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5 Best Fat-Burning Foods

golden eggCertain foods are better at helping you lose fat than others. No food in and of itself is going to make you lose weight. You need to have a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight. However, you can still lose fat even if you haven’t lost any weight. As long as we are creating a metabolic environment that allows our body to release fatty acids, we have the potential to lose large amounts of body fat.

By eating the best fat burning foods listed below, you give yourself an added advantage in the fight against fat. This isn’t your typical list of green teas and spicy foods. Those are gimmicky lists that might have a short term effect on fat loss, but they are not true fat burning foods.

The Best Fat Burning Foods Have This In Common

What makes these particular foods so great for weight loss? Many of them share the same nutritional qualities. They all keep insulin levels low. Improved insulin sensitivity means your body needs less insulin to do its job. Keeping insulin low allows for the release of fatty acids. Fat cannot cannot be released when insulin levels are high.

Here are 10 ways to increase your insulin sensitivity for better fat loss.

Many of these foods provide a nice slow and steady release of glucose without causing a spike in insulin levels. Eliminating carbohydrates would also mute insulin release, but you want them so you can fuel high-intensity exercise. Determining how many carbohydrates you need is a delicate balance. Eat too many, and your insulin levels will always be too high to release fatty acids.

Find out how many carbohydrates you should be eating to lose weight.

The best fat loss foods are also all highly nutritious. They provide many of the necessary fat burning vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function optimally. Not only does this aid in fat loss, but it helps prevent your body from sending out hunger signals in an effort to get in lacking nutrients. The food you eat should always be nutrient dense.

You might notice that some of the foods on the list are not low in fat. This is OK, because you need fat to lose fat. These foods also contain essential fatty acids (EFAs). Your body cannot manufacture these particular fats, and so it needs to get it through your diet. Not getting enough of them? Your body will tell you to keep eating until you do get them. Tired of being hungry all the time? Maybe you’re lacking in essential fatty acids.

Here are 33 impressive benefits of eating essential fatty acids.

Mose foods beneficial to weight loss contain protein. Protein is highly thermogenic – meaning it produces heat when digested. Protein uses about 30% of its calories to simply digest itself. Not only that, but protein aids in protein synthesis (building muscle). Since your muscle is highly metabolically active, it’s no stretch that foods high in protein can lead to fat loss.

What are the Best Fat Burning Foods

The following are my top 5 foods for burning fat. You’ll notice that they aren’t exactly 5 foods, but more like 5 types of food – so there are actually many more than just 5.

Fish

We’ve all heard by now to eat fish. Fish is great because it provides a great source of essential fatty acids. Not only that, but it’s high in DHA – an omega-3 fatty acid. Our bodies usually convert alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to DHA, at only about a 5% efficiency. This makes it difficult to get DHA from a plant based diet. Fish is a great way to skip this conversion and get right to the end product – DHA. Fish also contains plenty of lean protein for building fat-burning muscles.

Beans

Beans are low in fat, high in fiber, high in protein, and very low on the glycemic index. This is a great food for those of you who don’t eat meat, as it is a great source of protein. Being high in fiber and low on the GI scale, it provides a perfect metabolic environment for releasing and metabolizing fatty acids.

Find out more ways you can lower the glycemic index of your meal.

Nuts

Nuts are a great fat burning food. They are high in healthy fats, essential fatty acids, and fat soluble vitamins. They even have fiber and protein. It’s another good source of protein for people who don’t eat meat. The healthy fats signal to your body  “it’s OK to release stored fatty acids because I’m providing you with plenty of them from my diet.”

Read more about how eating fat helps you lose fat.

Eggs

Eggs are a great fat-burning food – especially the yolk. We’ve been told over and over again that eggs are high in cholesterol and we shouldn’t eat them. However, studies show that dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Your body’s cholesterol levels are typically a result of high arterial inflammation caused by processed carbohydrates. Free-range eggs are packed with essential fatty acids and protein – definitely a great combination for a fat-burning food.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the highest sources of vitamin C. Many people associate vitamin C with fruit, but broccoli has 150% of the recommended daily allowance in just a single 100g serving. Broccoli is one of those foods that you can eat nearly an unlimited amount of and not have to worry about gaining weight. It’s just too bulky and void of calories to overeat. This makes it a great dieting food.

There you have it – my top 5 best fat burning foods. It’s very simple to incorporate every single one of these into your diet. Not only are they easy to incorporate, but they will help build the foundation for a healthy eating lifestyle.

  • http://fullfat.ca Octavian

    I really enjoy reading your articles as you don’t subscribe to the generally held concept that fats are bad for your.
    This is another great list…with one little caveat. Consuming nuts may lead to an imbalance in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. From what I’ve read, walnuts (which you include in the article) and macadamia nuts have the lowest o6-o3 ratio.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Octavian, walnuts have the highest omega-3 content of just about any nut. While the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is certainly an important factor, I believe that nuts are just too healthy to pass up. Take a look at this article that might put some of your concerns at ease Nuts and Omega 6 Fats.

      • http://fullfat.ca Octavian

        I completely agree with the contents of the link you recommended. It’s basically what I was trying to say in a few words. My only concern is that someone may see the endorsement of nuts and start scarfing them down at a cup per day, like a meal replacement (I used to do that). A cup per week would probably not cause any harm and would even be beneficial. Thanks again for the great articles and insightful commentary.

        • Coach Calorie

          Thanks Octavian, and yes, people will always take things to the extreme. Everything in moderation.

          • http://www.treadmillsforsaleguru.com/ Treadmills Guy

            So a cup per day is too much? In an effort to reduce my flour intake, I’ve been creating my own pancakes and waffles made with ground almonds instead of flour. I would say I’m at least eating half a cup of nuts a day as part of a high protein snack. Is this too much?

            • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

              If it fits your calorie and macronutrient allotment, you’ll be fine. Of course, eating a wide variety of foods is best.

  • http://www.tetheredmommy.com Maggie

    I keep telling my husband that eggs are good for him! I love eggs and eat them all the time. Pure protein and boy do they taste good! I also love nuts – good to know that these two delicious foods are also fat-burners!

    • Coach Calorie

      Eggs have gotten a bad rap over the years during the whole cholesterol is bad for your phase. It’s still in the mainstream media, but slowly people are realizing that dietary cholesterol doesn’t equate to blood levels of cholesterol.

  • Sue Bunting

    I love my eggs boiled because they make your body burn more calories than they give you.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Sue, could you explain your comment further?

  • Mayya

    I’ve always thought that food like nuts contains a lot of fat and calories, but now I know that these fats are healthy. So I can enjoy my favorite snack and stay healthy and fit :) And I absolutely love fish with omega-3 fatty acid. It’s not only tasty, but good for the health. Thanx for the great article!

    • Coach Calorie

      Yes they are healthy fats. Enjoy your nuts, but keep a close eye on calories. They can add up faster than you think! Thanks for the comment Mayya.

  • Leisa Winrich

    Does it matter whether the broccoli is cooked vs. raw re:being a fat burning food? How much broccoli is considered a good sized portion?

    Thank You

    • Coach Calorie

      I don’t think it does Leisa. I recently wrote a post on whether or not cooking your food destroys nutrients. In the end, as long as you are eating a nutrient dense diet of whole foods, that’s all that matters. Eat your broccoli raw or eat it cook – just make sure you are actually eating it.

  • http://searchbyburke.com Charlene

    I can do the nuts (in moderation), eggs and broccoli. Fish is questionable – the only fish I will eat is lake perch and that is difficult to find in my area. I would love to add beans to my diet, but I cannot tolerate the taste or texture – wonder if you, or any of your readers, have ideas for how I can incorporate beans into my meals without tasting them? Is there any way to puree them and add them to something without losing their nutritional value?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Charlene, I’m not sure of any way to prepare them without being able to taste them, but have you ever tried hummus before? If you can tolerate it, you can make a dip with chick peas, olive oil, and herbs/spices.

      • http://searchbyburke.com Charlene

        I have tried hummus and that’s an excellent idea! Completely forgot that it’s made with chick peas, which will satisfy the need to include beans in my diet. The last hummus that I enjoyed included garlic and roasted red pepper. Okay, feel more confident now and will look up a good recipe. Thanks!

  • Donna B.

    I’m not a fan of beans but all the others I eat several times a week, so I think I’m doing OK. I just wish I could get past the taste/texture of beans :(

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Donna, not sure if you read the comment above yours, but have you tried hummus at all?

      • Donna B.

        I hate hummus, it tastes like paste to me :(

        • tmkoppy

          You can use beans in recipes as a fat replacer. I even know of a brownie recipe made with black beans. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

  • anna pry

    wow, beans, nuts, eggs, and broccoli are basic foods i eat almost daily too. i think i eat too many nuts though because they are so fatty. i haven’t seemed to burn much more fat lately

    • Coach Calorie

      Sounds like you’ve got your diet under control. Yes, nuts can add up fast. I usually get a 1/4 measuring cup and scoop my serving out with that. It’s usually around 200 calories. You may need less though.

  • Janene Scarborough

    I actually love this because every one of those foods listed I really like, so great information for me, very helpful and it makes me happy to know this.

    • Coach Calorie

      Just goes to show that losing weight can taste good too ;)

  • anna pry

    Yes! Eggs, beans, nuts, and broccoli are staples in my diet. And after reading this I went and made some salmon and cauliflower for dinner:)

  • Deb Dorrington

    I love eggs and broccoli so I will continue to enjoying them…and I eat fish 3 times a week..so thank you for this article. Finally I’m doing something right.

  • Anne-Marie Cunningham

    Hey there,

    I’ve tweaked my diet now to include your fat burning foods as I’m struggling due to consistent lack of sleep (4 boys under 8) and although I am working out alot I am finding it hard to shift the actual ‘fat’ around my tummy. By all accounts my ab muscles are strong so i suppose I fall into the ‘skinny fat’ category?

    Eggs, no problem, I have 2 boiled in the morning or an omlette with broccoli Fish – I eat alot of as I live in a small fishing village in Ireland (can’t it it fresher – Black sole for dinner tonight), nuts, have stocked up on walnuts, only eating 7 raw or in a salad. Beans are my problem – my question is do a good brand tinned in tomato sauce count? I love them but am unsure given the potential sugar content. The carb count is 17.5 g per 100g with a sugar count of 4.9?

    Any advice would be great.
    Thanks
    Anne-Marie

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Anne-Marie, skinny-fat just means that you are slender but still carry around a high body fat. It usually is a result of low muscle mass.

      The beans I eat come from a can. Just try to make sure there isn’t a lot of sugar added to it. The preferable thing would be to just get “beans only” in the ingredient section

  • http://www.weightloss-stories.net antjon

    Flax seed is coming back into its own its an old remedy that has been found to have many health giving qualities even weight loss flax seed is high in fatty acids and flax will increase your metabolic rate which in turn helps burn unhealthy fats, I think a daily dose of omega 3 should be an important part of any weight control program
    all best antjon

  • Amanda Starr

    Always great advice.
    I was curious about fish…I know salmon is one of the best to eat but can get rather costly. We tend to eat a lot of tilapia since it’s cheaper and versatile but does it have the same benefits? Also what are your thoughts on canned salmon and tuna? Thanks!

    • Coach Calorie

      It might not have the same benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s not any good. The fatty fish are going to have more essential fatty acids, but any fish is good fish. Canned fish is a nice cheap alternative, you just need to be careful with the sodium content.

  • jvinijvini

    Broccoli in a blender with some natural peanut butter, cinnamon, ginger powder, and even some whey powder with a little stevia is surprisingly good and you can get about 3 servings of broccoli in if you want.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      That’s an interesting idea. Have you tried it without the stevia? I might try it with a little honey. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Natalie

    I am a diabetic how do I target just belly fat or isn’t that possible

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      That’s not going to be possible. Fat loss is systemic, not localized. Just focus on lowering your body fat, and in time you will lose it all around.

  • Lesley

    Yes thank you for ALL this Good information very informative also. Wonder maybe some Recipes with these Foods something Different maybe ? I do quite a bit of different exercises nearly everyday but seem to of stayed the same size for quite a while – Have not done scales since I started at Aspire where I go to Exercise, My measurements are going Down though AND My clothes certainly Fit a lot Better. Wondered if there was anything I could do now to get some of my Fat actually to Burn & so Shift ? Would be Grateful if you could Help with some Advice. I am 54 years of age and do, BodyCombat, BodyAttack, Bums,Legs&Tums, Mind&Body And Step which I love the best ! Thank you in anticipation to your reply.

  • Diane

    High cholesterol is caused by processed carbs? I thought it was caused by saturated fats?

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Saturated fat in moderation is healthy for you. Arterial inflammation results in higher cholesterol levels, as cholesterol is used as a sort of “band aid” for damaged arteries. Processed carbs, which lead to high insulin levels are typically the culprits.

    • diane

      Thanks for bringing that to my attention, that’s really interesting. I’ll definitely read more about it. Love your articles by the way, they are the best thing on Facebook.

  • Kacey

    so it should be free range eggs…not just regular white eggs? Why?

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    It’s just a preference to maximize omega-3 content.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Hi Lesley, have you seen our Pinterest page? We have hundreds of healthy recipes for you to try – http://www.pinterest.com/coachcalorie

  • Janita Smith

    i know this is an old post, but im curious…do you worry much about the metal issue with fish? i love salmon and would eat it every single day, but that does creep me out a bit. do you have an opinion on how much is too much? i buy wild caught organic alaskan salmon and have it several x a week. i also eat the low-mercury skipjack tuna about once a week in a salad. i would love to eat more salmon but i think maybe im overdoing it already. what do you think? tx!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    I think if you’re getting quality fish the worries are overblown. If you’re going to make it an every day habit, I’d make sure it’s quality stuff. Once or twice a week is nothing to worry about in my opinion.

  • erica

    Fish makes me feel nauseous – always has. Any suggestions for replacement?

  • Ginger

    I was wondering if egg beaters are good for you, what is your thought on these

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Last I checked they were filled with all kinds of fillers and preservatives. Check the ingredients on the label. If there’s a laundry list of ingredients – avoid.

  • Rhonda Kohlmeyer

    So how much of your daily diet should be devoted to these foods?? Or I guess is there a certain amount of grams per nutrient (the omegas or protein or whatever) is needed per day?? or is it per meal?? Please help, I have been on my healthy eating journey now about 18 months. I lost nearly 8 sizes, but would dearly love to lose about 3-5 lbs more of fat and mainly from the midsection!…I strength train consistently, I have probably gained about 10-15 lbs of muscle over the past 18 months.

  • tmkoppy

    Hey Tony:
    I love broccoli, but I am hypothyroid and have read widely I ought to avoid coniferous vegetables. What’s your take on that? If you agree, what would you recommend as a substitute? Thanks for all the info!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Any lean meat will do. I like grass-fed beef, personally.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Just try to make these foods part of your diet. If you’re including these foods on a weekly basis, you’re doing good.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    I think the impact is negligible, and the nutrients in broccoli more than make up for any “problems” it may cause. I’m a big fan of spinach too. I use it everywhere (shakes, omelets, salads, etc)

  • carol

    I have been eating more of these foods and in just two weeks I can feel the difference. I do find though I am hungrier for cutting back the carbs somewhat. Snacking on nuts and raw veg is good but do crave some sugar, albeit fruit in particular berries, are a stable and sweet part of my diet.

  • Me

    Can you put on weight from nuts? How many a day tou shoul recomend? (I dont eat fish eggs dairy and no faty food)

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      You can put on weight eating anything if you eat too many calories.

  • Almosthere

    maybe you are allergic to fish? perhaps you need to stick to land animal protein :)

  • Jennifer Hartley

    I Love all of these foods !

  • Silvia

    I do have nuts quit often, but it seems that I do put on weight when I eat them. Can you tell me what amount I should eat a day? i consume about. 1200cal/day and I don’t eat animal protein (Vegan diet) mostly fruits and salads.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      There’s no particular amount. You just have to make it fit your calorie and macro allotments. Also, unless you’re 120lbs or completely sedentary, 1200 calories is very low. 10-12 x body weight is where you should be.

  • Sabrina

    Great Article!

  • Lou

    Woo! My five favourite foods! Winning!

  • Tamara Miller

    There is an article floating around the net saying that you’re guaranteed to lose weight if you eat a pound of broccoli, 20 oz of black beans, and 3 eggs every day. It says you can eat anything else you want as long as you eat those thing at minimum. Do you think it’s true? If so, what is a good substitute for broccoli? I don’t hate it, but I do strongly dislike it.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Tony Schober

      Honesty, that is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard. There’s no getting around the energy balance equation. Any green veggie can be eaten in place of broccoli. Try spinach.