5 Foods That Help You Burn Fat

by | September 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Food, Health

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That’s right — these foods will help you lose weight, not gain it.

By Anne Dolce, TheDailyMeal.com Editor

While trying to lose weight is often a reason not to eat food, what if we told you that eating certain types of food can help you lose weight, too?

Most people view food as the enemy when they’re dieting, always thinking of the weight they might gain because of a food’s high calorie count or the amount of fat it has, but dieting doesn’t always have to be about abstinence. Rather than just avoiding certain foods because of their high fat content, it’s important to consider some foods because of their proactive qualities or because of how they can affect your body in positive ways when it comes to dieting.

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Dr. Sue Decotiis, M.D., a medical weight-loss specialist based out of New York City, works with her patients to outline what foods can help them lose weight, rather than what foods they should avoid. Decotiis has helped hundreds of patients shed excess pounds and keep them off by providing them with meal plans made up of natural and healthy foods that work to their advantage. Foods such as peppers, mustard greens, egg whites, and berries all have nutritious properties that can help you increase calorie burn, decrease appetite, and enhance your sense of fullness after eating, so the more you eat of them, the better.

Decotiis explains that she recommends some foods because of their thermogenic qualities, which help increase caloric burn in the body. But in addition to those foods, other foods work more indirectly, by improving the body’s ability to burn fat by enhancing digestion, reducing inflammation, and balancing intestinal bacteria. By consuming foods that help you build a good source of intestinal bacteria, your body will be able to produce a satiety hormone that works with the brain to turn off its hunger sensation.

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 Are you ready to start shedding some pounds? If so, don’t turn your back on food. It can be your best-kept secret when it comes to burning fat.

Hot Peppers
Decotiis tells us that research has shown that hot peppers can help to suppress appetite and rev up metabolism. This is because peppers contain an active component called capsaicin, which gives them their heat but also has a direct thermogenic effect during digestion, too. Most spicy foods contain capsaicin, she says, so the hotter the better when determining what to eat.

Green Tea
Green tea is another food that is great for shedding pounds because of its thermogenic properties, says Decotiis. It contains a type of antioxidant known as catechin, which is known to boost metabolism. Because green tea can often be found in powdered forms these days, Decotiis says it’s an easy addition to any meal that you’re making.

Fibrous Foods
Fibrous foods such as apples, kidney beans, quinoa, and flaxseeds work indirectly to help you lose weight. Because fiber is the indigestible part of a plant, it takes our bodies more time to digest it and it therefore expands the stomach and helps you feel full. It also benefits you by slowing digestion because it also slows the rise of blood sugar and insulin, which can be some of the biggest culprits to excessive weight gain, especially in the abdomen area. And to make it a triple threat to fat, it is also a great way to push waste out of your body, helping you maintain a healthy and efficient digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, and beans are the best sources for fiber, and they’re an added bonus because of their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant qualities, too.

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Liquids
Hydration is one part of nutrition that makes a healthy body’s entire world go around. Like with many other things concerning health, staying hydrated is essential when trying to losing weight. If your body is dehydrated, its metabolic processes are slowed. Decotiis tells us that she recommends that her patients drink at least one full glass of ice-cold water before each meal, which helps expand the stomach and decrease hunger hormones.

Proteins
Protein helps you lose weight in two ways: by increasing metabolism through digestion, but also by improving the body’s ability to metabolize because it helps to maintain lean muscle mass. The older you are, the more important it is to make sure you’re getting a good source of protein. Foods such as egg whites, lean meats, fish, beans, and low-fat Greek yogurt are great sources of protein and are easy to incorporate into every meal.

Click here to see five more foods that will help you slim down!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.