Health & fitness experts like myself have long known that ‘abs are made in the kitchen.’ Which is why I tell folks that all the sit ups in the world won’t give you the six-pack abs of your dreams if you’ve got a horrible diet, and as a result, a big ‘ole layer of fat sitting on top of your ab muscles. Thankfully, nature’s given us a hand by providing certain foods that help burn fat. Below you’ll find a handful of the many foods that can help boost metabolism, stabilize insulin levels, curb hunger, and ultimately kick your body into high fat-burning gear:
Fish is a great source of lean protein. Protein helps build muscle mass (thus increasing basal metabolic rate) and protein also makes you feel full longer. But protein’s not the only thing that makes fish a great fat-burning food. Fish also contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which among other things, helps sensitize the body to insulin, and boosting insulin sensitivity is what triggers our body to release stored fat. Furthermore, fish oil also increases levels of leptin- a hormone which regulates hunger and fat burning. In fact, in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, it was found that overweight people eating fatty fish or fish oil lost 1 kg more weight in 4 weeks than people eating a similar diet without fish.
Surprisingly enough, eating certain types of fats is key to burning fat. Nuts like almonds, peanuts and cashews, contain monounsaturated fatty acids, abbreviated as MUFAs. And when eaten, MUFAs send a signal to your brain that you’re full and should stop eating. This helps prevent overeating- which many of us do. So the next time you feel particularly hungry, grab a handful of nuts, a spoonful of nut butter, or throw some nuts on top of a big salad. It’s nutritious, and it’ll help satisfy your hunger.
Some of you may have heard about eggs getting a bad rap, mostly because they’re high in cholesterol. But research now shows that the cholesterol we eat doesn’t affect our blood cholesterol – inflammation does! Namely inflammation from eating processed foods. And processed foods are far more likely to raise your cholesterol than the incredible edible egg (yeah, I couldn’t wait to throw that in). Furthermore, studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast helps control your calorie intake throughout the day, and also provides an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase feelings of fullness and help stabilize insulin levels.
Dark leafy greens
Dark green leafy vegetables like collards, kale and spinach are great because they contain several nutrients to help actively burn fat. Then of course there’s the added bonus that they’re also loaded with fiber and low in calories. Make a salad with ‘em, steam ‘em, sauté ‘em, or toss a handful in with your breakfast or post workout smoothie. Dark leafy greens, no matter the kind, are full of antioxidants, nutrients, and should be one of the foods you eat on a daily basis.
Do you regularly eat any of the above foods? – Doc