I love to eat. Who doesn’t?
Going out with my friends to a new restaurant is one of my favorite weekend activities. And when I don’t feel like going out, I love to park myself on my couch with a few good movies and a never-ending supply of snacks.
But these actions have consequences. That is, until I learned about thermogenic foods. Have you heard of them?
If not, you’re going to want to take the time to read this article and learn how you can eat to your heart’s content without packing on the pounds.
What Are Thermogenic Foods?
The thermogenic diet is gaining a lot of recognition lately, and for good reason. The term might sound intimidating, but the concept is very simple to understand.
Let’s say your average meal contains 500 calories. Our bodies have to do plenty of work to digest food, and this process burns calories in and of itself. So your 500 calories meal might end up only being a gain of 400 calories.
But did you know that some foods actually take more calories to digest than they’re worth?
For example, a fruit or veggie might contain only 20 calories but require 70 calories to digest. You’ve now burned an extra 50 calories, and just by eating!
Thermogenic diet foods that burn fat are also usually full of vitamins and minerals. By adding more of them to your diet, you can completely transform your health and learn how to eat your way into a smaller pair of pants.
What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Thermogenic Foods?
There are several benefits to the thermogenic diet, some of which you might never have thought about. Check out some of the best:
Promotes Fat Loss
Probably the most obvious benefit, eating the best fat burning foods can almost guarantee that you’ll lose weight. It will be a slow and steady process, but you’ll see some smaller numbers on the scale with time.
While not guaranteed, foods that burn fat can potentially lower high cholesterol levels, improving health and lowering risk factors for serious diseases.
Speeds Up Metabolism
This won’t happen to everyone, but for many people, eating a thermogenic diet can help to naturally speed up your metabolism by as much as 30%.
What Is the Thermic Effect of Food?
The thermic effect of food refers to the increase in metabolism after eating food. When we eat, our bodies must expend calories so that we can digest and use the nutrients we’ve consumed.
The thermic effect of food explains how eating can help the body burn calories at a faster rate.
What Are the Most Accessible Types of Thermogenic Food Available?
A lot of fruits and vegetables are thermogenic. You can easily pick these up at your local grocery store’s produce section (look for sales), or enjoy strolling through your local farmer’s market for what’s in season.
If you have a green thumb, you can also consider growing a few plants that will provide you with plenty of fat burning foods. There are also thermogenic spices you can add to snacks and meals for a burst of flavor and extra calorie-burning power.
When you start learning about these types of foods, it becomes easier to make smart decisions when you shop and go out.
Are There Any Long Term Effects of Eating Fat Burning Foods?
If you overdo it, eating fat burning foods can have some harmful side effects. Consider the following before trying the diet for yourself:
Losing Weight Too Fast
The right way to lose weight is slow and steady, not all in a week. This will give you a better chance of keeping it off and prevent feelings of light-headedness or weakness.
Not Meeting Nutritional Requirements
If you only eat foods that burn fat, you might not be getting enough of your daily nutritional requirements. It’s best to eat a mixture of the best fat burning foods and foods that are a bit more balanced.
If all you’re doing is burning calories through eating, you won’t have the energy to get through your day. You still need to have calories left over for everyday activities.
Fat Burning Pills/Supplements vs Thermogenic Foods
If you’re like me, you prefer to keep everything natural. But if you’re up for it, there are fat burning pills and supplements that you can add to your diet instead of focusing on what you’re eating or not eating.
Just make sure that you double check the ingredients in your supplements.
Most include the following:
Caffeine: Most of us have caffeine during the day, but fat burning pills have a bit extra.
Guarana: Made from the seeds of a tree native to South America, this ingredient is high in caffeine and can help you burn more calories.
Green Tea Extract: Green tea is full of antioxidants and can help keep the body healthy and operating at its prime.
Garcinia Cambogia: This tropical fruit can help slow down the body’s fat-making process and slow down your appetite.
Ephedrine: This ingredient has come under fire in recent years. It’s been used for centuries as an anti-asthmatic and stimulant but has also been linked to serious medical conditions.
Using thermogenic supplements means that you’ll be ingesting several ingredients you don’t need to be.
There are some risks associated with these supplements. For example, there have been cases of acute liver failure associated with taking fat burning pills. Loss of liver function can happen quickly and can cause serious health issues.
You can also overdose on caffeine. Symptoms include insomnia, nervousness, and vomiting. If you take several pills a day and find yourself with a cup of coffee in your hand more than once, it’s not impossible. You might also experience an increase in anxiety.
Plenty of people take supplement pills without any issues, but it’s important to realize that there are risks associated with their use.
If you want to avoid these risks, rely on natural foods to help you burn calories instead of supplements. A few apples won’t put you at risk and they’re a lot more delicious compared to a few veggie-coated capsules. It’s usually best to stick with thermogenic vegetables instead of supplements.
Can You Mix Fat Burners, Protein Supplements, and Exercise for Losing Weight?
It’s best to not take too many supplements at once. Fat burners can help you lose weight and do contain some great ingredients, but they can also put you at risk for some very serious conditions.
Protein supplements have a better reputation. They include mostly positive ingredients and protein is absorbed by the body faster than any other food.
When it comes down to it, most nutritionists will recommend protein supplements over fat burners. And either way you go, exercise is a must if you want to lose weight quickly and efficiently.
If you do want to use both fat burners and protein supplements, make sure to clear it with your doctor first. Losing weight won’t be worth it in the end if you cause harm to your body.
What Is the Best Diet to Increase Metabolism and Decrease Body Fat?
Everyone’s body works a little differently, so which method works best for you will depend on your specific needs. But over the years, I’ve learned some general tips and tricks for when I’ve needed to decrease body fat.
Eating fat burning foods is a great idea, but here are a few other things to keep in mind:
Don’t Starve Yourself
Make sure that you’re getting enough to eat throughout the day, especially if you’re eating foods that burn fat. You want to make sure that your body is getting enough nutrition.
Drink More Water
Skip juice and sugary drinks and go with water. Make sure that you drink at least six cups a day. Cold water is best. You can burn an extra 50 calories a day just by drinking cold water.
If you only eat one or two types of foods a day, you’re not providing your body with what it needs. Make sure you’re getting enough protein, fiber, and iron-rich foods. This will help the pounds come off faster.
I also like to use my body fat analyzer to make sure I’m losing fat and not just water or muscle mass.
List of Thermogenic Foods
Let me warn you before you start to scan this nearly complete list of thermogenic foods. You won’t find cheeseburgers and pizza.
But by adding more of these foods to your daily diet, you’ll be able to indulge in your favorite calorie-stuffed foods more often and with less guilt.
Here are some of the most common thermogenic foods and spices you can pick up today:
- Black Pepper
- Hot Chili Peppers
Ready to start snacking?
Once you incorporate more thermogenic foods into your diet, it becomes easier to stay under your daily calorie limit without feeling restricted. So stock your fridge, and eat your way to a better you!