You may want to add them to your diet.
When I headed off to college, I decided I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, which wasn’t very difficult considering my diet was filled with processed sugar and packaged meals and snacks.
I didn’t have extra money to spend on health products like popular protein bars or fat burning shakes, nor did I want to buy them. One look at the nutrition labels, and I could tell that most of them were just as processed and high in sugar as the foods I was trying to get away from.
So, I took a whole different approach. I educated myself — I read scholarly articles, watched documentaries, and took nutrition courses, and I learned about the power of plant based ingredients. One quote that sums up what I learned and has stuck with me for the past five years is:
“Let food be thy medicine.” — Hippocrates
When I adopted a healthier lifestyle, I didn’t just start eating better. I began to view food as a source of fuel for my body, which made me care more about what I put into it. I substituted my sugar cereal for breakfast and sleeve of cookies after dinner for oatmeal with fresh berries and natural peanut butter, and healthier snacks like carrots with hummus.
I wanted to look and feel my best every single day, so I provided my body with energy to do so through minimally processed, plant based foods. As it turns out, many of these foods that I have grown to love also help your body run more efficiently from a metabolic standpoint.
The following are five foods that have been shown to help your body burn fat efficiently. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, so you may want to consider adding them to your diet.
1. This Breakfast Staple
Oatmeal has been one of my go-to breakfasts for the past five years. When I was in college, it was quick, easy, and inexpensive to make,
In fact, registered dietitian Jess Cording states:
“People often cut carbs for weight loss, but regularly eating complex carbohydrates (oats, buckwheat, brown rice) actually helps your metabolism.You’re less likely to struggle with cravings and you body works more efficiently because you’re well-fueled.”
So, instead of depriving yourself of carbs all together when trying to get stronger and fitter, focus on giving your body complex carbs, like a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, to keep your body running efficiently.
Berries are well-known for their vibrant color and antioxidant properties.What you may not know is that they are also packed full of fiber and keep your body running efficiently.
According to Women’s Health:
“Because they’re loaded with fiber, these sweet treats help improve satiety and reduce cravings as you’re burning fat. In one cup of blueberries, for example, you get fewer calories (about 84) and more grams of filling fiber (3.6) than in one large banana.”
I absolutely love bananas, and I eat them almost daily. However, I also understand the importance of eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, so I add blueberries to my morning bowl of oatmeal. If your goal is to get your metabolism revved up, you might want to do the same.
3. This Heart Healthy Oil
Oil has a reputation of being bad for your health. However, there is a huge difference between French fries that have been deep fried in a large vat of vegetable oil, and drizzling heart healthy oils, like olive oil, on top of your salads and vegetables.
The takeaway here is that you don’t need to fear fats. They are a great source of fuel for your body, and one of the three essential macronutrients. The next time you roast up a pan of vegetables, try drizzling on a bit of olive oil.
4. Peanut Butter
This is one of my favorite foods of all time. While I used to eat the kind with added sugar when I was in high school, I switched to a natural peanut butter in college and never looked back.
As it turns out, peanut butter can actually help you burn fat efficiently.Registered dietitian Jess Cording explains,
“Nuts have healthy fat, fiber, and protein, which is a great combo to keep you energized and satisfied.”
Nut butter is especially great because it is easy to integrate into many of your favorite meals. You can add it on top of oatmeal, slather it on a piece of whole wheat toast, or eat it by the spoonful for a quick snack.
5. This Popular Fruit
With the introduction of avocado toast, avocados have become wildly popular. Luckily, they can also help you burn fat efficiently.
Since avocados contain a lot of healthy fat and are nutrient dense, they actually help you maintain your fullness and satiety, which can prevent weight gain. Furthermore, fat takes a while to digest, so it can slow the rate at which your stomach empties.
These attributes make the avocado an efficient fat burning food, so it’s a great one to add to your diet. Try it on top of a salad, throw some in a smoothie, or smash some on top of your favorite whole wheat toast.
While no single food will make you instantly healthy, the combination of a balanced diet filled with many nutrient dense foods like the ones shared and consistent exercise will help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Minimally processed, plant based ingredients have powered me through daily work and exercise for the past five years. They help me look and feel my best, and they can do the same for you.
The fuel you put into your body directly impacts how efficiently it runs.Focus on nourishing it with ample nutrients, and you will optimize it for maximum energy and efficiency every single day.