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9 Fat-Burning Foods That Let You Eat to Lose Weight

Diet plans and ruthless exercise routines just not cutting it? Adding healthy eats to your plate can help you whittle your waistline
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Ladies, we get it. Figuring out how to slim down can be as perplexing as figuring out where all of our bobby pins have gone over the years. It's just sort of a mystery. But what if we told you there was a way to lose body eating? This sounds-too-good-to-be-true approach to how to weight loss comes courtesy of a few fat burning foods.

Well, kind of. Before we dive into our list of foods that burn fat, we need to address a common misconception. Technically there is no such thing as a "fat burning food" in the magic-bullet sense, but there are foods that help burn fat by cranking your metabolism into overdrive with their thermogenic effects.

"Foods don't actually burn fat," explains Sonya Angelone, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson and registered dietitian and nutritionist. "Your metabolism uses the energy within foods, which is measured in calories, to burn fat or store it." In otherwords, consuming foods that stave off your appetite and rev up your metabolism can help burn fat. Plus, focusing on what to eat more of, rather than just what to eat less of can be a helpful dieting strategy, Angelone adds. Far too often, we get into a mindset of "we can't have that," which may fuel cravings even more. If you change your mindset to focus on what you can eat in larger quantities (cough, protein- and fiber-rich foods, cough), Angelone says you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Ready to pump up your grocery list with natural fat burners? Get ready to make your metabolism purr, curb cravings and torch calories as you chew. Here, nine of the best fat burning foods for women.

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Fat Burning Foods: Apples and Pears
We've all heard the adage: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," but is there any truth to this fruit's cure-all reputation? Thanks to its high fiber content, maybe.

One mistake people make when trying to lose weight is skimping on fiber -- an essential nutrient that prevents blood sugar spikes and overeating. "Both [apples and pears] contain fiber, especially pectin, which is a soluble fiber that can help promote satiety and fullness and curb hunger," Angelone says. Unlike that bag of chips you mindlessly munch in front of "America's Next Top Model" reruns, fiber-rich apples or pears will keep you fuller longer, and therefore, are some of the best fat burning foods.

When you're noshing on these white-fleshed fruits, you don't run the risk of a sugar crash. As your body slowly digests the fiber, it slowly digests the sugar. When you consume something lacking fiber (like a soda), sugar absorbs quickly and goes straight to your liver, pushing your liver into overdrive (aka a sugar spike). To help the liver out, the pancreas begins to produce the insulin hormone, which expedites the sugar for energy or turns it directly into fat for energy storage. Yikes. This goes to show that not all calories are created equal (think: a 100-calorie apple is much better for your body than a 100-calorie soda).

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Fat Burning Foods: Berries
Though berries be but little, they are fierce. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are all high in fiber and low in sugar -- but that's not all to these fat burning foods. "They can help increase the expression of adiponectin, a hormone recreated by fat cells that helps stabilize blood glucose [blood sugar], suppress appetite and increase metabolism," Angelone says.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that in mice, adiponectin spiked metabolism, causing the critters to burn more heat and lose body fat over time -- even though their food intake remained the same. So grab a handful of berries each day, and watch your love handles slowly melt away (well, provided the rest of your diet and exercise is on point, of course).

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Fat Burning Foods: Red Peppers
To rock a smoking hot bod you've got to keep your food hot too. What's one major cause for obesity? The obvious: overeating. But you can keep yourself from going back for seconds (or thirds) by adding natural fat burners, like hot red peppers to your plate, according to Angelone.

"Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat can help reduce hunger and increase metabolism," Angelone explains. "However, you need to eat the actual pepper and feel the burn. Capsules won't do the trick." It behooves you to break a sweat outside of the gym too, according to Angelone. "Spicy foods enhance and prolong the thermic effect of food, aka the increased calories burned just from eating that food," she says. Meals made with chili and mustard may increase the metabolic rate up to 33 percent more than an un-spiced meal would, and this effect may last as long as three hours, according to "Krause's Food and Nutrition Care Process." Good thing it's chili season.

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Fat Burning Foods: Tea
Okay, so tea isn't technically a food that burns fat, but it definitely deserves a spot on our list of fat-torchers.

Teas like black, green and oolong are calorie-free and high in antioxidants called flavonoids, which come with serious anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits, according to Angelone. "These compounds help increase metabolic rate, increase fat oxidation (fat burning) and improve insulin sensitivity," she says. Remember, managing those insulin levels (aka blood sugar levels) prevents the body from converting and storing sugars into fat, and a cup of tea not only helps prevent your body from storing more fat, it aids in torching unwanted fat in the process. Simply sip throughout the day. Pinkies out.

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