We’ve all heard the saying a calorie is a calorie. While that might be true, you can make foods work for your body instead of against it, by choosing the right ones. Paired with a proper muscle-building training program, the following 10 foods will help reduce your appetite, break down stored fat, prevent fat storage, and enhance your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel.
Grab your bag of popcorn, sit back, relax and take a look at these top 10 foods that fight fat and get you lean and mean!
Top 10 Foods
What?! A carbohydrate at the top of the list?!
You bet! We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again -- carbs are NOT the enemy. Aside from being downright tasty, carbs can also help you lose weight. In fact, research shows that consuming three or more servings per day of whole grains (i.e. oats) led subjects to have 10% less belly fat than another group who consumed the same amount of calories from processed white carbs.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Ready to really burn your taste buds and belly fat?
Cayenne pepper is loaded with capsaicin, the spicy compound that gives chiles their tongue-numbing qualities. Studies show that daily consumption of capsaicin increases abdominal fat loss, boost metabolism, and decreases appetite. So pile on the red pepper if you’re looking to blast fat for good!
Avocados are packed full of belly-filling fiber and stress-combatting Vitamin B6. It's also loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, which prevent your body from storing fat around your belly and down-regulate the activity of certain fat genes.
Combine avocado with jalapenos (which are packed with capsaicin) and a squeeze of fresh lime to make guacamole and have the perfect fat loss snack!
It’s pretty well understood that protein builds muscle. The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your metabolism, and the greater ability your body has to burn fat fast.
Wild salmon is one of the healthiest sources of muscle-building protein. It’s also loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which combat inflammation, support healthy joints, and fuel fat burning.
Consumed around the world for thousands of years, tea isn’t just a delicious, satisfying, and tasty beverage; it can also be a powerful ally in the war on fat. Tea is packed with polyphenols that stimulate lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and inhibit adipogenesis (creation of new fat). Some research even points to tea’s ability to reduce appetite via increasing levels of the hormone CCK (cholecystokinin).
Berries are nature’s wonder-fruit; they’re packed with polyphenols, antioxidant, and fiber. Berries improve blood flow, and aid fat burning due to an antioxidant, known as resveratrol, that’s been shown to convert harmful white fat cells into brown fat, which can be burned for energy.
Eggs are loaded with choline, a prominent fat-burning compound that deactivates genes responsible for belly fat storage They’re also packed full of protein and make the foundation of any great muscle-building breakfast.
Eating eggs also lowers ghrelin response, which makes you less hungry in the hours after a meal, and supports your fat loss diet efforts to consume fewer calories each day!
High in protein and belly-filling fiber, beans are another great slow carb that not only taste great, but also help maintain a slim waistline. Beans are packed full of insoluble and soluble fiber which promote good bacteria growth and enhance your ability to burn fat for fuel. Research notes that for every additional 10g of fiber eaten per day, subjects carried considerably less belly fat.
9. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is convenient and tasty muscle-building snack offering over 20g of protein per 80z serving. It’s also packed with calcium and vitamin D, which reduce cortisol, a stress hormone that promotes fat storage. Mix Greek yogurt with a serving of berries to make the perfect pre or post workout snack to enhance muscle growth, blunt cortisol, and torch belly fat.
10. Dark Chocolate
Can chocolate really help you lose weight? According to research conducted at Louisiana State University, YES!
Dark chocolate is fermented in our gut leading to increased production of butyrate, a fatty acid that promotes fat burning and inhibits inflammation. Adding chocolate to fruit can boost butyrate production and release, leading to even greater fat burning. Just make sure to get a chocolate with at least 70% cacao content, these varieties are highest the in important fat-fighting polyphenols.
Losing weight isn’t easy, and sometimes it can seem downright impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. It might take a little (or a lot) of work on your part to start eating a little better or exercising a little harder. But in the end, the small sacrifices you make on the front end will pay HUGE dividends on the back end.