“Fat Burning Foods”: Fact or Myth?

October 20, 2016

“Fat burning foods” are all over the media and it all sounds so simple: if you eat these foods, your body will burn fat. If this were the case one could continue any fitness regimen or none at all, ingest these foods and still lose fat. As much as we all would love this quick and easy fix, that’s not the case.

There are No Shortcutsasparagus-1307604_640

There is no such thing as eating a certain food that directly correlates to fat loss.  With that being said, there are foods that, if eaten regularly, can have combined benefits that can ultimately help lead to fat loss when supplemented with healthy eating and physical activity.  Some common examples of “fat burning foods” are:

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Water
  • Avocado
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Coffee
  • Green tea

As much as we would like to believe it, these foods are not responsible for fat loss by themselves.

 Establishing Fact vs. Myth

You may be asking, “Where is this craze coming from then?” Let’s start by talking about a common piece of diet advice that has been around for years: eating a grapefruit every morning for breakfast will make you skinny.  This habit may ultimately lead to fat loss because grapefruit is high in fiber and can allow you to feel satisfied throughout your morning and not crave sugary snacks in the office or on your way to work. The Vitamin C will boost your mood and immune system makes you feel more alert and positive.

Another example is coffee. The natural caffeine in this drink will act as a stimulant to:

  • Raise your body temperature
  • Raise your heart rate
  • Suppress appetite
  • Supply you with hours of focused energy

Coffee, along with other foods such as asparagus act as a natural diuretic allowing you lose water weight as long as proper hydration otherwise is a priority.

These examples show how the benefits of certain foods can be exaggerated and turned into a type of fitness fad. Once again, these foods are not responsible for burning fat directly. Rather, they encourage reactions in your body when coupled with exercising regularly to build muscle, drinking plenty of water, and eating whole foods throughout your day. Your body will be more likely to burn fat with your supplemented efforts.

Eat Healthy & Don’t Overindulge

In reality, all whole foods can be considered fat burning foods but will only live up to that name if you make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Eating excessively and having a coffee or some lemon water on the side won’t help you meet your weight loss goals.

If you want to lose weight, it is important to choose whole, healthy foods such as:

  • Lean meats
  • Asparagus
  • Watermelon
  • Oats
  • Avocados
  • Garlic
  • Egg whites
  • Nuts
  • Strawberries

Unlike processed meals and snacks, these foods provide nutrient dense calories that your body easily uses as energy instead of instantly converting into fat. Just remember to exercise regularly to get the most benefits.

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