Spicy foods increase heart rate and raise body temperature. While no food truly burns fat, there are certain foods that can help you achieve a calorie deficit and lose weight.
These foods often contain one or more of the following criteria:
- High thermic effect: Foods such as legumes and nuts have a strong thermic effect, which means they take longer to digest, and in doing so, your body burns more calories
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Inflammation can increase the risk of disease and weight gain, so it’s best to focus on foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as berries and oily fish, to reduce your risk.
- Satiety: Satiety is the feeling of being full, and some foods make you feel fuller for longer than others. Typically, high-nutrient foods that are rich in fiber, healthy fats, and proteins provide more satiety than low-nutrient foods.
Here are seven foods that can help you lose weight according to the above criteria.
Salmon contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and is also an excellent source of protein that helps increase satiety, says Elizabeth Beil, registered dietitian and founder of Elizabeth Beil Nutrition.
A serving of salmon contains about 30 grams of protein, which is about half the recommended daily value for a person weighing 75 kg.
Eggs are another great source of protein, with each serving containing about six grams of protein. “Protein-rich foods like eggs also have a strong thermal effect,” says Daniela Novotny.
“When you eat eggs in the morning, they fill you up and give you energy, which helps control your cravings before lunch,” says Novotny.
In fact, a small 2008 study found that participants who ate two eggs for breakfast five days a week for eight weeks experienced 65% more weight loss and 16% more body fat reduction compared to a group that consumed the same amount of calories.
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family (Brassicaceae) and include:
- Brussels sprouts
Cruciferous vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer and reduces your overall calorie intake, leading to weight loss. “Fiber makes food feel bulkier, which can slow down digestion and make you feel full,” says Novotny.
These vegetables also contain key minerals and nutrients that your body needs, such as phytonutrients, which can reduce inflammation. How to prepare: If you don’t like to eat plain vegetables, you can blend kale or arugula into smoothies or add them to salads,” says Nambudripad.
Apple cider vinegar
According to Novotny, apple cider vinegar is fermented apple juice, and studies show that it can have a slight effect on weight loss. Although more serious research is needed to draw definitive conclusions.
However, in a 2018 study, participants in a low-calorie diet who drank two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with lunch and dinner lost significantly more weight over 12 weeks than those who did not take apple cider vinegar.
Spicy foods increase your heart rate and raise your body temperature, which leads to burning more calories, which helps you lose weight.
The spicy chemical compound capsaicin, found in chili peppers such as jalapenos, cayenne peppers, and habaneros, has been shown to help the body burn about 50 extra calories a day. In addition, capsaicin suppresses appetite.
According to Nambudripad, other spices such as ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, and cinnamon can also help speed up metabolism. In particular, cinnamon contains a certain flavonoid called quercetin, which can reduce inflammation in the body.
According to Novotny, lean chicken is low in fat and calories and is an excellent source of protein that will help you stay full longer. Lean cuts of chicken, such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, contain less fat than chicken wings or drumsticks.
A serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast contains:
- 20 grams of protein
- One gram of fat
- 98 calories
When it comes to weight loss, green tea contains Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that can boost your metabolism and increase fat burning, says Nambudripad. However, research on green tea and weight loss is limited, and more research is needed, according to Bale.
A small 2008 study found that participants who took green tea extract burned 17% more fat while cycling than those who took a placebo.
How to drink it: How much green tea you should drink a day to potentially help with weight loss has not yet been determined, says Novotny, but studies have shown that two to three cups a day can be beneficial to health.