Foods that burn fat (Thermic Effect)
Yes there are certain foods that can prove to be a powerful weapon in your arsenal for a war against that ugly, stubborn load of burden you carry around all day making you lazy, tired, miserable and what not. If you are really serious about losing this extra body fat then only read further.
Everyone knows how we get fat. By eating too much- Right!
Ok then let’s see how we can lose the fat by eating too much but in a different way.
The food we eat provides us the energy required for the body but to take that energy, the body has to expend some of its energy for the digestion, absorption, transport and storage of this food.
So how does it happens
This is due to the thermic effect of food which simply means every food you eat requires a certain amount of energy to digest it. In general, the harder the food is to digest the higher its thermic value.
Negative Calorie food (Fat burning food)– There are certain foods which are high in thermic value and provide very little calories, which means that they require more calories (energy) to digest than the calories (energy) they provide to the body.
It is almost impossible for the body to store these foods into fat cells ( adipocytes ) as most of their calories are burned just in the process of digestion. These are called Negative Calorie Food.
Which are these foods that can actually trigger fat loss just by eating them?
There are 3 categories of macro nutrients
Thermic Value of Protein:- Protein has the highest thermic value, up to 30% of the meal’s total calories i.e it puts a great demand on the body for its breakdown, absorption and storage (to be used for muscle repair and growth).
Thermic Value of Carbohydrate:- After protein the highest thermic value is of fibrous carbohydrates which are up to 20% because of the intensive digestive process needed to break down the cellulose fiber in vegetables.
Thermic Value of Fat:- Fats have the least thermic value of all the three macronutrients i.e. 0 – 5%. But this doesn’t mean that you should be avoiding the fat altogether.
Not all fats are evil as you may think.
There are some good fats that are essential for your body and can improve your metabolism thus helping you to burn more fat.
The good guys in the fat world are unsaturated fats which you get from cooking oils like groundnut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil and from nuts.
Omega-3 is one of the essential fatty acids which your body cannot produce of its own and has to be supplied through food. Best sources of Omega-3 are cold water fish like salmon, tuna and from plant sources like flaxseed. A small amount of saturated fat which you get from animal and dairy sources like chicken, meat, eggs and milk are also healthy.
To get the maximum benefits out of the thermic effect of foods, you should make a combination of lean protein like chicken breast, fish, egg whites, lean cut beef and fibrous vegetables like cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber along with small amount of healthy fats ( unsaturated fat ).
These are a very powerful combination which will boost your fat burning process. It is virtually impossible to get fat by eating these food combinations
Now let’s talk about the foods that should be avoided or minimized from your diet
Food with Low Thermic Value:- Starchy carbohydrates and sugars
These are the food which are high in calories and get digested very quickly.
The glucose, after digestion enters the blood stream at a very faster rate, thereby increasing the blood glucose level.
To bring this sudden spike of blood glucose level back to normal a lot of insulin is released which takes this extra glucose directly to adipose tissues (fat storing tissues) where they are stored as fat.
It includes polished rice, white bread, white pasta, white noodles, soft drinks, fruit juice, cakes, biscuits and sweets.
If these foods are present in your diet on a regular basis then you would probably be facing a tough time reducing the chunk of fat hanging around your stomach or hips or thighs.
Solid Food v/s Liquid Food:- Compared to solid foods liquid foods have way lesser thermic effect on your body because they are easily digested and absorbed.
The thermic value of a protein shake is lesser to that of protein rich food like chicken or fish. Similarly, fruit juices have lesser thermic value than the actual fruit out of which it is made as all its fibre are removed in the process.
Well to get the maximum benefit out of the thermic effect of food you should evenly divide your meals into 5 to 6 smaller portions with a gap of around 3 hours between each meal with each meal containing a source of lean protein, a fibrous carbohydrate and small amount of healthy fat.
In this way you will be able to increase your metabolism throughout the day and won’t suffer hunger pang or craving plus your energy level will also remain high throughout the day.