You’ve seen the headlines… Ads telling you to “Eat these 5 fat burning foods” and you’ll be able to achieve miraculous things, drop 10 pounds in two weeks, lose several inches off your waist, etc. The reality is, fat-burning foods are a bit of a misnomer. Food (the good, the bad, and the ugly) doesn’t make you burn or store less fat based on the food alone. If we were to call a food a “fat burning food” it would be a food that after you eat it, it will help you sustain a caloric deficit.
Based on that, a fat burning food is what makes you feel full for a longer period of time while helping your blood sugar to be regulated in normal ranges. These effects are usually caused by foods that are high in healthy fats (since fat causes satiation), high in fiber (which also causes satiation) and protein (which helps regulate blood sugar levels). To put it in simple words, foods like salmon, extra virgin olive oil, avocados and mixed with leafy greens to name a few.
With that said, let’s talk about the most common:
Count Calories: It is so much work and stressful, which can lead to you getting overwhelmed and discouraged. Instead, start by eating real whole foods, foods that don’t come in a package or a can. Switch to organic, grass fed, wild caught, pastured raised. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re 80% full (almost full).
Do Lots of cardio: We hear it all the time with our beginner patients that they spent over an hour at the gym without seeing results. Low intensity cardio or basically a cardio movement that you can do at the same pace, repetitively for 30 min or more, will eventually end up using your muscle instead of fat as source of energy. Recent research has shown that high intensity interval cardio is the most effective to use stored fat as energy source and not only that, but it keeps your body burning calories even after you’re done with your workout!
Fat makes you Fat: Fat has gotten such a bad reputation in the past. Luckily, the science is now proving that myth wrong. Healthy fats are a great source of nourishment for the body and they also keep you satisfied for longer. Yes it is true that fat has more calories than carbohydrates or protein, but what counts is your total daily caloric intake not an isolated food. If you combine HEALTHY fats with non-processed and low glycemic carbs and proteins, you will be providing high quality nourishment to your body, increase brain function and most probably end up eating less since you will be satiated.
You need to eat breakfast to lose weight: Recent research has demonstrated that cycling between periods of eating and fasting has many health benefits like reducing insulin levels, blood sugar levels, inflammation, blood pressure and reducing fat storage. This is called Intermittent Fasting. There’s different types of Intermittent Fasting and different ways how you can introduce this into your lifestyle, however, as beneficial as this approach can be, it is not for everyone, so make sure you work with a health care provider if you want to try this out.
Supplements and herbs will make you lose weight: The reality is that there is no magic pill to make you loose weight. What you eat will impact your weight anywhere from 70 to 80%. The rest is physical activity and supplementation. The reason why so many doctors an health practitioners use supplements with their patients is because it helps the patient get to their goals faster and with that, keeps them motivated and helps create a LIFESTYLE. Herbs and supplements can be very beneficial and helpful but if they are not combined with the proper food plan FOR YOU, they will just be a waste of money. So before purchasing any promising magic pill of committing to a supplement plan, make sure to commit to a healthy food plan first.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to increase metabolic rate in several studies. One study in eight healthy men found adding 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 grams) of MCTs per day to the men’s usual diets increased their metabolic rate by 5% over a 24-hour period, meaning they burned an average of 120 extra calorie. In addition, MCTs may reduce hunger and promote better retention of muscle mass during weight loss.
Replacing some of the fat in your diet with 2 tablespoons of MCT oil per day may optimize fat burning. Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to increase metabolic rate in several studies.
One study in eight healthy men found adding 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 grams) of MCTs per day to the men’s usual diets increased their metabolic rate by 5% over a 24-hour period, meaning they burned an average of 120 extra calorieIn addition, MCTs may reduce hunger and promote better retention of muscle mass during weight loss. Replacing some of the fat in your diet with 2 tablespoons of MCT oil per day may optimize fat burning.
In addition to providing a moderate amount of caffeine, green tea is an excellent source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that promotes fat burning and the loss of belly fat. Enjoy it warm with some sliced fresh ginger or cold with an orange peel and ice.
It’s been credited with reducing appetite and lowering blood sugar and insulin levels in people with diabetes. What’s more, vinegar’s main component, acetic acid, has been found to increase fat burning and reduce belly fat storage in several animal studies. To top it off, it’s a great natural way to aid with digestion.
Oolong tea contains caffeine and catechins, both of which have been found to increase metabolic rate and promote fat loss. According to a study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of six weeks. What’s more? The tea’s antioxidants are thought to remove harmful free radicals and improve bone health.
Salmon boasts significant anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content, meaning it’s an excellent source of protein for those looking to jumpstart their weight loss. In fact, one International Journal of Obesity study that examined the effects of weight loss and seafood consumption showed that when men ate three 5-ounce servings of salmon per week for a month as part of a low-calorie diet, it resulted in approximately 2.2 pounds more weight loss than following an equicaloric diet that didn’t include fish. According to a study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, fishy fatty acids may also signal thyroid cells in the liver to burn more fat.