Eating a diet of Fat Burning Foods can help you burn fat, lose weight, and get in shape in no time. The idea behind the thermogenic diet is simple: Some foods require more calories to digest than they contain. Also, some foods boost your metabolism thus causing you to burn fat faster than just diet and exercise alone.
For many people the best part is that you can essentially eat all you want and still lose weight. The downside is that you can’t really cheat too much because this diet isn’t really a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. It’s really not too hard to stick with it and you can start slowly and make changes gradually so you don’t have to go cold turkey.
You’ll want to bookmark this page – its a mega-post listing every fat burning fruit, vegetable, meat, fish and many more besides. If you’re looking for something and it’s not on the list below, then chances are it’s not going to help you burn fat. Scroll down and lets get started with fat burning vegetables…
Fat Burning Vegetables
Vegetables are fantastic fat burning foods because they are so low in calories that you can eat all you want and still lose weight. Eat them as simply as you can, either raw or steamed, and whatever you do don’t drown them in butter or dressings because they’ll lose their fat burning qualities.
Asparagus – Asparagus is a great vegetable for anyone who is interested in losing weight. It has plenty of nutrients like vitamins A & C PLUS it tastes pretty good too. Look for compact bunches of spears with closed tips. The bigger the asparagus is, the more tender it is.
Beans (Legumes) – Beans are high in protein which helps your body build muscle. Muscle cells burn calories at a much higher rate than fat cells so even a slight increase can really help you blast away the fat. It is speculated that the fiber in beans is also an effective aid in preventing your body from absorbing fat. Try kidney, lima, navy, and white beans but avoid baked or refried beans.
Beets – Beets are a very versatile fat burning food. They can be served baked, steamed, pickled, and even raw. There are many, many varieties to choose from so don’t be afraid to experiment a little until you find one that suits you.
Broccoli – Broccoli is high in fiber, vitamin C, and is said to be valuable for its anti-cancer components which include diindolylmethane and selenium. This high fiber food contains virtually no calories so feel free to eat all you want.
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) – The phytonutrient sulforaphane in broccoli rabe stimulates an enzyme that commands your fat cells to essentially self destruct. This makes rapini a fat burning nuclear bomb.
Brussels Sprouts – These delicious little members of the cabbage high in fiber, have no fat, are loaded with potassium and iron PLUS they are a good source of vitamins A & C.
Cabbage – You’d probably never guess it but cabbage is loaded with vitamin C. Interestingly, if you cut it up more than an hour before you plan to use it, cabbage loses some of its nutrient value so wait as long as possible before preparing it.
Cauliflower – Cauliflower is a nutrient dense vegetable with lots of folate, fiber, and vitamin C. Even better, however, is that it contains numerous substances which may slow or prevent cancer.
Carrots – One cup of carrots has a mere 52 calories so feel free to eat all you want. Not only will you be burning fat but you’ll be getting plenty of vitmain A (308% of your daily needs) but you’ll be getting vitamin C and a little bit of calcium & iron too. Carrots are a great secret weapon in the fight against fat.
Celery – Celery is among the best fat burning foods because it has a high water content and contains virtually no calories. You can eat it alone or add it as a tasty filler for many recipes.
Chili Peppers & Flakes – Cayenne – Habanero – Jalapeno – Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that can enhance calorie burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake. The boost in calorie burn is particularly enhanced when capsaicin is used with caffeine.
Chives – Chives can be eaten raw (in a salad, for example) or added to your favorite recipes at the end of cooking. Their aromatic yet subtle flavor makes them a perfect way to enhance almost any dish.
Corn – Fresh sweet corn is an excellent fat burning food. If you buy it on the cob, you should eat it right away because the longer it sits, the more flavor it loses. It is good for about a week in the fridge but after that you are taking your chances. Instead of slathering it with margarine or butter, try it plain with just a pinch of salt and you might be surprised at what you’ve been missing.
Cucumbers – Cucumbers are about 90% water yet they are packed with nutrients. This means that they’ll help fill you up so you will cut down on your overall calorie intake.
Eggplant – They are low in calories, high in fiber, and they can even lower cholesterol.
Green Beans – Green beans are a good source of folic acid, vitamins A & C, and they even have a bit of iron. Choose beans that snap easily and are free from blemishes.
Green Peppers – Green peppers are loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C. They are easy to grow and they freeze nicely so you should consider adding them to your garden.
Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked. It is high in fiber and very low in calories (only 19 per half cup) and it also contains vitamins A & C along with folic acid and calcium. It’s kind of funny looking but well worth a try.
Leeks – Leeks have a pleasant sweet/onion taste which makes them ideal as a side dish. At only 27 calories for half a cup you can be sure that they will help you burn the fat.
Onions – Onions have only about 35 calories per half cup so feel free to go ahead and add them to your favorite meals. If you are worried about getting bad breath, some parsley can help with that.
Parsnips – If you are sick of carrots, give parsnips a try. They can be eaten raw or cooked and they are loved for their nutty flavor. One cup has about 100 calories but you’ll be getting tons of calcium (45% RDA) and vitamin C (35% RDA). Parsnips are an awesome fat burning food, don’t be afraid to give them a try!
Peas – Peas are high in protein which helps you build muscle and keep your fat intake under control. Both of these attributes combined with their low calories will help you burn fat.
Pumpkin & Squash – Pumpkins can be baked, boiled, roasted, made into pie, mashed, put into soup, or even turned into a pudding. Take advantage of their versatility to create fantastic meals or side dishes.
Radishes – A half cup of radishes has only 10 calories which makes them a perfect addition to your favorite salad. They add a unique pepppery flavor which can jazz up just about anything you can imagine.
Romaine Lettuce – Regular lettuce is pretty much lacking in nutrients but Romaine lettuce is packed with vitamins K, A, C PLUS manganese, folate, chromium, and on and on and on. It’s good stuff, people.
Spinach – Spinach has vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and at only 7 calories per cup it is the perfect fat burning food.
Sweet Potato – Sweet potatoes are widely considered to be one of the best fat burning foods in the world. They digest slowly so you feel full longer, they have an extremely low glycemic index rating and they are nutrient dense. If you introduce just one new food into your routine, make it the sweet potato. A good way to get started is to eat sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes – your body will thank you! (Use a dab of margarine and a few sprinkles of cinnamon and you’ll never eat an ordinary potato again.)
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are able to help your body destroy fat naturally because they encourage the production of carnitine which aids your body in converting fat to energy.
Zucchini – Zucchinis are loaded with nutrients like potassium, folate, and vitamins A and C. They also have a bit of beta carotene and it is said that the darker the zucchini is, the better it is for you.
Fat Burning Fruits
These fat burning fruits are great if you are trying to lose weight and get a flat stomach. Find a few that you like and use them for snacks or even mix them up for a great tasting salad. If you do nothing else, eating these nutrient rich fruits will make a very positive change in your diet and help you meet your weight loss goal.
Apricots – Apricots are great cooked, raw, or dried. If you’ve never tried them before, these great recipes will help you get started. Apricots are usually available mid-February through mid-August.
Apples – An apple a day really can keep the doctor away! They are free of fat, sodium, and cholesterol and at only 80 calories each they are the perfect fat burning snack.
Avocado – Avocados help you burn fat because the mono-unsaturated fatty acids they contain are easily used as fuel during exercise and encourage fat blasting. They also contain mannoheptulose which is a type of sugar which slows the release of insulin and encourages the absorption of calcium. These actions are critical for fat burning. But it gets even better. Avocados actually help prevent heart disease and might even be useful for the treatment of fertility problems. Their nutrient load includes vitamins E, K, and B6 and when you throw in the fiber, you have a fat burning superstar.
Bananas – The key to making bananas part of your fat burning regimen is to eat the ones that are slightly green. Slightly green bananas are high in resistant starch (12.5 grams) and works perfectly if you are trying to cut carbs. Ripe bananas are much lower in resistant starch and thus not suitable for our purposes. (If you don’t like slightly green bananas, put them in a smoothie and you won’t know the difference.)
Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe has only 50 calories per 6 ounce slice plus it is loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. For best flavor, let it sit out at room temperature for a few days before slicing.
Cherries – When choosing cherries, pick out the biggest ones you can find. They should also be hard, dark, and glossy and they should also have fresh, green stems.
Figs – Figs are an underutilized fat burning food. They are as delicious as they are versatile so if you are looking to sweeten things up a bit, try them today.
Gambooge Fruit (Garcinia cambogia) – This new superfood contains hydroxycitric acid which prevents and enzyme from turning sugar into fat. This is the one to watch and I think we’ll see a lot more of it in the future.
Grapefruit – Grapefruit contains naringin which is a chemical that reduces your insulin level and prevents the storage of fat. In fact, studies have shown that you can lose about 4 pounds over 3 months by simply drinking 3 glasses of grapefruit juice a day or eating half a grapefruit a day – without doing anything else. There is one hitch and that is that grapefruit could interfere with some medications so if in doubt please talk to your doctor of pharmacist first.
Lemons – When you buy lemons, pick out the brightest & most yellow ones you can find. If they have weird spots or if they seem a bit shriveled you should pass on them.
Mangoes – If you’ve never had a mango then you are really missing out. They taste like a cross between pineapple and pear and they go great with just about anything. If you crave something tropical, grab a mango!
Oranges – For weight loss purposes you should be eating the orange, not just drinking the juice. These babies contain folacin, potassium, niacin, calcium, and magnesium, lots of fiber PLUS you’ll be getting 140% of your recommended allowance for vitamin C.
Papaya – Papayas are packed with vitamin C and they have a good dose of vitamin A as well. You might be interested to learn that you can use papaya to tenderize meat and in fact, it is the main ingredient in most meat tenderizers.
Pears – Naturally delicious, pears have no cholesterol, saturated fat, or sodium. One pear has only 81 calories so eat all you want, these babies are good for you. Studies have proven that eating three pears a day (skin on) can help reduce your overall calorie intake thus causing you to lose weight.
Peaches – Peaches are a member of the rose family. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Better yet, one peach has only 66 calories making them a dieter’s delight.
Pineapple – Good pineapples should have a pleasant, fragrant smell and be somewhat heavy for their size.
Plums – Plums are said to be good for all kinds of ailments ranging from constipation to diabetes. Overflowing with nutrients, they are among the very best foods you can eat. It is said that plums were introduced to Greece by Alexander the Great!
Pomegranates – Here is the deal with pomegranates – The seeds inside are super sweet and delicious but it is a little work to get to them.
Prunes – Although prunes are really just dried plums, their concentrated fiber and unique taste are legendary. Don’t be afraid to give them a try, your colon will love you!
Watermelon – Watermelon is a great fat burning food because it contains a lot of water and fills you up quickly. In addition to vitamins A and C it contains lycopene which is said to combat prostate cancer.
Fat Burning Meat & Seafood
If you want to include meat and seafood into your fat burning foods mix, you need to do it wisely. Look for trim cuts without the skin (on chicken for example). Don’t fry or deep fry these foods, you’ll just cancel out their fat burning properties with grease; try grilling, baking, or broiling them instead.
Bison – Bison is an extremely low-fat, dense meat which is packed with protein. It also has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids which leads to better overall health for you and less fat for your gut. It is becoming easier and easier to find it but you may have to ask your butcher to order some in. Bison is a lean, mean, fat burning food machine!
Chicken – Chicken is a very excellent source of protein. It contains just over 2/3 of your protein in just a single 4 ounce serving! Chicken is high in protein and I can tell you from personal experience that when you add chicken breasts to your diet in place of less healthy foods, you will lose weight. Here is a good chicken & fig recipe.
Cod – Cod has a dense white flesh which is low in fat and has a delicious, mild flavor. They are also called haddock, in case if you were wondering.
Flounder – If you hear the word “flounder” and think of Kent Dorfman instead of the tasty fish, you are really missing out. Flounder (the fish) is not only delicious but it is very low in fat which makes it an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose weight.
Grass Fed Beef – Lean beef (grass fed) helps you baurn fat because it has protein which requires your body to work hard to digest. This protein also helps you build muscle and the more muscle you have, the more calories your body can burn. In addition to being leaner than ordinary beef, gass fed beef has a far better balance of nutrients.
Lamb – Lamb contains the blubber busting fatty acid CLA which has been found to burn fat in people trying to lose weight.
Oysters – Oysters contain TONS of vitamins an minerals including C, D, B1, B2, B3, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Whew!
Pork – Pork is a perfectly fine addition to your weight loss plan but only if you pick the lean, low sodium cuts. This means no bacon or ham. Sorry about that. We’re talking about lean pork here, not fatty ribs or sausage. Pork takes a lot of energy for your body to digest and if it is lean, it is definitely a great fat burner.
Salmon – Salmon is a nutrient dense super food which is ideal for any weight loss plan. It is high in Omega 3 which is said to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Salmon is among the best fat burning foods because it helps lower your leptin levels which in turn helps your body burn calories faster.
Sardines – Sardines are packed with muscle building nutrients which aid in building muscle and thus utterly destroying fat. Bodybuilders live on them and if you want to get ripped you’ll give them a chance too. Just watch out that you don’t get the ones that are packed in heavy juices and have lots of flavorings, be sure to read the labels.
Shrimp – Shrimp is packed with muscle building protein but whatever you do don’t drown them in butter.
Trout – Trout are among the most flavorful fish but the trick is to get them as fresh as possible. If you can’t catch it yourself, some bigger stores have tanks with live trout and they can catch it for you.
Tuna – Not only is tuna low calorie but this low-fat fish is also high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is an excellent food if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol. Tuna lowers the amount of leptin in your body and that in turn speeds up your metabolism. This helps your body burn fat faster and more efficiently. The protein in tuna also aids in the production of muscle which helps you burn even more fat. (This is one of my favorite fat burning foods.)
Turkey – Turkey contains a lot of muscle building protein essential for weight loss. Don’t douse it with gravy, obviously.
Fat Burning Nuts, Seeds, & Berries
Nuts, seeds, and berries are great fat burning foods. Berries are low in calories while nuts are rich with mono unsaturated fats. A handful of anything listed below can go a long way toward filling you up without weighing you down.
Acai Berries – Though somewhat controversial, Acai berries may be what you need to blast away fat. They are worth a try, that is for sure.
Blackberries – Blackberries are a fat burning super food that you can easily incorporate into any diet.
Blueberries – One cup of blueberries has about 80 calories. Instead of gobbling down a candy bar the next time you feel hungry, reach for some wholesome, delicious blueberries!
Brazil Nuts – Almonds – Walnuts – All nuts do contain some amount of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid, but most only contain trace amounts. The real fat hero in most nuts is mono-unsaturated fats. Walnuts are actually a rich source of omega-3s. One ounce provides almost 3g of alpha-linolenic acid.
Brown Rice – Brown rice is a good source of resistant starch which has been shown to help increase your metabolism and in turn destroy fat. It is also nutrient rich compared to white rice and many athletes (including myself) swear by it.
Flaxseed – Flaxseed comes from the flax plant, an annual herb which was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. It is rich in Omega 3 & Omega 6. These fats release cholecystokinin from the stomach so that when you’ve eaten enough, the brain will receive the message that you are full.
Goji Berries – These little (but powerful) berries help you control your blood sugar and also help curb your appetite. Highly recommended, especially if you are in a weight loss rut.
Grapes – One cup of grapes has only 64 calories and since they are full of water they help fill you up.
Pine Nuts – Pine nuts are packed with ab shredding protein and can be used as a substitute for meat in salads and other meals.
Quinoa – Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nutritional all-star that belongs in your weight loss plan. This whole grain has 8 grams of hunger-busting protein and 5 grams of fiber in one cup, plus it’s as easy to cook as rice. It’s also packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. For a quick and interesting dinner, mix in some vegetables, nuts, or lean protein.
Raspberries – One cup of raspberries has a paltry 64 calories so don’t be afraid to dig in!
Soybeans – Soy protein is a muscle building monster and the more muscle you have the more fat you’ll burn. We’re seeing roasted soybeans turning up all over the place now so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them. (Try Amazon.)
Strawberries – One cup of strawberries has only about 46 calories so feel free to eat all you want. They are great for diabetics too because that same cup of strawberries has only 11 grams of carbs.
Other Fat Burning Foods
These fat burning foods don’t fit into any other category yet they are still great fat burners. Here you’ll find a wide variety of fun fat burning foods which are sure to tickle your tastebuds and blast the fat away.
Air Popped Popcorn – A three cup serving of air-popped popcorn has only 90 calories. Hold the butter and oil or you might as well have a Big Mac.
Chervil – Chervil is a light tasting herb which tastes kind of like licorice or maybe tarragon. It is great in egg dishes, soups, and stews or you can eat it raw in a salad.
Chocolate – (super dark, not milk chocolate) – It must have at least a 70% cacoa content or higher. At about 75% or so it has a fairly high ratio of fiber content and relatively low sugar. One or two squares of dark chocolate can take the edge off your candy bar cravings while not screwing up your blood sugar. It is also high in theobromine which lowers your blood pressure.
Cinnamon – Studies suggest cinnamon may have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels. This could curtail appetite, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes. It is also a thermogenic food meaning that it will stimulate your body to burn more calories. If you are a little creative you can add it to almost any meal.
Coconut Flour – Gluten free coconut flour is very high in fiber and “good” carbs plus you get the added benefit of extra protein. Experiment a bit and see how you like it.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is very interesting because it reportedly has many health benefits but chief among them is its ability to curb your appetite. Eating less leads to weight loss and that is why we are here.
Coffee – Simply put, the caffeine in coffee stimulates your body to release fat. There is some controvesy about how much fat but everyone agrees that the effect is real. Adding sugar sort of defeats the purpose however so keep an eye on that.
Eggs – Eggs get a bad rap but they are packed with protein which your body has to work hard to digest and which also jumpstarts your metabolism. The B12 in eggs is also said to aid in the destruction of fat cells. Research seems to indicate that adding eggs to your breakfast will cause you to lose body fat because you will tend to eat fewer calories during the day.
Enova Oil – Enova oil is a mixture of soy and canola oil. It helps make you feel full and thus aids in burning fat. Use it as a replacement for normal cooking oil to reap its benefits.
Garlic – Garlic has been used for centuries not just as a food but as a medicine too. It is claimed to help lower cholesterol, reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and it is even said to fight cancer.
Ginger – Ginger helps your muscles recover after a workout by boosting blood flow and of course the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn. It also helps with gastric distress.
Greek Yogurt – Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt is low in calories, has plenty of protein, and is low in carbs. It must be plain yogurt however, not the fruit laden, high-calorie stuff. This isn’t really an all-you-can-eat food but it will help your body release insulin so it is good after a workout.
Green Tea – A key compound found in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful anti-oxident said to be beneficial to people with a long list of maladies including cancer. As a fat burner, it fires up your nervous system and helps your body to burn more calories, especially when combined with caffeine. (A friend of mine swears that this is one of the best fat burning foods for women.)
Honey – If you are going to have a sugar, honey is the one for you. It is low on the glycemic index and encourages your body to release fat.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms are low in calories (21 per half cup) and high in flavor. Add them to your favorite dish as a tasty, low cal fat burner.
Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a fat burning powerhouse. First of all, it can increase your metabolism by 10% or so which means you’ll burn fat faster than normal. It also keeps your insulin levels in check so your body turns into a fat burning furnace. Since it is slow to digest, it helps burn fat all day which is exactly what we want.
Olive Oil – Olive oil not only burns fat but it also keeps your cholesterol down. Most people use it in place of their normal cooking oil making it a very easy way to make a positive change to their diets.
Parsley Leaves – Parsley is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, and it even has a bit of protein. Instead of using a sprig here and there, generously incorporate directly into many of your favorite foods.
Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is a healthful source of flab fighting mono-unsaturatated fat which can help you lose the pounds. To make this work, however, you need to use low fat, natural peanut butter and to do that you’ll have to shop around (try asking at a health food store).
Skim Milk – The calcium in milk can help crank up your metabolism and people with a high calcium intake tend to lose weight faster than people who skimp on it. The carbs in milk also cause your body to keep your insulin levels low thus preventing your body from storing fat.
Vinegar – Vinegar has no calories and there are countless ways to add it to your diet, most notably as the basis for salad dressing. A Japanese study has shown that adding vinegar to your diet can reduce stored body fat by as much as 10%. That seems a little ambitious to me but it sounds promising. In any event, it is definitely a fat burning food and a great way to add some zing to your diet.
Water – Ahhh… cool, wet water… there really is no better fat fighter. It has no calories, it fills you up and it cleans you out. Switching from pop (even diet pop) to water can have immediate and drastic effect on your weight. I drink it all day long and I no longer have cravings for sugary drinks.
Wheat Bran – Pretty much you can eat as much wheat bran as you can and not worry about it. Not only will it fill you up but it will clean you out. Put this on your shopping list ASAP.
Whey – Whey protein speeds up your metabolism and decreases hunger so you eat less. It is better than most other types of protein at combating hunger and building muscle so adding it to your diet will almost certainly help you achieve your weight loss goals. Speaking from personal experience I can tell you that whey works, period. (You can buy a giant jug of it at Walmart for under $20.)
Whole Grain Cereal – Whole grain cereals are excellent sources of fiber but the real benefit comes from the complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs don’t cause your insulin levels to spike so your body doesn’t go into “fat storage” mode.
Wine – Moderate wine usage often leads to slimmer waistlines because wine contains resveratrol, a known fat blocker. Wine can also increase your metabolism and of course that helps you lose fat too.
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