Quite simply, there is no such thing as fat-loss food and no food is inherently bad.
However, it is obvious that some foods support fat-loss goals more than others.
Certain foods make it a whole lot easier to stick to the plan, because they share characteristics that enable us to control our appetite better. They also improve other factors such as recovery, stress, cognition, sleep, and performance.
Here are four things to take into consideration:
1. Foods that have a low-calorie density are important.
They tend to have the most volume per calorie and they increase our feeling of fullness. Equally, solid foods tend to have a greater volume and leave us feeling fuller for longer. It takes less time to ingest and process liquid calories, because half of the digestive process has already been done.
2. Fibre is also important.
Fibre-containing foods are a useful addition to any weight loss-focused diet for a number of reasons. Fibre can help keep you feeling fuller for longer. It can help slow down the rate at which food is digested and even help you better regulate your appetite.
Not just that, but as your body does not readily absorb fibre, it won’t harvest many of the calories it contains – so you are getting the benefits of improved satiety for fewer calories which can support your weight management efforts, if that is your goal.
It is also a source of prebiotic fibre which feeds good bacteria in your gut and contributes to a healthy microbiome which, in turn, benefits general health and suppression of inflammation.
3. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient.
Satiety – or the feeling of fullness – is a vital component in appetite control and maintaining a calorie-controlled diet needed for successful weight loss.
Protein is shown to be the most satiating macronutrient compared to fat and carbohydrates, so increasing the proportion of protein in your diet without increasing the number of calories is a useful way to increase satiety, better control hunger and make dietary adherence easier. Not only that, but protein has the highest ‘thermic effect of food’ (TEF).
Around 20-25% of the calories contained in protein are used up in digestion. Protein is also important on a weight loss diet because it helps maintain muscle mass so we are more likely to burn off body fat and less likely to lose lean muscle tissue when in a calorie deficit.
4. Instead of talking about fat-loss foods, it may be more relevant to refer to them as “fat-loss friendly” foods.
These “fat-loss friendly foods” are not the only way to lose body fat, but they simply make the task easier. If you ate only one chocolate bar every day for six weeks, you would certainly lose weight – but you would also feel pretty terrible.
For more info on the myths behind calorie-burning foods, click here.