Your body isn’t a savings bank or a calorimeter. It’s a chemistry lab. To be the best fat burner, calories matter, but where those calories come from matters more.
Put another way: All calories are not created equal. What you eat can either cause your body to resist losing weight or kick up your metabolism to burn fat faster.
Choose the wrong foods and your metabolism takes a beating. Choose the right foods, and you increase your body’s ability to burn more calories for easier fast, lasting fat loss.
Every so often, an interviewer or reader will ask me about my favorite metabolic-boosting foods. These are the nutrient rock stars that give you an edge for fat burning, support your immune system, and keep you performing at peak levels.
Narrowing them down to 10 was difficult, but these are my favorites.
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A gold-star superfood, every serving of avocado is packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Studies show that this amazing fruit (it’s actually a big berry!) can combat metabolic syndrome, while its anti-obesity effects make it a great ally in your weight loss goals.1 Avocado is also versatile – I like to blend some into my loaded smoothie, toss a few slices onto a salad, or whip up a batch of tasty guacamole!
2. Coconut oil
The secret to coconut oil’s metabolism-boosting power comes from healthy fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).2
MCTs also regulate blood sugar and keeps your appetite in check, so you’re less likely to give in to those pesky cravings.3 Get some yummy ways to add coconut oil to your diet here, plus find out about its other amazing health benefits!
Love Mounds® bars… but not all that added sugar? Our Co-Co Crave Fiber Bar combines sweet coconut and rich dark chocolate. We’ve packed healthy fats and 7 grams of fiber in every bar. Unlike that classic candy bar, ours only contains 1 gram of added sugar. *
3. Green tea
The primary antioxidant in green tea, called epigallocatechin gallate or ECGG, offers protection against type 2 diabetes, promotes weight loss, and helps fight obesity.4
Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help offset weight loss resistance and premature aging.5
Want even more good news? Green tea also helps boost metabolism is by switching on your primary fat-burning hormone.6 I love sipping green tea throughout my day, and you can’t go wrong with a cravings crusher like my Metabolism-Boosting Arnold Palmer!
Almonds are a satisfying, take-anywhere superfood packed with omega-3s, vitamins, fiber, and protein.
Almonds help with weight loss, while also decreasing your risk of heart disease.7 They’re great stirred into a piping hot bowl of Chocolate Quinoa Porridge with Almonds & Blueberries or sprinkled over a salad for some added crunch!
Can’t imagine a day without your morning cup of joe? I’m with you! You’ll be happy to know that coffee activates hormones that burn off stored fat and fire up your metabolism. 8-10
Just make sure you choose only quality, organic beans with no mycotoxins. And if you're not in the mood for a hot cup of joe, you can always add your morning coffee to your smoothie for a delicious, metabolism-boosting burst of energy!
Capsaicin is the compound in chiles that gives them that distinctive flavor kick. It’s been proven to fire up your taste buds and your metabolism, too!
This spicy stuff is also adept at fighting obesity and keeping your appetite in check. 6, 7 Get creative in the kitchen by adding cayenne to your favorite meals, or try some dark chocolate with chiles to add variety and excitement for your taste buds!
A serving of high-protein lentils is packed with fiber, vitamins, all nine essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that can lower cholesterol levels and aid in weight loss? 12
That’s an excellent multitasker!
Whether you serve lentils up as a meatless main or a savory side dish, you’ll stay full and satisfied for hours between meals. (I love them in this Lentil Bacon Soup.)
8. Wild-Caught Salmon
Adding salmon to your menu helps lower belly fat and promote weight loss.14
Salmon is a fantastic source of clean protein that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
The lean protein helps you burn fat, while ensuring your metabolism-boosting muscle stays put! Remember, it’s important for you (and the environment) to stay away from farmed salmon. My favorite source of wild-caught salmon is Vital Choice, delivered directly to your door. (Click on this link for a special discount just for my readers!)
This rich, aromatic spice has a solid reputation for its health-giving benefits.
Studies show that cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity, which results in decreased fat storage.15
Rich in manganese, cinnamon is also great for fat and carb metabolism. 16 And adding it to your diet is super easy! A pinch of cinnamon in your morning coffee, smoothie, or Cinnamon Almond Overnight Oats will start your morning off on the right track.
One animal study found that eating broccoli regularly decreased inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity, and supported gut health. 17
The phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts make them disease-fighting warriors. They contain sulforaphane, an antioxidant and natural detoxifier. Cruciferous veggies are also high in indole-3-carbinol, another potent anti-carcinogen.
Banish any idea of soggy broccoli! This Paleo Steamed Broccoli with Garlic Oil Drizzle recipe has major flavor that will convert even the most veggie-phobic person.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.