12 fat burning foods for weight loss

12 fat burning foods for weight loss Most of us are always on the lookout for ways to burn fat, with what we put into our bodies often the first area we start with. And whilst we can all make a conscious effort to limit the takeaways and treats in an effort to lose belly fat(opens in new tab). It’s also useful to know which foods to eat more of which actively burn fat and calories. “If you’re focussing on weight loss then it’s great to know that certain foods can help you reach your goals faster  “These foods that are scientifically proven to help the body burn fat when eaten as part of a controlled eating plan.”

12 fat burning foods for weight loss

1.Green Tea

Green tea is known to be thermogenic, or a fat-burner,  “It’s loaded with antioxidants called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which helps speed up metabolism.  Plus green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine, and research has found it to speed up metabolic rate and increase fat-burning if drunk before exercise.” one German study finding that the antioxidants in green tea promoted fat breakdown. Then there’s the University of Birmingham study which reported that men who took a green tea extract before a workout burned 17 percent more fat than those who didn’t. So be sure to sip some regularly before a gym session for maximum potential.

Mind you, dietician Claire adds that you don’t necessarily have to drink green tea to get the goodness. “This nootropic tea can be used in its beverage form or found as a supplement to support a healthy metabolism



One 2010 study gave one male group an egg breakfast and the other a bagel breakfast which contained the same calories. And they found that those who enjoyed eggs in the morning ate less during the remainder of the day. This is great news if you’re making a conscious effort to watch the calories

Another study with a similar egg vs bagel diet found that after eight weeks, those on the egg diet lost over 30% round their waists and saw a decrease in overall body fat percentage.

The reason eggs are good for you(opens in new tab) and your weight loss goals? It’s all down to protein  Eggs are one high-protein food(opens in new tab) that can promote fat-burning, Protein speeds up metabolic rate, which can be as much as 30% after eating high-quality protein. Furthermore, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the more metabolically active you’ll be.”


Your morning cup of joe can really help you achieve your weight loss goals – and that’s according to science.

Coffee’s caffeine content has been hailed as an effective stimulant that fires up metabolism. And indeed, one Swiss study found that after a caffeine hit, fat burning increased by 44%. Whilst a University of London study reported that one group who drank 100mg of caffeine a day burned 150 more calories as a result. 

Though the evidence looks good, dietitian Claire has some words of warning, “While it provides its own metabolism boost, be careful that you don’t add too much sugar or fat to your coffee and counteract its energy-boosting effects Stick to a regular black coffee and stay clear of fattier coffee variations like flavoured lattes and Starbucks cappuccinos.


We’ve all heard of the celery diet trick, as dietician Claire points out, “Celery is the famous ‘negative calorie’ food – some people claim it takes more calories to digest celery than it does to eat it.”

We’ve all heard of the celery diet trick, as dietician Claire points out, “Celery is the famous ‘negative calorie’ food – some people claim it takes more calories to digest celery than it does to eat it.”

And it turns out that science agrees in this situation – with one UK study proving exactly that.  In Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped series, researchers from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and the University of Warwick placed presenter Matt Tebbut in a metabolic chamber. Here they recorded the number of calories he ingested and burned while eating celery in different forms over 12 hours.  

Two meals included raw celery and a celery smoothie – both worth 53 calories. And results showed that Matt burnt 73 calories when munching raw celery, and 112 when drinking the smoothie.

 5.Chia seeds

“Small but mighty, chia seeds have many benefits(opens in new tab) – many of which are thanks to their protein and fibre content “They can turn liquids into thicker substances – think chia pudding(opens in new tab) or adding into your oatmeal. And they provide minerals and vitamins to support the conversion of fat to energy.”

One 2017 study found that the fibre and low-carbohydrate content of chia seeds was responsible for people feeling fuller for longer. Whilst another study in the same year, recorded that overweight adults who ate 30g of chia seeds daily for six months lost weight around their middles and body overall. Now that’s a result worth emulating

 6.Whole grains

Adding a host of hearty whole grains to your diet can help aid fat loss in the future. Think healthy bulgur wheat, quinoa, brown rice, a bowl of beneficial oats(opens in new tab) and whole grain breads and cereals. 

“Whole grains such as oats and quinoa are high in fibre, which can enhance weight loss, digestion, and blood sugar levels “Eating whole grains has also shown to reduce appetite and influence your body’s energy use, both of which can affect body composition.”

Indeed science agrees, with one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(opens in new tab) finding that a research group who added whole grains to their diet lost more body fat than those who continued eating refined grains. The same group also boasted a significantly loss in belly fat too. 

Then there’s a 2017 study(opens in new tab) that found whole grains can help speed up your metabolism and increase calorie loss. And the reasoning behind this is that when digested, less calories from whole grains are retained overall.



Be it a breast, a thigh, or a good old chicken drumstick – Chicken has earnt a spot on our fat-burning foods round-up, with research showing that this popular poultry can aid weight loss.  A study by the University of Navarra found that those who frequently ate chicken as part of a balanced diet experienced a “significant weight reduction mainly due to the loss of fat mass”. 

 this is due to chicken’s high protein nature, “Lean protein sources, like chicken, actually take more energy (or calories) to digest than simple carbs do,” she tells us.  “Eating lean protein also protects your muscle mass when you’re in a calorie deficit, and lean mass burns more calories than fat.”

Another study found that chicken is also effective in making us feel full after a meal. The amino acids in it make our brains recognise that we are full afterward.

Of course, be aware that deep-fried chicken does not carry the same nutritional benefits. And is best avoided or eaten as a rare treat.


A simple salmon dinner(opens in new tab) can help you lose weight fast, as this delicious lean fish packed with protein and omega-3s.   “Salmon is a fantastic source of high-quality protein which is beneficial for weight and fat loss as the body must work harder to digest it. In addition, salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which are shown to reduce inflammation and promote fat burning, with studies showing that fish oil supplementation can help to reduce weight and the stress hormone cortisol, which is also linked to fat storage.” Indeed, one 2015 study into omega-3 found these friendly fats helped with a “reduction in abdominal fat”. Whilst another study found that salmon – compared to cod and fish oil capsules – was the most effective for weight loss overall. 

There’s further good news too. As one serving of salmon contains around two-thirds of the nutrient selenium – which your body needs for a healthy thyroid. This is especially important, as your thyroid holds the key to an efficient metabolism With this in mind, make sure to stock up on salmon on the weekly supermarket shop.

9.Greek Yogurt

Not only is Greek yogurt good for you(opens in new tab) and delicious. It’s also scientifically proven to help burn body fat too Greek yogurt can really help with fat burning but it needs to be the full fat variety  a clinical nutritionist from Feel Alive UK“Firstly, full-fat Greek yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which promotes fat burning. And secondly, probiotics naturally found in the yogurt support the good gut bacteria which is key to any weight loss programme.” as the more overweight the person, the more imbalanced the bacteria in their gut. And it’s this imbalance that makes it harder to lose fat overall. 

As for Greek Yogurt’s fat-burning qualities – researchers in Journal of Nutrition study reported that the amino acids, vitamin D and calcium it contains speed ups fat burning. And this was undoubtedly proven by one University of Tennessee study Participants who cut calories and ate just over 500g of yogurt daily lost an incredible 81% more belly fat than their counterparts.



Broccoli and its counterparts – like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts – are super high in fibre and nutrients that keep your body burning fat

According to researchers, broccoli contains calcium, which is good for healthy joints and weight loss. One University of Tennessee study found that calcium in fact controls how fat is processed and stored in the body. And that the more calcium in a fat cell, the more fat that cell will burn.

Meanwhile, Scientists at Kanazawa University in Japan delved into the science of broccoli further. And credited the chemical Sulforaphane, found in this mighty green veg, as the key to fighting flab.

They discovered this chemical not only encourages brown fat cells to speed up your metabolism but also helps to beat the bloat after a particularly salty meal.

A word to the wise though – steaming this green superfood is the best way to reap the full fat-burning effects. This is because steaming broccoli gives you the best chance of absorbing its nutrients. And of course, frying broccoli carries extra calories if seasoned and brushed with olive oil.

11. Nuts

Nuts, specifically almonds, are a great source of magnesium and healthy fats. These healthy fats also provide antioxidants, which both fight and repair the damage caused by inflammation, Indeed, almonds in particular are something of a fat-burning superfood, according to one US study. Overweight participants who enjoyed almonds as part of a low-calorie diet lost 50 percent more fat overall and around 18% of their weight compared to 11% lost by the other test group. 

They’re also a good source of protein, and as such they require the body to use more energy during the digestive process which can boost your metabolism and help burn more calories And this was certainly the case with one European Journal of Nutrition study which find those who included nuts in their diet were at less risk of gaining weight or becoming obese. 

So far, so good notes that whilst peanuts may be tasty, these are not the nuts in question when discussing fat-burning foods.  “Though nuts are really healthy, they are high in fats (although mainly healthy fats) but they do need to be eaten in moderation in order for any benefits to be noticed


A sweet summer treat, watermelon’s benefit is in its name – its high water content (and fibre) makes it satisfying without lots of calories

And it’s not just it’s low calorie status that appeals to dieters. With research revealing that watermelon also aids weight loss too.

One San Diego University study found that participants who ate watermelon daily for four weeks had “reduced body weight and blood pressure”. A win-win in our eyes.

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