7 Fat-Beaters

Certain foods and drinks actually help your body burn fat more efficiently—so you can nibble and whittle your middle at the same time.
Food1 7fatbeaters


Why: This soothing brew contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of a group of antioxidants called catechins. Research indicates that catechins increase energy expenditure and fat-burning, and may help control weight. A 2007 review of research on the subject concluded that consuming five to six cups of green tea per day does indeed have metabolic benefits. Calories per serving: 0 calories per cup


Why: Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids—a type of healthy fat recently found to help shrink the accumulation of belly fat. Opt for extravirgin, the least-processed form of the oil, which contains the most antioxidants. Calories per serving: 119 calories per tablespoon


Why: This fruit is another excellent source of abdominal fat–reducing monounsaturated fatty acids, which in a study reported in Diabetes Care were shown to curb “central body fat distribution.” Avocados also boast betasitosterol, a plant-based fat that may lower cholesterol. Calories per serving: 80 calories for 1⁄4 avocado


Why: A recent University of Michigan study suggests that the phytochemicals in blueberries influence the genes that control how we process glucose, thereby helping our bodies store and burn fat more effectively. Calories per serving: 84 calories per cup


Why: High in fiber, oatmeal helps your body burn calories by boosting your metabolism. In 2008, a Penn State University weight-loss study reported that people whose diets were rich in whole grains lost significantly more abdominal fat than those who ate only refined grains. The whole-grain group also had a big reduction in C-reactive protein levels, a heart-disease marker. Calories per serving: 159 calories per cup


Why: They get their heat from a component called capsaicin, which has been shown to suppress appetite and boost metabolism. One Dutch study reported that subjects ate fewer calories and rated themselves as more satisfied when they consumed capsaicin half an hour before each meal. Calories per serving: 19 calories for each pepper


Why: Researchers believe that the body may not fully absorb the fat in almonds and that the cell walls of the nuts may act as a barrier against fat. Besides lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease, almonds can lessen food cravings by making you feel fuller. Calories per serving: 163 calories per ounce

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