super foods to build muscle and lose fat

10 Super Foods to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Muscles are built in the kitchen. Workouts help to make your muscles stronger and bigger, but your muscles will not show from the hiding place, the layer of fat, until you have tweaked your diet plan and included top 10 fat burning foods.


Metabolism, an important piece of the muscle building puzzle is a biological process, by which your body employs foods to process energy. Metabolism decides your calorie-spend and Basal Metabolic Rate refers to the number of calories spent in maintaining bodily functions, like (respiration, heart rate, digestion). An interesting point to note here is that if you have more muscles, your metabolism rate goes up. Older people lose muscle mass with age. This is one of the main reasons for weight gain in elderly. Similarly, women have lower muscle mass than men, which makes it difficult for them to lose fat. You need to keep your metabolism active by building more of muscle mass with fat burning foods.

1.      COLD WATER

Drink a lot of cold water. Researchers at the University of Utah found that volunteers who drank 8 to 12, 240ml-glasses of water per day had higher metabolic rates than those who drank only four glasses. Your body has to burn  fewer calories to heat the water to your core temperature. Though, a single glass of ice water will not make any difference, but when you make a habit out of it, you drop 5 pounds, more than 2 kilos in a year without any additional effort. Also, thirst often camouflages as hunger and dampens your metabolism. Researchers in Germany measured Resting Metabolic Rate of fourteen men and women before and after they drank 16 ounces of water. After 15 minutes, the metabolism began to raise and after forty minutes, metabolism was up by 30 per cent. This boost in metabolism lasted for nearly one hour.

2.       GREEN TEA

Drink green tea. A study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a metabolism ‘boost’).The researchers also concluded that that over a 24-hour period, green tea extract increases the metabolic rate by 4%. These effects are probably due to the high concentrations of catechin polyphenols found in green tea. These work to help intensify levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis (the rate at which your body burns calories).

3.        WHEY PROTEIN

Drink whey and weigh less. Though 1g of carbs and proteins provide 4 calories, a recent study in the American Medical Association has found that when you overeat on a protein-rich diet, you pack lean muscles and increase your BMR. On the contrary, overeating on a carb-rich diet tends to store fat around your abdomen, the trickiest kind of fat storage, which is quite difficult to get rid of. Also, a whey protein supplement is not only for gym enthusiasts. Packed with quick-acting proteins, and a precursor to super-antioxidant glutathione, whey works well even for common people like you and me to get that much-needed protein shot in the diet.

4.        DRINK MILK.

Milk is the easiest way to get calcium as well as high-quality protein. A study published in the journal Diabetes found that a dip in calcium levels can trigger the release of calcitriol, a hormone that causes people to store fat. Many experts support the results and say that a calcium deficiency can slow metabolism. Reach for two or three daily servings of low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt. Soak up the sun for 15 minutes every day to get the requisite dose of vitamin D, which expedites absorption of calcium content in the milk.

5.        PEPPERS

Did you know spicing your foods with peppers gives you a fat burning edge? Peppers or chillis have a compound called capsaicin. A fair amount of research suggests that capsaicin boosts thermogenesis, though lightly, the process by which the body burns calories into energy.

6.        EGGS

In less than 80 calories, eggs form a nutrient-dense package. Exceptionally filling eggs is especially useful to lose fat while you are building muscle. Eggs help boost your fat burn by providing a protein-rich meal in fewer calories. The scientific studies go on to establish that egg meals increase fullness and reduce food intake later, as compared to other meals with a similar amount of calories. Moreover, eggs contain vitamin B12. It helps burn fat within the body. Vitamin B12 keeps your body more active and energetic throughout the day. Leucine, a BCAA found in eggs is helpful in losing weight. Dieting is a catabolic activity and leucine decreases the amount of lean tissue loss and increases the amount of fat loss. This helps improve fat burn.

7.        FISH

Fish is a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, iodine and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for the body and the brain to function optimally. A recent clinical study gave its participants either 4g of fish oil or safflower oil. The group that was administered fish oil had a higher rate of fat burn. In the body, fats derived from fish are used to process the outer layer of cellular membrane. This allows the cell receptors to bind easily with insulin, thereby increasing insulin sensitivity, a core component for a higher fat burn.

8.        SPINACH

An exceptionally good source of B vitamins, spinach improves metabolism. A single cup of spinach has 200 percent of your vitamin K daily requirement. Vitamin K helps your bones absorb calcium. Spinach also has large amounts of folic acid, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. Spinach is also a food source for quercetin, a strong antioxidant that can prevent your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from being oxidized and clogging your arteries. Spinach improves post-workout recovery, which leads to better muscle mass. An increase in muscle mass is directly linked to improved calorie expenditure. A good source of iron spinach maintains a constant supply of oxygen to all your tissues. When your iron levels go down you risk a sagging metabolism.

Thicker and creamier, Greek style yoghurt offers higher protein and calcium content than regular yogurt. It has been scientifically proven that higher calcium intake helps reduce belly fat. A study presented at the Obesity Society of Meeting of 2007 showed a significant abdominal fat reduction after calcium supplementation. Yogurt specifically has been studied as a calcium-rich food that helps burn fat and promotes weight loss. A University of Tennessee study in 2005 shows that dieters who ate three servings of yogurt a day lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than those who simply cut calories and didn’t add calcium to their eating plan. Those that lost the most weight were also able to protect their lean muscle mass, which is critical when dieting because the muscle mass is essential for maintaining high metabolism.

10.    NUTS
On your journey to weight loss and fat burn and it cannot get more interesting than burning fat with good fats, derived from nuts. Choc-bloc of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, nuts contain certain micro-nutrients like copper to stimulate essential bio-chemical reactions in the body. Nuts are useful in melting belly fat. Full of fiber, mono and poly unsaturated fats, a handful of nuts are great for satisfying hunger and help in weight loss.

Along with metabolism boosting foods, pump iron to get rid of belly fat and define your muscles. Sleep well. Most of us do not know that the sleep is the unsung hero of the weight loss. A research published in 2010 in the Annals of the Internal Medicine has found that 3 extra hours helps burn 400 more calories.