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What Are Fat-Burning Foods, and Are They Real?

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You already know that in order to lose weight in a healthy and safe way, the right formula is a consistent exercise routine paired with a healthy diet. Fruits and veggies will take you far in your weight loss journey, but are there actually certain fat-burning foods that can help even more?

First, it’s important to understand exactly what a fat-burning food is. It won’t instantly take fat off your body, but certain foods may help increase your metabolic rate, and this is what determines how quickly you burn calories. We’ve taken a look at five foods that may give your metabolism a boost, and can therefore help — along with a healthy diet and exercise — increase your daily caloric burn.

Foods That Can Give You a Boost


Some sweet news for coffee-lovers: caffeine and coffee may provide a short-term boost for your metabolism, as research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests. The study discovered that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee after a meal had a greater thermic effect (a metabolic increase) than decaffeinated coffee. Metabolic rates spiked significantly within three hours of drinking caffeine, meaning that your morning cup of Joe could give you a little daily metabolism boost.

Green Tea

Green tea is a double threat when it comes to its fat-burning properties and effect on metabolism. It’s high in caffeine, which increases metabolic rate, but as researchers from the University of Geneva found in a very small study, green tea’s plant-based composition may help with fat oxidation and speeding up metabolism beyond its caffeine content.

Protein Powder

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity discovered that when subjects who needed to lose a significant amount of weight incorporated protein instead of carbohydrates in a reduced-fat diet, they had improved weight loss efforts. Another study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that subjects who didn’t consciously change their diet but instead included whey protein in it, lost five pounds over the 23-week study period. This may be due to protein’s ability to keep us satiated through thermogenesis, a byproduct of the metabolic process.

Olive Oil

A small study published in The British Journal of Nutrition found that eating meals with the healthy fat olive oil helped increase metabolism in postmenopausal women, which in turn targeted fat oxidation in the abdominal area.

Chili Peppers

Capsaicin, one of the active components of chili peppers, has been found by researchers to help increase resting energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

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