A key to successful weight loss is eating less and doing more. This means increasing your exercise and decreasing the amount of food that you’re taking in. However, not all food is created equal. Some food is better than others for accelerating weight loss and increasing our metabolism. These are the foods that Kcal uses to create our healthy, tasty fat burning meal plans! Not only do they have specific ingredients that can help accelerate fat burning and weight loss, they are also nutrient rich! Here are 12 fat burning foods you will find in your Kcal Extra meal plan, or in Kcal Healthy Fast Food. Not on a plan, add these spectacular foods to your diet.
You might not be a big fan of fish, but it’s full of the good for you fat – omega-3, which has been found to have a positive effect on reducing hunger. One study showed that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduced hunger for up to two hours post-consumption. One of the best sources of omega-3 is fatty fish including salmon – a 4 oz serving provides 165 kcal and 25 grams of protein.
2. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter provides monounsaturated fats that can have a satiating or appetite-reducing effect. A recent study showed that those who added peanuts to their meal plans consumed less at following meals! But that’s not all; eating peanut butter also resulted in a metabolic increase of 11 percent. A single tablespoon provides 8 grams of fat and 94 kcal, and can make a yummy addition to a healthy smoothie, baked recipe or creamy sauce.
3. Mixed Greens
Eating mixed greens such as spinach, leaf lettuce, or rocket can help cut down appetite, and reduce how much you eat at a meal. One study showed that those who ate a large bowl of salad greens before their main course meal consumed 12 percent less, even though they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted during the main meal. Eat salad prior to meals, or eat as a healthy side, just make sure to go easy on the dressing.
Grapefruit is a high fiber fruit, which can help control blood sugar levels. In fact, in a 12-week study, when half a grapefruit was added a minimum of 3.6 lbs of weight loss was experienced by participants. Have grapefruit pieces on salads, or add to yogurt or cottage cheese for a healthy snack or breakfast.
Eggs can help you build lean muscle and the more muscle you have, the greater your metabolism. They also have a satiating effect on appetite, in one study on overweight women who ate two scrambled eggs and two slices of whole-grain toast consumed less for the next 36 hours than women who just had a high carb breakfast including a bagel of the same calories. Eggs are great almost anyway you have them, try them scrambled, as an omelet, or boiled. Eat them for breakfast or dinner!
Eating beans can help increase the release of the appetite-suppressing hormone CCK or cholecystokinin. A study showed eating a meal high in beans had twice the amount of CCK compared to bean-free and low-fiber meals. In addition to CCK, beans are also high in fiber, which can result in slow digestion, low blood glucose levels, and sustained energy levels.
7. Hot Peppers
Hot peppers, such as chili peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, which has been shown to stimulate metabolism, while suppressing appetite. The active ingredient binds to fat burning receptors in your fat tissue activating fat burning pathways. One study showed that consuming a 2 mg dose of capsaicin before meals resulted in an increase in satiety and fullness, preventing overeating. Another study showed that eating a breakfast with red chili pepper, resulted in eating less at their second meal of the day. Try adding hot pepper flakes or hot sauce to meat dishes, eggs or sauces to help increase metabolism and reduce appetite.
Cinnamon has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels, as well as making your body more responsive to insulin. Cinnamon can act similar to insulin in the body, which means it can help lower blood glucose response, and help stabilize energy, hunger and appetite. Add cinnamon to your oatmeal, in your favorite healthy baked recipes, or smoothies.
9. Green Tea
Green Tea delivers a synergistic combination of caffeine and the active compound called epigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG. Together this combination increases metabolic rate, as well as increasing 24-hour energy expenditure – which is the amount of calories you burn in a 24 hour period. In addition to its metabolic activity, green tea also has many other benefits including its rich delivery of antioxidants that can help maintain health and reduce the onset of disease. Drink green tea throughout the day to help increase energy and metabolism.
This red jewel fruit delivers a high level of antioxidants and phytonutrients that have been shown to have an effect on fat metabolism. Pomegranate can also help lower blood glucose levels, and help reduce insulin resistance. Add pomegranate seeds to salads, vegetable dishes, or use a shot of pure pomegranate juice in a fruit smoothie!
Research has shown that the phytonutrients in pumpkin can help lower blood glucose levels and have a positive impact on insulin. The active component has been shown in numerous studies to work effectively as a blood glucose-lowering agent and as an insulin mimicker – performing the same function as insulin the body. Pumpkin can be eaten as a mash, added to pancake recipes, or baked and added to salads or side dishes.
This high fiber fruit is slow digesting and has a lower blood glucose response than other fruit. The main fiber in apples – pectin has been shown to decrease the digestion of fats in the body. Apples also provide a source of polyphenols. In one 12-week study, obese subjects that consumed 600 mg of apple polyphenols lost significantly more fat off their abdominal areas and greater bodyweight compared to subjects taking a placebo. One large apple provides approximately 200 mg of polyphenols, approximately 30 g of slow-digesting carbs and 5 g of fiber.
Al-Muammar AN, Khan F. Obesity: the preventive role of pomegranate (punica granatum). Nutr. 2012. 28: 595-604.
Bourdon I, Olson B, Backus R, Richter BD, Davis PA, Schneeman BO. Beans, as a source of dietary fiber, increase cholecystokinin and apolipoprotein b48 response to test meals in men. J Nutr. 2001. 131(5): 1485-90.
Cardoso GA, Salgado JM, Cesar MD, Donado-Pestana CM. The Effects of Green Tea Consumption and Resistance Training on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Overweight or Obese Women. J Med Food. 2012.
Devitt AA, Kuevi A, Coelho SB, Lartey A, Lokko P, Costa N, Bressan J, Mattes RD. Appetitive and Dietary Effects of Consuming an Energy-Dense Food (Peanuts) with or between Meals by Snackers and Nonsnackers. J Nutr Metab. 2011.
Dow CA, Going SB, Chow HH, Patil BS, Thomson CA. The effects of daily consumption of grapefruit on body weight, lipids, and blood pressure in healthy, overweight adults. Metabolism. 2012. 61(7): 1026-35.
Gupta A, Gupta R, Lal B. Effect of trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycaemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus: double blind placebo controlled study. J Assoc Physicians India. 2001. 49: 1057-61.
Nakazato K, Song H and Waga T, Dietary apple polyphenols enhance gastrocnemius function in Wistar rats, Med Sci Sports Exerc, (2007), 39(6):934-40
Nakazato, K., Song, H. and Waga, T, Effects of dietary apple polyphenol on adipose tissues weights in Wistar rats., Exp Anim (Tokyo), (2006), 55(4), 383-389
Nagasako-Akazome Y, Kanda T, Ohtake Y, Shimasaki H, Kobayashi T. Apple polyphenols influence cholesterol metabolism in healthy subjects with relatively high body mass index. J Oleo Sci. 2007;56(8):417-28.
Parra D, Ramel A, Bandarra N, Kiely M, Martinez JA, Thorsdotti I. A diet rich in long chain omega-3 fatty acids modulates satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during weight loss. Appetite. 2008. 51(3): 676-80.
Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, et al. Short-Term Effect of Eggs on Satiety in Overweight and Obese Subjects J Am Coll Nutr. 2005. (24): 6 510-515.
Yoshinari O, Sato H, Igarashi K. Anti-diabetic effects of pumpkin and its components, trigonelline and nicotinic acid on Goto-Kakizaki rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009. 73(5): 1033-41.
Yoshioka M, St-Pierre S, Drapeau V, Dionne I, et al. Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. Br J Nutr. 1999. 82(2): 115-23.
Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, Landis J, Anderson RA. Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2006. 3: 45-53.
Written by Lauren Jacobsen, Nutrition Director