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Torch Your Waistline by Adding These 7 Fat-Burning Foods to Your Diet

Published 10/14/2021

We get it. You work out regularly and eat right but still can't seem to shake those last few pounds. While the world doesn't need another fitness model, it sure would be nice to lose that burgeoning muffin top you get from your favorite, although slightly snug, pair of jeans.

To many of us, the word diet is one of those four-letter words. We cringe at the thought of eliminating foods that we enjoy or counting calories. People often confuse diet, as in the foods you eat, with dieting, which is limiting your food or caloric intake. A more straightforward explanation would be that diet is a lifestyle and dieting is a temporary solution.

Now that we understand the difference, let's discuss what adding fat-burning foods to our diets will not do:

  1. These foods are not magic potions that will shred your gut in a week. 
  2. Adding good food to a poor diet will not solve your weight loss problems. 

Fat-burning foods are a final tweak to an already healthy diet and exercise regimen. If you're 50 pounds overweight and sitting on the sofa, adding hot peppers to pizza isn't torching anything other than your stomach lining.

Fat for energy

Our bodies require energy to function, and scientists measure this energy in units of heat, calories. When you read a food's caloric content on a Nutrition Facts label, don't think of them as you would fat, sugar, or sodium. Look at calories like pumping gas in your car. How much do you need to get where you want to go?

The calories in food come primarily from two sources, sugar and fat. Our body decides what to burn depending on what we've eaten. Sugar burns less efficiently than fat, and excess sugar turns to fat. Our physiology prefers the use of fat for energy.

Here's why the caloric content of our food is vital to weight loss; the fat we burn can come from food or stored fat. If we have an excess of calories from food, we cannot burn stored fat. And, if the excess is more than we need to function, it becomes stored fat.

Regardless of our body's energy source, we need to create a calorie deficit to lose body fat. 


Not all calories are the same. Technically, we measure calories as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1°C at 1 atmosphere pressure. Some foods have higher caloric density, which means they take longer to complete the process. A piece of paper burns much faster than a wooden stick.

Fat-burning foods go one step further by temporarily boosting your metabolism, allowing our bodies to burn even more calories after we eat them. They're like lighter fluid on a fire, and when these foods burn, they accelerate the burning of other fats.

But, just as the burst of fire from lighter fluid, the effects of fat-burning foods are temporary. That's why these foods are more of a dietary bonus than a source of weight loss.


This fat-burning food could also include tea because the fat-burner is caffeine content. If you're thinking, "Great, my soda has caffeine too." Think again! Sure it contains caffeine but comes loaded with sugar and other chemical ingredients that cancel out the benefit. Diet sodas are far worse due to the artificial sugars that cause you to eat more. If you didn't know that fact, click here.

In studies, people who consumed 100 to 200 mg of caffeine (roughly one to two cups of coffee) experienced a 3 to 7% increase in their metabolic rate for several hours.

Green Tea 

Green tea is popular for its health benefits and weight loss properties. Green tea contains roughly 20 to 40 milligrams of caffeine, depending on how you brew it, but that's not all.

Green tea contains a metabolism-boosting antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Multiple studies show that drinking green tea alone has little to no impact on weight loss. Sorry, green tea-sippers. You'll need to add some exercise to get all the benefits.


Eating high-fiber vegetables like celery burns fat from the sheer effort our bodies need to process them. Celery is a very low-calorie food, so all that chewing and digesting makes them what some people consider "negative calorie." 

If nothing else, celery and the like can make you feel full with little caloric load.

Apple cider vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is a trendy weight-loss food right now. You'll find single-serving shots of it near the checkout lanes of almost every health or natural food store. 

Studies show that acetic acid, the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, promotes fat burning in rodents. Early studies in humans report that apple cider vinegar reduced body fat percentage and waist size in participants. 

Please be careful with those vinegar shooters. They may cause intestinal distress and eat away at the enamel on your teeth.

Coconut oil 

Coconut oil is an increasingly popular item in the keto community. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Research shows that MCTs have a direct pathway to the liver, where they convert to ketones. For the uninitiated, it's called the keto diet because the body uses ketones for energy instead of glucose. 

We will give you a fair warning about MCTs; they're loaded with calories. If you're not on some version of a low-carb, high-fat diet, coconut oil may not be the best dietary supplement. The calorie-burning effects of MCTs also diminish over time, so experts don't recommend long-term use. 

Hot peppers 

Hot peppers, more specifically the ingredient that makes peppers hot, capsaicin, burns calories and our taste buds. You can get capsaicin by eating peppers, seasoning food with hot sauce, or capsule form for the spice adverse among us. 

Multiple studies show that adding capsaicin to participants' diets resulted in an additional 70 calories burnt per day. And here's some good news for those with larger midsections: capsaicin boosts metabolic rate more in heavier people than lean people. 


We saved the best, in our opinion, for last. Ginger is the triple threat of spices due to its nausea relieving, metabolism stimulating, and blood flow boosting properties. Ginger is also a powerful antioxidant. 

Ginger promotes digestion leading to increased calorie burning. Studies show that people who consume ginger at meals feel fuller longer. Whether ginger burns fat in a person depends on many factors, such as diet, exercise, and percentage of body fat. 

While these foods may not turn your fat-burning into a raging inferno, they may be just the fuel you need to break through a plateau or fit into those skinny jeans.


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