When it comes to burning fat, food is not the enemy. In fact, the right foods will help speed things up.
Calories aren't the only thing that matters. You need to make sure that your calories come from sources that aid your metabolism.
Most of the foods on our list pack more of a weight loss punch than any diet pill. And they're a lot safer.
If you're looking for home remedies to reduce belly fat without exercise, the easiest and most effective way to go is to simply add more of these foods to your diet.
A lot of things have to happen inside your body in order to burn fat.
To convert a stored fat cell into food, a variety of hormonal and chemical signals need to be present. We are interested in foods that help put our body into this optimal state.
As you can probably guess, the foods that burn fat while you sleep are always natural with minimal processing. Our bodies evolved over millions of years eating these exact types of foods, so it makes sense that natural foods are what help us achieve our healthiest body.
To make our list of natural “fat burner” foods, we sifted through the many different lists of “foods to lose belly fat” and the like, looking for things that showed up repeatedly.
Here's what we found:
Oats are filling due to their high fiber content, and also a great source of selenium. According to Dr. Axe, selenium deficiency is not a problem for most healthy people in the U.S., but it's important to consume because it boost blood flow, among other things:
Selenium is able to play such a protective role in the body because it increases antioxidant capabilities and the quality of blood flow, therefore enhancing the body’s resistance against diseases and stress. Selenium is often praised for its role in antioxidant activity, which lowers free radical damage and inflammation. This is thought to be due to different types of selenoprotein found in selenium.
Edamame is made from soy beans that are boiled and then salted. They are high in protein, making you feel full and helping preserve your lean muscle.
Edamame is an especially good snack for vegans and vegetarians, as Healthline points out:
Vegans and those who rarely eat high-protein animal foods need to pay special attention to what they eat on a daily basis.
One concern is the relatively low protein content of many plant foods. However, there are a few exceptions.
3. Tart Cherries
Some of you might know about tart cherries as a sleep aid, but they can also help shrink your waist. From Eat This, Not That!:
Tart cherries have been shown to benefit heart health as well as body weight, in a study on obese rats. A 12-week study by the University of Michigan found that rats fed antioxidant-rich tart cherries showed a 9 percent belly fat reduction over rats fed a “Western diet.” Moreover, the researchers noted that the cherry consumption had profound ability to alter the expression of fat genes.
Editor's Note: Several of these fat burning foods appear in Liz Swann Miller's Red Smoothie Detox Factor, our top rated detox diet. Read more about it here.
Bananas have a dual benefit when it comes to fat loss: helping you feel full, while also telling your liver to use up more fat. From Health.com:
Although they're best known for containing potassium, bananas are also a great source of resistant starch, a type of starch that's important for weight loss. Your body digests resistant starch slowly—helping you feel full for longer—while simultaneously encouraging your liver to switch to fat-burning mode. And no need to wait for them to become completely ripe; bananas actually contain more of this calorie-torching ingredient when they're still a little green.
Even more reasons to add a bunch to your shopping cart: Bananas can help regulate blood pressure, ease digestive problems, replenish nutrients after a workout, and may even help prevent strokes in older women.
The food that inspires dread among 3-year-olds everywhere is also a great one to keep around if you want to get slimmer.
Not only does broccoli help curb your appetite, it can actually help boost weight loss. Sandi Busch writing for LiveStrong notes:
Several nutrients in broccoli — vitamin C, calcium and chromium — may promote weight loss. The body needs vitamin C to synthesize a compound called carnitine, which is essential for metabolizing fats into energy. Less fat is burned during exercise when you’re low in vitamin C, and people who consume a higher amount of vitamin C are more likely to weigh less, according to an article published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2007.
Lots of experts included yogurt in their list of thermogenic foods. WebMD noted an interesting study that found yogurt consumption to be linked to weight loss in a large pool of people studied:
A Harvard study followed more than 120,000 people for a decade or longer. Yogurt, of all the foods that were tracked, was most closely linked to weight loss.
That doesn't prove that yogurt caused weight loss, but it stood out among other foods.
There are different explanations as to why that might be. It could be due to the high amount of protein in yogurt, or perhaps yogurts probiotic effect helps your gut function.
Similar to yogurt, kefir provides your digestive tract with the good bacteria that heavily influence our health. Kefir, in fact, has far more gut-friendly bacteria than yogurt. Dr. Axe says to swap kefir in for your usual yogurt a few times a week:
Kefir is a fermented drink similar to yogurt loaded with medicinal benefits. It’s also packed with probiotics, the (good!) bacteria aiding your body in fighting infections. Probiotics are also good news for those trying to lose weight — eating them is associated with weight loss. Try swapping kefir for your usual yogurt a few times a week.
Okay, it's not really a “food”, but no list of everyday fat burners would be complete without everybody's favorite stimulant.
Coffee has come under a bit of controversy lately for other reasons, but its status as a thermogenic remains undisputed.
Coffee has the potential for weight loss in both the short term and the long term, according the Healthline:
In the short term, caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, but after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working.
But even if coffee doesn't make you expend more calories in the long term, there is still a possibility that it blunts appetite and helps you eat less.