavonoids can increase energy expenditure (calories), glucose uptake in muscles and fat burning,” says Laura Hughes, the study’s lead researcher and a nutritional epidemiologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Fat burner: Lignans
These shiny fat-burning seeds hide a secret weapon for weight loss: lignans. These estrogen-like compounds elevate flaxseeds to the rank of superfoods, which every healthy woman needs in her diet. Lignans are associated with lower weight gain, according to a 2015 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Grind them up, and add a tablespoon to your cereal, yogurt or salad dressing every day.
Learn more about the health benefits of flaxseeds.
Fat burner: The acids
You already know how useful vinegar is around the house, and it could also benefit your body. Researchers define it as a fat-burning food because of its activation of enzyme-producing genes that facilitate the breakdown of fat. Want to try it? Add vinegar to your salads and marinades.
10. Griottes or sour cherries
Fat burner: Melatonin
Tart cherries have high levels of melatonin, a hormone essential for good sleep, which is paramount to weight maintenance. “Lack of sleep and fatigue,” researchers say, “stimulate cravings for high-calorie foods. We’re also less active when we’re tired,” notes Erin Palinski-Wade, a nutrition and diabetes expert and author of 2-Day Diabetes Diet. “I recommend tart cherries, fresh, dried or juiced, two to three hours before bedtime.”
Don’t hesitate to eat these foods, which help lower bad cholesterol.
11. Sweet potatoes
Fat burner: Beta-carotene
Sweet and starchy foods are often banned during a diet, but sweet potatoes satisfy both cravings, in addition to burning fat. Unlike other sweet or starchy foods, they are rich in fiber. A medium sweet potato contains about 3.8g of dietary fiber, which is a carbohydrate that makes you feel fuller faster. It also contains a type of fiber known as starch-resistant, which a 2015 study found may help lower the risk of obesity. You’ll increase the amount of resistant starch by letting your sweet potatoes cool before eating them.
12. Brown rice
Fat burner: Fiber
“People can burn up to 100 more calories a day, eating whole grains instead of refined ones,” points out Samantha Cassetty, a nutritionist in New York City. “Eating the most natural foods possible is best for our bodies. Because it takes longer for it to process natural foods, which is an advantage.” According to a 2017 study from Tufts University, subjects who ate whole grains in the same amount as their recommended daily fiber intake lost 100 more calories per day than those who ate low-fiber refined grains.
We tend to forget about them, but these nutritious ancient grains are rich in protein.
13. Garlic and onion
Fat burner: Allicin
Allicin, the same compound that gives onions and garlic their strong taste and specific smell, also has fat-fighting properties. Both plants contain volatile oils and allicin, with garlic having much more than onions. According to research, it is believed that the oils in both plants help control fat accumulation and body weight.
14. Blood orange
Fat burner: Vitamin C
According to Erin Palinski-Wade, “the blood orange is the citrus fruit with the highest level of vitamin C. And such a high concentration in your bloodstream allows stress to return to normal more quickly.” And why is there an effect on fat loss? High levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, can stimulate fat storage in your body, especially around the waist. Fresh blood oranges, named after their blood-red pulp, can be served as a snack, or as wedges in a salad. (Failing that, navel oranges are also rich in vitamin C.) If you don’t like blood oranges, know that there are many foods that are packed with vitamin C.
Fat burner: Iodine
Seaweed in sushi, salads or as dried leaves for snacks, is low in calories and filled with iodine, a trace element that regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland. One of the tasks of this gland is to control the body’s metabolism, which explains why a gland that does not produce enough hormones causes overweight. According to research, the probiotic qualities of seaweed may help you lose weight.
16 Whey protein (or whey protein)
Fat burner: Leucine
Not all proteins are created equal. Whey protein – sold as a powdered supplement for milkshakes and smoothies – is said to be one of the most effective for weight loss. That’s because of the high level of leucine, an amino acid that stimulates the body to synthesize protein. “As a protein supplement, they help maintain and grow muscle mass,” adds Jennifer McDaniel, owner of McDaniel Nutrition Therapy in Clayton, Missouri. They should be preferred over casein or soy in a meal or shake.
17 Hot pepper
Fat burner: Capsaicin
If you’ve ever felt the burn of a cayenne, habañero or jalapeño pepper, you won’t be surprised to learn that it plays a role in weight loss. “The capsaicin in hot peppers can slightly accelerate metabolic rate,” says Sharon Palmer, creator of The Plant-Powered Dietitian. “It stimulates energy expenditure.” Erin Palinski-Wade says that in addition to being thermogenic, it makes hot peppers more satiating. She compares it to the feeling after brushing our teeth, keeping us from eating again to keep the minty goodness in our mouths.
Spices are among the world’s weight loss secrets that are worth a look!
18 Peanut butter
Fat burner: Monounsaturated fatty acids
Forget the spoon to empty the jar of high-calorie peanut butter. However, a spoonful or two on toast, with slices of apple or celery, adds healthy fats and protein to the meal, or snack. The combination of fat, protein and fiber in peanut butter is very filling. In one study, subjects who ate peanuts or peanut butter three times a week for three months had a lower BMI than those who ate it only once or less per week. Choose brands with no added sugar, it’s healthier.
19 Coffee and black tea
Fat burner: Caffeine
Many studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolic rate, making you burn more calories. “But don’t overdo it,” warns Erin Palinski-Wade. The ideal amount is 300 mg a day, the equivalent of two medium cups of coffee, or four cups of black tea. “Too much caffeine decreases serotonin production. You may then feel depressed or less motivated.” And don’t compromise its effect by overindulging in cream or sugar.
Fat burner: Curcumin
This bright orange spice isn’t just good for spicing up curries. Curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric, fights fat by reducing inflammation in the body, and changing the gut microbiome. No wonder, then, that turmeric lattes and golden milks are so popular as fat-burning foods. Here are some other health benefits of turmeric.
Fat burner: Water
That’s right, water can fill you up without unnecessary calories, like those in soda or juice. Plus, drinking a simple glass of cold water can, on the fly, boost your metabolism and help you burn calories. “The idea is that as you drink water, your body starts expending energy to warm the water to body temperature,” says Dr. Donald D. Hensrud, editor of The Mayo Clinic Diet. “I suspect cold water is the most effective.”
22 Olive oil
Fat burner: Monounsaturated fatty acids
For Erin Palinski-Wade, “fat is not inherently bad. A plant-based monounsaturated fat, as in olive oil, is a very good choice. It helps eliminate fat, and it helps change body composition.” But it should be used in moderation since, like all fats, its energy density is high.
23 Beans, chickpeas and lentils
Fat burner: Fiber
“Dried beans, chickpeas and lentils are rich in fiber, and people who follow a high-fiber diet tend to be thinner,” Jennifer McDaniel points out. She explains that high-fiber foods take up more space in the stomach, and feel fuller longer. Plus, foods that are naturally high in fiber are often lower in calories, but more nutritious, “which is the right recipe for weight loss.” If you don’t know how to cook legumes, this will help you prepare beans and lentils.
Fat burner: Soluble fiber
Grapefruit deserves its title of superfood. It is full of satiating soluble fibers that are slower to digest. In addition, it can accentuate the slimming effect of training. In 2016, researchers noted that people who took p-synephrine, a compound found in grapefruit, before a medium- or low-intensity exercise bike workout burned more fat than carbs. But beware: grapefruit and its juice can interfere with the absorption of certain medications, so check with your doctor before taking them.
25 The Avocado, is rich in nutrients that help you lose weight quickly
Fat burner: Monounsaturated fatty acids
There are good fats and bad fats, but avocado “is 75% good fat,” says Erin Palinski-Wade. Like peanuts and olive oil, the monounsaturated fats in avocados are both heart-healthy and satiating. “Studies have shown that people who added half an avocado to their meal were fuller; they snacked less and therefore consumed fewer calories afterwards. It’s a great way to control your caloric intake throughout the day.”
26 Black pepper
Fat burner: Piperine
Not a fan of peppers? It doesn’t matter. Hot peppers aren’t the only ones that contribute to weight loss. Piperine, which is the active ingredient in black pepper, gives it its hot taste. It also speeds up the movement of food through the digestive tract, which reduces the number of calories absorbed.