Figuring out how your body’s metabolism work can be just as difficult as solving a Rubik’s cube. Each person’s metabolism works differently with some having a considerably faster natural fat burning process while others burn fat at a much slower pace. Metabolism is the method wherein your body burns the food and drink you digest and convert it into energy for the body. However, did you know that there are foods out there that actually takes up more energy in order for the body to properly metabolize?
Foods that actually help burn fat as you eat them? Yes, there are food types like that and they are called thermogenic foods. Including these types of food into your daily diet can actually help you control weight gain better and is highly recommended for people who are trying to lose weight.
Interested in learning more? Read on below to find out just what thermogenic foods are and a list of the best thermogenic foods that you can include in your weight loss/control diet.
The Basics of Thermogenic Foods
As we have stated earlier, thermogenic foods can help increase your metabolism and, in theory, even when you are resting. This doesn’t mean that you can just eat thermogenic foods and lie down all day, it just means your body will have an easier time burning off fat than it normally would.
In theory, thermogenic food should help reduce calories rather than add to them. It does this due to the fact thermogenic foods require more energy to digest and absorb its nutrients. If you want a good example of this, do a quick google search on celery and its calories. Celeries require more energy to digest in comparison the calories it actually provides the body.
Now, if you take thermogenic foods and include them in your calorie counting diet then you have yourself a pretty effective weight loss plan on hand. The key to losing weight, as dietary experts will tell you, focuses on creating a daily calorie intake plan that is less than the calories you burn daily. Including thermogenic foods into that plan will help speed up the whole process exponentially.
Another important aspect of thermogenic food you need to know is the ‘thermic effect’. This is the number of calories you burn during eating. Yes, even eating can burn calories although at such a low rate (20%). However, not all food groups require the same amount of energy to digest. For example, fatty foods only burn about 5% of calories as they are quite easy to digest and absorb. Thermogenic food, on the other hand, can take up to 35% of calories which is a good number if you are actively trying to lose weight.
Now then, since you have been properly introduced to thermogenic foods I believe it is time that I give you a recommended list I made. I have included these foods in my weight loss plan and have proven their benefits for those looking to lose some weight.
11 Best Thermogenic Foods
- Green Tea
If you have already started your weight loss diet plan then chances are you have already come across the benefits of green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants and is a natural fat burner which is why it is also known as the slimming tea.
Green tea is also known to contain caffeine as well as catechins. These two chemicals are known to boost metabolism in the body, a property that is attributed to thermogenic food. So, drink a cup of green tea every day if you want help in controlling and losing weight.
Mixing cinnamon in your drinks or food is a great way to balance the body’s glucose. Not only does cinnamon help moderate blood sugar, but it also contains high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals which helps lower cholesterol in the body. Cinnamon also has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce risk if neurodegenerative diseases.
You can sprinkle a couple teaspoons of cinnamon in your oatmeal, fresh fruit salad, and oatmeal. Also, I find that cinnamon compliments the taste of coffee exceptionally well. And since coffee is considered another thermogenic food, you can only imagine how effective it will be when combined with cinnamon.
- Leafy Green Vegetables
Obviously, you can always expect green leafy vegetables in any list that concerns about health. Pick vegetables that contain high levels of fiber and are full of carbs like spinach and lettuce, to name a few. These types of green leafy vegetables offer high thermic effects.
Not only can these types of vegetables help you reduce body fat, but they also contain a slew of other helpful nutrients to keep your body healthy and energized. You can never go wrong with eating vegetables so make a habit of including them as much as possible into your daily diet.
- Lean Protein / Meat
Lean protein foods offer the highest level of thermic effect. Take a look at all the most effective weight loss diets and you will see one similar element in all of them, every plan includes lean meat. A high-protein diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and this type of weight loss plan is basically a thermogenic food-focused diet.
Incorporating lean protein into your diet can effectively help your body burn as much as 30% to 35% calories that this food type contains just from digesting it. That is a pretty good deal, not only does protein help you feel full longer, adding a bit of exercise will guarantee you won’t be experiencing any weight gain from this type of diet.
- Coconut Oil
One of the healthiest and most popular food ingredients at the moment, coconut oil is also considered as a member of the thermogenic food group. Coconut oil can help in weight loss as it completely skips the digestive system and beelines straight for the livers. Once it has reached the liver, coconut oil can then act as body fuel and be used to energize the body.
This makes coconut oil a special kind of thermogenic food. It does not improve the metabolic rate rather it doesn’t convert into fat as easily as other oils. Coconut oil is also considered a safe type of fat that you can use to replace ‘bad’ trans-fat in your diet.
Eggs are another good source of lean protein and they are quite easy to find and prepare. Eggs contain low levels of calorie while being high on protein. It can effectively help speed up your body’s metabolism and thus burn more calories in the process. Eggs are also quite cheap which makes it a go-to thermogenic food for people who are trying to lose weight with this diet method.
If you want to reduce cholesterol intake, you can opt to remove the yolk and only eat the egg whites. Not only are eggs easily available and cheap, but there are also a number of ways to prepare them which are all equally as easy. If you plan on making scrambled eggs I suggest you use coconut oil as it contains little calorie content.
- Whole Grains
Whole grains are fiber-rich food that also contains protein, vitamin B, and phytochemicals which all offer different health benefits as well. If you plan to greatly reduce calorie intake then it is best to switch to whole grains as it can help burn up to 50% of its total calorie during digestion.
Incorporating whole grains along with other thermogenic food and proper exercise can quickly help you lose weight incredibly fast. There really is no downside to eating whole grains as it is considered to be one of the healthiest and safest foods for weight loss and control available today.
Spicy food is known to help improve the body’s metabolism considerably. Have you ever eaten hot pepper and find yourself sweating? You can thank the heat-generating chemical known as capsaicin. This produces a sort of domino effect in your body as it helps burn calories as well. This is basically like giving your body a quick work out while eating your meal.
Apples are a great way to satiate your cravings for something sweet. This low-calorie fruit can be eaten on the go. It also contains fiber and carbohydrates and offers the same thermogenic effects as a cup of coffee. This is an advantage if you prefer not take any caffeine in your diet plan.
Apples are always a good addition to any type of diet, thermogenic or not. It is a healthy, delicious, and quite filling food that delivers a lot of health benefits.
Ginger has effects similar to hot peppers in that it manages to naturally increase body temperature which helps improve the metabolic rate. Ginger also contains a high amount of anti-inflammatory properties. This means it can help alleviate and stomach swelling caused by gases.
Ginger also helps suppress your appetite which is great for those who are having trouble keeping away from eating during the day. Ginger helps give you a feeling of fullness which should help you fight off cravings.
- Ice-Cold Water
A surprise entry in this list, drinking cold water does show evidence that it can help the body burn off calories, contrary to popular belief. How does this help produce the natural thermic effect? Well, as you might have learned during school, the body needs to regulate the temperature of the food or drink we take before the digestion process begins. Meaning, it needs to make sure that anything thing we eat or drink must match the body’s internal temperature.
By drinking cold water, it forces the body to raise its internal temperature in order to warm up the ice water. Put two and two together and it is basically the same as a thermic effect, right?
Thermogenic foods can help make losing weight easier in a natural and safe manner. By combining this with calorie counting, you can almost guarantee that you will see positive results within a month. Of course, discipline is the primary ingredient if you wish to lose weight. Moderate your food intake and make sure to avoid unhealthy food. An hour of aerobic exercises 5 times a day will further improve your weight loss diet plan.