It’s probably the most written about topic in nutrition – The Best Fat Burning Foods. It seems that every mainstream media outlet that puts out fitness articles has their own unique list of fat burning foods. Heck, I’ve even done my own article on the 5 best fat burning foods – although I approached the topic in a unique, non-gimmicky sort of way.
The lists are popular because the majority of people are looking for the secret concoction of food that will help them lose weight. What they don’t realize is that there is no secret. These wildly popular articles are just throwing another wrench into the ever growing confusion of weight loss.
The Best Fat Burning Foods are Whole Foods
When it all comes down to it, the best fat burning foods are simply whole foods (cue the extremely disappointing let-down music). There is no magic about it. There is no:
- Secret spice that will increase your metabolic rate by 300%.
- Fired-up foods that burn away pounds.
- “Dr. Approved” list of fat burning foods to lose the extra flab.
- Foods that burn belly fat.
- Fat burning foods to help boost your metabolism.
- Best fat burning foods for women.
- Foods that put your metabolism on high speed to burn fat fast.
- Top secret fat burning foods experts don’t tell you about.
In case you were wondering, the list of topics above is what Google gave me on a search for best fat burning foods.
Why Whole Foods are the Best Fat Burning Foods
What makes whole foods so special that they are the best fat burning foods? They:
- Are low-glycemic – which keeps blood glucose levels steady and under control.
- Contain essential fatty acids that improve insulin sensitivity, reduce hunger, and aid in weight loss   .
- Maintain favorable insulin levels so as to allow fatty acids to be released and used as fuel.
- Contain fiber – which fills you up, and slows down the digestion of your food.
- Are nutrient dense – providing all the necessary nutrients for efficient fat loss.
- Contain water – which is the real fuel for successful fat loss.
If you want the best fat burning foods, simply stick to meals that contain whole food ingredients, and eat them in amounts that are at, near, or below your maintenance calories. Here’s a bunch of healthy recipes to get you started, and here’s how you can determine your calorie intake. Keep in mind that you can still lose fat eating at or above maintenance calories. You don’t need a calorie deficit to lose fat. You need one to lose weight, but weight and fat are not always one in the same.
What Does it Really Take to Burn Fat?
What it really takes to burn fat is a metabolic environment that is conducive to fatty acid mobilization and utilization. The good news is that if you stick to whole foods, you will be in this highly favorable fat loss environment 95% of the time. While there might be some spices that increase body temperature, or certain macronutrients like protein that are more thermogenic than others, the fact still remains that 90% of your fat loss results are going to come from eating whole foods and exercising.
The truth is so simple it hurts.