For anyone who is looking to lose weight, the idea of “fat burning foods’ probably sounds like the magic solution. I mean, food that burns calories while you eat it? Sign me up! Well the bad news is, no single food on its own will magically burn body fat. Yep – eating a grapefruit after you just demolished a Big Mac isn’t going to burn off all the fat you just consumed. The good news? Eating a balanced wholefood diet packed with food with a high thermic effect can help naturally boost your metabolism.

When you boost your metabolism, you can burn more calories and this makes it easier to get rid of unwanted body fat (belly fat, we’re looking at you!) So – with this in mind, take a look at my top 7 fat burning foods and nutrition tips to help you get that metabolic engine revving.

Get Real

First and foremost, sticking to a diet of real and whole foods is essential when you’re looking to give your metabolism a boost. When I talk about whole foods, I’m talking about any foods in their natural state that basically put your digestive system to work by forcing it to break down fibre, amino acids, fatty acids and other nutrients. So basically, try to avoid packaged and processed foods where possible.

Prioritize Protein

The body digests protein at a slower rate than carbs or fat, leaving you fuller for longer and expending more energy to absorb nutrients. Think lean protein like beef, chicken and turkey and pile your plate with fish, eggs, dairy and legumes. Try my Protein Poke Bowl next time you’re looking for some protein inspiration.

Have Healthy Fats

For years we feared fat, but now we know that there are endless benefits of including it in your diet (as long as you’re having the good ones!) Fats are known to increase the body’s metabolism and help weight loss, so look for foods high in omega 3’s (olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut oil) and saturated fats (like full fat cheese and butter). My Deconstructed Avocado Toast is a winning way to start your day!

Go Green

Packed with caffeine, green tea is a natural stimulant that can help you burn calories and aid fat loss even when you’re not active. So, why not swap your second daily coffee for a green tea instead?& Snack on citrus.& Citrus fruits (especially grapefruit) are another awesome fat burning food that is rich in vitamin C, helping the body metabolize fat faster. Try my Summer Grapefruit Cocktail to get your daily dose of much needed vitamin C.

Spice it up

Are you a big fan of a bit of heat? Then you’re in luck! Because of a little something called “capsicums’ (a heat-producing compound which can boost your heart rate and metabolism) chilli, peppers and spicy food can help give your metabolism a natural boost. My Spicy Mexican bowl is a favourite amongst my chilli loving 28ers.

Stay Hydrated

The benefits of staying hydrated are endless and when you’re trying to lose weight it’s essential. To add to the long list of benefits – staying hydrated can do wonders for your metabolism. I always tell my 28ers to aim for 2.5 – 3 litres a day and set yourself regular reminders if this is something you struggle to stay on top of.

At the end of the day, if you’re really looking to torch fat and get your metabolic engines revving, then you cannot expect your nutrition to do all of the heavy lifting for you. Exercise – in particular HIIT and strength training, can also play a key role in boosting your metabolism (as well as of course aiding weight loss), so ensure there’s a bit of variety and intensity in your routine. Doesn’t forget to focus on managing stress levels and ensuring you’re getting enough sleep each night these can also both seriously effect your metabolism.

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.