Let’s face it: Most of us workout to get into the fat burning zone.
Some of us like to pump iron and build muscle, sure, but one of the main reasons there’s a spike in gym memberships every January is to burn fat, lose weight, and keep in shape.
Below, you’ll find a list of one of the best foods for weight loss. Eat them alongside regular exercise and you’ll put yourself in the best position to run a caloric deficit (the magic key at the heart of a weight loss lifestyle).
Pro-tip: ‘Caloric deficit’ simply means you’re burning more calories each day than you consume. Find out more about it here.
OK, water isn’t a food, as such. But it does play a powerful part in a healthy diet.
First up, staying hydrated is essential during a good workout session. Water delivers nutrients around your body, helps keep your electrolytes in balance, lubricates joints, and so much more.
But did you know water can also help you to eat less?
When the cravings start to creep in, drinking a glass of water can stimulate your stomach’s fulness receptors and help you to resist the urge.
Drinking a glass before a meal has the same effect: There’s less space in your stomach to fill with food, so you’ll feel the need to eat less as a result.
Incorporating the right amount of water into your workout diet is a strong start.
2. Shirataki Noodles
These tasty noodles are common in Asian cuisine, and they’re of interest as post-workout food.
Shirataki noodles are rich in konjac fibre – also called glucomannan – an ingredient with strong weight loss credentials.
Konjac fibre expands when it comes into contact with water. When you eat shirataki – or take a glucomannan pill – it passes into your digestive system, comes into contact with the fluids in your stomach, and expands.
The expansion is only slight, but it’s enough to take up a little more space, meaning you’ll feel full more quickly than otherwise. In a similar way to water, shirataki can contribute to you feeling the need to eat less.
Noodles are a great food for a healthy diet because they’re so versatile. You can use them as the base for tons of meals, from stir fries to pho, and from to japchae to ramen. Chuck in some veggies, meat strips, nuts, or prawns, and you’ve got an instant healthy, delicious meal.
Oatmeal may not strike you as particularly exciting, but it’s an ingredient to get acquainted with. And in the same way as noodles, oatmeal can form the basis for some truly mouth-watering dishes.
In the context of a workout diet, oatmeal is great because it releases energy slowly. By having a bowl of porridge in the morning, or snacking on a flapjack, or even chucking a handful of milled oats into a smoothie, you give your body slow-release energy throughout the day.
This has two key benefits –
- It’s a huge way to cut cravings. When you’re running low on energy, cravings are your body’s way of asking for something (chocolate, candy, chips) that will deliver a quick energy boost.
- It helps you to workout better. A gradual release of energy sustains a workout in a more natural way than a big boost of caffeine. You might not believe it, but try it and see.
Oatmeal doesn’t have to be plain, either. It goes with anything: Honey, maple syrup, berries, apple slices, banana, nuts, demerara sugar – the list is endless.
Spinach, and other dark green vegetables like kale and broccoli, are full of iron. And iron plays an essential role in transporting oxygen around your body.
When you’re working out, keeping oxygen flowing is important. Aerobic exercise is that done with oxygen present, so the more you have in your system and the more efficiently it’s transported, the longer you can keep going.
These veggies are great examples of foods that promote weight loss, without hitting any of the traditional fat burning mechanisms like thermogenesis or metabolism boosting.
Incorporating spinach and other iron-rich veg into your diet will have an noticeable impact on your energy levels, making them cheap, easy, and delicious options for ramping up your workout.
Check out some spinach smoothie recipes like this one if you’re looking for inspiration.
5. Green tea
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a cup of green tea. Whether you go for a simple teabag in boiling water, or a more elaborate cup of matcha – green tea is rammed with health benefits.
First up, tea has thermogenic effects. It raises your body temperature slightly when you drink it, meaning you’ll burn a handful of extra calories: Not much, but every little helps.
Second, green tea contains caffeine. Less than you’ll find in a cup of coffee, but enough to give you a little energy boost during your workout.
Fight the fat 💪
As you can see, there are plenty of natural fat burners to choose from. All of the foods in this list are clean, healthy, cheap, and easy to incorporate into a tasty meal plan.
Losing weight comes down to exercising enough to offset the calories you consume through your diet. Cutting down on calories helps too, as long as it’s within safe limits. Then, you have the option of taking a fat burner dietary supplement to support your weight loss journey. This list contains some of the best fat burners.
Supplements are not magic bullets and should never be used as such. They can, however, give you a helpful boost if you’re willing to make the lifestyle change for weight loss.