FEED YOUR SOUL
9 Fat-Burning Foods
August 17, 2016
ight fat by choosing these tummy-taming foods our instructors swear by — and science supports!
The science: Sure, it’s a little tart, but it sparks fat loss like nothing else: Research published in Metabolism revealed that people who ate grapefruit for six weeks shed an entire inch from their waistlines. Scientists believe that the secret’s in the fruit’s phytochemicals, which are compounds that have been shown to stimulate the hormones that help break down body fat.
Instructor favorite: “I usually don't have much of an appetite before my 6:30 AM classes, so I like to grab something simple like a grapefruit. It's a nice little boost to help you wake up.” — ARIEL PADILLA
The science: Sure, it’s not as simple as grabbing an apple but eating pomegranates are worth the extra work: Research from the International Journal of Obesity found that consuming pomegranate discouraged the development of obesity and suppressed appetite in laboratory mice. And other studies have shown that the funky anti-oxidant-rich fruit helps fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and other diseases.
Instructor favorite: “I love to have an acai bowl with blueberries, pomegranate seeds and coconut. Super energizing and amazingly tasty!” — ROGER GARCIA
3. DARK CHOCOLATE
The science: The benefits of this treat are no trick: Research conducted at Louisiana State University discovered that gut microbes in our tummy ferment chocolate and stimulate our body's production of gut-healthy polyphenolic compounds, including butyrate, a fatty acid that causes the body to burn fat as fuel and shuts down the genes linked to inflammation.
Instructor favorite: “My favorite treat are these little Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares. Favorite flavor is dark chocolate with a sea salt caramel filling. Yum!” — GUNNER
The science: Berries are VERY good at fighting fat: In an animal study conducted at Texas Woman's University study, mice that munched on three daily servings of berries had 73 percent fewer fat cells. Choosing between berry types? Go blue: Blueberries are a chockablock with the antioxidant resveratrol, which was shown to convert the more health-harming white fat into calorie-torching beige fat.
Instructor favorite: “My healthy go-to midnight snack is a bowl of mixed berries.” — JAMIE GLASSMAN
The science: This breakfast staple is a major fat-burner: Not only are they packed with choline (a flab-melting nutrient that helps shut off the genes responsible for belly-fat storage) but having them for breakfast can actually help you consume fewer calories throughout the day. Research published in the journal Nutrition Research found that people who ate eggs in the AM were less hungry three hours later and ate less in a day than those people who stuck to bagels for breakfast.
Instructor favorite: “Hard boiled eggs are my go-to snack: So easy, portable, filling and a great way to heal your muscles after a workout.” — AMANDA MAX
The science: Now this is a carb we can’t live without: Beans are packed with slow-digesting, insoluble fiber that nourishes healthy bacteria in your stomach and kicks off the production of the chemical butyrate, which stimulates the body to burn fat as fuel. A study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that for every additional 10 grams of soluble fiber eaten each day, a person’s belly fat was decreased by 3.7 percent over five years.
Instructor favorite: “One of my most favorite things to make is white bean and kale soup. Here’s how:
1 diced carrot
1 diced piece of celery
1 small diced onion
2 garlic cloves
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cans of white beans
2 cups of chopped kale
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Coat a pot with olive oil, add carrot, celery and onion. Let cook for a couple of minutes then add red pepper flakes and garlic. Next add white beans and chicken broth along with the rind from the Parmesan cheese and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Add kale and reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rind. Add salt, pepper and grated Parmesan to taste and enjoy!” — ALLIE FELL
7. COCONUT OIL
The science: Nothing loco about coconut! Research published in the journal Lipids found that people who were given given two tablespoons of coconut oil daily shed more inches from their waistline than those who were given soybean oil. The magic effect: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are burned as energy rather than stored as fat, and lauric acid, which as been shown to target belly fat and attack it.
Instructor favorite: “I always keep Vega Protein powder and a jar of organic, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil in my bag.” — JOEY DYKSTRA
The science: Guess there was a reason Popeye was so lean and muscular. A study published in the journal Appetite found that women who consumed a five-gram thylakoid supplement from spinach saw a 25 percent reduction in hunger and cravings and lost, on average, 11 more pounds than dieters who skipped the supplement.
Instructor favorite: “One of my favorite superfoods is spinach. Put it in an omelette or a salad, blend it in a smoothie, or saute it. For me it's the perfect addition to any meal to load up on the extra greens and vitamins for the day without sacrificing taste.” — LOVE
9. TOMATO JUICE
The science: It’s gazpacho season so grab a spoon because tomato juice is a total tummy tamer: Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that people who drank 11 ounces of tomato juice for 20 days had a drastic reduction inflammation, which can lead to weight gain. Tomato juice also boosts the amount of adiponectin, a protein that helps to break down body fat.
Instructor favorite: “One of my favorite recipes is chicken with eggplant sauce that contains tomato juice. Here’s how to make it:
1/2 chicken on the bone
2 lbs. Italian eggplant, cubed
1 sweet onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, mashed
2 28-ounce cans whole Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped (reserve the juice)
6 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
handful of basil leaves, torn
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Sweat the chopped eggplant. Sprinkle with salt, put in a paper towel-lined colander and place a plate weighted down with the tomato cans on top for an hour. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until just cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove meat from the bone and set aside in a large saute pan, cover the bottom with olive oil and saute the eggplant (about 5 minutes — this may need to be done in batches). Transfer the eggplant to a paper towel-lined bowl. Using the same pot, add a bit more olive oil and saute the onions until soft (about 10 minutes), then add the garlic and saute until fragrant (about 5 minutes). Toss in the canned, chopped tomatoes with the reserved juice, plum tomatoes, eggplant, chicken, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 40 minutes. And voila: simple, easy, and healthy! Enjoy this dish alone as a stew, or like our large Italian family on top of pasta or quinoa!” — JANINE CRECCO
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