The Top Fat-Loss Foods & Drinks You Should Have Daily  

by JJ Virgin on April 23, 2024

Are you tired of bland diet foods that promise fat loss but fail to actually taste good? You’re stuck unsatisfied and wanting more to calm your cravings. 

No one wants to feel deprived! The key is to make healthy swaps part of your routine before you diet. Make this switch first, monitor your results, and then tweak your weight-loss goals from there. 

I’m going to share nine delicious, satisfying foods with unique fat-burning properties to help you on your journey: 

1. Apple Cider Vinegar  

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which gives it its signature sour taste and scent. Acetic acid helps regulate genes associated with fat storage and fat breakdown. By doing this, acetic acid reduces fat accumulation and enhances your fat-burning efficiency.1 

Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet can also help manage blood-sugar spikes.2 When blood sugar (also known as glucose) rises rapidly, your body releases insulin to help shuttle that glucose into cells for energy. However, excess insulin can promote fat storage, particularly as dangerous visceral fat. Blood-sugar spikes followed by rapid drops can also increase hunger and cravings

Apple cider vinegar can also help food stay in your stomach longer, meaning you’ll feel fuller longer.3 This can help further control blood sugar and promote a regular appetite. 

Dilute one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Please don’t drink it straight: its acidity can be harsh on the stomach. For a refreshing twist, consider adding it to green tea (try this Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tea recipe). 

2. Lemon Juice 

Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C plays a role in your body’s metabolism, while antioxidants can help fight the inflammation that can keep you from losing weight.4, 5 Lemon juice supports digestion as well by promoting the production of digestive juices in your stomach, improving nutrient absorption, and reducing bloating.6 

The vitamin C content in lemon juice is crucial for synthesizing L-carnitine, a compound essential for fat metabolism. L-carnitine helps transport fatty acids into your mitochondria, which use these fatty acids for energy production.7 Lemon juice also contains polyphenols that can help regulate carbohydrate digestion and absorption, leading to more stable blood sugar.8 

Incorporate lemon juice into your routine by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to water and drinking it first thing in the morning and before meals. You’ll also want to add a squeeze into your recipes for brighter, more vibrant flavors. 

3. Protein 

One of my favorite fat-loss strategies is getting 30-50g of protein at every meal. Protein-rich foods help you feel fuller for a longer period, reducing cravings and the likelihood of overeating.9  

Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates or fats, meaning your body uses more energy to digest and metabolize protein.10 This helps control blood sugar, as protein-rich meals have a lower impact on glucose levels than high-carbohydrate meals. Research shows that eating protein first before you eat carbohydrates can lower your post-meal blood-sugar levels.11 

Protein also plays a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis, improving muscle repair, growth, and maintenance.12 By supporting muscle mass, protein increases your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories at rest. Why? Because muscle burns more calories than fat. Increasing protein intake can enhance fat burning by helping your body utilize fat for energy.13 

Getting enough protein is key, but how well your body can use that protein is equally important. Aging can impact your ability to digest and absorb nutrients because your digestive enzyme production decreases over time.14  

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve metabolic health.15 These essential fats help manage your body’s inflammatory response, helping you lose weight more effectively.16  

Omega-3s also improve insulin sensitivity, fostering more effective blood-sugar regulation to manage hunger and cravings.17 By encouraging your body to use stored fat as an energy source, omega-3s boost fat-burning.18 

Excellent sources of omega-3s include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and grass-fed beef. Adding chia or flax seeds to smoothies can provide an additional source of omega-3s, along with fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients.  

If you’re eating the Standard American Diet, you’re likely not getting enough omega-3s (especially if you’re plant-based). Get your daily dose of brain-nourishing EPA and DHA with Omega Plus, providing a hearty 1,000 mg of omega-3 fats per soft gel.* 

5. Green Tea  

Green tea is a high-antioxidant beverage that helps your body release stored fat for energy.19 It also helps manage hunger-regulating hormones like ghrelin and leptin, keeping your appetite and cravings in check.20 

This is all thanks to its fat-supporting nutrients. EGCG, a compound in green tea, kicks your metabolic rate into high gear and helps manage inflammation levels;21 the prebiotics in green tea support the growth of good gut bacteria, which can optimize weight management;22 and an amino acid called L-theanine promotes a sense of calm by boosting the production of your neurotransmitter GABA, so stress eating doesn’t sabotage your fat-loss efforts.23 

While I love sipping hot green tea in the morning, this Peach & Mint Iced Green Tea hits the spot on a warm afternoon.  

6. Coffee 

Coffee is another beverage that supports your fat-burning efforts. The chlorogenic acid in coffee: 

  • Increases the activity of enzymes responsible for fat metabolism, helping your body break down stored fat.  
  • Slows down glucose absorption, keeping your blood-sugar levels in check. 
  • Promotes thermogenesis, increasing the amount of calories you burn.24, 25 

The caffeine in coffee boosts alertness and focus, perfect for powering through your morning workout. Caffeine also increases your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.26 

A few caveats: Conventional coffee is high in pesticides, so always buy organic (I like Purity Coffee—use code VIRGIN for 20% off your first purchase).  

Tune in to your body’s caffeine sensitivity, too. If you’re one of those folks who metabolize caffeine at a snail’s pace, you might experience some jitters or trouble sleeping. A half-caffeinated/half-decaf brew lets you get coffee’s benefits without the unwanted side effects.  

This 5-Minute Collagen Coffee combines those benefits with gut-supporting collagen and fat-burning MCT oil. 

7. Fermented Foods 

Kimchi, sauerkraut, Greek-style yogurt, water kefir, coconut kefir, and other fermented foods come with a variety of beneficial bacteria, helping maintain a balanced and diverse gut microbiome. Research shows certain bacterial strains in fermented foods can support healthy body weight and boost fat burning.27 

Fermented foods also support nutrient absorption, making it easier for your body to get vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.28 Plus, they’re packed with anti-inflammatory properties that help manage inflammation that disrupts your weight-loss efforts.29 

Fermenting breaks down sugars in these foods, lowering their glycemic index and helping you maintain steady blood-sugar levels throughout the day.30 The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food raises your blood-sugar levels after eating. Low-GI foods gradually raise blood-sugar, while higher-GI foods raise blood sugar quickly.31 Some fermented foods also provide protein, supporting your appetite and blood-sugar balance.  

8. Prebiotic Foods 

I mentioned the beneficial bacteria or probiotics in fermented foods. Prebiotics are the food these bacteria feed on. They act like gut fertilizer: prebiotics nourish and support a thriving microbiome, promoting growth and diversity in your gut.32 Besides green tea, prebiotic-rich foods include chicory root, garlic, onions, asparagus, green bananas, dandelion greens, leeks, apples, and legumes. 

Among their benefits, prebiotics can increase satiety, support healthy digestion, and maintain regular bowel movements (AKA poops to be proud of).33 Prebiotics also influence the production of appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin and peptide YY.34 Keeping these hormones in check helps regulate hunger and promotes a healthy appetite.  

9. Water 

Water is more than just a thirst quencher—it’s a key player in optimizing your metabolism. A glass of water can temporarily boost your metabolic rate by up to 30%, ramping up calorie burning for about 30 minutes after you drink it.35 A cold glass of water might help even more, increasing your body’s thermogenic effect, so it has to work harder to warm up.36 

Water can also flush out toxins and waste products, releasing the excess toxins that may slow down weight loss.37 Even slight dehydration can throw your body off balance, triggering the release of stress hormones that can stall fat loss.38 

You probably need more water than you think to get its benefits. This handy calculator can help you determine your individual needs. 

Pulling Everything Together 

You can incorporate many of these foods, beverages, and condiments into your meals for their fat-burning benefits. Eating by the plate with a protein-first approach is the most effective way to steady blood-sugar levels, balance hormones, promote satiety, and optimize fat loss. Every meal should incorporate the trifecta of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.  

Relieving Your Toxic Burden to Optimize Fat Loss 

When your body becomes overloaded with toxins, they get stored in your fat cells. Losing those extra pounds releases toxins into your system, causing toxic overload. 

To reduce that problem, you want to support your body’s detoxification abilities when you’re losing weight. Many detox plans miss one crucial element: protein. Without sufficient amino acids from protein, your body cannot effectively detoxify. You can become more toxic than before. 

I designed the 10-Day Protein-Powered Detox to address this issue. Incorporating optimal amino acids provides comprehensive support for your liver and other organs to detoxify while laying the foundation for effective fat-burning.  

This program includes everything you need (including a private, supportive Facebook group) to ease your toxic burden and help your body burn fat safely and sustainably.*   

Learn more about the 10-Day Protein-Powered Detox Program here.  


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Products mentioned are 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.