Hungry Girl: Fat-Burning Food
Hungry Girl's Fat-Burning Food Guide:
Can foods help burn fat? Some experts insist they can. Here is Hungry Girl's list of diet-friendly foods that are rumored to fight flab!
I'm not sure if it has magical fat-burning properties, but research suggests that this sweet 'n' sour citrus fruit can aid in weight loss. One Scripps Clinic study found that eating half of a grapefruit or drinking four ounces of grapefruit juice with meals (without making any other changes in eating habits) resulted in an average weight loss of more than three pounds in 12 weeks. Scientists speculate the weight loss happens because grapefruit lowers insulin levels, which curbs your urge to snack. And, of course, the less you snack, the easier it is to lose weight.
HG Tip: If grapefruit is a little too tart for you, try sprinkling some Splenda on top.
Green tea is one ambitious beverage. Not only does it help prevent cancer and heart disease, but numerous research studies have also found that drinking green tea, or taking green tea supplements, can also rev up your metabolism. Just how big of a difference can this fat-burning brew make? Some researchers claim if you drink five cups of green tea a day, you'll burn 70 to 80 extra calories. That's not bad, and definitely worth a shot!
Like it hot? Good news: Eating spicy foods can help you burn more fat. Hot foods make you sweat and raise your heart rate, which temporarily increases your metabolism. So grab some cayenne, your favorite bottle of hot sauce, hot chilies or red pepper flakes, and give your food ‑- and your metabolism ‑- a kick. My personal fave hot sauce is Frank's Red Hot Extra Hot.
In addition to building strong bones, calcium also inhibits the production of calcitriol, a hormone that tells cells to generate more fat. Woohoo! Several studies have concluded that incorporating low-fat or nonfat dairy products into your diet can help you lose more weight. My favorite forms of low-fat dairy are Dannon Light 'n' Fit Smoothies, Yoplait Light Yogurt and Dreyer's Grand Light Ice Cream.
Skimp on water, and it'll be harder to lose weight. Dehydration slows down your metabolism, and it can also lead to sugar cravings and fatigue (which might make you less likely to exercise). Yikes! Some experts recommend guzzling eight cups of H2O a day. I have at least 10 to 12 glasses daily.
Research shows that a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, eaten with food, helps metabolize sugars more effectively and lower the body's blood sugar levels. This is helpful because high blood sugar levels and excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. Cinnamon also brings out natural sweetness in food and, well, tastes good. So sprinkle away! My favorite way to use the stuff? Mixed with Splenda and some fat-free cottage cheese or on baked apples. Mmm!
HG Protein Tip!
Protein is essential for building muscle. And the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn ‑- even when you're at rest. Protein also has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat). So, you burn more calories digesting protein than you do digesting carbs or fats. Your best protein-packed bets are turkey, egg whites, fish, tuna and skinless, boneless chicken breasts.