Fat Burning Foods

The secret to fat burning foods is over-consumption of protein from natural sources to reduce your percentage of body fat dramatically and keep the weight off.

Here we explain why our recommendations work.

It's important that you know why these foods work to burn body fat.

It's also important that you know about the thermic effect of food.

The term ‘thermic effect of food’ refers to the energy (calories) expended by your body in order to eat and process food.

Then you will be equipped to use our final list to select and create your own food list.

So, let's find out more.

The thermic effect of fat burning foods is the key

When you eat what we suggest and use the feeding frequency that we suggest, you will speed up metabolism and fat loss.

Moreover, with this list of foods it's not necessary to starve yourself and suffer from hunger in order to lose body fat.

It's really only proteins that are fat burning.

Here is why!

The term ‘thermic effect of food’ refers to the energy (calories) expended by your body in order to eat and process food.

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates

These are the three macronutrients of food. When you eat foods, your body needs to expend (burn) calories to digest the food and make use of the nutrients contained in the foods.

However, the caloric cost for your body to process foods differs significantly from food group to food group.

The thermic rate of fats and refined processed carbohydrates is about three percent. This means that it only requires approximately three calories for your body to burn hundred calories worth of those foods. Some natural carbs have about a twenty percent rate.

However, proteins have up to a SUPER thirty percent rate. Hence, we call these the fat burning foods. Moreover, some proteins are more powerful then others.

Consuming plenty of water helps your body to process these foods.

When using these foods drink at least 2 or 3 quarts daily of clean water and minimize consumption of all other fluids.

It's easy to have picked up bad habits with respect to weight loss foods.

It is not necessary to starve yourself and suffer from hunger to lose body fat.

When you starve yourself, you may lose some weight for a few months, but, as soon as you stop, you'll regain the weight (and often more than you lost).

When you diet, your body reacts as if you are starving to death. Your leptin level will drop after about a week, which will signal your body to slow its metabolic rate and save as much body fat as possible. If you consume plenty of protein from natural sources, your body will react as if times are good and won't try to preserve body fat.

Don't worry about dietary fat. If, as we recommend, you are consuming plenty of protein from natural sources like salmon, grass-fed beef, wild game, and organic eggs, you'll also be consuming sufficient healthful fat. It will not increase your percentage of body fat unless you are eating too many carbohydrates (or eating an unnaturally large quantity of food).

Two questions and two answers

You probably understand that hormones control what your body does with fat. Insulin controls fat.

Question 1 : how much does your insulin level spike when you eat a meal with a lot of dietary fat?

Answer : zero.

Big clue: your insulin level will spike when you eat carbohydrates. Everything else being the same, when you eat carbohydrates you'll secrete insulin and store more fat.

In other words, carbohydrate consumption makes you fat.

So, if you are consuming fat from natural sources, don't worry about it.

Question 2: what is the minimum daily requirement for carbohydrates?

Answer : zero.

That's right: we don't actually need to consume any carbohydrates for excellent health. We do though recommend consuming up to 25 grams of carbohydrates daily mainly from vegetables, and a tiny amount of fruit, because they contain beneficial phytonutrients and fiber.

Use (preferably organic) non-starchy leafy green vegetables, and, if you must, just a tiny amount of low carbohydrate fruit such as berries. Other fruits are too high in carbohydrate. Remember that all fruits, especially fruit juices, are high in fruit sugar -- fructose, a type of carbohydrate.

Fruit juices have an especially high content of fructose because they are processed. Even natural or organic fruit juices are processed.

Not long ago, scientists at Bangor University warned that even freshly-squeezed juice contains up to 5 teaspoons of fructose per glass, which may lead to weight gain or even diabetes.

Moreover, the substances found in fruit which help protect against diseases such as bowel cancer — such as fibre, vitamin C and other antioxidants — are lost during processing.

Hence, starchy vegetables and fruits are the opposite of fat burning, which is why their consumption should be restricted. Further down this page you will come to the list of fat burning foods, but first, in order to know why these foods work for weight loss, you may need a short history lesson.

Don't worry, this will be brief!

Meet your ancestors and their fat burning diet!

The cause of our contemporary epidemic of obesity cannot be genetic. This is actually good news: because if it has been environmental factors that have made us too fat, all we have to do is to reverse some of those factors.

Over-consumption of refined processed carbohydrates is a major cause of excess body fat, heart disease, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome (which, for example, affects one in five people in the United States), type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and other diet-related diseases.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors before the First Agricultural Revolution, which occurred about 10,000 years ago, were neither overweight nor obese.

They had no need of weight loss diets and our ancestors did not consume refined processed carbohydrates.

Those ancestors were fitter and leaner than we are. Not many of us would have been a match.

It is very difficult to fight Mother Nature. You were designed to eat unprocessed natural foods, which are the ones that yield the best fat burning results.

Our genes are 99.99% identical to those ancestors. In fact, less than 1/10th of 1% of our genes have changed in the last 10,000 years, which is a short time in terms of evolution. Hence, because our bodies are extremely similar to the bodies of our ancestors, many people experience health problems when consuming refined processed carbs, which are the foods characteristic of most civilized diets.

When we begin to eat more of the natural foods our ancestors ate, and when we begin to move (exercise) more as they did, we naturally lose body fat. Fat burning foods as discussed on this page are close to the natural foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.

If you are unsure what refined processed carbohydrates are, see our list of refined processed carbohydrates page. You'll find the link to that page awaiting you towards the bottom of this page.

The awesome power of fat burning proteins

Proteins are powerful fat burning foods.

Do you ever eat meals with less than 20 grams of proteins? Please don't.

Ensure that the protein content of each meal is between 20 and 40 grams. We recommend at least 1 gram of protein from natural sources per pound of lean body mass.

So, if you weigh 200 lbs. and your body fat percentage is 25%, consume at least 150 grams of protein daily.

Again, here are the two key ideas: proteins are fat burning foods, and carbohydrates promote fat storage. Once you are clear about that, our other dietary recommendations quickly fall into place.

Get most or all of your proteins from natural sources. If you do, you'll also be consuming healthful fats.

What exactly are proteins from natural sources?

They are similar to foods that our prehistoric ancestors ate.

Further down this page you'll find the final list of fat burning foods, but first you need this outline:

Meat will be on our final list. If you can get it, the best is grass fed cattle or beefalo such as ground meat or steaks (such as top sirloin or flank or chuck).

Fish will be on our final list. If you can get it, the best is wild-caught fin fish from the deep ocean. These include mackerel, herring, sockeye salmon, and Chilean sea bass. Lake trout from fresh water are also excellent.

Game meat will be on our final list. If you can get it, the best are game animals like buffalo, deer, rabbit, and elk, as well as meat from game birds such as wild turkey and pheasant.

Poultry and eggs will be on our final list. If you can get it, the best is poultry from free-range chickens and turkeys as well as free-range eggs.

Shellfish will be on our final list. Lobster, shrimp, scallops, crabs, and mussels and all excellent.

Obviously, there are plenty of different kinds of fat burning foods from natural sources that are wonderful sources of protein as well as healthful fats.

What will not be on our final list?


Carbohydrates are not fat burning foods. They will not be on our list. Therefore, on most days, keep your carb intake from all sources to 25 grams or less from (preferably organic) low carbohydrate vegetables and low carbohydrate fruits such as berries.


It's not just that carbs are unnecessary for excellent health. It's also that consuming too many refined processed carbs is a major cause of the diseases of civilization such as coronary heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, some types of cancer, and insulin resistance.

To avoid carbohydrate cravings, eat every 3 to 5 waking hours. This prevents hunger and minimizes food cravings.

Dairy Products

Dairy products will not be on our list of fat burning foods. They are not natural fat burning foods. Even though low-fat or non-fat dairy products are protein sources, they contain lactose and lack fiber. Even if you do appear to tolerate them well, consider reducing their use or eliminating them.

Cheat Days

Once a week, have a cheat day, which means one or two cheat meals in one day (provided that your physician approves in advance).

It's not only a psychological break, it's also important to signal your body that you are not starving.

Although even then it's important to stop eating when hunger disappears (as opposed to when you are feeling stuffed), get plenty of calories (over 2100 for women and 2300 for men) on your cheat day.

Diabetes Foods and Carbohydrates

If you are diabetic, having a cheat meal is not a good idea. Why? What you are trying to do by cheating is to restore your level of the hormone leptin to normal so your body does not go into starvation mode. One cheat meal a week may be all that is necessary.

However, leptin and insulin rise and fall together. So the cheat meal will also spike insulin. This is an example of why we always recommend getting the advice of your personal physician before changing your dietary or exercise habits.

Remember, carbohydrates are not fat burning foods

Focus on this:

Carbohydrates are not fat burning foods.

Except on your cheat day, eliminate all high-carb foods like pastries, sweets, candy, soda, sugar, products containing sugar, fruit juices, bread, cakes, biscuits, cookies, pasta, pizza, grains, breakfast cereals, potatoes, chips, etc.

On non-cheat days, make sure that you get your carbs only from (preferably organic) vegetables or berries. It's usually best to minimize consumption of (modern) fruits other than berries.

In particular, stop consuming refined processed carbs. Except on cheat day, really focus on consuming 25 grams or less of them daily.

Measure carbohydrate intake accurately and record it.

The older you are, the smaller your carbohydrate intake may have to be.

So (unless you have a medical condition that would exclude this), plenty of proteins from natural sources and, on most days, low carbs is the way to go for most people. Here are some of our web pages that you'll find very helpful in relation to low carbohydrate foods:

  • The Paleolithic Diet
  • The Paleo Diet Foods List
  • Low Carb Diet
  • Low Carb Foods List.

(You'll be able to find them all listed on the site map.)

You may also wish to read chapter 10 of Paul Crane's The Ultimate Fat Burning Diet Primer. A ketogenic diet is usually the very fastest way to use fat burning foods to achieve your desired percentage of body fat.

Here is your final fat burning foods list

This is what the ultimate fat burning foods list looks like. Your list may vary a little according to the country you live in, the name of the various cuts of meat, and the types of fish available. The overall message, however, is that these types of protein are the best fat burning foods.


Fin fish are excellent. Oily fish from the deep ocean are the best.

Here are five examples:

  • Chilean sea bass
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Sockeye salmon
  • Trout
  • Other fish

    Here are examples:

    • Cod
    • John Dory
    • Monkfish
    • Haddock
    • Hake
    • Halibut
    • Sea Bass
    • Trench
    • Turbot


    Here are a few examples:

    • Crab
    • Lobster
    • Mussels
    • Prawns
    • Shrimp
    • Scallops

    Lean beef (preferably from grass-fed animals).

    Here are some examples:

  • Lean ground/minced beef
  • Chuck steak
  • Flank steak
  • Joints of beef
  • London broil
  • Fillet steak
  • Top sirloin steak
  • Rump streak

  • Game meat

    This was the staple of our ancestors. This is also excellent. Here are five examples:

    • Bison (buffalo)
    • Elk
    • Pheasant
    • Venison
    • Wild turkey


    Here are examples:

    • Lean lamb burgers
    • Lean ground/minced lamb
    • Lamb chops
    • Lamb steaks
    • Joints of lamb.

    Poultry and eggs

    Here are examples:

    • Bowling fowl
    • Chicken
    • Duck
    • Goose
    • Turkey
    • Ground/minced chicken or turkey
    • Eggs from free range chickens or enriched omega-3
    • Ducks eggs, and other eggs.

    There you have your list of fat burning foods.

    There are other fat burning foods such as goat meat and pork, which you may want to add to this list (but pork can be hard to digest for many people).

    Fats good and fats bad

    There's been too much concern about saturated fats. Saturated fats are not fat burning foods, but your body actually requires some. Mostly, fats are inert. If you are otherwise eating as we suggest, don't worry about them unless your blood lipid profile indicates a need to do so.

    Trans Fats

    Are you ingesting any trans-fats? If so, eliminate them. In particular, don't eat any processed food with the words 'partially hydrogenated' in the ingredients list. Trans-fats are dangerous.

    Junk Food

    Except on cheat day, have you permanently eliminated high-fat junk foods such as fried foods (including kettle and potato chips), ice cream, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and fast food hamburgers? These are not fat burning foods.

    Essential Fatty Acids

    Are you getting each day a sufficient supply of essential fatty acids? These are very important. We suggest 2 grams of high quality fish oil daily.

    How to overcome fat loss hurdles or obstacles

    Should you ever have need of them, these important points will help you to overcome weight loss plateaus or obstacles.

    Point 1

    Remember, even on a cheat day, please do not binge on junk food! Always stop eating when hunger disappears.

    Point 2

    Are you ingesting fresh low carbohydrate vegetables and salad vegetables, and, so, plenty of fiber?

    Point 3

    Is your protein intake spread throughout your five or six daily meals?

    Point 4

    Are you keeping a journal for food intake? If not, doing so temporarily will enable you to become more aware of what you are actually consuming. Reviewing it will help you discover what works best for you.

    The secret to success is paying attention to what you are doing.

    Point 6

    To preserve lean muscle mass, avoid the temptation to indulge in a large drop in caloric intake or excessive fitness exercise. Neither promotes lasting natural weight loss.

    Point 7

    Are you eating enough food? From your body's point of view, since lean muscle mass is the most metabolically active tissue, it is also the most wasteful tissue in times of caloric scarcity. Therefore, when caloric intake is too low, your body will rid itself of lean muscle mass first.

    That's the opposite of what you want!

    Therefore, it's important to organize your caloric intake and physical exercise in such as way as to optimize lean muscle mass. Yes, doing so is somewhat complicated, but it's the only way to achieve lasting weight loss.

    Do you ever dip below 2000 calories? Don't (except under medical supervision). If you are following the diet with exercise and strength training program set out on this website, please be very careful about starving yourself. Hunger and food cravings are just two bad consequences of doing that.

    More tips for fat burning foods

    If you are following the recommendations here on our website and achieving a body fat reduction each week, you are doing excellently. Just keep right on doing what you are doing.

    Since a given volume of muscle is heavier than a given volume of fat, don't worry about your body weight. You are losing body fat if you have to notch your belt tighter. You are gaining body fat if you have to loosen your belt.

    Use plastic calipers twice a month to track your percentage of body fat. If, however, you are achieving a reduction of less than 1 pound of body fat weekly, or if you are stuck on a weight loss plateau, you have an important opportunity to learn more about what works for you.

    This website will help you determine what you could be doing better. Then you can make the adjustments. One of the most important adjustments you can make involves your fat burning foods protein consumption and your carbohydrate intake. The second important adjustment that you can make is exercise.

    This page has provided you with many important specific suggestions about fat burning foods. For important suggestions with respect to fat burning exercises, see the relevant page. You will the link to that page listed on our site map/index.

    Together, fat burning foods and fat burning exercises enable you to optimize your efforts to burn body fat!

    Whether you only want to do brisk walking or you are interested in strength training and intense fitness exercise, we have clear, step-by-step instructions to help you. Start with our page on Exercises for Weight loss. You will find the link to that page listed on our site map/index.

    To help you further, pages related to fat burning

    To further your understanding and to get you started, you may wish to use both fat burning exercises in conjunction with fat burning foods.

    Plus, here is your list of the refined processed carbohydrates to avoid (apart from an occasional treat).

    Recommended books related to fat burning foods

    If you gained useful information from the fat burning foods page and wish to improve your weight loss and eating habits further, the following books are highly recommended.


    • D. E. Bradford, HOW TO EAT LESS -- EASILY!

    • Bennett & Sinatra's SUGAR SHOCK!
    • Braly & Hoggan, DANGEROUS GRAINS

    • All the above books are in stock at Amazon.com (for the USA) and Amazon.co.uk (for the UK)

    Here is an interesting article, based on scientific research, about potential risks in the over-consumption of fructose or fruit juices.

    A Video About How Much Fat Burning Protein to Consume

    If you are looking for more about fat burning foods, you can search our website or the World Wide Web.


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