10 foods that help burn fat

A slice of avocado can boost your metabolism and help burn fat.

With spring already here, it is time to start getting in shape, cut calories and find new ways to help obtain that summer beach body we all strive for. A well balanced diet is the first step toward being healthy and staying trim, so avoiding foods that are loaded with fat is essential for losing weight and helping lower cholesterol. Here is a list of 10 foods and beverages that actually burn fat and boost your metabolism so you can have the energy and motivation to look lean and stay fit this year.

Green tea
Researchers have found that regularly drinking green tea every day is an effective way to decrease body fat and help lose a few pounds in the process. Scientists from the Biological Sciences Laboratories of Kao Corp., in Tochigi, Japan tested athletes ingesting green tea extract, or GTE, and discovered that the drink can help improve overall endurance while increasing the rates of fat oxidation. "GTE is beneficial for improving endurance capacity and supporting the hypothesis that the stimulation of fatty acid utilization is a promising strategy for improving endurance capacity," the researchers said.

While eggs normally get a bad reputation for raising cholesterol levels, moderate intake can actually help you lose weight and get rid of unwanted fats in the body. Eggs are packed with vitamin B-12, which breaks down fat, and one egg usually contains only 90 calories. Try eating eggs without the yolk to avoid increased cholesterol while still consuming the essential vitamins.

Add some kick and cut some fat to your meal by adding hot peppers such as jalapenos and chilis. Peppers are loaded with capsaicin, which is a compound that provides the spiciness that also stimulates your metabolism while reducing "bad" fat levels. The spice might burn your tongue, but it is guaranteed to burn some fat.

Coconut oil
Another option that has generally received health scrutiny, coconut oil is bursting with medium-chained-triglycerides, or MCTs, that are proven to generate a higher rate of weight loss and fat burned than using olive oil. The body uses MCTs for energy, which means it doesn't store the fat found in the component. Try cooking with a little coconut oil to help get rid of excess fat.

A common health misconception is that all fat is bad for you and will increase your weight. Avocados help debunk this myth with their abundance of monounsaturated fats, which enhance metabolism and are used by the body as a slow burning energy source. Avocados also contain healthy antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which also help boost your immune system.

This fish is renowned for its health benefits, including being an excellent source of protein and vitamin B, but salmon is also a productive food to break down fat. Rich with omega-3s, salmon helps build extra muscle, which in turn burns fat in the body. It's also low in saturated fat and activates the thyroid hormone which increases speeds of metabolism. Eating salmon twice a week can ward off unnecessary fat storage.

As if you needed another reason to eat your vegetables, broccoli is high in fiber which helps our digestive system move fat out of the body faster so it can't be fully absorbed. Broccoli is also extremely low in calories and contains zero fat, and It helps trigger enzymes that inform fat cells to burn fat. There is no excuse not to add a little green to your diet, and broccoli is a top of the line vegetable.

Almonds and other nuts such as pecans, walnuts and peanuts, are full of protein, fiber and healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Eating a few handfuls of almonds can also help suppress your appetite, eliminating excess snacking and overeating. Make sure to eat almonds sparingly, as a full serving does contain approximately 160 calories.  

Grilled chicken
While many things can taste like it, few other meats can provide healthier amounts of protein than a grilled piece of chicken. When you are eating grilled chicken, your body has a thermogenic reaction, which helps you burn off more calories than other foods. Grilled chicken is ideal for those looking to build some muscle while cutting down on fat storage.

Topping off a dish with a little fresh ginger can help stimulate metabolism and also make you feel more full so you can eat less. Ginger also provides relief to sore or strained muscles, which can allow you to feel more active and motivated to exercise. Try applying ginger to your coffee or tea, or drizzle a little with your salad dressing.

Including any combination of these 10 amazing food options to your daily diet is proven to help you boost metabolism, build muscle and most importantly, burn fat.

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