Even businesspeople believe in fairytales. We call it wishful thinking. It is particularly true when we think about our health. We believe in magic wands that can convert us into slim and good-looking executives with no effort on our part.
One of the great myths we like to believe in is the existence of fat-burning foods. Many health gurus tell us that we can burn fat just by eating the right foods. Well, let’s be clear: foods don´t have special fat-burning properties. Food can´t burn belly fat or any other type. Fat-burning foods do not exist in real life.
However, we can still burn excess fat by eating certain things. Sounds like a contradiction?
Not really! Although there is no direct correlation between what you eat and fat burning, there is an indirect one. In some ways, the type of the food you eat may lead to faster internal fat burning.
This is the reason for the confusion of the general public regarding fat-burning foods. But first, you need to understand the fat-burning mechanism.
So, in this post we will explain the fat-burning mechanism and give you very clear advice which “fat-burning foods” you should eat to help your body lose fat fast.
1. The Fat-Burning Mechanism
Fat is burned when our bodies enter the fasting mode. After any meal, the insulin level in the blood goes up and our bodies starts the fat accumulation process.
After some time, this insulin level drops and the body enters the fasting mode. You can see this mechanism in the following diagram.
So, when do you lose fat? It’s simple! Technically, it happens if the amount of fat burned during the fasting mode is higher than the amount formed during and after eating; so we experience a net fat loss.
The amount of fat burned during the fast mode depends on the length of the fasting period and your personal metabolic rate.
Another important factor is how quickly sugar enters the blood. The faster it enters, the higher the insulin spikes and the longer it takes the body to enter the fasting mode. The slower the sugar enters the blood, the better.
Therefore, in order to lose fat, we need to:
– Increase our metabolic rate
– Reduce our appetite and overall food intake
– Lower blood sugar levels by reducing the speed at which glucose (essentially sugar) enters blood circulation
The metabolic rate defines the number of calories your body burns in an average day. Obviously, the easiest way to increase the number of calories burned is with physical exercise. Another lesser known strategy to increase your metabolic rate is diet. Here, the so-called “fat-burning foods” come into play.
Now, let’s see which “fat-burning foods” you should eat. But please bear in mind that when we say fat burning foods, we either mean foods that increase your metabolic rate, reduce your appetite and your overall food intake or those that decrease the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream.
2. Fat Burning Foods That Increase Metabolic Rate
The faster the metabolic rate, the easier it is to burn fat. And it is made more efficient by eating foods that increase your metabolic rate. Below are some options to include in your everyday diet:
– Protein-Rich Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds can help increase your metabolism for a few hours. Some of these foods also contain zinc, iron and selenium that help the thyroid function, further regulating metabolism.
– Coconut Oil, because it’s made of medium chain fatty acids, goes straight to your liver when you digest it to be converted into energy or ketone bodies. This means it boosts your metabolism, increasing your metabolic rate to burn excess fat faster. Try incorporating 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into your diet every day.
– Green Tea and oolong tea (a traditional Chinese tea) are purported to increase metabolism in the range of 4–10%. Drinking sufficient quantities means burning about 100 calories per day. The traditional oolong and green teas are known to help your body utilize stored fat to create energy effectively, thereby boosting your fat-burning ability around 17%.
– Black Pepper contains piperine, a metabolic-boosting substance that also suppresses body fat accumulation. In the form of tea, it manages obesity a cup at a time.
3. Fat Burning Foods That Reduce Appetite and Overall Food Intake
Many foods create a prolonged feeling of being full that reduces appetite and overall food intake. Their mechanisms of actions range from regulating appetite hormones to lowering cravings.
Make sure that you integrate these seven foods into your diet:
– Eggs are very filling. They’re packed with protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, making them incredibly nutrition dense. The more nutrient dense your food, the fuller you’ll get and the less you’ll need to eat.
– High Protein, Low Calorie Yogurt. A study shows: foods like high-protein yogurt as a snack curbs appetite compared to other options like crackers and chocolate treats that are high fat. They may be energy dense, but yogurt is the best dietary strategy when appetite is of concern, particularly in women.
– High-fiber foods. The body doesn’t actually digest fiber once ingested, and, in fact, it slows the digestion of sugar. This helps you fight cravings because you feel full longer. Some good high-fiber foods are avocados, almonds, broccoli, kale and blackberries.
– Saffron has been found in some research to have a positive effect on mood by increasing the body’s serotonin and endorphin levels. This increase in serotonin levels seems to support appetite suppression in conjunction with being in a better mood, making it a win-win for stressful days at the office!
– Spicy foods: it’s not surprising that spicy foods like chilis & cayenne peppers contain properties, capsaicin specifically, that decrease the desire to eat more after consuming a meal. In addition, they reduce cravings for sweets and suppress the appetite.
4. Fat Burning Foods That Decrease the Rate of Glucose Entering the Blood
– Apple Cider Vinegar is said to increase metabolism, but it is a myth. In actuality, it aids fat loss. How does it work? Essentially, apple cider vinegar slow down the speed of entry into the blood of glucose, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. Diabetics and overweight people should look here for a weight loss panacea.
– Grapefruit not only reduces insulin levels and encourage weight loss, but it has a powerful effect on your olfactory system (the part that allows you to smell). Just smelling grapefruit excites your sympathetic nerves, which helps stimulate weight loss and reduce cravings.
– Ginger is essentially gingerol, as the name suggests. It is a known stabilizing compound for controlling blood sugar levels and a surefire process to lose weight.
5. How to Add Fat Burning Foods to Your Diet
As an executive, your day is always busy, but eating fat-burning foods in each of your meals is completely possible.
Remember the protein-rich food options mentioned earlier? Meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes …
Pick a different one each day for lunch and eat it with a salad, roasted vegetables and a small serving of fruit. Another option could be a large salad with chicken and high-protein, low-carb yogurt on the side. For even more ideas, please read our post on Executive Lunches!
Always start your day right. Eating a high-protein breakfast with healthy fats will set your metabolic rate on the proper track for the day and help fight cravings.
For breakfast, eat eggs. There are many ways to prepare them and they’re a perfect nutrient-dense option. Have them with whole grain toast or full-fat cottage cheese to round out the meal. When you need a break from eggs, Greek yogurt in oatmeal with seeds and berries is also a great choice.
Please read our post on Executive Breakfasts for more ideas.
If you find yourself still needing to snack throughout the day but do not want to decrease your metabolic rate, opt for fat-burning foods like nuts. This snack will not only satisfy your hunger, but it will help control your appetite as discussed earlier.
But do be careful. While nuts are a healthy option, there is such a thing as too many, so limit your intake to avoid consuming unnecessary calories.
Here are more ideas for healthy snacks to enjoy at the office.
We hope you now feel well-equipped to incorporate a variety of fat-burning foods into your daily meals. As you can see, it’s easy to do and all the options are delicious!
What’s your favorite way to eat these foods? Please share your ideas and questions in the comment section below!