Of course you know nutrition matters, but what about foods that are meant to burn fat faster than others? We know lemon water isn’t a thing, but what about other things? Do certain foods burn more fat? Here’s the lowdown on how these different foods work your metabolism.
“They have a thermogenic effect, which increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation and reduces your body’s propensity to store fat by regulating insulin levels,” says nutritionist Matt Lovell. Translation: they help heat up your bod, so you end up torching more kilojoules.
Your move: Start incorporating cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginger into your daily recipes and you’ll reap the benefits. A teaspoon of cinnamon or 14g cayenne pepper is enough to rev up your system.
Not only is coconut oil three times more effective than other oils at revving your metabolism, according to the Journal of Endocrinology, it also elevates muscle-strengthening growth hormones for four hours. And the more muscles, the more fat-burning potential you have.
Your move: Add a spoonful to your smoothie before you hit the gym and load those guns and use it to cook your morning scramble.
Innocuous-looking enough, but quinoa has a secret – it’s packed with a naturally occurring steroid called ecdysterone. Think steroids are just for meatheads? Think again. The more lean mass (read: muscle) you have, the more of a kilojoule-burning powerhouse you become – even when you’re just sitting around watching Westworld. A diet high in both ecdysterone and protein can increase muscle mass by seven percent.
Your move: Burn more fat by pairing your quinoa with chicken, lean red meat or chickpeas three times a week for a lean – but not bulky – physique.
Reacquaint yourself with cottage cheese. Not only is it a great low-fat, high-protein spread, it’s also a rich source of calcium, which your muscles need a constant supply of to be able to contract (more cheese = more burpees). Yes, it will feel like you’re in Eighties diet nirvana, but a serving of this retro dairy product contains 1833mg of tyrosine. Research carried out by the US Army showed that tyrosine can improve cognitive performance in stressful situations. You may not be going to war, but mountain climbers can be stressful, no?
Your move: Spread some over your corn cakes and sprinkle with cayenne pepper or black pepper for a pre-workout boost.
“Turmeric is a wonder spice that helps burn fat and reduce muscle soreness, but it can also have beneficial effects on your mood,” says sports scientist Tim Lawson. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Nutrition and Metabolism revealed that the curcumin found in the spice revved alertness within 60 minutes, so you can hit that HIIT class in storming form. #Beastmode
Your move: Sprinkle over eggs or tofu scrambles, or make a ever-so-trendy turmeric latte.
Yes, ol’ PB may have a drawback – it’s high in kilojoules – but it’s packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and protein that can increase your body’s production of testosterone, which can help your muscles grow and melt fat.
Your move: It works as a versatile snack when hunger strikes. Limit yourself to just a couple of tablespoons a day and look out for an all-natural and sugar-free variety.