Think it sounds too good to be true – that eating certain foods will help you to burn body fat without exercise?
Well, think again.
Yes, your chances of burning body fat will be significantly improved if you can add in some exercise, but if you’d rather focus on dietary strategies to get leaner then these are the foods to focus on.
Not only are eggs super rich in nutrition, with more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, choline, omega 3, iron and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin which help to keep cells healthy, but they’re also an exceptionally rich source of high quality protein.
When it comes to fat loss, it has been shown that consuming a couple of eggs at breakfast is linked lower insulin levels, fat metabolism and weight control thanks to the concentrated serve of leucine, the branch chain amino acid.
The high protein content of eggs is also associated with increased reports of fullness, which helps with lower calorie consumption for the remainder of the day. So ensure your brekkie contains eggs.
2. Oily Fish
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and fresh tuna are relatively high in fat and calories, but it’s the type of fat that plays a powerful role in cell health and metabolism.
Not only do healthy cells better regulate the hormones that control fat metabolism, but a diet high in omega 3 fats also has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect in the body, helping reduce insulin levels and keeping cortisol, the stress hormone, under control.
There is also evidence to suggest that dietary supplementation with fish oil is associated with lower levels of body fat and more lean muscle mass.
When it comes to proven fat burning effects, coffee is one of the few foods with a strong base of evidence.
Now, we’re not talking a caramel latte, it’s all about real, shot-style espresso coffee for fat burning benefits.
Studies have repeatedly shown that consuming coffee, and specifically caffeine before exercise, increases fat metabolism although the response varies widely between individuals.
There is also evidence that consuming caffeine regularly thought the day increases overall calorie burn slightly – between 80-150 calories per day depending on the individual.
But you can have too much. An upper daily limit of 400mg of caffeine, or the amount in three-four shots of coffee is recommended to avoid the side effects of consuming too much caffeine which can include insomnia, racing heart rate and restlessness.
4. Green tea
If you are looking for a fat burning boost, adding in a couple of cups of green tea to your day is the way to go.
Not only is green tea a rich source of powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell related damage, but there is also some evidence to show that it may increase fat metabolism, especially before exercise.
Any variety of green tea is a good choice and the longer you brew your tea the better it will be for you.
Green tea also makes a great addition to your diet after meals to help neutralize sugar cravings.
Matcha is another great source of antioxidants minus the caffeine.
5. Whey-based protein shakes
Whey protein, a form of concentrated milk protein, is popular with gym goers and those wanting to gain lean muscle tissue.
The high quality protein, and specifically high leucine content, is associated with appetite control.
When used as a meal replacement shake, it has been associated with weight loss in a small group of well controlled studies.
These shakes can be a convenient, low calorie meal option on the go which may also give you a fat burning boost.
Susie Burrell is a dietitian and nutritionist. Continue the conversation on Twitter @SusieBDiet.