Not all food’s created equal; we know by now that foods high in sugar, fat, and artificial sweeteners cause us to gain weight quickly. But did you know there are foods that have what’s called a thermogenic effect: a food property, which burns fat as you eat it! Amazing, right? We’ve put together a list of eight quick fat-burning recipes best enjoyed for breakfast; though, you can also eat these fat-burning foods as snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism motors churning!
Whole grain foods like oatmeal take your body twice as much work to break them down. The same holds true for brown rice. Because they take more energy to break down, your body uses stored energy (fat) to fuel itself when digesting them. For an easy oatmeal recipe: cook rolled oats and top with chia seeds, walnuts, or fresh fruit. Oatmeal’s especially tasty with a pat of coconut butter on top!
2. Lean Meats
Another food with a high thermogenic effect is protein derived from the chicken breast. Whip up an egg white omelet, and toss in last night’s leftover chicken. Cut into bite size chunks for your fat-burning breakfast. To make a southwestern omelet, top it with low-fat cheese and fresh tomatoes. A 300-calorie chicken breast takes the energy equivalent of 90-calories to break down and digest.
3. Low-Fat Dairy Products
Foods such as Swiss cheese are rich in vitamin D and calcium, which work together to build and preserve the body’s lean muscle tissue. This combination also boosts the body’s metabolism, which is essential for weight loss or the maintenance of your ideal weight. Another great fat-burning breakfast recipe is to add cheese to a piece of whole grain toast with a slice of tomato, or add it to egg whites for a simple yet delicious breakfast scramble.
4. Green Tea
Green tea tastes great any time of the day, and what’s more is it’s a great substitute for the less healthy coffee option. Green tea has been proven by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to aid in weight loss due to its EGCG content. The EGCG in green tea temporarily speeds up the metabolism after you drink it.
Lentils are literally packed with iron, something that many of us are deficient in. When the body has a vitamin or mineral deficiency your metabolism slows as result of your body’s failure to get everything it needs to perform properly. Lentils can be cooked ahead of time, and added to just about anything including oatmeal or scrambled egg whites.
6. Hot Peppers
The compound that gives peppers their heat is called capsaicin. This compound heats up your body, which results in a faster metabolism and more effective fat-burning. Add capsaicin rich foods to eggs, soups, and meats to take advantage of the calorie-burning effect of hot peppers.
Whether you eat grapefruit whole or drink the juice, you’ll enjoy the food’s beneficial health properties: such as it’s ability to lower insulin production, speed up your metabolism, and regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels in your body. While these are great fat-burning characteristics, not everyone can eat grapefruit as it interferes with certain medical treatments such as thyroid medications. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you take daily medication to make sure it is safe for you to enjoy grapefruit.
While spinach doesn’t seem like a breakfast food, it is delicious in omelets and the main ingredient to a healthy and refreshing green breakfast smoothie. The properties in spinach fight free radicals, and also support fast muscular recovery for building muscle. And the more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the higher rate your metabolism will operate at naturally.
The one thing that all of these fat-burning breakfast foods have in common is that they are easily found in organic form and thus considered whole foods. What does this impressive “whole foods” title imply though? Whole foods labels imply the foods haven’t been processed in any way. A diet rich in whole, non-processed foods and low in pre-made or pre-packaged foods is a diet that is impressively clean and ultimately healthy. If you look at your grocery cart as you walk through the market, consider how much of your food is fresh and how much is packaged. The more fresh foods in your basket, the better. Keep your pantry and kitchen stocked with these fat-burning foods, and make a habit to eat them on a regular basis. The recipe ideas we’ve given you should give you a good-no a great-head start the next time you head out to go food shopping for your future healthy-eating efforts!