Five Fat Burning Foods

When it comes to our fat burning, the foods we eat can have a major impact on our outcomes.  If we eat foods that are nutrition-poor, are low in antioxidants, fiber and nutrients, our metabolism, muscle building and recovery will suffer.  On the reverse though, foods that are nutrient dense, can help regulate our metabolism, fat burning and muscle building hormones and pathways, and ensure proper recovery and better outcomes.  Make sure these five fat burning foods are part of your diet plan.

Cruciferous Vegetables:

These vegetables include Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, and Cauliflower.  They are full of insoluble fiber that can help slow down digestion, and balance blood glucose levels, which can in-turn reduce hunger between meals.  But that’s not all cruciferous vegetables can help reduce toxic estrogen metabolites, and can help remove estrogen from the body.  These green super foods deliver DIM and indole that can bind to excess estrogen, and package it for removal before it is re-absorbed by the blood stream.

They also deliver calcium-d-glucarate, which can reduce estrogen metabolites; low levels of this mineral compound result in higher levels of beta-glucuronidase.  This enzyme breaks apart estrogen from bound forms that are leaving the body and allows for re-absorption.  Excess estrogen, can block fat burning receptors and fat burning pathways from turning on, while also reducing our ability to build muscle, so keeping them balanced is important.

Monounsaturated Fats:

Usually you hear about the Polyunsaturated fats – like omega-3, from fish and flax seed but monounsaturated fats like avocados, nuts and olive oil also have numerous healthy benefits including promoting an increase in fat metabolism, thyroid function and increasing caloric expenditure or metabolic rate.   It’s thought that when we eat MUFAs the body is more likely to burn off these calories and use them preferentially instead of storing them.

One study showed that eating a high fat meal containing olive oil contributed to a higher thermic effect – which is the amount of energy it takes to burn off the food you eat.  It has also been shown that subjects consuming  Mediterranean Diet or Low Carbohydrate Diets that provided the highest ratio of monounsaturated fats, experienced greater weight loss and favourable changes in HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol, and decreases in blood glucose levels. Don’t be afraid to add a tbsp of olive oil to a salad, have nuts with your oatmeal or have a slice of avocado on top of your omelettes!

metabolism boosting foods

Non-Starchy Vegetables:

Instead of eating grains, switch to eating healthier carbohydrate options like non-starchy root vegetables.  Craving pasta try spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, instead of potatoes try butternut squash or sweet potatoes.  Vegetables pack indigestible fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, a whole lot more good stuff than you will find in non-natural or processed foods. Plus the bulk of eating more vegetables can help you reduce eating other food that you might be tempted to eat while dieting.

Protein and Saturated Fat:

Don’t be afraid to eat some fatty protein options like red meat or whole eggs.  These foods deliver a whole lot of protein, but they are also high in saturated fat, and although you might think you don’t need any of that, the truth is you absolutely do.  Saturated fat offers up cholesterol, and that is essential for producing hormones including muscle-building testosterone!

In fact, higher fat diets can lead to more weight loss and better body composition versus those following low fat diets.  Fat can also preferentially put the body into a state of burning off fat as fuel instead of storing it, while preserving muscle tissue and burning through stored glycogen.

Fat Burning Foods:

Foods like Green Tea and Hot Red Peppers both increase norepinephrine – a key fat burning hormone.  Red chili peppers contain the ingredient capsaicin, which has been shown to help reduce hunger, food intake and increase metabolic rate.  While, Green Tea delivers EGCG, which has been shown to help increase energy expenditure, including enhancing norepinephrine production, and keeping it active in the body for longer.   Add hot peppers to your meats, or hot sauce to your eggs.  Sip green tea throughout the day to help keep your metabolic rate working overtime.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen


Bradlow HL, et al.  Long-term responses of women to indole-3-carbinol or a high fiber diet.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1994. 3(7): 591-5.

Cardoso GA, Salgado JM, Cesar MD, Donado-Pestana CM. The Effects of Green Tea Consumption and Resistance Training on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Overweight or Obese Women. J Med Food. 2012.

Shai I, et al.  Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean or low-fat diet.  N Engl J Med.  2008. 359(3): 229-41.

Yoshioka M, St-Pierre S, Drapeau V, Dionne I, et al. Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. Br J Nutr. 1999. 82(2): 115-23.

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