Five Summer Snacks That Burn Fat
If you’re tired of saying “no” to foods this summer in an effort to look bikini perfect, good news! There are plenty of great foods that actually speed up your metabolism, kick your body into high gear and help you burn the fat you’re working so hard to get rid of. Research even shows that skipping meals in an effort to lose weight can come back to haunt you later, so enjoy a snack! Here are five high-powered fat burning foods that don’t skimp when it comes to taste and indulgence.
We’ve long known that “abs are made in the kitchen.” All the sit ups and planks in the world can’t give you the six-pack abs of your dreams if you’ve got that frustrating abdominal fat up top. Thankfully, nature’s given us a hand up with blueberries! In a recent study, rats who ate diets fortified with blueberries lost overall body mass and the kind of harmful fat linked to heart disease and diabetes — the kind of fat that settles around the middle. Interestingly, rats lost fat whether or not they combined blueberries with a low fat diet, but the results were most favorable in rats who combined them with a low-fat diet.
Toss a handful of blueberries into your salad or smoothie, or enjoy them in your cup of Greek yogurt! The study showed that the blueberries didn’t have to be fresh to provide benefits — so enjoy freeze-dried berries for a crunchy snack or dried blueberries in your trail mix.
Surprisingly, eating certain fats is the key to burning fat. Some nuts, like almonds, peanuts and cashews, contain monounsaturated fatty acids, abbreviated as MUFAs. These MUFAs send a signal to your brain when they enter the intestine, letting you know they’re in your system, so you can stop eating. They are highly linked to our sense of satisfaction and fullness when we eat, preventing overeating. Enjoy a handful of nuts as snack, a spoonful of nut butter or a few sliced nuts on top of a big salad for a healthier and more satisfying crunch than croutons.
Hear me out! Far from just a replacement for French Fries or something to eat to feel good about your fat loss, a leafy green salad can contain several power foods to actively burn fat. Eating your veggies is an obvious good choice, due to how low veggies are in calories. Two cups of spinach can keep you full for hours for less than 50 calories! Greens such as dark lettuce, spinach and arugula have tons of fiber, which makes you feel full and fights abdominal bloating. Broccoli is another vitamin-packed ingredient for your salad — with more Vitamin C than strawberries! Make your salads bright and colorful with a kaleidoscope of veggies.
Not a salad fan but still looking to get your greens? Toss a handful of kale or spinach in with your berry smoothie to get the benefits!
Another satisfying fatty food that can feel like a cheat meal, but actually helps you burn fat! Eggs got some bad press in the 80s, but researchers have come around to extolling eggs as a miracle food for fat burning. While eggs are high in cholesterol, the most recent research shows that the cholesterol we eat doesn’t affect our blood cholesterol — inflammation does! Processed carbohydrates are far more likely to raise your cholesterol than the incredible edible egg, and studies have shown that eating eggs first thing in the morning diminishes your calorie intake through the day. Free range eggs are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase feelings of fullness and also regulate hormonal cravings and urges.
Snack on a cold hard boiled egg as a low-calorie, high protein summer snack or slice and enjoy in a salad, or on toast!
It’s not most people’s thought for a summer snack, but it’s a great choice first thing on a beautiful day! While many processed carbohydrates are linked to bloating, inflammation and weight gain, oatmeal is a fat burning powerhouse and a great choice for your carb cravings. Unlike most processed carbohydrates, oatmeal is full of fiber and “sticks to your ribs,” making you feel full through lunch. Skipping breakfast is a big no-no for fat loss — while you may think you’re eating less at first, you’re likely to overindulge at lunch due to irregular blood sugar and cravings. Stay away from pre-made, flavored oatmeals — they’re over processed and full of sugar and other extra junk.
Try your own plain oatmeal and add in your own fat-burning treats such as berries, nuts or even a bit of honey and cinnamon! Or enjoy oats as a cereal with almond milk and fresh fruit on a hot day.
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.