Top fat-burning foods

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It’s true: Certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you literally scorch calories as you chew. Others contain nutrients and compounds that stoke your metabolic fire, such as these foods…

Whole grains: Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fibre such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods.

Lean meats: Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30 per cent of the calories the food contains during digestion.

Low-fat dairy products: Rich in calcium and vitamin D, these help preserve and build muscle mass — essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.

Green tea: Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew, that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.

Lentils: One cup packs 35 per cent of your daily iron needs — good news, since up to 20 per cent of us are iron-deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows because the body is not getting what it needs to work efficiently.

Hot peppers: Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers.

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