Can you lose weight without working out? Absolutely! In fact, what you eat is 80 percent (some would argue 100 percent) of the battle of the bulge. But, did you know there are specific foods you can add to your next grocery shopping list that will literally combat fat? That's right! Eat these foods to boost your metabolism, burn more calories, and keep the weight off for good.
We're talking turkey, chicken breast, buffalo, lean cuts of pork and even lean beef (hello, filet mignon!). Lean meats are excellent protein sources and they help build muscle, strengthen the immune system and boost metabolism. Lean meats require more energy to digest because they are harder for your body to break down and use, which means you're burning more calories during the digestive process. Yes!
You're thinking, "Wait a minute! Fatty is the opposite of lean!" You're not wrong. But, fatty fish (think salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, etc.) contain the good-for-you omega-3 fatty acid, which has been shown in studies to reduce cortisol levels (high levels of the stress hormone cortisol promote belly fat storage). If fish isn't your thing, no worries! You could supplement with a quality omega-3 supplement.
Are you looking to add a little spice to your life? Throw some hot peppers into the mix. Not only do they heat up your dishes, but peppers like jalapeños, serranos and uber-hot habaneros have been shown to boost metabolism. That's because they contain this little chemical called capsaicin, which helps you burn more calories and lose body fat. Muey caliente!
Need another reason to drink your morning cup of Joe? Coffee, more specifically, the caffeine in coffee, can help you burn fat. A recent study showed that participants who had caffeine an hour before exercise burned almost twice as much fat as those who didn't. Bonus, the caffeine-infused group were able to work out longer than the non-caffeine group. Note: there is such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to caffeine. Try to limit your daily intake to 100-400mg, roughly the amount in four cups of coffee.
Whey protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. Studies show it may help preserve muscle during weight loss and it has an appetite-suppressing effect. It also has been shown to support fat loss and increase metabolic rate. Serve up a scoop of whey protein powder with ice-cold water after your workout or add it to a smoothie for breakfast.
Conversely, below are five foods preventing you from losing body fat, so be sure to limit them whenever you can!
- Fruit juice
- Ice cream
- Processed meats