The Top 10 Fat-Burning Foods All My Nutrition Clients Eat

... Eat MORE food, while losing fat.

Written by: Dr. Marc Morris Ph.D CSCS

Today we'll clarify the confusion around what to eat for fat loss by focusing on the top 10 scientifically proven fat-burning foods.

From blueberries to zucchini, discover the foods that can help you achieve your fat loss goals. 


But First... What Makes a Good Fat Loss Food?

When we take the total amount of calories in a food or meal and divide it by its weight, you get the energy density.

And one thing that’s common in a lot of successful weight loss approaches is a low energy density.

You get to eat a lot more food, without a lot of calories. So you stay fuller for longer and it’s easier to stick to.

Now, not at all of the foods you eat need to have low energy density. But when you fill your calories with high energy density foods - nuts, white bread, nut butter, higher fat meat, oils, highly processed foods, your calories just don’t go as far.

So you’ll notice most of the foods on this list have a low energy density because they help keep hunger at bay, you can eat more of them, and they keep calories low so you can lose fat.

#10 Blueberries 

Blueberries are not only delicious, but they are also relatively low in calories, making them a favorite among nutrition clients. Packed with fiber for better digestion and high in antioxidants, blueberries earn their spot as an MVP for fat loss.

Their versatility makes it easy for you to add them to any meal or enjoy them on their own. Whether fresh or frozen, blueberries provide a satisfying option, especially for those on a fat loss diet.

#9 Celery

If you’ve been helping people lose weight, you’ve probably come across the concept of “negative calorie” foods.

Which means that the energy it takes to eat, digest and process a food, is greater than the actual calories in the food itself.

This concept is debated, but the fact remains: foods like celery that are high in water and fiber per weight, which will help you stay full.

Despite its reputation for being less exciting to eat on it's own, celery, at only 14 kcal per cup, is a valuable addition to a fat-loss diet.

Celery has a very low energy density, making it so you can eat a lot more and feel satisfied for longer, without worrying about your calorie consumption.

#8 Greek Yogurt

If you are looking to lose fat, greek yogurt is a must-have in your diet. It's high in protein, low in calories and easy to work into virtually any meal of the day.

Greek yogurt is incredibly versatile. You can eat it on its own, create low calorie dipping sauces for vegetables and fruits, and even add it into soups and sauces to add a creamy texture without using full fat dairy.

Make sure to opt for low-fat greek yogurt to keep calories in check.

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#7 Grapes

Contrary to the belief that weight loss requires avoiding all things sweet, grapes emerge as a surprising contributor for weight loss.

With approximately 110 kcal per cup, they give you a hydrating, portable snack that is incredible to keep you satisfied while still losing fat.

However, if you are on a low-carb diet, you’ll miss out on foods like grapes, which is something to consider when you’re just starting out.

#6 Chicken Breast

When it comes to cutting fat, your protein choice matters. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is one of the best meat sources for protein. It's lean, high in protein, and has many other nutrient benefits.

With about 20 grams of protein for under 100 calories and low fat (1-2 grams), chicken breast proves to be a solid addition to your fat-loss diet.

The best part? It's anything but boring. Whether grilled, pulled, or seasoned with spices and lighter condiments, chicken breast adds versatility to your meals.

#5 Protein Powder

Almost 90% of my fat loss clients use protein powder. This isn’t because I’m some big shill for supplement companies. It’s because protein powder can be really helpful for fat loss.

Protein is beneficial for fat loss because it's low in calories and high in protein. A high protein diet is crucial for fat loss because protein keeps you fuller for longer, and helps you maintain muscle mass while in a calorie deficit.

Beyond that, protein powder is a quick and convenient way to get in extra protein on the go.

It is smart to check labels though and make sure you’re getting a protein powder that is mostly protein, with everything else filtered out, making isolates and casein powders, the smartest choices.

#4 Lettuce

I would go as far as saying Iceberg, romaine, butterhead and other mixed greens are essentials in a fat loss diet.

Lettuce not only adds color and variety to your meals but is also one of the lowest energy-dense foods out there. Most greens only carry around 0.1 to 0.2 calories per gram, which makes them fill you up without packing on the calories.

Lettuce's versatility goes beyond salads – shredded iceberg makes a great addition to sandwiches, burgers, and wraps.

#3 Watermelon

The third spot on our fat-burning list goes to a summer favorite – watermelon.

Because of its energy density and hydration, watermelon earns its position as the G.O.A.T. While it is sweet, the combination of high water content and moderate calories makes it a low energy-dense food.

Comparing its energy density to other fruits, watermelon falls somewhere between lettuce and grapes. The main struggle of fat loss diets is often restricting foods you enjoy. However, watermelon is a healthy option that can also help curb your sweet cravings. Watermelon is sweet, satisfying, and low in calories, which is what makes it one of my favorite foods for fat-loss.

#2 Egg Whites

As we get closer to the end of our countdown, we need to highlight one last high-protein option – egg whites.

While the whole egg, including the yolk, has a well-rounded nutrient profile, egg whites are the main source of protein that will help with fat-loss. With a 10 grams of protein for just 50 calories, egg whites offer an efficient means of boosting protein intake without unnecessary calories.

Egg whites are yet another versatile food that can be used in almost any dish, from enhancing the protein content in pancakes and oatmeal to contributing to protein-rich scrambles and omelets.

#1 Zucchini

In the grand finale of our top 10 fat-burning foods, we have zucchini. Unlike cucumbers, zucchini's is able to be prepared in more ways – from stir-fries to salads and even noodles, or “zoodles”.

What makes zucchini such a great food for fat-loss is that you can eat a high volume without a significant caloric load.

Zucchini is a good go-to for fat loss, contributing to satisfying, nutrient-rich meals that support your weight loss goals.

As we reach the end of our ranking of the top 10 fat-burning foods, it's important to recognize the role that food plays in our fat loss journey.

No single item can make you burn fat. Instead, these foods offer support to your goals by making your diet more manageable, curbing hunger, and ensuring you lose fat.

Understanding energy density and the versatility of your foods is one key aspect in deciding what to add to your diet for fat loss.

What most of these foods have in common is a low energy density and the ability to be added into many kinds of dishes.

Staying consistent with foods that you know will help you reach your goals is one way to ensure that you will stick to your plan and make it easier along the way. Remember, successful fat loss is not about depriving yourself of what you like, but making informed choices that align with your goals.

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