10 Healthy Foods That Burn Fat - The Thermic Effect of Foods

10 Healthy Foods That Burn Fat - The Thermic Effect of Foods

Thermogenic foods contain elements that either boost your metabolism naturally or are high in fat or protein; which requires more energy to digest and therefore, raise your metabolism. When you consume a diet heavy in thermic foods, the idea is that even while resting, your metabolic rate will be higher. This is called the “thermic effect.”

Many factors, such as age, hormones, meal frequency, and size have an impact on the thermic effect of food for each person. For instance, larger meals require more energy to digest, store and absorb. Therefore, larger meals have a higher thermogenic effect than smaller meals. It is important to note that eating more substantial meals, on the whole, will not lead to more significant weight loss.

Follow below as we break down some of the best foods to consume to achieve the thermic effect:

1. Fatty Fish

Not only is fish a great source of protein, but it is also packed full of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to decreasing inflammation, lowering risk of heart disease, and may also contribute to weight loss [1,2]. According to US News, some of the best fish to consume are salmon, sardines, arctic char, rainbow trout, and albacore tuna [3].

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is one spice that everyone should have in their kitchen, as it not only makes a great addition to your favorite coffee, but it also helps fight inflammation. This power-spice can also help prevent fat accumulation in the tissues and organs like the stomach and liver [4].  Get turmeric-infused coffee here!

3. Green Tea

Green tea contains both caffeine and EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to fat burning and loss of belly fat. You can read more about EGCG here!

In addition to being a great alternative to coffee, green tea may also have some limited effects on decreasing the risks of some types of cancers [5].

4. Ginger

Ginger, just like other spicy foods (like garlic and peppers) has what seem to be fat-burning properties. Ginger has also been shown to inhibit oxidative stress (a form of cellular aging), to have anti-inflammatory properties, and to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It may even reduce atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of dangerous fat in the arteries.[6] It is also a great way to draw toxins out of the body when sick!

5. Peppers

Easting peppers, like jalapeños, is a great tasting, natural way to raise your metabolism that doesn’t contain too many calories. Even if you aren’t a big fan of jalapeños; adding just a bit of heat to your food (which can also be accomplished with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, too!) will also help speed up metabolism. Most peppers contain an antioxidant called capsaicin, which can promote satiety, prevent overeating, and helps burn more calories to diminish body fat. [7,8]

6. MCT Oil

If you have ever heard of the “keto diet,” you have probably heard of MCT oil. MCT stands for “medium-chain triglyceride,” a form of saturated fat that has numerous benefits, ranging from benefitting cognitive function to assisting with weight management. You can read all about MCT and its surprising uses here!

7. Coffee

We love our coffee (and not just because it is one of the most popular beverages around the world, either!). Coffee is a natural source of caffeine, which can boost mood and performance. While we would love coffee for its ability to wake us up and great taste alone, Caffeine can also boost the metabolism and help to burn fat! [9]   

8. Olive Oil

If you have been cooking with olive oil for a while; then you have been making a smart choice, as it is one of the healthiest fats you can cook with. Olive oil may boost metabolism and promote fat loss. [10] It can also help you feel fuller longer by stimulating the enzyme that tells you when you are full. Olive oil is best consumed “as-is,” like as a salad dressing, pasta sauce, or dipping sauce. If cooking with the oil, make sure use medium heat, as it has a relatively low smoke point.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the old wives’ tales about “cure-all” ingredients that is more than likely true! This popular natural remedy may be able to help curb appetite. [11] It may also be a good addition to one’s diet which is trying to lose stubborn belly fat. [12]

10. Eggs

Eggs are not only packed with all the right amino acids and a great source of protein, but they are also a great “thermic food.” If you are trying to lose weight and minimize hunger cravings, eggs are a great way to boost satiety (or feel satiated) for longer periods.[14] Eggs are low in calories and because of the high protein, can assist in boosting metabolism. [13]


While basing your entire diet on Thermic Foods would probably yield little to no results in the long term, but when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine these foods could be a healthy tool in raising your metabolism.

If you aren’t up for changing your whole diet today, making small changes can get you started on conquering your wellness goals!

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References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18541602

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26829184

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/13-best-fish-high-in-omega-3sand-environment-friendly?slide=15

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9675322

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408800/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19056576

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/723503

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14756910

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23979220