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May 05, 2016 2 min read

The claims are all around us. If we eat spicier foods, or more garlic, or more grapefruit -- we'll hit that sweet spot where our metabolism kicks into gear and the fat begins to melt away. But are these claims accurate? Can the food we eat contribute to our fat burn? unspecified Here's the deal: any time we eat food, our metabolism gets a boost. Our metabolism increases in order to digest the food and use the calories for various bodily functions. This increase is known as the "thermic effect" and is only temporary. Carbohydrates, dietary fats, and proteins are all known to increase metabolism but only for a short period. Green tea and hot peppers, for example, have been held up as fat burning miracles but research has shown that they don't provide any real, measurable, increase in metabolism beyond the thermic effect. While the foods you eat may not actually burn fat, recent research has found that you may not be absorbing as many calories from them as you had previously thought. unspecified David Baer, MD, of the US Department of Agriculture, examined the measured energy value of pistachios in our diet. What he found was that the number of calories absorbed from eating pistachios was 5% less than the number of calories displayed on the nutrition information label. While this isn't a very big calorie differential, it points to an often overlooked fact: we don't absorb all the calories we eat. Some calories pass right through us, undigested. This is particularly true if the foods we eat contain fiber and/or protein. Other foods that display this same calorie discrepency are apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and beef. The scientists are still working to determine exactly what role proteins and fiber play in unabsorbed calories.

So, what does all of this mean for you?

  1. Don't believe the hype about 'fat burning' foods. While there are certainly foods that can help you lose weight by filling you up and providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function, if the claims being made sound too good to be true, they probably are.
  2. Add more fiber and protein to your diet. These foods will keep you feeling satiated and, as mentioned before, may help you lower your calorie absorption.
When you are preparing your meals, try to make sure you are including protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates at every meal. Doing this will not turn your metabolism into a super revved, fat burning machine but it will provide your body with the fuel it needs to function, while filling you up which means you will consume fewer calories over the course of the day! If you'd like a hand balancing your meals in this way, we've got just what you need. The BodyRock Meal Plans take all the guess work out of eating healthy.  This 30 day plan gives you healthy, nutritious and delicious recipes for every meal of the day. Just grab the provided grocery list, buy the ingredients and follow along! It doesn't get any easier than that! Source: Prevention

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