Anything that involves losing fat from scoffing down food has our vote! In this guide to the best fat-burning foods, we suss out the ingredients you should be stocking up on
Loads and loads of it, too. This citrus fruit is high in citric acid which helps to detoxify the liver so that it can break down food and metabolise fat effectively. The vitamin C content also plays a part in helping to burn fat, too. ‘Having enough vitamin C, as opposed to being vitamin C-deficient, helps your body set off a series of chemical reactions that break down your body fat for use as energy. Those who have a depleted vitamin C status are more resistant to this reaction,’ says Super Radiance nutritionist Shani Shaker.
Tip: Whatever you’re using the lemon juice for – whether it’s a drink, cake, salad or garnish – throw in some of the rind, too. Lemon rind contains pectin which turns into a jelly that absorbs excess amounts of sugar, preventing it from turning into fat.
2. Unsalted nuts
You can get the unsalted variation of all nuts. Almonds in particular are high in protein so are great for building muscle which will help to burn calories faster. They also contain the good kind of fatty acids that help you stay fuller for longer, compared to processed carbs.
Tip: Love the spreadable kind? Replace your current peanut butter with an all-natural one. ‘Natural almond butter is a great alternative to commercially-sold peanut butter because it’s not processed and has no added salt, sugars and fats. Like peanut butter, though, it includes protein that helps to build muscles and carbohydrates that provide energy,’ says Lovisa Nilsson, the in-house nutritionist at leading health and fitness app, Lifesum.
Believe it or not, these sticks of spice are our ticket to a flat tum. Studies have shown that cinnamon stimulates the metabolism of visceral (belly) fat. It also contains properties that control your blood sugar and insulin levels, which helps to curb those cravings.
Tip: Pop a cinnamon stick into a steaming cup of tea or coffee or sprinkle the ground version into your morning cereal or granola for a healthy kick.
4. Green Tea
There are two reasons why green tea is commonly associated with weight loss: caffeine and the antioxidant EGCG. The former stimulates fat-burning, while the latter has thermogenic properties which means it revs up your metabolism and calls for more fuel – and fast!
Tip: Sipping green tea regularly will train your body to absorb less fat in the future, so swap your afternoon latte for the herbal goodness instead. If your morning tipple of choice is a smoothie, add in a spoonful of matcha, or for an ultra-healthy porridge, steep your green tea in boiling water and add the oats in after.
Beans, seeds, pods, peas – we love ‘em in all their protein and fibre-packed glory. The protein helps to build muscle which speeds up the metabolism and the fibre regulates digestion. Aren’t double-whammy foods the best?
Tip: ‘Apart from lean meat, fish and eggs – which are the richest source of protein – chickpeas and lentils are great muscle-building fat-burners, so add them into your soups,’ says NutriCentre nutritionist, Shona Wilkinson.