Nowadays, we want everything faster. That goes for weight loss, too. So Eat This, Not That! researched the best fat-burning foods on the planet, and combined them to really rev up your weight-loss efforts. To see quicker results, and get the most out of mealtime, make sure you triple up on these waist-whittling food combinations that fill you up, fight bloat, and help you burn fat.
Avocado + Sprouted Grain Bread + Cayenne Pepper
Avocado toast doesn’t just look trendy on Instagram; it can be a real fat-burning snack if you make it right. Avocado has healthy monounsaturated fats that contain oleic acid, which helps you feel fuller longer. Sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is packed with fiber, which also keeps you feeling satisfied and squashes hunger. Top your smashed avocado with cayenne pepper, which contains capsaicin, an appetite suppressant. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that capsaicin induces satiety, which can help reduce caloric intake. Plus, researchers have found that capsaicin can help you lose belly fat.
Apples + Peanut Butter + Cinnamon
When it comes to stellar food combinations, apples and peanut butter are a classic go-to that can help you lose weight. Peanut butter contains monounsaturated fat, which can help you slim down by keeping you feeling full, and polyunsaturated fats, which can help improve insulin metabolism. Spread your favorite peanut butter (preferably with just peanuts and salt as the ingredients) on an apple, which is chock-full of fiber, a nutrient that can help reduce visceral fat. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, which contains antioxidants called polyphenols that can help keep blood sugar stable and prevent the spikes and crashes that can lead to weight gain. Cinnamaldehyde, the ingredient which gives cinnamon its flavor (and name), can also help people lose belly fat; in a Scientific Reports study, Japanese researchers gave mice a daily dose of cinnamaldehyde. Those who ate the cinnamaldehyde had a decrease in belly fat.
Green Tea + Lemon + Mint
Tea is a magical drink proven to help you slim down and blast belly fat. Green tea, in particular, is high in the antioxidant ECGC, a compound that can burn fat. It’s also rich in catechins, another antioxidant that can promote the release of fat from fat cells, and can help your liver turn fat into energy. Squeeze a lemon in your green tea, which contains pectin and polyphenols, both of which have been proven to help people feel fuller and lose weight. Add in a sprig of mint, which is a proven appetite suppressant.
Greek Yogurt + Raspberries + Almonds
Greek yogurt is like the MVP of yogurts, and for good reason. It’s packed with protein (20 grams in a 7-ounce serving), which can help you build fat-burning muscle. It has a healthy dose of vitamin D and calcium, both of which can help turn off the fat-producing stress hormone cortisol. Jazz up your boring plain yogurt with raspberries, antioxidant-rich berries that contain polyphenols, which researchers have proven can help stop the formation of fat cells. Top with a few almonds for a salty crunch. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that people who ate just 1.5 ounces of almonds a day had a reduction in leg and belly fat.
Water + Cucumber + Lemon
One of the easiest ways to boost weight loss is to play with food combinations via delicious detox water. Not only will flavoring H2O with some tasty and all-natural ingredients make you drink more of this flat-belly fluid, you can pack a one-two punch with extra metabolism-boosting nutrients. Try adding in slices of cucumber, which are high in vitamins C and K. Squeeze in some lemon for an appetite suppressant, and those slimming polyphenols.
Oatmeal + Blueberries + Cinnamon
Eating a diet rich in high-fiber whole grains can help you lose weight, so start your day off with a bowl of oatmeal. Researchers have found that high amounts of insoluble fiber will help you shut off hunger and feel satisfied for longer. Top with a handful of blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants like polyphenols and can help blast away belly fat. A study out of the University of Michigan found that rats who had blueberry powder mixed into their meals had less abdominal fat than rats on a berry-free diet after 90 days. Sprinkle on some insulin-controlling cinnamon for a filling breakfast that will melt away the pounds.
Eggs + Avocado Oil + Spinach
Eggs are a satisfying choice when it comes to a meal or snack, thanks to the protein content (about 6 grams per large egg). And not only will the protein help you lose weight, but so will the amino acid arginine. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that obese women who were given arginine over a 12-week period lose an average of 7 centimeters from their waists, and dropped an average of 6.5 pounds. Eat them along with a hearty serving of spinach, which is rich in filling fiber and muscle-boosting iron. Researchers also found that people who consumed thylakoids, the green leaf membranes found in spinach, lost more weight than a placebo group, according to the study published in the journal Appetite. Drizzle with avocado oil, a light-tasting oil rich in satisfying monounsaturated fats.
Salmon + Yogurt + Sweet Potatoes
Since lean protein helps build muscle and burn fat, incorporating healthy proteins into your diet is key for weight loss. Wild salmon is one of the best choices because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory and fat-burning properties. Pair with a side of sweet potatoes, slow carbs that keep you feeling fuller longer. The yummy yams also contain the antioxidants carotenoids, which stabilize blood sugar and can help insulin levels. Top with a dollop of a yogurt-based sauce to get some extra calcium, vitamin C, and protein.
Chicken + Kale + Barley
White meat chicken is also another great source of lean protein, which helps you not only boost muscle but also feel fuller. Pair chicken breast with a leafy green like kale. Research shows people who eat more high-volume, low-calorie greens have lower BMIs and smaller waistlines. Throw in a whole grain like barley for an extra punch of filling fiber and some extra protein.
Lentils + Broth + Tomatoes
Looking for a filling, fat-burning lunch? Turn to lentil soup. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found people who ate a daily serving of pulses as part of a calorie-restricted diet lost more weight than those who ate the same amount of calories but didn’t include as many legumes. The broth can also help boost weight loss by filling you up without the unwanted extra calories. Add in some anti-inflammatory tomatoes, which can also help you reverse leptin resistance, leading to more weight loss.
Honeydew + Watermelon + Mint
A melon-rich fruit salad isn’t just a colorful breakfast or side dish; it can help you lose weight, too. Watermelon is one of our best fruits for fat loss because it improves lipid profiles, and can lower fat accumulation. Pair with honeydew melon, which is a natural diuretic that can help you shed some water weight. Top with fresh mint leaves to help with digestion and turn fat into energy.
Grass-Fed Steak + Sunchokes + Garlic
Think steak is off-limits on a diet? Think again! Grass-fed steak is rich in the amino acid leucine, which can help build lean muscle mass and burn excess fat. Grass-fed meats also have healthy omega-3s, fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation. Enjoy with a side of Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes. They’re rich in gut-healthy insoluble fiber called oligofructose, which has been proven to suppress hunger and aid in weight loss. Season with fresh garlic, an anti-inflammatory bulb that has been proven to help lower BMI, according to a study in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice.
Cottage Cheese + Berries + Almonds
Skip the casein protein powder and opt for cottage cheese, which is rich in the dairy derivative. It’s also a slow-digesting protein that will leave you feeling fuller longer and can help you get better sleep with the amino acid tryptophan. Pair it with antioxidant-rich berries, like strawberries or raspberries, and top with a handful of almonds for some extra protein and healthy fats.
White Tea + Ginger + Lemon
Like green tea, white tea can also help you slim down. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism found that white tea can boost the breakdown of fat, and slow the formation of fat cells. It’s also rich in antioxidants that help the liver turn fat into energy. Flavor your tea with some fresh ginger, which has anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the journal Metabolism found that ginger helps reduce feelings of hunger, which can help with weight loss. Add in some pectin-rich lemon for another weight-loss boost.
Cauliflower + Quinoa + Avocado Oil
Cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, are good sources of fiber, which keeps you feeling full and can aid in weight loss. It’s also thermogenic, which means your body burns more calories digesting it than other vegetables. Sautee this healthy veggie in avocado oil; the combo of healthy fats and filling fiber will make for a satisfying meal. It’s even more filling on a bed of quinoa as this ancient grain is a complete protein, which can boost fat loss. According to a study published in the journal Food Chemistry, quinoa has the highest level of the amino acid betaine, which speeds up your metabolism and fights fat. And if you are looking to improve your diet and shed weight, our advice is to take it slow so you actually keep it off.
Potatoes + Olive Oil + Pepper
White potatoes have gotten a bad rap, but when in enjoyed in moderation (and cooked in a healthy way), they can help you lose weight. Spuds are full of potassium, which helps banish belly bloat, and they can help with hunger pangs; Australian researchers found that potatoes are more filling than fiber-rich brown rice and oatmeal. But be careful how you make them — bake, don’t deep fry, in heart-healthy olive oil, and top with pepper, which contains piperine that can help lower cholesterol levels.
Eggs + Hot Sauce + Grapefruit
Protein-rich eggs are not only good for muscle-building, but they can also help you zap fat thanks to the compound l-arginine. Top with some spicy cayenne pepper hot sauce. The capsaicin found in hot peppers has been proven to suppress appetite and boost your body’s ability to burn fat as energy. Enjoy with half a grapefruit. There’s a reason this tart citrus fruit was part of a popular fad diet; it’s rich in phytochemicals, which can help in adiponectin production and help the body with fat breakdown. It’s a complete breakfast that will put your body into fat-burning mode.
Spinach + Apple + Ginger
Lots of people sip on smoothies for weight loss, but not all ingredients are created equal. Make sure you’re packing yours with slimming spinach, the leafy green that can help you slim down by filling you up and giving you a healthy dose of vitamins K and A. Add in an apple, which is chock-full of fiber that can help you reduce visceral fat. Throw in some phytonutrient-rich fresh ginger for a spicy flavor that can also help you torch fat.
Dark Chocolate + Berries + Walnuts
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you should cut out dessert. In fact, adding in some dark chocolate could actually help you lose weight. Dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) is full of antioxidants, especially flavanols, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Flavanols can prevent people from gaining weight, according to a study published in the journal BMJ, and may increase energy expenditure. Double up on the antioxidants by pairing the dark chocolate with berries, which also contain flavanols. Add in filling walnuts, which are chock-full of good polyunsaturated fats, and can reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism.
Quinoa + Avocado + Black Beans
Make a healthy twist on a burrito bowl with a quinoa base. The ancient grain contains the amino acid lysine, which not only helps burn fat but also helps maintain healthy bones and skin. It also has a complete chain of amino acids that can help build muscle, which, you guessed it, also burns fat. Mix in some fiber-rich black beans, which can help you not only feel more satisfied but also feed your healthy gut bacteria to prevent inflammation. Top with about ¼ of an avocado for satiating healthy fats. This is one of our favorite food combinations because it makes for a balanced meal without compromising on taste!