Sweet potatoes are the best food source of antioxidant beta-carotene, a compound that fights oxidative stress and inflammation linked to increased fat storage. Kale and carrots are also good sources of beta-carotene. Eggs
“It used to be thought that you should avoid eggs due to their high cholesterol content,” says McGrath. “However research now indicates that eating one or two eggs a day will not raise your cholesterol at all. On the plus side, eggs have the highest biological value of protein than any food. This means that eggs support your body's need for protein, helping you to build muscle that in turn helps you burn fat. Eggs are also high in vitamin B12, a nutrient essential for breaking down fat in your body.” Oily fish
“Salmon and other so-called fatty fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are natural fat-burners,” says McGrath. “Omega-3 fatty acids reduce fat mass in your body. Besides salmon, other fish high in omega-3 include mackerel, tuna and herring.” Grapefruit
Grapefruit has long been thought to promote weight loss. A study found that molecules in the fruit seem to speed up metabolism and reduce appetite. Grapefruit reduces insulin levels, ultimately promoting weight loss. Oats (unsweetened, unflavoured)
“Oatmeal is another fantastic source of fibre, helping you to feel full longer,” says McGrath. “Oatmeal not only fills you up and helps you burn fat, it also helps remove cholesterol from your system. It’s one of the best breakfasts on the fat-burning foods list.” Olive oil
“Olive oil helps you lose fat because the high level of monounsaturated fats it contains burn fat and control food cravings,” says McGrath. “Cook with it and use it on salads.” Peanut butter (all-natural, sugar-free)
“Probably the most surprising of the fat-burning foods, peanut butter can help you lose weight,” says McGrath. “Eat it in moderation and buy only natural peanut butter that doesn't have added sugar. Peanut butter is high in healthy monounsaturated fats that help muscles grow and burn fat. Limit yourself to three tablespoons or less a day.” Almonds and other nuts
“Nuts, and almonds in particular, help suppress your appetite,” says McGrath. “Eating two ounces of almonds (about 24 nuts) is enough to decrease your appetite. Choose natural, not salted or flavoured, nuts. Instead of just eating them whole, you can add chopped nuts to salads, plain peanut butter, cereal or yoghurt.” Beans and other legumes
“Due to their high fibre and low calorie content, beans of all types are a fat-burning food,” says McGrath. “The fibre makes you feel full so you consume fewer calories with the rest of your meal. They also contain lots of protein and iron, which also help with fat loss. The best beans are soya beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, navy beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans and lima beans.” Spinach and other green vegetables
“Similar to beans, green vegetables are low in calories and high in fibre,” says McGrath. “They help you feel full, so you eat less. Green vegetables that are also very high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients include spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, arugula, watercress, endive and mustard greens.”
Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yoghurt, cheese)
“Calcium is a fat-burning substance, perhaps one of the most powerful fat-burners, and it is found in abundance in dairy foods,” says McGrath. “Calcium not only breaks down body fat, it also helps prevent fat formation. Choose low-fat products such as skim or 1% milk, cheese and yoghurt.” Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), the fat which your body prefers to use for energy, making it less likely to be stored as fat. A study showed greater fat loss over a 16-week period when MCTs were consumed instead of olive oil. Olive oil contains other important nutrients but try switch incoconut oil for the occasional salad or stir fry Green tea
“Green tea contains chemicals called catechins that help you burn fat,” says McGrath. “They not only increase your metabolism so you burn more calories (even when sitting still), they also increase the rate at which your liver burns fat. The recommended amount of green tea for good fat-burning effect is four to six cups per day.” Vinegar
Some studies suggest that vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar) activates enzymes in your body that break down fat. However, evidence is skimpy. Proponents of the vinegar diet claim that apple cider vinegar boosts metabolism. Other studies have shown that apple cider vinegar helps balance blood sugar levels by lowering the glycaemic index of a meal. This may aid weight loss by preventing blood sugar spikes. Finally, vinegar’s anti-fungal properties can help fight candida, a condition that may lead to cravings for carbohydrates and sugar and therefore to weight gain. Coffee
“Caffeine speeds up your metabolism,” says McGrath. “Just be certain to skip the heavy cream and sugar or you’ll negate all the benefits of the caffeine. No cappuccinos or lattes!” Chillies and hot peppers
Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that heats up your body, burning calories in the process. Chillies contain capsaicin whether fresh, dried, cooked or raw, so get cooking that super-hot curry! Brussels sprouts
Vegetables including brussels sprouts, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, kale, savoy cabbage and red cabbage contain phytonutrient sulforaphane, a compound that stimulates fat-burning enzymes.
Cinnamon helps get glucose into the cells faster so levels of your fat-storage hormone, insulin, are decreased. Garlic
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant, working to decrease your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes your body to store calories as belly fat.
The high water content in watermelon signals to your body that you are full, meaning you’ll eat less. Watermelon also contains the antioxidant lycopene.
Did you know that you can increase body's metabolism by 30 percent simply by drinking a big glass of water? Dehydration can also make you feel hungry, so keep drinking water.