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5 Surprising Fat-Burners Your Diet Is Missing

Supercharge your weight loss efforts by adding these calorie-burning foods to your everyday diet.
Sliced ginger and ginger root on wooden cutting board

Whether you're looking to jumpstart your weight loss, kick your metabolism into full gear, or reboot your fat-burning furnace, there's no place better to look than your diet.

While following a healthy eating pattern is the best way to drop pounds, having a few special fat-burners that you include wherever possible can only help the process along. When you need a little more oomph than traditional fat-burning foods, expand your palate by trying these surprising foods that can torch belly fat. Read on, and for more on how to lose weight, you won't want to miss The Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat for Good, Say Doctors.

1

Potatoes

sack of russet potatoes
David Smart/Shutterstock

Secret Fat Torcher: Resistant starch

And you thought you should avoid this poster child of the anti-carb movement. Not so. The starch in potatoes becomes a "resistant starch," meaning it resists digestion and does not spike blood sugar, when it is cooled after cooking. So boil up some potatoes and cool them before eating. Because their starch is not digested in the small intestine, your gut bacteria processes it, helping to balance your blood sugar and optimize your gut flora, which in turn promotes weight loss. A review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition also found strong evidence to support that resistant starch lowers body fat and belly fat in humans.

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2

Seaweed

seaweed salad
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Secret Fat Torcher: Fucoxanthin

Japanese researchers have found that this compound found in brown seaweed, such as wakame, helps reduce deep belly fat build-up in lab animals. More recently, a Functional Foods in Health and Disease study tested to see whether the same result could be found in humans. When overweight men and women took a capsule containing three milligrams of fucoxanthin for four weeks, they had lower body weight BMI and belly fat area compared to the placebo group. The researchers saw a change in participants who only consumed one milligram of the compound: total fat mass, subcutaneous fat area, and waist circumference were also significantly lower. There are other reasons to consider a seaweed salad: it's ultra-low in calories, high in satiating fiber, and rich in iodine, a mineral important to helping your thyroid gland regulate your body's metabolism.

3

Red Pepper

cayenne pepper on wooden spoon and table
Shutterstock

Secret Fat Torcher: Capsaicin

Apparently spicy pepper can burn your mouth and your belly fat! According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, daily consumption of one of the compounds found in pepper (capsaicin) speeds up abdominal fat loss by boosting the body's ability to convert food into energy. It also acts as a natural appetite suppressant: Purdue researchers found that consuming just 1 gram of red pepper (about 1/2 a teaspoon) can help burn more calories after a meal and manage appetite—just like These Expert-Approved Appetite Suppressants That Totally Work.

4

Ginger root

Sliced ginger and ginger root on wooden cutting board
Shutterstock

Secret fat torcher: Gingerol

Studies suggest that gingerol, the spicey active ingredient in ginger root, may be thermogenic, meaning it triggers the body to burn more calories. A study in the journal Metabolism, found that subjects who drank a ginger tea burned 43 more calories than they did when drinking plain hot water. The spice has also been shown to reduce feelings of hunger.

5

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut
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Secret fat torcher: Probiotics

Fermented cabbage foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi, are a good source of probiotics, the good bacteria that support digestive health. A recent review of 20 studies involving more than 1,900 adults reported in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that taking probiotics reduced both body weight and body mass index, with the greatest reduction occurring in overweight subjects. For more ways to lower your BMI, don't miss these The 12 Best Foods That Speed Up Weight Loss.