We all go on a diet when we need to lose a few extra kilos, but the latest fad in weight loss is “eat to lose”! Sounds a bit contrary but certain foods do have a high thermogenic effect such that eating them makes you burn calories as they metabolize. Others contain certain nutrients or compounds that boost the metabolism on the whole. Sounds like manna from heaven, doesn’t it? So let’s figure out five foods that can make you burn calories, from the inside out!
See also: Fat Fighting Foods
1. Go for Whole Grains
While this is no secret, you do burn double the calories metabolizing whole grain foods than you do with processed grains. Researchers have also found links between whole grain and a reduced risk in heart diseases. People who eat more of whole grain tend to lose more fat around their abdominal area and this bigger waistline is linked to an increased risk in heart disease. Wheat, oats, sorghum, barley, wild rice, buckwheat and brown rice are all excellent examples of whole grains.
2. Opt for Lean Meat
Lean chicken, beef or pork is full of proteins and protein is thermogenic in nature – digesting it requires a significant calorie burn. Building your dinner around lean meats is a sure way to keep your weight in check – this is the meal where your metabolism tends to be the lowest so burning calories to digest what you just ate is a good way to keep that inner fire up and running.
3. Sip on Green Tea
Before you waive this off as just another gimmick - according to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; green tea is efficacious in burning fat. Compounds in green tea use one or both of thermogenesis and fat oxidation to burn fat and thus aid in weight loss – studies also point to it being a better way to expend energy than caffeine.
4. Try some Hot Chili Peppers
Eating anything spicy (hot peppers) puts your body under stress and creates an adrenaline rush – this fight or flight impulse makes the body burn more calories than usual. This is no conflagration though; consuming a meal with capsaicin burns approximately 10 more calories than digesting bland food but can also make you consume lesser calories in the next meal. Overall, hot food will make you eat less and burn more fat digesting it – so it’s a good thing in totality.
5. Load up on Lentils
Loaded with proteins, fiber and many essential nutrients – lentils are consumed widely in Asia but America and most of Europe tend to bypass it for beans and other legumes. The fiber content of lentils keeps you fuller for longer thus making you eat less than what you usually would and helps in staving off any hunger pangs too. Also, a serving of lentils provides you with 60% of your daily requirement of iron – and iron is an essential nutrient of the fat burning process. Ergo, eat lentils to lose some of that fat.
Try to pack some of these ideas into a lunchbox you carry to work - a healthy metabolism bolstered by light meals will keep your brain working in full capacity.
See also: Healthy Office Snacks
Remember that fat-burning foods cannot work all by themselves – they are more of a substitute to foods that are high in calories and will work only if aided by an overall lifestyle change. There’s no substitute to exercise, a think-before-you-eat outlook and an overall active life!