Food & Nutrition

12 Foods That Will Turn Your Meals into Calorie Burners

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit down to a meal that helps you slim down? You can fire up your metabolism with these foods that encourage calorie burn.

Chili peppers

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Chili peppers do a lot more than spice up your food. They contain a component called capsaicin, which has been linked to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidization. “Capsinoid consumption has been found to have the ability to ‘turn on’ certain processes in the body that cause our body to work harder (increase energy expenditure) and use fat for energy (oxidizing fat),” explains Meg Hagar, MS, RD. “Chili peppers can be added to salsa and then eaten with eggs, eaten with hummus and even added to soups for a spicy kick.”

Plain Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt in a bowl, downward view with cloth and spoon on a white marbleJeniFoto/Shutterstock

Start the day with a fat-burning food by adding plain Greek yogurt to your breakfast. It’s a fermented product, meaning it has the ability to alter gut microbiome and restore it to a more beneficial balance of bacteria. “Since an undesirable ratio of good to bad bacteria in the gut have been linked to obesity and metabolic disorders, the connection between consuming fermented foods and weight loss may lie in that when they shift the microbiome to a more beneficial balance, the consumer may then decrease their risk of remaining overweight and for metabolic disorders,” says Hagar. “Many of the flavored yogurts are packed with added sugars which counteract promoting beneficial gut bacteria, so choose a yogurt that has over 10 billion active cultures and at least 5 different strains including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.” Here are 30 tiny diet changes that can help you lose weight.


close up of rustic korean fermented cabbage kimchi food backgroundzkruger/Shutterstock

Kimchi, a red, fermented Korean cabbage dish, is another great product for your gut. Because it is fermented, it contains “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli that aid in the body’s digestion process. (Another by-product of its fermentation process are the probiotics that fight off various infections.) Kimchi is made with a mixture of salt, vinegar, garlic, chili peppers and other spices, and served in Korea with rice, noodles or soups. Hagar suggests adding it to scrambled eggs, toast with avocado, on top of salads or even in coleslaw.

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