The key to healthy weight loss is lifestyle change. This means changing a number of things, including the way you eat. While it is possible to lose weight without exercise, just by eating right, exercise can help make it quicker and easier. In this post we shall look at the top 10 fat burning superfoods that can help you slim down.
Many people who want to lose weight fall for misleading headlines and ads. Promises such as “lose 20 pounds in a week without diet or exercise!” are enticing, but not realistic. Losing weight at such rate may not be safe.
Not only that but, such a radical drop in weight is often not sustainable in the long term.
So, how much weight is safe to lose in a week? Many experts suggest 1lb to 2lb (about 0.5kg to 1kg) per week. Not only is this considered safe, but evidence that people who lose weight at this rate are more are more successful at keeping it off. Slow long-term results beat quick here-now-gone-tomorrow. Back to fat burning superfoods.
What Are Superfoods?
Depending on the dictionary you look it up in, “superfood” may or may not be a word. Sometimes it is written in two words, that is, super foods. Thankfully, digital books can be updated on the fly while print books must wait for the next printing cycle.
According to Dictionary.com, a superfood is food considered exceptionally good for one’s health and boosting the immune system owing to naturally high nutrients content. Some of these nutrients may be known for supporting certain aspects of one’s health.
Fat burning superfoods are those that have been found to better support weight loss or, to use the better term, fat loss. Let’s now look at some of these.
Fat Burning Superfoods
Below are some fat burning superfoods that may not only help you get a flat tummy, but also boost your health and make you feel better overall.
The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is an extraordinary fruit. This many-seeded apple has been around for centuries and is the stuff of many myths and legends. Even its very physical appearance is something out of the ordinary. The fruit is intermediate between a lemon and a grapefruit, with rounded shape and thick reddish husk. Its color is red-purple.
Following are four different ways to consume pomegranates (or by-products), all of which are linked to weight loss and other important health benefits including cholesterol lowering, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and heart health:
- Pomegranate fruit: You cut the crown and eat the arils, membranes embedded inside that contain seeds. The seeds may be discarded but they too have certain health and fat loss benefits, and it takes some work to separate them.
- Pomegranate juice: Obtained by squeezing the arils and seeds. Pomegranate juices are available in grocery stores. However, you should insure you’re getting high quality 100 percent juice.
- Pomegranate seeds: Found inside the arils. You can separate these, but this can be a messy and tedious task. You can get ready eat seeds in the refrigerated section of supermarkets. See our What Pomegranate Seeds Do to Your Body post for more.
- Pomegranate seed oil: Made by pressing the seeds of pomegranate fruit. Go for high quality cold-pressed oil. Pomegranate seed oil can be bought in health stores or online. Some health products including this weight loss supplement contain pomegranate seed oil an ingredient.
2. Green Tea
Most fat burning superfoods are either fruit, vegetable, or spice. Green tea may not fit in any of these three categories, and it’s more of a beverage than a food, but we included it anyway. This is because green tea is one of the most powerful fat burning foods out there.
Green tea’s popularity as a natural weight management agent is not by accident. Neither is it a fad, as it has been around for a while now.
For those who are familiar with the cartoon character Popeye, you know how he loved spinach. Well, he definitely was on to something. And he helped make it easier for to get kids eat this super-healthy food. Among vegetables that are great to add in your diet, dark leafy vegetables should be somewhere on top of your choices.
One of the most beneficial of these foods is the good old unpretentious spinach. Not surprisingly, spinach is now considered a superfood due to its nutrients concentration. These include vitamins A, B2, B6, C, and E, as well as minerals and antioxidants including potassium, iron, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. It is also high in fiber.
While being nutrients-dense, spinach is also a low-calorie food. Its fiber content can help you fill full and therefore eat less, while also helping in elimination of toxins. It is also a versatile vegetable that can be added to salads and juices, as well as cooked in various ways.
Other fat burning leafy greens you may want to add to your diet include:
- Collard greens
The avocado is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It is high in protein and healthy fats, both of which can help you fill fuller longer and therefore help curb your appetite. Avocados are one of the fat burning superfoods that are often used for spot reduction – they are said to help reduce belly fat. They may also help lower cholesterol.
Avocados can be added to salads. However, it is best to add them when you’re ready to eat your salad, as they get discolored rather quickly. Sprinkling them with lemon juice over them might help slow the discoloration as well as add flavor. And, of course, there is guacamole that can be use in place of mayo, or a dip or salad dressing.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is because of how nutritious this fruit is. It is also low calorie with high in fiber and water. This can help make you feel fuller longer without excess calories. The soluble fiber in apples, known as pectin, aids in elimination.
Apples may help speed up metabolism and therefore speed up fat loss.
You can try eating an apple before meal. This can help make you feel somewhat full and possibly eat less. Try apple slices with peanut butter, almond butter, cottage cheese or other healthy cheese as snack or in your salad. You could even sprinkle some cinnamon (another superfood) to these, which help add power and flavor.
6. Goji Berries
Heard of goji berries? If not, you’re not alone. Goji berries are among lesser-known superfoods that can do you a lot of good. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if their popularity grows or even explodes especially as some celebrities including Madonna and Elizabeth Hurly are said to use them.
Also known as wolfberry or simply goji, goji berry is a bright orange-red berry similar about the size of cranberries native to Asia. They have been used in Asia as food and natural medicine for centuries and are associated with longevity.
Goji berries combat fat in two main ways. First, they can help curb appetite. This can help you eat less, therefore losing fat by way of reducing caloric intake. Second, they are low in the glycemic index which not only boosts satiety but may also help sugar craving. As you probably know, sugar is one of the biggest enemies of weight management.
Goji berry supplements are available in health food stores and online.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another superfood that is neither fruit nor vegetable. Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in health and fitness. These seeds that come from Mexico are nutrients-packed and supply healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Just two tablespoons of chia seeds give you 10 grams of fiber, which is about 40 percent of recommended daily intake (RDI). And they digest slowly. This can help feel more satisfied longer and likely to eat less.
Chia seeds can be added to salads, shakes, and smoothies to make them more satiating and healthful. You can also sneak them into oatmeal, cereal, or even soups.
The thought of sitting in a movie theater with a supersized (American style) buttered popcorn and still losing weight is tempting. So is snacking on microwaveable popcorn. But these are not what we are talking about.
When at the movies, go for the small popcorn (primarily the United States where large means mega). And hold the butter. It is ridiculously unhealthy and an enemy of your waistline. Avoid, also, caramel and cheese. Microwave popcorn?
Avoid microwaveable popcorn like the plague. It is among the list of foods you should never, ever eat.
That said, good old plain popcorn – lightly salted especially with sea salt is okay – is healthy and can aid in fat loss. It is low in calories and high in fiber. Air popped or olive oil popped corn would be the healthier choice. There’s a debate about the healthiness or not of canola oil and therefore I would avoid that.
No list of fat burning superfoods would be complete without blueberries, even as we cannot fit all superfoods in one article. Blueberries are a superfood that has elicited many scientific studies due to its myriad health benefits, including fat burning properties. And they are available in the store virtually year-round.
Blueberries are high in fiber and low in calories. They’re also packed with nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, and powerful antioxidants. Animal studies have shown that blueberries may help in combating abdominal fat as well as obesity. Catechins in blueberries may stimulate fat-burning in abdominal fat cells as well as promote general weight loss.
Because they are various and are super-healthy, we couldn’t decide which one of the legumes to single out. Legumes fit in with virtually any type of diet; vegetarian, vegan, low fat or low carb. They are nutritious and a good source of protein, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber. Legumes help with weight loss by helping you fill up and curb cravings.
Here are some legumes to try:
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Black beans
- Red kidney beans
- Lima beans (butter beans)
- Adzuki beans
- Cannellini beans
- White beans
Of course, this is not a full list of fat burning superfoods, as such a list would require a book. Others you may want to consider adding to you diet include pears, grapes, kiwi, oats, almonds, quinoa, flax seeds, tomatoes, Greek yogurt, pistachios, broccoli, dark chocolate, hot peppers, cinnamon, bananas and plantains.