9 of the Best Fat-Burning Superfoods
Everyone wants the body of their dreams. Chiseled abs. A lean, sculpted body. Of course, achieving your dream body involves a mix of healthy eating and regular exercise. But some superfoods can tip the scales in your favor by helping your body to burn fat, even stubborn belly fat.
So, stock up on these superfoods and sneak one or more of them into your day to give yourself an extra edge in burning fat.
1. Green Tea
While green tea is renowned for how it supports the health of your heart and brain, it’s also a fat-burning superfood.
All thanks to two key components: caffeine and an antioxidant called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Together, they increase how many calories and how much fat you burn at rest (1).
Plain old caffeine doesn’t do the trick. One study compared the thermogenic effects of caffeine and green tea, and found no benefit with only caffeine (2).
You can amplify this fat-burning effect with exercise. When combined with moderate exercise, green tea has been shown to increase the amount of fat burned by 17% (3).
2. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola is an adaptogen herb that contains a wide range of health benefits. Among them is its ability to burn fat.
This fat burning is because of a natural compound called rosavin, which is only found in Rhodiola Rosea. Studies suggest that rosavin can cause your body to use stored fat for energy (4).
And much like green tea, the fat-burning properties of Rhodiola are enhanced with exercise, thereby increasing its effectiveness (5).
3. Hot Peppers
Are you a fan of spicy foods? If so, you now have even more of a reason to indulge in your favorite hot sauce or curry.
That’s because most spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin. It’s the compound responsible for the burning sensation you feel from spicy foods.
Scientists have found that capsaicin can temporarily boost your metabolism and increase your feelings of satiety (6).
In other words, it can help you burn more calories and eat less at the same time. This is a great way to get your body to burn off excess fat.
4. Coconut Oil
It might seem counterintuitive that eating fat can help you burn fat, but that’s just what coconut can do. Unlike other saturated fats, coconut has MCTs or medium chain triglycerides, which promote fat burning, especially around the belly area (7).
In one study of overweight women, the group consuming coconut oil had a significant decrease in abdominal fat. Not only that, they also got a bump in their HDL (the good kind) cholesterol (8).
A study of obese men also found that coconut oil led to a decrease in waist size, which is especially important since abdominal fat is the most dangerous type for your health (9).
5. Green Coffee Beans
Not just any old cup of joe will do. Sure, coffee stimulates your nervous system which signals cells to break down more fat (10). But the real boost in fat burning from coffee comes from the unroasted variety, also known as green coffee.
That’s because green coffee beans contain a bioactive compound called chlorogenic acid.
Evidence suggests that this compound can help slow the absorption of carbohydrates (11). This prevents insulin spikes which can contribute to weight gain.
6. Plant Proteins
Many breakfasts and lunch options are loaded full of carbs that trigger inflammation in the body and cause belly bulge.
But there’s a simple meal hack that can help you eat less and feel full longer: plant proteins. Because plant proteins take longer to digest than carbs, they make you feel full longer, so you’re less likely to overeat.
Healthy plant protein sources also help to balance blood sugar levels so you avoid the spikes in insulin that promote belly fat (12).
If filling up your plate with peas or quinoa isn’t doable every day, consider supplementing with a quality organic plant protein shake.
7. Dark Chocolate
Contrary to common belief, it’s not chocolate that makes you gain weight. It’s the sugar in the chocolate. Good news for chocolate lovers, right?
But it gets even better. If you eat dark chocolate it can actually help you lose weight.
One study, for example, found that simply by smelling dark chocolate you can decrease your appetite (13). The natural fats in chocolate can also help control your appetite even further.
8. Probiotic Foods
Gut bacteria is finally getting the recognition it deserves from health experts. And for good reason, since gut bacteria plays a critical role in your health. Recent evidence even suggests that the bacteria in your gut can determine if you’re overweight or thin (15).
By eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, or kefir you can add in more good bacteria to restore a healthy balance.
Probiotics can even boost fat burning. A double-blind placebo-controlled study on the strain L. gasseri, showed those taking the probiotic had a significant reduction in abdominal (belly) fat (16).
In one study of both overweight and healthy adults, supplementing with chlorella led to reductions in body fat percentage, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels for both groups (18).
To get chlorella and other healthy superfoods each day, consider an organic green juice powder for a simple and tasty way to get your greens.