Negative calorie foods can burn more calories than are contained in the nutrient content of the food. Due to high-water density and rich fibre content low-calorie foods such as ‘celery’ require a lot of energy to digest.
Even though this issue sparks a debate among nutritionists, one thing is sure: apart from nutritious low-calorie vegetables and fruits, a balanced diet including muscle-building foods is also necessary.
Calorie Burning Foods
Low-calorie high-fibre foods fill the stomach and increase satiety, providing you with energy for the day. Nutritionists recommend eating 25g (women) and 38g (men) of fibre per day.
- Celery (16 calories in 100 g), this vegetable is 75% water and 25% fiber. It contains potassium and sodium, making it the ideal constituent of a post-workout drink for electrolyte replacement.
- Cauliflower (25 calories in 100 g) is high in vitamins C and K and rich in fiber.
- Asparagus (20 calories in 100 g) also contains nutrients for boosting metabolism.
- Cucumber (16 calories in 100 g) is good for preventing water retention as it contains ascorbic and caffeic acid.
- Raw cabbage (21 calories in 100 g) is also known to have cholesterol-lowering properties.
Other top fibre rich foods include berries, beans, sweet peas and whole grains.
Metabolism Boosting Drinks
- Water is the first drink you should relate to burning calories. If you do not drink enough of it, your metabolism slows down.
- An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study proved that green tea has thermogenic properties promoting fat oxidation. Thermogenesis is a process during which the body burns calories while absorbing the food we eat.
- More research about caffeine and coffee suggests that the thermic effect of the meal as well as fat oxidation were significantly greater after coffee than after decaffeinated coffee.
- Also worth a mention – grapefruit juice, reduces high insulin levels, which helps the body metabolize fat more effectively.
Muscle-building foods contain protein, the most abundant element making up our body if we exclude water protein.
- One egg has 6g of protein and all of the eight amino acids needed for muscle recovery and building minerals, such as calcium, iron and zinc.
- Nuts are a perfect blend of unsaturated fats, protein and fibre.
- Cottage cheese is an ideal dietary supplement for muscle building, as it contains casein, a type of protein which slowly digests in the body, as well as good bacteria, whose function is to break down nutrients.
- Salmon is rich in high quality protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent muscle breakdown.
- Kefir is a better option than regular milk because it has probiotics which help with digestion.
- When it comes to meat, 1 serving (28g) of lean beef has only 53 calories providing your body with nutrients, like iron, vitamin B and zinc, protein and a high level of amino acids.
Proteins are more thermogenic than carbohydrates and fats as shown by a 2002 study. This is good news for carnivores the world over. The most recommended meats are lean beef, pork, chicken and turkey. White meat is especially beneficial.
If you are not fond of meat, but can eat egg whites and drink milk, you do that. Fish is also very useful – sardines and salmon provide omega-3 fatty acids, which are also very good for the heart, and tuna is known to improve slow metabolism.
Vegeterians and vegans are in a bit of a pickle with protein, as usual. Some fruits and vegetables that can help speed up your metabolism are those with high-fibre carbs. Some of these vegetables include sweet potatoes, yams, broccoli and spinach. Grapefruit, oranges, cantaloupes, apples, and blueberries are fruits that have high-fibre carbs.
Vegans especially can make the most out of fresh fruit salads. Remember that whatever diet plan you are following, it is always better to simply go with whatever is in season in your region.
Pump It Up
Finally, you should include fat-burning workout in your lifestyle in order to achieve the most effective results. The best exercises to do that are cardio exercises combined with weight-lifting exercises.
One example is the combination of step mill (12 min), barbell curl (4 sets of 25 reps), rope jumping (6 min), side lateral raise (4 sets of 25 reps), rope jumping (6 min), weighted crunches (4 sets of 25 reps) and hanging leg raise (4 sets of 10 reps).