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How to Burn Fat Fast: Start By Eating These 6 Foods

Eating these superfoods can turn on your body's fat-burning machine, according to Mehmet Oz, MD, "America's Doctor" and host of the Dr. Oz show.



Before you yuck Dr. Oz’s yum, sardines are not only a great source of lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but dipping them in olive oil ups their fat-burning quotient, he writes in his newest book Food Can Fix It: The Superfood Switch to Fight Far, Defy Aging and Eat Your Way Healthy. This is a trick he learned from body builders who live to turn fat into lean muscle mass. “I love sardines. They are great for fat burning,” he tells Reader’s Digest at a Manhattan book launch. Sardines are rich in calcium so they also strengthen bones. As a bonus, sardines make the list of foods that may add years to your life.

Chia-seedsIvanna Grigorova/Shutterstock

Chia seeds

These tiny ancient seeds provide major nutrients with minimal calories. Here’s how to burn fat fast: Sprinkle some chia seeds on your Greek yogurt for a power snack. Research shows that a high-protein afternoon snack reduces hunger, increases satiety, and puts the brakes on future snacking compared with lower-protein snacks, according to Dr. Oz. “Chia seeds may help regulate blood sugar, keeping your stomach happy for a long time,” he writes. Check out the other health benefits of chia seeds.

PicklesArtem Shadrin/Shutterstock


Vinegar was a home remedy for diabetes way before we had glucose-lowering drugs, Dr. Oz says. Vinegar, an acetic acid, slows digestion, which helps the body avoid dramatic blood sugar rises, and keeps us feeling full longer. His advice on how to burn fat fast? Choose vinegar and olive oil as your default salad dressing or munch on a pickle for a snack, as most pickle recipes call for distilled white vinegar. Pickle juice is pretty healthful, too.

EggsOksana Mizina/Shutterstock


Foods that take more energy to digest work in your favor, Dr. Oz writes. Eggs, salmon, and nuts all burn a little extra as you digest. “Consider it a bit of a caloric discount,” he says. Check out these 55 easy egg recipes.

Dark-chocolateSea Wave/Shutterstock

Dark chocolate

You heart chocolate, and it hearts you back: Turns out dark chocolate can keep your ticker pumping steadily. And it may also aid weight loss. As many fans of his TV show know, Dr. Oz is a big fan of dark chocolate: In one study, he writes, participants who ate dark chocolate with 70 percent cacao reduced their waist circumference in just one week. “The darker stuff has anti-inflammtory properties and helps with insulin sensitivity, both of which influence how your body stores fat,” he says. Still, he cautions, sugar is just for special occasions. Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits of chocolate.


Chili peppers

Hot peppers reduce the risk of dying from many causes, in part because they help burn fat. Chili peppers get their heat from capsaicin, which can curb your appetite by raising your body temperature, Dr. Oz says. Get the fat-fighting benefits by incorporating more red peppers, cayenne, jalapeños, habaneros, and Tabasco into your diet. “Cut out the core mad seeds and add the peppers to any dish that needs kick.” Can you handle the world’s hottest pepper?

Denise Mann, MS
Denise Mann is a freelance health writer whose articles regularly appear in WebMD, HealthDay, and other consumer health portals. She has received numerous awards, including the Arthritis Foundation's Northeast Region Prize for Online Journalism; the Excellence in Women's Health Research Journalism Award; the Journalistic Achievement Award from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; National Newsmaker of the Year by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; the Gold Award for Best Service Journalism from the Magazine Association of the Southeast; a Bronze Award from The American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (for a cover story she wrote in Plastic Surgery Practice magazine); and an honorable mention in the International Osteoporosis Foundation Journalism Awards. She was part of the writing team awarded a 2008 Sigma Delta Chi award for her part in a WebMD series on autism. Her first foray into health reporting was with the Medical Tribune News Service, where her articles appeared regularly in such newspapers as the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, and Los Angeles Daily News. Mann received a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. She lives in New York with her husband David; sons Teddy and Evan; and their miniature schnauzer, Perri Winkle Blu.