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Fat Burning Foods – How to Lose Weight Faster and Keep it off

Updated on November 19, 2010

For anybody who has tried to lose weight they will know that whatever they try, the most effective and safe solution will always come back to diet and exercise. Because you are going to be eating more times than working out it only makes sense to look at the best fat burning foods that will get you there faster.

What Exactly is a Fat Burning Food?

This question may not be as straightforward as it seems. Foods that burn fat are foods that will help burn calories by increasing the level of your metabolism. This fat burning is also referred to as the thermogenic effect of food. When we exercise we are working our body and encouraging it to metabolise the food that we have eaten to power our bodies. For the food itself it can help to burn fat because we require energy to digest it. The better fat burning foods will be those that require more energy to digest i.e. have a higher thermic effect, keep you feeling full and satiated and most importantly are good for you.

The reality is that all food has a thermic effect though the best fat burning foods are far higher than others and last longer. This will help you to lose belly fat quickly and target other similarly difficult areas. In many ways your diet will play a bigger part than your exercise to losing weight so getting familiar with the right things to feed your body including fast fat burning foods will help you get your weight down to where you want it and keep it there.

Fat Burning Foods
Fat Burning Foods

Natural Fat Burning Foods

Below is a list of fat burning foods. The list is by no means comprehensive though it is made up of things that you probably already have in your pantry and others that you can pick up in your nearest supermarket. The more you get used to eating these top fat burning foods the better you will be at putting together meals with them. You only limit will be your imagination.


Milk is a great source of calcium and it is that calcium which will encourage your metabolism to work harder. On top of this the complex carbohydrates milk contains will help to regulate your blood sugar levels and keep the level of insulin in your bloodstream low. Studies have shown that high levels of insulin will encourage the body to keep hold of its fat stores which is why many obese people are also prone to getting diabetes because over time their bodies will have to work harder to regulate the sugars as they pile up.

Whole Grains and Oats

This includes Breads and Cereals. Again these help to keep your insulin down but are also a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. The former will keep your digestive system working smoothly and the latter will help you feel full for longer. You should steer clear of white breads and sugary cereals including some forms of muesli. These foods have been processed to take the natural color and as a result the vitamins and nutrients that go with them.

Oats are a fantastic source of fibre and like whole grains because they take longer to be digested you will feel full for longer. This is good because you will be less likely to snack on something unhealthy during the day and also gorge and over eat when your next meal time comes along. Because Oats, Whole Grains and Cereals are typically eaten at breakfast they are effective in jumpstarting your metabolic levels for the entire day and also setting the tone to keep insulin in check.


Chilli is a great fat burning food because it has next to no fat and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. If you can’t feel that benefit directly then rest assured that the sweating and burning sensation on your tongue is doing its part to help you drop the pounds. Chillies like Jalapenos and Habaneros contain a chemical known as capsaicin this helps to speed up your metabolic rate and best of all it keeps working hours after you have stopped eating. Chillies and Peppers have found to be effective in both fresh and powdered forms so you can add a little extra spice to most of your meals easily and with lots of benefits.


A lot of people who are addicted to their coffee tend to put on weight but in fact coffee one of the good fat burning foods helping to raise your heart rate and metabolism. There are studies that show caffeine helping to break down the cell wall of fat molecules so drinking a little before you exercise can help speed things up a little. Where people tend to go wrong with coffee is what they add to it. Try and Keep away from cream and sugars, and if you can then just keep away from the coffee and try a more cleansing hot water with lemon or lime to help your body and keep your skin looking good.

Green Tea

The Japanese have been drinking it for centuries and know its health benefits along with some of the other foods on this list. The effective chemical at work in green tea is known as EGCG which acts on the nervous system to make it work faster helping you burn more fat. Unlike caffeine green tea doesn’t speed up your heart beat and will start working when you are doing absolutely nothing so it’s not a bad alternative to drinking coffee when you are stuck behind your desk.

Lean Meat

Whether its Chicken, Pork, Turkey or Beef the key here is Lean. One of the preferred ways to cook lean meat is to grill it and also be sensible about what you are eating it with. A mountain of mash potatoes and gravy isn’t really going to help you too much as you probably well know so be careful not to negate the positive effect of your fat burning food by slathering it in fats and oils and removing the skin from cuts of lean meat is one of the best things you can do.

Lean meat is great because your body requires more energy than other foods just to digest it. I am sure you have heard of athletes and movie stars talking about building muscle and losing fat quickly by eating lean meat. About 30 percent of the energy for the meat is used in its digestion and there is plenty left over to help get you through your exercise and help your muscles recover.

Fat burning foods
Fat burning foods


Salmon, Tuna and Sardines are great foods because they are all rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Omega 3 regulates a hormone in your body known as Leptin. There is a correlation between higher rates of metabolism and low levels of Leptin. Not all fats are bad and the fish oil and other oils like extra virgin olive oil aid in the growth and development of cells and improve the functions of your nervous system. So try and stay clear of heavy and processed animal fats in place of healthier alternatives like fish oil (even if it’s in a tablet).

Developing Good Eating Habits

Fat burning foods are one of the quickest way to lose weight. For women and men the food will work work slightly differently because of the differences in the way our bodies store fat. For some of you this may be like learning how to eat all over again. With our lives busier than ever often the first thing to go out the window are positive eating habits. Once you understand the effect that food plays in your weight loss you can be more careful about what and when you are eating. In addition to the above foods, keep the following points in mind.

Have Breakfast

Put it simply your mother was right. Having breakfast everyday will help you to kick start your metabolism and improve your awareness and memory. Your breakfast should be something relatively light and filling so a full bacon and eggs on toast isn’t the best start to the day. Opt for something along the line of some wholemeal toast a bowl of oats and some fruit or yoghurt. Skipping your breakfast or other meals will signal your body to store fat because it isn’t sure when it will get more food so it starts to stockpile.

Stock your Home and Office With Healthy Options

Its ok to get hungry and reach for a snack and you can fool proof your home and office by getting rid of trouble foods before you get the urge to eat them. Healthy snacks like fruit, nuts and popcorn make great alternatives along with other fat burning foods to eat and can get you to your next meal in a healthy way, again be sure to go easy on the salt and butter for the latter options.

Have an End Goal In Mind

Why are you dieting in the first place? A general and vague goal will stay just that and you will have trouble motivating yourself and creating a realistic timeframe if your goals aren’t specific. Be reasonable with yourself and understand there is no safe way to lose 100 pounds in a week. Set yourself a realistic and challenging goal with a definite end time. Fitting into a wedding dress is a great example.

Regardless of what you eat all food will require some energy to digest and for your weight loss to be really effective you are going to want to eat these foods in moderation and couple them with a regular exercise routine. This is not the place for any silver bullets and if you keep crash dieting and switching from the latest trends in dieting then you may end up doing more damage to your health then simply doing nothing. If you don’t know where to go from here then get in contact with an accredited dietician or nutritionist to talk about a diet and eating plan for you.


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