I often get asked by clients in the gym, “what are the best foods to eat to burn fat?”
Now, the answer to this is quite complicated so go and put the kettle on, make a cuppa, then head right back here and allow me explain…
Certain food and beverages supposedly contain “fat burning properties”.
Green tea, chilli peppers and coffee to name a few. It actually turns out that there is some truth to these claims, and that these foods speed up your metabolic rate by the act of THERMOGENESIS.
Now, before you all start researching how to get hooked up to a green tea intravenous drip, the downside is that recent studies are showing that the amount is very insignificant and you would need 4 cups of very strong green tea to burn an extra 70 calories in a 24 hour period.
Although this helps, (70 calories is 70 calories right?!) it’s unlikely to make any significant decrease to fat loss over time.
However, if you like green tea, I suggest you keep on drinking it for the myriad of other health benefits it provides.
So what will help you burn fat?
A nutrient dense diet consisting of foods with low calories yet with a higher thermic effect of digestion.
So where do we start?
All foods are thermogenic.
Which means what?
What this means is that they all take energy or calories to process or digest. However, some foods are more thermic than others, with dietary fat being the worst. The most thermic is LEAN PROTEIN from solid foods, and in particular the following:
* Chicken breast
* Turkey breast
* All seafood
* Very lean red meat
* Game meats (venison, elk)
* Bison and buffalo
Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients, requiring about 30% of the calories it contains just for digestion and processing. The added bonus of course, is that fact that lean proteins are highly satiating which means they will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Carbohydrates have a thermic effect of about 6-8%
Fat has a very poor thermic effect of about 2-3%
So let’s go back to the original question…
“What are the best foods to eat to burn fat?”
The answer is a combination of lean protein, fibrous vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach and kale) good fats, lots of water and the right amount of natural starchy carbs.
It’s the quality of your nutrition, in the correct amounts that will increase or decrease your bodies ability or potential to burn body fat.
Couple this with an effective resistance/weight training plan and you’ll turn your body into a fat burning machine.
That’s what we all want, isn’t it?