By: Catherine Hawkins
There are certain foods that can help your body burn fat, and there are certain foods that make the body store belly fat. Here, I will teach you seven fat burning foods you will want to add to your daily diet.
These seven flat-belly foods help you lose belly fat fast in two ways: by speeding up your metabolism, reducing insulin levels, and by increasing muscle mass (muscle cells burn more calories than fat). Your goal is to add more of these 7 fat burning foods into your diet to help lose belly fat fast.
1. Lean Fish, Chicken, and Turkey
Lean fish, chicken, and turkey are all good sources of lean protein. The more protein you eat, the harder your body has to work to digest it, resulting in more calories burned during the eating process. The healthiest lean proteins are fish (particularly wild salmon), chicken, and turkey. Avoid the skin on chicken and turkey, as that is where all the saturated fat is found. And of course, we’re not going to fry the fish, chicken, or turkey because of the fatty oils (trans fats), but rather bake, broil, grill, or lightly saute them.
The biggest advantage to eating veggies, particularly the green leafy veggies, is that you can eat them in abundance and still lose weight. The best veggies to eat to burn belly fat are spinach, broccoli, asparagus, kale, collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, beet greens, wheatgrass, carrots, eggplant, celery, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and radishes. Try these fat burning foods: a veggie stir-fry in olive oil with a little cayenne pepper to make a delicious fat-burning meal.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are healthy fats that raise the body’s metabolism and help you burn fat. Nuts and seeds are a great healthy snack option. However, a word of caution: If you want to lose belly fat, or any fat on your body, you should limit your intake of nuts and seeds to one serving (one ounce) per day because they are so calorie-rich; they are a healthy fat, but a fat nonetheless. As long as you don’t overeat nuts and seeds, and preferably eat them raw, they promote weight loss and appetite suppression, not weight gain.
So how many nuts make up an ounce? Think “a handful”— what you can hold in your palm. As a tip, I tell my clients to fill up an empty Altoids box with nuts or seeds so you can travel with your handy snack at all times. You don’t want to sit in front of the TV watching and eat an entire bag of nuts. Healthy eating means we don’t eat out of boredom or for recreation. You want to be disciplined about how you eat and snack!
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Berries are loaded with antioxidants and keep your metabolism going strong. Eat them fresh or frozen. Try blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. In the summer months, they are just marvelous to eat because of how sweet they are. They are a great healthy snack, or you can add them to a protein shake in the morning to replace a heavy breakfast or have them as a snack later in the day.
If fresh berries are unavailable or too expensive, buy frozen ones, puree them in a blender, and drink them as a fruit shake. Easy and delicious!
5. Green Tea
Studies have shown that green tea is one of the best metabolism boosters you can drink. Green tea also slows the aging process—it’s twenty times more effective in slowing the aging process than vitamin E because of its strong antioxidant capacity, according to some research. There are many wonderful benefits of drinking green tea, but as far as weight loss goes, it simply helps the body burn fat faster and more efficiently. If you’ve read any of my other books, you know that green tea is one of my most highly recommended beverages to drink to lose belly fat fast.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is known as a fat burner because it fires up your metabolism. It heats up the body, and the body burns calories when it tries to cool itself down. So spice it up for sure! It’s so effective, some people actually buy cayenne pepper capsules to lose belly fat fast.
7. Protein Shakes
Protein shakes will help you build muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn each day. Protein will also help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevents insulin spikes that result in fat storage.
There are several different types of protein powders available. Whey protein is popular. It is a complete high-quality protein that speeds up metabolism. But it comes from cow’s milk, so if you are allergic to dairy, whey protein will cause gas, bloating, and indigestion. My favorite alternatives are rice, soy, and hemp protein powders. If you are a vegetarian, you can use rice protein or a plant-based protein powder to accomplish the same thing.