5 Foods That Help Burn Body Fat

fat-burning-foods

Not all body is fat is bad; some of it is essential for a healthy life. In men, 3% of body fat is essential, with 10-25% of body weight as fat required for optimal health. In women, 12% of fat is essential with 18-30% of body weight as fat required for optimal health. Women need more fat stored in their breasts, pelvic region and thighs to support reproduction. And while many women strive to be ultra thin, being underweight can adversely affect the ability to conceive and carry a baby to term. In fact, when women get too thin, they stop menstruating altogether until they regain sufficient body fat to reproduce. This condition, called amenorrhea, is not healthy for women and may even lead to osteoporosis.

If you’re wondering how to lose body fat, first you need to understand how the body works. When people gain fat, they do so by both increasing the amount of fat stored inside each fat cell and multiplying the number of fat cells they have. So once your fat cells reach their capacity for fat storage, your body starts making more fat cells. When you lose belly fat or any other unwanted fat, the fat cell size decreases yet the number of fat cells remain primarily the same.

Wondering how to burn body fat? Well, fat gain and fat loss is not as simple as calories in and calories out; research suggests that it requires almost 3 times as much energy to convert carbohydrates into fat than it does to convert dietary fat into body fat. Body weight is also controlled by your resting metabolic rate, which is affected by your genes, your muscle mass and your age. Because muscle mass declines with increasing age, bodybuilding can help you maintain muscle mass through the years helping you maintain a healthy weight as you age. It’s a little harder to change your genes. However, nutrigenomic studies are helping to shed light on the complex interplay between genes and food, which may lead to personalized prescriptions for how to lose weight in the near future.

Although not quite this simple, to lose body fat, you generally need to consume about 500 to 1000 calories less per day than you expend while maximizing your energy expenditure. So what is the best food for fat burning?

My 5 best foods for burning body fat are

Yogurt and other fermented foods

More and more research is showing that good gut bacteria may play a huge role in preventing obesity. To increase your good gut bacteria, eat lots of naturally fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir and naturally fermented vegetables like kimchi.

Beans and Legumes

These foods regulate your digestive system while providing protein to build muscles. Beans and legumes are low in fat and help keep you feeling full.

Eggs

The egg white is one of the most bioavailable protein sources available. But don’t eat just the whites because the yolk provides most of the vitamins. One egg provides about 7 grams of protein with only 75 calories.

Whole grains

Whole grains such as whole wheat provide a bounty of vitamins and minerals with lots of fiber to keep you feeling full. Whole wheat also provides inulin, a prebiotic fiber, which feeds your good gut bacteria. Other prebiotic foods include bananas, onions, garlic, jicama and foods fortified with inulin.

Whey

Whey protein is a best food for weight loss because it helps build muscle mass while being low in fat. Total Gym FIT BLAST Meal Replacement shakes contain whey protein combined with Garcinia Cambogia, another food that may help you maintain a lean and fit body. For great recipes ideas check this post out!

Besides increasing your consumption of these delicious fat-burning foods, be sure to get enough sleep each night. Insufficient sleep disrupts hormones and can cause excessive hunger leading to weight gain. For most people, healthy weight loss requires a nutritionally balanced weight-loss diet providing fewer calories than you burn, combined with physical activity that includes weight lifting, and a good nights rest. If you are doing all these things and still find it difficult to lose weight, talk with a registered dietitian nutritionist or your doctor to see if there are other reasons why you’re having difficulty losing weight.

Jennifer M. Wood, MS, RD
Jennifer M Wood, MS, RDN is registered dietitian nutritionist and successful food and nutrition consultant in Southeastern Minnesota. As the founder of a nation-wide gourmet food company, Wood wrote Jenny’s Country Kitchen…recipes for making homemade a little easier! (2003), which is a timeless collection of make-ahead, freeze-ahead and pantry-stocking recipes and time saving tips to help busy families put nutritious food on table. Wood graduated with a pre-med bachelors degree in nutritional science in 2001, completed her dietetic internship in 2007 and went on to complete a master’s degree in food and nutrition in 2011.

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