“I need to lose fat…what is a great fat loss food?”
This is THE #1 question that I am asked by people intent on ridding themselves of excessive body fat and possessing a well sculpted and athletic physique.
Up until now, I think it’s fair to say that my answer has always been pretty unhelpful, which is that there is no such thing as a fat loss food i.e. a food you can eat that will instantly melt the fat off your abdominals – instead it’s more about being able to sustain a calorie deficit.
But you already knew this.
What you want to know now is, exactly which foods are good to have in your diet so that you can lose body fat in the quickest, safest and easiest manner possible, right?
And guess what? There ARE foods that can help with this.
Foods that are 100% worthy of being classed as a ‘fat loss food’, which can be included in your nutrition plan, simply because they –
- Are excellent at controlling your hunger/appetite
- Taste damn good, which make you feel great as a result of eating them
- Aren’t too much of a calorie burden
- Can energise you, causing you to expend more calories over the course of the day
- Ultimately help you to stick to your nutrition plan
In that case, I won’t waste any more time in teasing you, and am going to jump straight in.
So, in no particular order, here are my Top 5 Fat Loss Foods:
I know I’m not alone when I say that grapes are delicious.
They’re sweet, juicy and…. I’m going to go and buy some straight after writing this article.
Their high water content makes them very filling, but for a small calorie load – around 67kcal per 100g, which is a perfectly reasonable quantity .
Grapes can make the perfect sweet finish to lunch, or as part of a mid-morning/afternoon snack to stave off hunger.
Yes, they can certainly be overeaten, but it takes a set of electronic scales and a matter of seconds to work out a suitable quantity and pack them into a small Tupperware box.
*I just checked this with my new purchase and 100g came to exactly 30 small/medium size grapes.
Bread?? A fat loss food?!
If you love bread, and have no adverse reaction to eating bread, then I recommend you keep it as part of your fat loss nutrition.
Let me explain why…
One study back in 2012 compared 2 groups of overweight/obese women, each on a low calorie diet but with a major difference being that one group ate bread and the other one didn’t.
The study was carried out for 16 weeks and the results were as follows:
- No differences in fat loss between the 2 groups
- No differences in blood lipids or glucose control between the 2 groups
Not only that, but the group that DIDN’T eat bread had much greater difficulty in sticking to the plan and also had a much higher dropout rate (with the exclusion of bread being cited as a main reason).
So, this study tells you that eating bread-
- Won’t upset your health or fat loss results (assuming that calories have been accounted for)
- May help you to stick to your nutrition plan (assuming that you are a bread-lover)
So this tells you that when calories are equal, the inclusion of bread won’t upset your health or your fat loss results. found that a nutrition plan that included bread, encouraged much better dietary adherence than when it was excluded.
Another study, back in 1979, found also found greater weight loss results in college-aged males, who included bread in their diet and perfectly summarised why its inclusion may be so important for fat loss:
“Bread may be beneficial in weight loss programs because it curbs hunger pangs enabling the dieter to resist food that otherwise would cause excessive caloric intake”
Obviously, if you don’t like bread, or can’t tolerate it, then don’t feel you need to include it. But if you are a massive fan of Hovis, then the evidence is suggesting greater fat loss results by including it as part of your nutrition plan.
#3 Cottage cheese
OK, cottage cheese doesn’t exactly win points for ‘being delicious’.
At best, it is simply just ‘tolerable’.
In fact, I’ve only ever come across one client who found it so tasty that I was concerned they may over consume it.
And I get that a lot of people straight-up can’t stand it.
So why do I consider it a great fat loss food?
Because it is a high-protein snack that can be very beneficial to have late in the evening before you go to bed.
Plenty of people suffer from late night hunger pangs, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and can negatively affect fat loss results.
So, another common question I get is:
“If I’m hungry before I go to bed, what can I eat?”
And cottage cheese fits the bill nicely.
Firstly, its high-protein content can be very filling (11g of protein per 100g of cottage cheese), which can kill hunger pangs dead in their tracks.
Secondly, the high concentration of the amino acid ‘tryptophan’ can help promote restfulness and aid a deep sleep, by increasing concentration of the neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’.
I strongly advise you opt for a ‘low fat’ variety, in order to keep calories in check.
If you loathe cottage cheese, then an alternative would be to use a casein protein supplement.
Apples, like grapes, are delicious, low-calorie, high fibre and nutrient dense – making them a perfect fat loss food.
And to make matters better, apples rank very highly on the ‘Satiety Index’, meaning they have been proven to do a fantastic job of keeping you full.
I’ve had numerous clients want to know a quick and easy way to control appetite prior going to the gym, or in the stretch between meals, and I often recommend apples as a way of doing this.
Dietary adherence improved.
So if you love apples, then keeping them in your nutrition plan is a fantastic way to make your nutrition plan more enjoyable and easier to stick to.
Ok, so it can’t exactly be classed as a ‘fat loss food’…but I don’t care.
Who doesn’t love a nice big mug of Joe first thing in the AM?
Something I’ve often found confusing is that some people will chuck out all coffee when on the quest for an impressive set of defined muscles.
But in actual fact, coffee may help to accelerate the process.
There are 3 ways in which it may help to do this:
- A black coffee contains zero calories, yet it may be a very effective tool for controlling appetite
- Coffee can not only be very energising (from the caffeine), but it may help to improve mood in some people by increasing dopamine levels. The combination of having more energy and being in a better mood can increase adherence to a nutrition plan AND increase energy expenditure during the day (more energy expended = more fat loss)
- Caffeine may help improve training performance and result in a greater training volume/density, which can lead to greater energy expenditure
- Caffeine HAS been shown to increase fat oxidation, although it’s unlikely to result in you losing huge quantities of body fat, it may help to add up
If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, then I don’t recommend taking it too close to when you, as it can easily disrupt sleeping patterns – a 4pm cut-off time is recommended.
If you hate coffee, then
you’re odd tea can be a perfectly suitable alternative.
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