Fat Burning Foods - Thermic Effect of Food
Fat-burning foods are foods that help us in getting rid of unwanted body fat. Choosing this kind of food helps us feel full and satiated, without consuming plenty of calories. On the other hand, relying only on these foods lead to malnutrition, loss of strength, weak immune system, etc.
Updated: November 20, 2021.
Depending on the type of food, body needs more or less energy to digest what we have eaten. Usually, this increase in energy expenditure, food thermic effect, due to food digestion, storage and use, is around 8-10% of the calorie intake in given period. But, there are certain types of foods in which the amount of energy (calories) that can be used from, can be even less than the energy needed to digest it. Great!
Such foods with negative energy balance are rare and eating only them would make our diet and us - miserable :o) Anyway, by incorporating fat burning foods in our daily food intake, we make our job of losing fat much easier.
Dietary fat is very easy to process (although digestion of fat last longer than digestion of carbohydrates and proteins). Protein is hard to process and it's thermic effect is much stronger. Foods high in fiber are hard to process when compared to amount of energy body acquires through processing such foods - such foods are green and leafy vegetables, various salads and fruits with lower amounts of carbohydrates. Such foods are basis of some diets, like Mediterranean Diet.
Also, vitamin C dilutes the fat and makes it harder to digest. It also becomes much easier for that fat to be flushed out of the system without beeing digested (much like some dieting pills). Pectin is substance found in apples and similar fresh foods that is able to limit the absorption of fat in to the cells.
Fat Burning Foods
Foods that help burn fat are:
- celery, parsley, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, cauliflowers, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, watermelons, cherries, berries, apples (to name just a few) are fibrous foods that require plenty of energy to process when compared to the useful content they have in calories. They are also very rich in vitamins, minerals, pectin and other useful micronutrients.
- coffee and green, black or white tea have no calories (unless we pour tons of sugar), but can accelerate body metabolism and thus promote fat burning.
- pepper, cinnamon, garlic, seaweed promote energy expenditure while having so few usable calories
- water is champion of fat burning foods - it has no calories and it helps to hydrate the body and flush the toxins out
- low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese and cottage cheese contains plenty of calcium and protein whose thermic effect is significant. Good thing is that such foods, especially low-fat and cottage cheese takes lots of time to digest and thus promote feeling of fullness.
- lean cuts of various meat and fish also have high thermic effect - if you eat not so lean cuts of meat, than your body spend little bit more time and energy in processing both fats and proteins, but energy acquired is much much greater when compared with energy from lean cuts.
- oats and similar cereals, beans, peas and similar legumes contain both high amounts of fibers, but also high amounts of complex carbohydrates.
- nuts are hard to process, but contain plenty of energy in the form of fat and some protein and complex carbohydrates.
So, do you want to burn excess fat? Eat your oats for breakfast, rest of the day some veggies with lean cuts of fish and meat with piece of fruit here and there. In the evening some nuts and low-fat or cottage cheese ...