Foods That Help Burn Fat or Help Speed Up Our Metabolism

If you’re looking for foods that burn fat or foods that help speed up your metabolism, then you’ll be pleased to know we have sought out a list of 33 options for you, right here.

Here at OriGym, we aim to answer your questions about metabolism, and what fat burning foods you need to incorporate into your diet for weight loss results.

So if you’re seeking out healthy foods that burn fat and enjoy mixing up your diet with colourful foods, you can find a plethora of choices throughout this article; overall, we will cover:

Just before we begin, have you thought about an exciting career as a nutritionist? With our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course, you can develop specialist nutrition knowledge to help clients in their fitness journeys and become a nutritionist.

See what other courses we have to offer by downloading our course prospectus.

What is Metabolism?

fat burning foods

Metabolism is the name for numerous chemical processes that take place in our body. These processes assist our breathing, digestion of food and the repair of cells to name a few. 

The amount of energy our body uses to undertake those chemical processes is called our basal metabolic rate (BMR). A high BMR equates to a faster metabolism, while the lower BMR equates to a slower metabolism. 

There are many factors that can play a role in how fast or slow our metabolism is, such as: age, body size, gender and more predominantly, our genes. 

The thermic effect is a key player in metabolism, and the simple explanation is that it’s a process of heat production. This can be through exercise, or just eating. This process induces more calories burnt and therefore burns more fat.

Besides this, people with more muscle mass tend to have a faster metabolism too, due to muscles requiring more energy to maintain than fat cells do. This is one of the reasons why the older we  get, the slower our metabolism is – as with age, our muscle mass decreases. 

Below we have picked the 33 foods that are believed to best help burn fat or speed up our metabolism. So, just simply adding a few of these products into your diet can not only potentially help you on your weight loss journey, but many of them also contain numerous vitamins and minerals vital to health.

If you want to see the foods that specifically promote a speedier metabolism, you can do just that over at our article dedicated to 23 best metabolism boosting foods.

What are Fat Burning Foods?

weight loss foods

Fat-burning foods are considered as those that motivate the process of metabolism; however, some foods are more effective than others in encouraging the speed and efficiency of metabolism. 

Though the process of metabolism takes part when any food is consumed, some foods have more elements that speed up the process. Elements such as carbohydrates and proteins are especially important when it comes to the thermic effect – which we will talk about in greater detail soon.

The term ‘fat burning foods’ is typically an umbrella term for a food item that promotes a chemical reaction; this reaction directly affects other processes that may enhance weight loss.

Some examples of these processes are things such as the feeling of satiety, a decrease in calories absorbed, and a decrease in foods consumed. 

All will seem a little clearer when we get into each independent food on how they individually affect your fat burn.

33 Foods that Burn Fat or Help Speed Up Metabolism

#1 Chili Peppers

foods that burn belly fat

Chili peppers are a great go-to food product when thinking about how to speed up your metabolism and burn fat. 

Capsaicinoids, an active compound found in chili peppers, are responsible for giving peppers their heat. In addition to that, this fat burning food possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

Studies have discovered that capsaicinoids can help suppress our appetite, leading to natural weight loss through a decrease in food consumption. 

Further, the browning of adipose tissue, the byproduct of increased energy expenditure and the thermic effect activates the prevention of diet-induced obesity. Due to this process promoting energy expenditure, the amount of calories burnt is increased. So, capsaicinoids are the key players, as they can encourage the inducement of white cells to brown.

To really up your diet game, you can find the 25 best antioxidant foods over at our article, to see if you can benefit from incorporating these cell-neutralizing foods.

#2 Coffee

fat burning food

Though coffee is not categorically a food and is something that is typically consumed for its energy-boosting and awakening abilities, it’s made it onto this list of foods that speed up your metabolism and burn fat for the following reasons.

Caffeine ultimately speeds up our metabolism, it does this by increasing the levels of an element called epinephrine, which you may know as adrenaline. This travels through the bloodstream and sends signals to the fat cells to break down and release.

All of the stimulants present in coffee can affect metabolism, with the main player of course, being caffeine – this is what helps us feel awake and energised. Not only this, but caffeine blocks neurotransmitters known as adenosine, which is an inhibitory transmitter – meaning it acts as a depressant making us feel more tired and groggy. 

So how is this relevant? By blocking adenosine, it helps our brain stay active and invigorated. This in turn makes us feel more active, so caffeine can indirectly affect our fat burn by promoting physical activity and enhancing performance.

Studies have also discovered that caffeine can increase our resting metabolism rate (RMR) by 3-11% – however, after long term consumption, caffeine’s effects on our metabolism can lessen. 

#3 Tea

foods that burn fat fast

Tea, more specifically green tea, again is not a food – but can be a part of this list of weight loss superfoods that burn fat like a furnace! There are so many teas out there claiming to help us lose a couple of pounds and fight our belly fat, and you would be right to be sceptical. 

However, similarly to coffee, tea contains caffeine, which can speed up the rate at which we burn fat. Aside from this, tea contains catechins, in particular a catechin known as epigallocatechin-gallate (ECG). 

In our body we produce a neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine, and when the levels of this transmitter are increased by green tea catechins, our fat breaks down at a faster rate. 

Not only this, but monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that inhibits the production of norepinephrine. In conjunction with this, the ECG found in green tea can inhibit monoamine oxidase; thus, allowing norepinephrine to work effectively at fat burning. 

Green tea has been shown to have enhanced effects if consumed pre-exercise, in fact, you will find that most pre-workout supplements contain green tea extract for this reason. Although it is enhanced during exercise, green tea has been shown to boost your metabolism even at a resting rate.

It has been discovered that the catechins in tea, such as ECG, can specifically help reduce visceral fat in our bodies, however, they are only in preliminary stages of studies, so more research is needed. But with the findings at present, if you’re looking for foods that burn fat fast, green tea offers promising results.

#4 Pulses

foods that burn fat while you sleep

Legumes and pulses cover both foods that increase metabolism and burn fat, pulses are a term for a wide range of food products, not just one. Further, the main reason for their metabolism-boosting abilities is of course due to their high protein content.

Consuming meals high in protein equates to our bodies having to use more calories and thus energy to digest them, this compared to macronutrients such as carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, Using more energy to digest these foods results in faster metabolism and increased calorie burn due to the aforementioned thermic effect.

Moreover, high-protein foods tend to help satisfy our appetite and leave us fuller for longer, which naturally aids weight loss through a reduction in overall food consumption.

Many legumes and pulses contain amino acids such as methionine, which is a significant property in weight loss foods and is highly effective at boosting metabolism. This is because methionine works in conjunction with B vitamins and sulphur to aid in fat burning.

Legumes and pulses are a source of complex carbohydrates. Our body digests these slower to satisfy our hunger for longer and give us a steady source of energy throughout the day. 

They are full of many nutrients including potassium, zinc and B vitamins, which makes them a great addition to any diet aside from the fat-burning properties. 

#5 Ginger

foods that burn belly fat fast

Ginger is a great option for foods that burn fat and are easy to incorporate into an everyday diet. The main active compound in ginger is gingerol, and it is this very compound which ignites many biological functions in the body. 

More specifically, gingerol is known for stabilizing our blood sugar levels and working as an antioxidant to prevent oxidative stress (imbalance of radicals and antioxidants) in the body. 

Numerous studies have shown that gingerol may have an anti-obesity effect, as it can help us digest our food faster, in turn equating to a faster metabolism.

Ginger is among the fat-burning foods that also contain the compounds zingerone and shogaols, both of which are beneficial in promoting fat burn. 

Aside from the fat-burning nutrients, they also contain other nutrients such as calcium, iron and magnesium – which are all necessary for a healthy diet.  

#6 Cacao

foods burn fat and increase metabolism

You may be glad to hear this, but one of the most lauded foods that burn belly fat is a component of chocolate! Its main ingredient – cacao.

Cacao is effective in promoting blood circulation, assisting digestive enzymes, regulating blood sugar and even suppressing appetite.

This is amongst the foods that burn fat with a high magnesium profile, which is associated with lower levels of glucose and insulin in the body. Why is this relevant? The more sugar we consume, the more insulin we produce, and when we overproduce insulin, it gets stored in our body as fat. 

Magnesium is an element that can help lower our body’s insulin levels, which means that less gets stored as fat. It also works alongside ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) to convert energy from food – which is particularly important in high-intensity workouts.

Dark chocolate is a particularly good source of foods that burn fat quickly. As a great form of cacao, you should choose chocolate with 70% or over of cacao; this means it will have less dairy and sugar and contain more antioxidants which can aid in the prevention of chronic disease.

#7 Apple Cider Vinegar

foods that increase metabolism and burn fat

Apple cider vinegar is generally known for its detoxification properties and this is typically one of the main reasons people opt to consume it. However, as well as this, it has gained an increasing amount of attention as a food that burns fat while you sleep.

Acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar is an element that helps to prevent fat from being stored in the body, all the while aiding in boosting the body’s metabolism. It may also reduce our appetite and the rate at which we digest food, leaving us fuller for longer. Feeling fuller for longer will, of course, benefit weight loss as, in theory, it results in fewer calories consumed. 

Vinegar is effective in reducing the rate at which glucose enters our blood, meaning it directly helps lower blood sugar levels. This in particular is important for diabetics, or preventing the development of diabetes. 

It’s been found that a boost in AMPK, which can be conducted through the consumption of apple cider vinegar, encourages a reduction in abdominal fat.

A study showed that when participants consumed 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar daily, they demonstrated a decrease in body fat percentage, waist circumference and triglycerides in the blood. To explain the significance of triglycerides, they are a kind of fat that is in the blood, and when food is consumed, any calories that are unused and converted into triglycerides – which are then stored in fat cells.

Apple cider vinegar can be consumed alone as a drink or a shot. It can also be added to oil and drizzled over salad or used to pickle vegetables; so, this is definitely amongst the foods that burn fat that you can add to your diet with ease.

#8 Coconut Oil

foods that burn body fat

Coconut oil provides a great option as a vegetarian food that burns belly fat and is a great healthy alternative to sunflower oil – or other fats used when cooking. 

Coconut oil can not directly influence weight loss, but when consumed with a healthy diet, can positively aid fat burning.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), these are typically less likely to be stored as fat compared to those of long-chain triglycerides – which are generally found in animal products and meat.

Adding foods that burn fat, such as coconut oil, to our diets may increase our fullness levels too, encouraging natural weight loss. 

Coconut oil can also increase our HDL cholesterol levels, the good cholesterol we need that runs throughout the bloodstream, ridding the body of as much LDL cholesterol as possible. This reduces the risk of heart issues in the future.

As a useful addition to the list of foods that help you burn fat, coconut oil can be used in cooking or it can be drizzled on salads for added flavour. For this reason, it’s of course a great substitute to animal fats for vegans and vegetarians. 

#9 Water – Ice

foods that burn stomach fat

Water has found its place on this list of fat-burning foods due to the accessibility and importance of its intake. One important note to mention is that our bodies often mistake hunger for thirst, so when you next feel hungry, drink a glass of water and experiment with how it makes you feel.

Interestingly, drinking ice water as opposed to room temperature water can promote extra fat burning in the body. Why is this? It is because the body has to use extra energy to warm up the water ready for digestion. Notably, an increase in metabolism after drinking cold water is only temporary, but in the long term, it can prove a valuable weight loss aid.

Another benefit of consuming water – alongside other weight loss foods – is its ability to prevent dehydration. This can lead to muscles breaking down protein, resulting in a decrease in our overall muscle mass. Unfortunately, this can make workouts harder and less effective.

Water is used in almost every function in our body and when we are hydrated, our blood vessels can relax, which in turn helps lower blood pressure.

Our bodies need water to burn fat initially, so being dehydrated can reduce the effectiveness of fat-burning food dramatically. Therefore, it’s recommended to sip on water throughout the day, not just when you are thirsty; as by the time our brains tell us we are thirsty, we are already becoming dehydrated. 

To ensure you remember to drink your water, you can find a list of the best running water bottles to keep you hydrated over at our article.

#10 Seaweed

foods that help you burn fat

Next up on our list of fat-burning foods and metabolism amplifiers is seaweed; a perfect choice for getting in those rich nutrients, such as iodine, calcium and iron.

Iodine is the main nutrient that gives seaweed its metabolic effect, yet specifically can only be taken through our diet. So, how does this affect our metabolism or make seaweed one of the foods that burn fat?

Iodine is directly responsible for the thyroid gland, which is the gland that affects our metabolism. Without adequate iodine intake, we can suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition which influences symptoms such as fatigue and weight gain (attributed to a slow metabolism).

Seaweed also includes antioxidants and numerous B vitamins, not only this but alginates in seaweed affect how we absorb fat; alginates neutralize and contract any excess stomach acid. Therefore, diets rich in alginates can reduce the amount of fat absorbed in the body up to 75%.

So if you’re wondering how to include this among the other fat-burning foods, seaweed is most commonly eaten in sushi; however, it can be added into smoothies for a nutrient boost or even substituted for wraps or bread for sandwiches.

#11 Avocado

foods that burn belly fat and increase metabolism

As a recognised contender of foods that burn body fat, the superfood avocado has grown in popularity thanks to the fitness industry. You’ll now find avocados in almost every cafe in the UK. 

Alongside its high nutrient value, the avocado may offer properties that help us burn fat and increase our metabolism.

Avocados are full of good fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are essential in our diet for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins; yet, higher levels of monounsaturated fats, which are found in avocados, are associated with lower cholesterol levels.

One of the most notable reasons avocados are considered as one of the foods that burn belly fat fast is that they have been found to act as an appetite suppressant. This, as mentioned previously, is a natural weight loss remedy as it lays the foundation for a lower calorie consumption. 

To provide avocados with the title of one of the breakfast foods that help burn fat, their protein profile is also a beneficial feature. Protein is a key player in boosting metabolism, due to the thermic effect and the increase in energy expenditure is associated with a high protein value. 

Furthermore, the monounsaturated fats found in avocados are burned at a higher rate than saturated fats and can also reduce snacking after eating. Not only are they high in fat, but they are also full of fibre, which is an essential nutrient for our digestive system and increases the feeling of satiety. 

Though this is one of the foods that burn fat and increase metabolism, avocados should be consumed in moderation due to their fat profile. However, it can be added to our diets in numerous ways. They can be eaten for breakfast on toast, added to salads or even into smoothies.


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#12 Tempeh

healthy foods that burn fat

Tempeh provides a great option for those on plant-based diets who are looking for foods that burn belly fat faster. It is traditionally made from fermented soybeans, and of course, is a great vegetarian alternative to meat in many dishes due to its high protein content.

The elevated protein content of tempeh is why we have included it in this list of foods that burn fat quick. As we now know, protein requires more energy to digest than other macronutrients, and by eating a high-protein diet, you can ultimately speed up your metabolism. 

One serving of this fat-burning food can provide us with up to 15g of protein, but that’s not all, as it’s also high in calcium and iron – both of which many vegetarians may struggle to consume enough of.

So, if you’re seeking out foods that burn stomach fat, why not try out tempeh; it’s rich in antioxidants and full of prebiotics which promote a healthy gut. 

#13 Whole Grains

weight loss foods that burn fat

Whole grains cover a wide range of products and are one of many fat-burning foods which are easy to incorporate into your diet. Generally, the term whole grains refers to any grains that have not been processed. These can include whole wheat bread, buckwheat, quinoa and whole wheat couscous.

Interestingly, an 8-week study looking at the effect on whole grains in the diet on weight management and metabolism found that, when participants consumed a diet high in whole grain products, they lost more weight. 

As well as this, their resting metabolic rate was higher than participants on an identical diet but eating processed grains rather than whole grains. 

Making a switch from refined grains to whole grains can be easy, so you can involve more fat-burning foods into your diet. It’s as simple as switching from white bread to wholemeal bread. Also, to make it even easier, some bread brands even do half and half so the switch is not as drastic.

#14 Eggs

weight loss superfoods that burn fat like a furnace

Eggs are among the foods that burn belly fat and increase metabolism due to their high protein content, which boosts metabolism and increases satiety. Further, depending on the cooking methods, eggs are usually low in calories which in turn, reduces the overall calorie intake. 

Another great factor about eggs, apart from being one of the tastiest breakfast foods that burn belly fat, is that they contain all of the amino acids that our body uses for general maintenance and the metabolism process.

Eggs are known to stabilize both glucose and insulin response, all the while suppressing the hunger hormone, ghrelin. This is just more evidence that eggs promote a natural form of calorie restriction. Furthermore, choline, a compound found in eggs, is effective in boosting metabolism and aiding brain development in children. 

As one of the low-calorie foods that burn fat, eggs are packed with key nutrients, including iodine and selenium – both of which can promote a speedier metabolism.

Iodine and selenium also play a role in thyroid function. The relevance to this is that our thyroid is the gland which regulates our metabolism. It does this by working in conjunction with the all-important iodine, extracting it from the blood, absorbing it and integrating it into the thyroid hormone. So, if our thyroid gland cannot operate properly, it will result in a lower metabolic rate. 

You may often wonder are there really foods that burn belly fat? Eggs are among the foods that boost metabolism and burn fat while being easy to locate and versatile so you can eat them at any meal of the day. 

You can read all about the health benefits of eating eggs here.

#15 Milk

foods that burn belly fat faster

Though not among the foods that burn belly fat, it is one of the drinks that can; simply drinking a glass of milk at breakfast can create a feeling of fullness for a longer period. In turn, this makes us less likely to consume excess calories. 

Milk, either low fat or full fat, is high in calcium and vitamin D – both of these nutrients can promote a faster metabolism. Calcium is a key component of foods that burn fat.

This is because calcium can provide a small increase in our body’s thermogenesis, the process that our body undertakes to regulate temperature and burn energy, thus increasing energy expenditure. 

So it is a good idea to incorporate a glass or two of milk into your diet, but always in moderation to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

#16 Cheese

foods that help to burn fat

Amongst the list of fat-burning foods is cheese. Similarly to milk, calcium is also the key component present in cheese, therefore enhancing the metabolism-boosting properties.

Cheese in general has a bad reputation; it’s often recognised as a treat or a cheat. However, consuming this dairy-dense food may be beneficial towards weight loss.

A diet rich in cheese products can induce an increase in the compound butyrate. Butyrate is known to improve metabolism and help reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases such as heart disease or diabetes. 

Cheese also provides us with high levels of calcium, which as previously discussed, can promote thermogenesis in the body to help burn fat. 

Though when looking for foods that burn your belly fat we encourage you to eat some cheese, be sure to consume in moderation – as it does contain some saturated fats which are linked to heart disease and obesity.

#17 Asparagus

foods that speed up metabolism and burn fat

Asparagus is one of many healthy foods that burn fat which should definitely be added to your shopping list. One serving of this green veggie can provide multiple nutrients, such as potassium, fibre and antioxidants.

Asparagus contains a chemical known as asparagine, this element has a direct effect on fat burning. What’s more, asparagus is also low in calories and fat. So, how does this work?

Asparagine is an amino acid that increases insulin sensitivity and can help our body to store energy in the muscle, rather than as fat. Not only that, but among the fat-burning foods on this list asparagus potentially reduces fatigue post workouts too, all the while assisting in flushing waste out of the body.

The fibre content of asparagus can indirectly affect us and is a perfect choice of weight loss foods that burn fat. This is because fibre is an important tool to keep us feeling fuller for longer, equating to a reduction in snacking and overall calorie consumption.

Asparagus is one of the most versatile fat-burning foods, it can be eaten alone as a side dish to a main meal or cooked and added into various pasta dishes or salads; so, don’t forget to pick some up on your next trip to the supermarket.


#18 Greek Yoghurt

breakfast foods that burn belly fat

By now you should have a basic understanding of how the properties of dairy products make many of them options as foods that burn fat, so the presence of Greek yoghurt on our list should come as no surprise. 

Both of these factors affect our metabolism and the rate at which we build fat, and Greek yoghurt is high in both. You can buy Greek yoghurt either fat-free or containing fat, but not all fats are something to be wary of. Some of the fats found in Greek yoghurts can be beneficial for our health, such those of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

As you’ll now be an expert on the thermic effect, this is the exact reason why Greek yoghurt is such a great option for foods that burn fat; just one serving of 100g of Greek yoghurt contains 10g of protein.

Greek yoghurt is not only one of the weight loss foods that burn fat, but it is a perfect snack. This is due to the numerous vitamins and minerals being in the yogurt which can then be added to smoothies, or mixed with fruit or nuts for an extra nutrient punch.

#19 Spinach

Low calorie foods that burn fat

Spinach is a food that burns fat fast and is naturally high in multiple vitamins, specifically B, all of which have been proven to speed up metabolism. 

B vitamins are essential for a healthy metabolism and they’re key to metabolising the energy from fats, carbohydrates and proteins when we eat.

The high iron profile can also assist in fat-burn properties, as iron is a product of transportation (transporting oxygen to the muscles). This process can aid in performance enhancement, as well as recovery. 

Aside from the metabolism properties spinach has, it’s packed full of fibre, keeping us fuller for longer and is also a rich source of potassium which can help lower your blood pressure. 

Further, this is one of the foods that burn fat with a profile consisting of magnesium. This helps reduce fatty build-up in our arteries and can also help metabolize glucose from foods. What this means is it decreases the likelihood that glucose will be stored as fats.

Spinach can be eaten in various ways: either cooked or raw, added into smoothies, salads, pasta dishes or even on its own as a side dish. 

#20 Salmon

Foods that burn your belly fat

It’s known that salmon is one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that we can eat, but how do these fat-burning foods like fish affect metabolism?

The omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, both help regulate metabolism and help speed up resting metabolic rate. Additionally, with salmon being a source of protein, it naturally speeds up our metabolism due to the thermic effect.

Another perk of this fat-burning food is that salmon contains B vitamins, preventing the risk of deficiency. This is an important factor as a deficiency in B vitamins can be linked to a struggle in losing weight as our metabolism is unable to function at peak capacity.

Selenium plays an important role in the functioning of our metabolism, and luckily salmon is one of the fat-burning foods that is packed full of this. Selenium promotes a healthy thyroid gland, and our thyroid gland is the responsible candidate for regulating our metabolism. If our thyroid is not functioning correctly, then our metabolism will feel the effects.

Salmon can be bought fresh or canned and added into salads, sandwiches or eaten as a main meal with vegetables for an extra nutrient boost.

#21 Chickpeas

are there really foods that burn belly fat?

Just like many other foods that burn belly fat, chickpeas gain their title through their high protein and fibre content; both of these factors leave us fuller for longer – a key component in aiding weight loss. 

Chickpeas are high in B vitamins in particular Vitamin B6, this is important due to this particular B vitamin aiding the metabolism of energy from carbohydrates and protein. 

Not only this, but chickpeas are amongst the fat-burning foods that contain a nutrient called choline. Our bodies can make choline in small amounts, however the rest must be gained from food. Choline aids metabolism by reducing the amount of cholesterol in the liver, and a lack of this nutrient can lead to diseases such as fatty liver disease.

Chickpeas are a great addition to a diet if you are looking to boost your health as they have a low glycemic index score, meaning they keep our blood sugars low, which is an important factor in preventing the development of diabetes and ultimately fat gain.

The high protein content of chickpeas makes them a great substitute for meat if you’re vegetarian, they can be used in curries or stews or made as humous for a tasty dip. 

#22 Pork

foods that boost metabolism and burn belly fat

When seeking out the foods that burn fat, you may be surprised to find pork on our list; so let us explain exactly why.

As with many of the other foods on our list, pork is extremely high in protein and having a high protein intake is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism. So, when incorporating pork into your diet, try looking for the leanest cut that contains the least fat; typically, these are cuts such as pork loin and before cooking, remove any visible fat.

Interestingly, eating one lean portion of pork can contain fewer calories than a skinless chicken breast, so it’s easy to make a simple swap once a week. 

Pork is full of nutrients which enhance it’s fat-burning properties and metabolism speed, such as selenium and B vitamins. As with most foods, consuming in moderation is key, therefore pork is no different.

Though this is on our list of foods that increase metabolism and burn fat, understand that pork is not the healthiest food due to its profile in saturated fats, which are detrimental to our health. However, by choosing a lean pork loin and cooking with minimal fat, and consuming in moderation – it does pose nutrients that our body needs to aid weight loss and maintain a healthy metabolism.

#23 Poultry

Vegetarian foods that burn belly fat

When on a weight loss journey, or a general fitness lifestyle change, chicken is one of the fat-burning foods you often hear about. Bodybuilders and gym goers consume chicken at any opportunity due to its low fat and high protein content. 

We have established that calcium is an effective tool in aiding weight loss, however, its been found to be most effective in those who are overweight – so this is useful to keep in mind! 

Chicken also contains numerous B vitamins, which are essential to metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

This is a stand-out meat amongst weight loss foods as this versatile product can be added to almost any meal while matching many flavour profiles. Poultry products, such as chicken and turkey, use up more energy in the breakdown of food due to the high protein content, which in turn burns more calories during the digestive process.

Further, the protein content in weight loss foods, like chicken, aids muscle building, this can indirectly boost metabolism, as people with higher muscle mass naturally have a faster metabolism.

#24 Hemp Seeds

fat burn food

Hemp seeds are one of the great foods that burn fat fast for vegans and vegetarians, as they act as a source of pure protein.  

The high fibre content reflects the aid of a natural weight loss remedy, by increasing the feeling of satiety, leaving us feeling fuller for longer and reducing snack cravings.

Furthermore, as we mentioned with the previous fat-burning foods, higher muscle mass equates to a faster metabolism. Therefore, hemp seed’s profile of all of the amino acids makes them great for muscle building, and in turn, speeding up metabolism.

Hemp seeds are typically eaten alone as seeds or crushed and used as an oil. The seeds can be added to trail mix with nuts or eaten alone as a simple healthy snack; the oil can also be used in cooking as a replacement for other fats for a nutrient boost.

#25 Tree Nuts

metabolism boosting foods

Although nuts are a high-calorie food, most of the calories come from the high protein. Tree nuts such as almonds and peanuts have been the subject of many studies on weight loss.

Interestingly, it has been found that adding a handful of nuts to your diet daily, can prevent snacking on unhealthy foods and curb cravings which in turn, can lead to weight loss.

Almonds are widely known as one of the best weight loss foods for being a snack that keeps us full and is packed with nutrients. Alongside this are brazil nuts, containing high amounts of selenium, which we now know of as the regulator of the thyroid gland – directly regulating our metabolism.

There are numerous ways to consume nuts. They can be eaten in salads, protein bars, alone as a snack or sprinkled onto yoghurt; further, they are a great protein source for vegetarians and vegans.

To spice up your foods that burn stomach fat and make dinner time a little more exciting, you can find the best herbs for weight loss here.

#26 Cottage Cheese

foods to burn fat

Cottage cheese features on our list of foods that burn belly fat due to the high calcium content, calcium is known to promote the metabolism of fats – which can accelerate fat burning.

Cottage cheese contains compounds known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is important for the body as it helps the body use stored fats, speeds up metabolism and improves insulin resistance.

This is again one of many weight loss foods to incorporate into your diet for a high protein intake, with 100g of cottage cheese containing 11g.

However, you will only feel the benefits of foods that burn fat if you consume them in moderation, specifically cottage cheese. This is because it contains fats and high sodium levels, however when consumed as part of a balanced diet, can provide beneficial effects for our bodies.

Cottage cheese is one of the great foods that burn fat fast which you can incorporate into your diet with ease, it can be eaten with salads, sandwiches or just as a snack and dip.

#27 Pumpkin Seeds

fat burn foods

Pumpkin seeds are on our list of foods that burn fat and increase metabolism for several reasons, one being the rich fibre content. Fibre promotes a healthy gut and provides a reduction in appetite to enhance overall fat loss.

That’s not all either, pumpkin seeds are rich in protein and unsaturated fats, both of which contribute to the thermic effect regarding protein; as well as this, they promote overall weight loss due to a healthier diet by unsaturated fat consumption.

However, if you’re seeking out weight loss foods that burn fat, they do contain a substantial number of calories so they are best enjoyed in moderation.

Pumpkin seeds are good sources of B vitamins in particular vitamin B2. B2, also known as riboflavin, helps our bodies convert the carbohydrates we eat into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is what our body produces when we need energy. 

So, this kind of production and enhancement can induce a higher performance level of exercise – thus, more fat is burnt.

Similarly, to chickpeas, pumpkin seeds contain the nutrient choline and as previously discussed choline helps our body to reduce the amount of cholesterol in our liver and can reduce our risk of developing serious diseases.

#28 Cod

fat burning fish

Cod is an iodine-rich salt water fish that is a great option for those looking for weight loss foods, it is something that many will consume regularly, without the knowledge of how it boosts metabolism. 

This is on our list of foods that burn body fat because of the all-important iodine, it is an essential mineral that is mainly found in seafood and, used by our thyroid gland, it makes hormones to maintain a healthy metabolism. 

To explain the relevance of this, when our levels of thyroid hormone are low, our body has a lower resting metabolic rate; this means the more calories we eat from food will be stored as fat, rather than used as energy.

Saltwater fish and oily fish are the best to eat to speed up your metabolism and help burn fat quicker, and aside from the iodine content in oily fish, they’re also great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which can aid the metabolism process. 

Cod is readily available in supermarkets and is one of the cheaper catches of fish that you can incorporate into your diet.

#29 Beans

fat burning beans

Foods that burn fat while you sleep are hard to come by, however high protein profiles are the best way to find just that. 

Most beans are high in protein which aids in burning calories, as our body has to work hard to break them down and digest them. Not only this, but they are generally full of fibre which helps to provide a feeling of satiety. 

Beans are a great meat alternative for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet due to their high protein content that they may otherwise lack. They are cheap, readily accessible, and come in many forms; beans all have varying levels of nutrients, so be sure to do your research on what suits you best.

Beans are also full of nutrients from fibre, protein, the B vitamin group and iron; so, they pack a punch of nutrients, compared to other contenders on this list of foods that help you burn fat. Not to forget, they can be added to numerous dishes from curries and stews or even as a side dish in Mexican cuisine.

#30 Flax Seeds

fat burning foods for vegans

Seeds are a great snack if you’re trying to find a fat burning food to lose weight, particularly flax seeds. They’re low in carbohydrates and fats while being high in protein and fibre, the perfect combination for weight loss foods.

They are high in antioxidants, particularly an antioxidant known as lignans; this is because lignans enhance cell functioning which can indirectly enhance the function of fat cell burning.

Flax seeds are extremely nutrient-dense, all the while being a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which we now know are one of the great players in food that burn belly fat fast! Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in high quantities within fish, but flax seeds are a great alternative for vegetarians or vegans. 

So, if you’re looking for foods that burn fat while you sleep, omega-3 fatty acids are known to increase our RMR, so they’re one to add to the shopping list. Flax seeds can be eaten whole, but ground flax seeds are more easily digested by the body; they can be added to yoghurt, smoothies or any dish you desire.

#31 Broccoli

fat burning veg

Broccoli is full of calcium, iron and fibre, it’s a vegetable and among the weight loss foods which is an all round favourite. Not only this, but broccoli is nutrient rich and is one of the all important five a day.

This tasty green vegetable is high in protein, making it a superb source for vegetarians and vegans who struggle to find protein in other areas of their diet. 

Broccoli contains a substance known as glucoraphanin, this in particular helps regulate our metabolism. The predecessor to glucoraphanin is called sulforaphane, and this alone has weight loss abilities. This is by helping us produce more ATP from the food that we eat, this in turn uses more calories for energy sources.

Broccoli sits among many foods that burn belly fat that also contain vitamins C, K1 and vital minerals – potassium and manganese. Manganese in particular helps to activate many enzymes that promote a healthy metabolism.

Broccoli can be added to salads or as a side dish most commonly, it’s cheap from supermarkets and can be purchased from as little as 50p!

#32 Citrus Fruits 

fat burning fruit

Citrus fruits are best known for not only being a popular choice of weight loss foods, but for their high Vitamin C content. Vitamin C or as it’s scientifically known, ascorbic acid, is predominantly found in citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges.

It has been shown to have not only a positive effect on the immune system, but also can help boost metabolism.

Studies have provided proof behind the theory of vitamin C being a key player in weight loss foods. In a nutshell; the study concluded that individuals who have a diet rich in vitamin C, are likely to burn more fat during exercise than individuals with lower vitamin C intakes.

The metabolic process of transporting fatty acids within the cells, and mobilizing them to be used as an energy source, can require ascorbic acid. This suggests that ascorbic acid can naturally aid fat burning indirectly.

Many citrus fruits contain numerous antioxidants which not only can reduce our risk from chronic disease but also support insulin resistance – which in turn helps lower blood sugar levels.

Citrus fruits are versatile. They can be used to add flavour to many dishes, or maybe you’ll go for lemon and limes with your water to give it a flavour boost. While also being great additives to salads or smoothies for extra nutrient intakes.

#33 Oats

healthy fat burning food

Oats are one example of whole grains which are beneficial to the body in many ways, not only amongst foods that burn fat quickly, but oats are full of fibre which can help us feel fuller for longer. Many oats are also surrounded by extra vitamins, so look out for that on the packaging when deciding what oats to purchase.

Oats are most commonly eaten as porridge, so when they are combined with milk they give us a calcium boost. As discussed previously, calcium has been found to play an important role in helping us maintain a healthy metabolism, so for a super combination of foods that increase metabolism and burn fat, this is a great go-to meal.

Selenium is also found in oats and works in conjunction with our thyroid to keep it ticking over healthily, which promotes a healthy metabolism.

They are also high in B vitamins, which help us metabolize energy from food we eat; not only this but manganese is also found in most oat brands. This mineral in particular has a direct effect on our metabolism by activating enzymes responsible for food digestion.

When eating whole grains such as oats, our bodies have to work twice as hard to digest them compared to processed foods meaning we burn more calories at RMR (resting metabolic rate). In other words, you could consider them as one of the foods that burn fat while you sleep!

Oats are one of the most versatile foods that burn belly fat, but they can also be made into sweet treats such as flapjacks, a great way to add nutrient boosts to any sweet treats you may crave.

Before You Go!

Overall, when seeking out foods that burn fat and increase metabolism, those listed above are not only great sources of this, but including them in your diet will provide numerous nutrients essential to a healthy lifestyle.

So, hopefully, now your plate will be more colourful, nutritious and versatile; this way, you’ll feel fueled and healthy whether on a weight loss journey or simply converting to a more healthy lifestyle.

Just before you go, if you have a passion for nutrition, you’ll benefit from checking out our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course. Contact us today to find out more or download our course prospectus here.

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About the Author: Kimberley Mitchell

kimberley mitchell origym authour
Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing. Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more. After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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