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Battle of the Bulge

While "fat-burning food" sounds too good to be true, you can elevate your weight loss goals by incorporating more food that spikes metabolism, enhances digestion, and helps you feel full.

Article
Ashton Greer
Photos
Courtesy
Posted
December 28, 2019

Weight loss can start with shopping. And taking control of what you eat begins with taking control of what you buy. It takes dedication and motivation to shy away from those unhealthy and tasty snacks that are often loaded with sugar or fat, and are high in calories. You can increase your body’s fat-burning power by eating more foods that help your liver (your body’s main fat-metabolizing organ) to burn fat better, resulting in a leaner body.

While it can be tempting at times to take the easy route by taking fat-burning supplements, it is important to note that there is little scientific evidence available that proves these effective. Why ingest a supplement when you can consume foods that not only help you lose fat but make you feel good and give you energy?

Fresh and natural foods have so many benefits to our health, and one of the most important benefits, when it comes to burning all of that unwanted fat, is the ability to reduce inflammation among our bodies. And when you eat more nutritious foods that have the potential to fight fat, you do not have to restrict your intake as much and can eat throughout the day.

Many foods help fight weight gain, but these are some of our picks.

Eggs
Get to cracking because eggs are a great way to start your day. Not only do they provide your body with high-quality protein that can increase metabolism, but they help increase satiety (feelings of fullness) and reduce hunger. Studies show that when you consume a high-protein breakfast that includes eggs, a reduction in weight and belly fat can occur. Who knew that eggs could get rid of muffin tops. Plus, the yolk is a good source of iron, and it’s loaded with lecithin, critical for brain health.

Avocados
The cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat in these green health bombs can help keep your body strong and pain-free. Sports-medicine researchers found that competitive women runners who ate less than 20% fat were more likely to suffer injuries than those who consumed at least 31%. The problem is linked to extreme low-fat diets, which weaken muscles and joints. Yet a few slices of avocado a day are a great way to boost fat for the fat shy.

Bananas
Thanks to bananas’ high potassium content, peeling one is a speedy solution to that stitch in your side. While a lack of sodium is the main culprit behind muscle cramps, studies show potassium plays a supporting role. Bananas are also packed with energizing carbohydrates. One medium-sized fruit has 400 milligrams of potassium and as many carbs (29 grams) as two slices of whole-wheat bread.

Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, and spinach, are high in the anti-stress nutrient magnesium — stress has a direct connection to weight management— and add important fiber and nutrients for overall health, satiety, and fat-burning capabilities. With lots of iron in these leaves to help carry oxygen throughout your body, you’ll be more efficient in your workouts and build muscle too. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn at rest.

Quinoa
The new alternative for carb cravings, quinoa is a whole grain food that contains nine amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein that have been shown to improve the synthesis of muscle and the reduction of fat when consumed in a diet. It is also very easy to cook and can become a part of your menu cycle for quick lunches and dinners. Just mix in vegetables and a lean protein for a quinoa bowl or even some fruits and nuts for a delicious and nutritious quinoa salad.  

Garlic and onions
This dynamic duo of foods contains phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body, while also breaking down cholesterol. The pair also assists in killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi while protecting against heart disease.

Fish
As weird as it may sound, eating fatty fish can help you cut out fat. The reason for this phenomenon is that fatty fishes contain omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids work in reducing the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) that can build up in your bloodstream.

Oatmeal
This filling fiber food also promotes the lowering of insulin levels, which researchers have speculated aids in shrinking all of those unwanted fat cells. To receive all of these healthful benefits, be sure to create your oatmeal with steel-cut oats and try to refrain from purchasing the sugary filled packs of oatmeal at the store. Instead, add cinnamon or nutmeg to trick your taste buds for a sweeter taste.

Carrots
Close your eyes, and they almost taste like crunchy candy. Carrots pack complex carbs that provide energy to muscles and potassium to control blood pressure and muscle contractions. And a half cup has just 35 calories.

Nuts
Nuts are also good sources of those omega-3 fatty acids. The nuts that contain the highest amounts of fatty acids include walnuts, macadamia, pecans, cashews, pistachios, and almonds. It is important to note that although nuts do contain health benefits, they also are high in calories. Therefore, limit your portions to about a small handful.  

Chicken thighs
Skimp on iron and zinc, and your energy wanes. We’re big on chicken breasts, but for energy, juicy chicken thighs or turkey drumsticks are the best way to get more of both. Dark-meat poultry is significantly lower in fat than red meat yet has all the iron, zinc, and B vitamins that many people need in their diets.

Olives and olive oil
Being rich in healthy fats, olives and olive oil help to reduce cravings for junky foods and keep you feeling full. Research shows that monosaturated fats that are plentiful in these foods also help reduce high blood pressure.

Ground flaxseed
These seeds and oil attract fat-soluble toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body. Once attracted, they help to escort toxins out. That spells fewer fat stores and a trimmer you. Flaxseed is full of fibers called lignans that promote gut health. Since flax lignans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, they keep you regular as well.

Green tea
Green tea is truly one of the only natural fat-burning drinks available. It has a robust antioxidant profile. The high amount of EGCG — epigallocatechin gallate — triggers enzymes that get fat cells to release their stored fat and increase the amount of fat used for energy. Green tea also enhances the liver’s fat-burning capabilities and thermogenesis, a heat-producing process in the body.