Stocking up your supermarket trolley or digital shopping basket with these nutrient-dense foods will help you to trim your belly while enjoying a host of other health benefits
Ditch the full-fat latte and have an espresso, especially before you hit the gym. The hit of caffeine will give you increased energy and focus, allowing you to train harder for longer to ignite the fat-burning process.
Green tea is picked earlier than black, so it retains more polyphenols and antioxidants. This means it can boost your metabolism – the rate at which you burn calories – which burns more body fat. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, but possibly the best thing about green tea is that it tastes great without needing milk and sugar.
Fizzy water with lime juice
Fizzy drinks are packed with flab-causing sugar, while the diet versions contain artificial sweeteners that are associated with insulin spikes, leading to weight gain, and bone-weakening phosphorus. Instead, squeeze lime juice into fizzy water. The juice lowers your blood sugar response to other foods to discourage fat storage.
With high levels of antioxidants, blueberries are effective at combating the damaging effects caused by exercise, pollution and other toxins. Have a handful as a snack or throw them into a smoothie to keep your body burning fat efficiently.
These nuts, which actually come mostly from Bolivia, are high in the antioxidant vitamin E. This “mops up” the damaging free radicals caused by stress and exercise. Producing too many of these damages your cells and your body prioritises repairing them over other actions, specifically building muscle and burning fat.
These are a great source of protein, zinc, magnesium and iron – all of which are vital to keeping your body using up fat stores around the clock. They also contain a wide variety of antioxidants, including forms of vitamin E found in few other foods. Grab a handful between meals to stay full and ripped.
So much more than a festive staple, turkey is a lean source of animal protein, which helps keep post-meal insulin levels within a desirable range by moving food at a steady pace through the digestive tract.
There’s evidence that, as well as being packed with healthy monounsaturates, extra virgin olive oil can help process troublesome brown fat tissue, making it easier to shift. Add it to salad.
Although cottage is the cheese with the lowest fat content, parmesan is the best source of both protein (to keep you full so you don’t overeat) and calcium. A high-calcium diet has been shown to increase fat oxidation, helping burn calories after a meal.
Packed with protein to keep you fuller for longer, plus zinc and creatine to help increase testosterone levels and your performance in the gym, steak is the ultimate muscle-building and fat-burning food for red meat lovers.
As well as being packed with filling fibre and a mere handful of calories, these leaves are jammed with B vitamins, which will help you release energy to fuel workouts – and with its peppery flavour it’s much tastier than boring old iceberg.
Nature’s finest vegetable is fibrous and low in calories and it staves off excess oestrogen, helping you avoid the dreaded man-boobs. Cook it in coconut oil for a delicious fat-burning side that works with almost anything.
Its high protein content keeps you feeling full, omega 3 fatty acids look after your heart, and an abundance of selenium supports proper function of the thyroid gland in its regulation of metabolism.
Many starchy root vegetables can radically elevate blood sugar levels but the sweet potato actually improves blood sugar regulation – even in people with type 2 diabetes – meaning you’re less likely to crave high-fat sugary foods later.
A great substitute for peanut butter in almost any situation – it’s high in healthy monounsaturated fats, magnesium and potassium, and helps maintain muscle function, letting you push on through fat-burning workouts.
Lager is full of fattening carbs and white wine can be high in calories but red wine, apart from its antioxidant benefits, has been shown to boost levels of testosterone by reducing the amount you excrete as waste, encouraging your body to make more muscle and burn more fat.
The body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs and since Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as other yogurts, that means it’s twice as effective in helping you achieve your fat loss goal.
If you’re going to indulge your sweet tooth, do it with some high-cocoa dark chocolate. The cocoa solids produce stearic acid, keeping you full for longer and reducing sugar cravings without an insulin spike. Look for 85% on the wrapper.