Fat burning & calorie neutral foods

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Fat burning foods are:

  • foods that make the body work very hard and use up calories in the food when processing it, and/or
  • foods which start a reaction or process which speeds up your metabolism and manages your blood sugar, and/or
  • foods that fill you up more so you eat less, and/or
  • foods that are not digested at all and just pass through the body, and/or
  • a combination of the above.

As a result, these foods have a lesser effect on your weight and you don’t automatically turn additional calories from them above your daily needs into fat. Indeed, some people say you do not put on any weight at all from these foods. Fat burning foods are mainly proteins, high fibre foods and fruit and veg.

Negative calorie or calorie free foods are foods that actually mean that the body uses more calories in processing them (either directly, or though the food triggering a reaction to other body functions) than they contain. This means that you actually lose weight when eating these foods. Negative calorie foods are fruit and vegetables.

So what are these foods?
I’ve done extensive research into fat burning and negative calorie foods and there are many different views about which foods are fat burning and negative calorie. (Some people don’t even think they exist!). Below are two lists; the first are the foods that there is general agreement about, and the second are those where there is more debate.

Commonly agreed fat burning foods

Turkey (without skin)
Chicken (without skin)
Lean red meat
Lean pork
Salmon
Tuna
Sardines
Cod
Haddock
Shrimps / prawns
Soya products
Beans / legumes
Oatmeal / oats
Chilli (all forms, fresh, powder, jalapenos, cheyenne etc)
Green tea
Eggs
Low fat diary
All hot spices
Extra virgin olive oil
Whole grains & cereals
Water

Commonly agreed negative calorie foods

Vegetables                                       
Asparagus
Aubergine
Beetroot
Bok and Pack Choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Chicory
Collard greens
Courgette / Marrow
Cress
Cucumber
Endive
Fennel
Garlic
Gourd
Green beans
Leeks
Lettuce
Mushroom
Okra
Onion
Peppers
Potatoes (in skins) inc sweet potatoes
Radish
Snow peas / mangetout
Spinach
Tomato
Turnip / swede

Fruit                                            
Apple
Apricot
Banana
Blackberries
Blackcurrants
Blueberries
Cranberry
Damsons
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Mango
Melons
Papaya
Peaches
Pear
Pineapple
Plums
Pomegranate
Raspberries
Rhubarb
Small citrus (small oranges, limes, lemons)
Strawberries
Watermelon.

Other suggested fat burning and negative calorie foods

  • All fruit and vegetables – some nutritionists say that all fruit and vegetables are negative calorie in their natural state.
  • Nuts – some say all ‘raw’ (not dry roasted or salted) nuts and seeds are fat burning. Others say keep to almonds, coconut, madedemia, peanuts and walnuts.
  • Soup – Some research has found that eating soup keeps weight off. An oil free veg based your soup will probably be negative calorie.
  • Avocados – often avoided due to their high fat content, they are in the ‘good fats’ category and suggested by many as a fat burning food. Use in salads but also as a base for dips and creams
  • Quorn – does not feature in lists however some lists include most proteins and quorn is a high fibre source of protein. Note that some people are allergic to quorn. (more info at http://www.cspinet.org/quorn/).
  • Air popped popcorn – appears on some lists as it is a whole grain and full of fibre. The main trick is to cook in air and do not cover with sugar or oil.
  • Dark chocolate (min 70%) – Only some chocolate. Not milk, sweetened or white, but dark chocolate which has a minimum of 70% cocoa, preferably 80% or 90% (Lindor even do a 99% bar). Watch portion size and only eat small amounts.

How to decide which foods burn your fat?

Because there is no agreement about which foods are fat burning, it will always be up to you to decide which you will class as fat burning for you. Maybe eat them and just be aware of how much they fill you up and for how long, how much you like them and also whether you think they are affecting your weight. What ever your list looks like, one of the main principles of keeping weight off is that these need to become the staple main stay of what you eat.

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