5 Fat Burning Foods That Should Be the Backbone of Your Diet

Fat burning foods are the staples of your diet that keep you in the fat burning zone to lose weight.

Eaten on a consistent basis, they go a long way in determining what your body looks like and how you feel.

More than exercise, more than supplements, nothing else dictates weight loss more than your diet.

Why?

Because weight loss is a matter of calories in versus calories out.

In other words, you need to take in less calories than your body burns throughout the day, over the course of time.

Fat burning foods have a high TEF, or Thermic Effect of Food

>Eating foods that are lower in calories (such as vegetables), or have a higher Thermic Effect (TEF) will help you reach the caloric deficit that allows for weight loss.

When you’re in the calorie deficit, where do you think your body will pull your fuel from?

That’s right, your body fat. You know, the fat stored on your stomach or thighs.

As such, Eugene, our partner-in-crime, shows us that there are plenty of tasty fat burning foods to choose from when you’re dieting, or intermittent fasting.

He’s put together a comprehensive list of the 75 best foods to keep you in the fat-burning zone for our Dirty Little Book of Dieting.

5 Fat Burning Foods: Why You Should Be Eating Them

In case you don’t yet have the Dirty Little Book, I’ve taken 5 of those fat burning foods and expounded a bit on why I make them a backbone of my diet, and you should too.

Beef: A High-Protein Food That Burns Fat

Many people don’t think of beef as a fat burning food, however it can be a very effective tool in the burning body fat.

Beef is high in protein, which provides the amino acids necessary to maintain and sculpt lean muscle which is key to raising your metabolic rate- without doing endless hours of cardio.

Eating beef helps you lose body fat by increasing metabolism
Most people think that in order to burn body fat, they need to eat bland and boring food. This could not be further from the truth! In fact, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals while still burning body fat.

A Powerful Protein Source for Losing Weight

The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Don’t worry; when I speak about muscle, I’m not talking about getting huge like a bodybuilder.

I’m talking about the lean muscle that pulls everything in tight and makes you look great in a dress.

Beef also provides a moderate amount of dietary fat. (I hear the collective “yikes!”) “But isn’t dietary fat unhealthy and high in calories?”

What you think might be a negative is actually very positive- for your health, and losing body fat.

It seems that the medical and fitness “authorities” are finally waking up to the realization that fat is not to be feared.

Not only are certain dietary fats, like those found in beef, healthy in moderation; the fats also provide a feeling of fullness.

When you’re not feeling hungry, you’ll have less compulsion to eat junk foods.

Another benefit here is that the body takes a while to fully digest beef, which adds another dimension to its craving crushing properties.

Cottage Cheese

A high- quality, protein- packed food that helps raise metabolism.

Since it is a dairy product, cottage cheese boasts a great vitamin and nutrient profile that includes a hefty dose of calcium, which has been shown to signal the body to use more body fat as fuel.

In fact, calcium has also shown to play a role in prevention of body fat accumulation. (If you never out it on, you never have to take it off!)

cottage cheese boasts a great vitamin and nutrient profile that includes a hefty dose of calcium, which has been shown to signal the body to use more body fat as fuel
We all know that eating more protein is good for us, but we don’t always have time to cook it up into a meal. That’s where cottage cheese can help! Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in fat – making it the perfect snack food for busy people who want to stay healthy without sacrificing taste.

Slowly Digested Protein To Stop Cravings

Because of cottage cheese’s high casein content (a slowly digested form of protein), cottage cheese is another junk food craving killer.

Cottage cheese is great for times when you’re busy and you know you’ll have quite a few hours to go before the next meal.

I like to sprinkle in some crushed flax seeds for some fiber and get my omega-3’s from fish oil. Many people tend to crave sweets before bed.

Topped with a small serving of fresh berries, cottage cheese can appease your sweet tooth and provide ample amino acids for burning fat while you sleep.

Blueberries

Go ahead and throw some blueberries on your cottage cheese!

Blueberries are a delicious, power- packed “SuperFood”. Fresh or frozen, blueberries provide a whopping dose of antioxidants, which may play a role in preventing certain types of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Blueberries also contain a nice amount of soluble fiber, which can keep your blood sugar balanced, and keep you feeling satiated on a low amount of calories.

blueberries burn fat because they're high in fiber. Blueberry antioxidants.
All too often we reach for unhealthy snacks when we’re feeling rushed or stressed out. These foods offer a temporary fix, but they’re usually loaded with sugar and calories that can sabotage our diets. Reach for blueberries instead. Not only are they delicious and nutritious, but they also contain fiber which can help keep you feeling full on a low amount of calories.

A Fat Burning Treat Packed With Fiber and Antioxidants

So how do blueberries help burn fat?

Well, blueberries contain a high ratio of fiber, which satiates you without an abundance of sugar or calories.

The sweetness of the blueberries can stop sugar cravings.

For a late night snack, once in a while, I’ll blend up some frozen blueberries, which actually turns them into a sort of dry sorbet.

Mix in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to provide an ice- cream like mouth feel, and you’re in dessert heaven with a quarter of the calories.

Another great benefit of blueberries is derived from their antioxidant content.

As you know if you’ve read Eugene’s article “Eat More berries, Lose More Fat”, free radicals are produced rampantly in the body in response to exercise.

Free radicals cause muscle fiber damage, along with accelerated aging and can contribute to health issues.

As weight training and cardio exercise is of utmost importance if you are to get the most out of your diet, you’ll likely be cranking out quite a number of these free radicals.

Eating your blueberries will provide the antioxidants which quench the free radicals, which in turn reduces soreness from the exercise.

Broccoli

Another “Super- Food” often overlooked in fat burning.

Broccoli is a fat burning fibrous vegetable, packing a solid satiating punch any time of the day.

Broccoli is a wonder food in that it contains high amounts of antioxidants, much like blueberries, but contains so little calories that it’s considered a negative calorie food.

Broccoli is a fat burning vegetable. Broccoli is a negative calorie food.
All of that work to eat healthy and lose weight, and you’re stuck eating boiled broccoli? That’s no way to live. With a little creativity, you can turn this cruciferous vegetable into a delicious and satisfying part of your diet. Try roasting it with olive oil and sea salt, or add it to your favorite stir-fry recipe.

Negative Calorie Foods

Negative Calorie foods are considered “negative calorie” because the digestion process takes more energy than they are actually providing the body.

The reason I like broccoli while dieting for fat loss is that it can fill the gaps.

By “fill the gaps” I mean those times of the day when you get a bit hungry from low blood sugar, or simply have the urge to snack on something.

Broccoli comes through in the pinch, without loading up on calories.

Try dipping some fresh stalks into calorie free dip for a nice high fiber, high antioxidant guilt- free snack.

Salmon

Salmon is naturally one of the most popular “weight loss foods” around for a good reason, according to studies. (Article on Harvard.edu)

It provides ample EPA and DHA- the Omega-3 oils, a hefty dose a metabolism- boosting protein, and a nice dose of natural vitamins and minerals.

Salmon is a fat burning food due to it's high Omega-3 fatty acids content, which contains DHA and EPA.
Salmon is one of the easiest ways to add more Omega-3s into your diet without having to eat something that tastes like an old boot. This delicious food also happens to be high-quality protein which makes it great for helping people with their weight loss goals, especially when combined with a good exercise routine and some other smart choices around what else they put on their plate.

A High Quality Source of Protein with Omega-3’s Making a Super Fat Burning Food

Omega-3’s have been shown to also boost metabolic rate, resulting in faster weight loss.

Along with that, its anti- inflammatory powers offset much of the bodily soreness and metal fatigue that occur when dieting and working out intensely.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also very helpful for those who choose low carbohydrate diets, such as the keto diet.

Salmon, like the other power- packed super weight loss foods above also provides a feeling of fullness and content without breaking the calorie bank.

Salmon makes a great solid meal for lunch or dinner (or if you’re really adventurous, I know some people who it eat for breakfast!).

Protein is the base of any good diet and salmon packs it in.

The Thermic Effect of protein (TEF) is also higher than carbs or fat, meaning the digestion process of protein leads to more calories burnt.

If you’re interested in getting these foods delivered straight to your door, we recommend Amazon Fresh. It takes the excuse out of heading to the store, and it’s often cheaper.

Summary and Alternate Notes for Fat Burning

Fitness and health go hand in hand. It’s beneficial to keep a weight loss daily food journal. In a recent study published, researchers have found that the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is one of the keys to why fat burning foods work to melt away fat.

Protein has the highest TEF. Fibrous vegetables have also been shown to have potent fat burning effects.

A high quality breakfast can consist of eggs and berries.

Coconut oil contains MCT’s- it melts at room temperature and is great to use for cooking vegetables.

Cayenne pepper has some slight metabolism boosting properties.

Belly fat is often difficult to get rid of because it is one of the body’s favorite fat storage spots.

Increase your intake of fat burning foods to create a caloric deficit.

Detox products may have some slight metabolism boosting benefits, but there’s no real “detox” going on.

Foods That Burn Fat FAQ

Since this article was written, we’ve received some questions. We’ll answer them below:

Does apple cider vinegar burn fat?

bottle of apple cider vinegar with the mother
Apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight without having to give up your favorite foods. When combined with a calorie-restricted diet, apple cider vinegar can help burn fat quickly and safely.

Apple cider vinegar doesn’t burn fat directly but can be useful in burning fat when introduced into a calorie-restricted diet.

Apple cider vinegar has been linked to lower blood sugar levels, which makes you feel less hungry throughout the day.

How to use apple cider vinegar to lose weight

Have a glass of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before meal to help lower blood sugar levels. Wait at least 15 minutes after the meal, then drink another glass for additional benefits.

Apple cider vinegar helps insulin balance out by preventing too much sugar from being absorbed into the bloodstream after meals, it is also known as nature’s medicine cabinet and health food store sooth-all.

Can I lose belly fat with diet alone?

It is possible to lose belly fat with diet alone, but most people find that following a targeted weight loss plan that includes weight training and cardio to be most effective.

Losing belly fat requires a calorie deficit (meaning you’re taking in less calories than you burn in a day).

Diet takes care of the calories in. Calories out can be increased by incorporating exercise.

Are fat burning foods healthy?

Yes, fat burning foods are healthy.

Such foods help you balance blood sugar, stave off sugar cravings, and assist in the calories in vs. calories out equation.

This leads to fat loss. Fat loss is good for your health.

Is eating late at night bad?

It isn’t good for you per se but it doesn’t make much difference if your overall calorie intake for the day is on point.

You won’t lose weight just by not eating after a certain hour.

Make sure to drink a glass of water before going to bed, it will aid in digestion and also prevent dehydration during the night.

Do I have to eat these foods to lose weight?

No, you don’t need to eat anything specific to lose weight.

You can eat the foods you enjoy and still lose weight, as long as you’re under your calorie allotment.

With that said, keeping your protein high should be your priority as it keeps your metabolism high.

Does green tea help burn fat?

Green tea is a good source for antioxidants and catechins that may assist with weight loss.

However, it’s not a magic bullet. And diets that include large amounts of green tea are usually just calorie-restriction diets.

The caffeine in green tea does increase metabolism and can assist with weight loss by helping the body burn energy (calories) more quickly.

The caffeine in green tea can also give you a mild boost in alertness. That may temporarily help improve your mood as well as sharpen your focus and concentration.

Can I lose weight by drinking water?

Yes, you can lose weight by drinking water.

By increasing your water intake and reducing the number of calories you drink (such as sugary beverages) you can lose weight by drinking water.

Drinking chilled water has also been shown to be effective for weight loss.

Does chewing gum help lose belly fat?

Chewing gum increases saliva production and can help stimulate digestion, which in turn helps your digestive system work more efficiently.

However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to weight loss and chewing gum, so while it may not hurt you, there’s no guarantee that it will help you lose weight.

Do fat burning foods increase metabolism?

Yes, fat burning foods increase metabolism. The protein in these foods increases your TEF (Thermic Effect of Food).

This means your body uses more energy (burns calories) to digest protein.

In addition- high-fiber foods such as fibrous vegetables cause your body to expend more calories than they’re providing to you.

Your metabolism is how quickly your body can burn calories. Some foods speed up your metabolism more than others, which is why they are considered fat-burning foods.

Calories in vs. calories out maintain the body’s fat storage levels.

If you’re eating more calories than you are burning, then you are storing those extra calories as fat.

If you’re eating fewer calories than you burn, then weight loss occurs.

Should I keep track of my foods in a journal?

Yes, a food journal is a great idea. Especially when you’re getting started.

Keeping track of what you eat every day is essential to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially when you’re not familiar with the calorie content in foods.

It’s easier to lose weight when you know exactly how many calories you’re eating and can make appropriate adjustments, such as choosing lower-calorie foods like vegetables instead of higher-calorie fare like pad Thai.

Remember, you don’t have to count every calorie forever. But it’s helpful to know where you can make changes to eat healthier and lose weight.