Meet the ultimate wonder food. Chicken is packed with protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass—and the more muscle mass you have, the more efficient you are at burning calories. Even better, protein takes more time to digest than carbohydrates, so you'll feel full longer than if you ate the same number of calories in a carb—or fat-heavy meal. An ideal serving: the size of a computer mouse or a deck of cards.
Calcium consumed in tandem with an amino acid found in dairy products has been shown to burn fat. Consider it a fab excuse to add more yogurt, milk, and cheese to your meal plans. What makes Greek yogurt a standout dairy option is that it has more protein that the regular kind—so you boost the fat-burning benefits.
Research suggests that consuming two to four cups of fresh brewed green tea daily can help you burn about an extra 50 calories a day. It's teeming with catechins, nutrients linked to increased metabolism and a smaller waistline.
Scramble up two eggs for breakfast tomorrow—it's a fat-melting morning meal. Part of the reason is that eggs are loaded with protein (which will keep you feeling full for longer), but also, eating in the a.m. means you end up taking in fewer calories during the day, research shows.
You've probably heard the tip to drink water when you're hungry, in case the pangs you're feeling are actually thirst. Well, here's another reason to down the H2O: When you drink ice water, your body actually expends energy, warming the water up to your natural temperature.
Capsaicin, the ingredient that gives chili peppers their fiery kick, can also fire up your fat-burning furnace. Order more hot curries and other spicy dishes when you eat out, or just add a tablespoon of chopped chilis to your pizza or soup at home.
These nuts contain the right balance of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, and together they rev your metabolism and keep you feeling satisfied. About 50 pistachios equals one serving, so pop some in a bag and munch when you're feeling snacky.