The term thermogenic probably isn't the most common word you would hear in regards to diets and their nature. The actual process of thermogenesis is when food and their calories are converted to heat rather than stored as fat. I knew straight away how these food types would be a great advantage in getting leaner. Thermogenic foods allow an amount of its calories to convert to heat, thus energy. Almost like a steam engine, they give an edge in training by helping reduce that body fat.
It's important to understand that thermogenesis actually happens with all food types. Of course, some are better than others and this is where experimenting with the following items can be great, especially mixed with your meals. Keep in mind that you don't need to go crazy eating only highly thermogenic food groups. Think of them as an extra bonus to your mission to muscle. If I'm looking at grinding out a particularly hard training session, thermogenic foods are a good choice.
The following thermogenic foods also promote health and muscle growth.
Green tea: Known for its high antioxidants, green tea helps trigger a thermogenic effect, aiding in weight loss. The catechins in the tea are what cause the effect, so you would need around 6-10 cups for maximum effect. That can be a lot to swallow, so remember green tea supplements are available.
Coconut oil: Provides important thermogenic properties. It also becomes invaluable as a substitute over olive oil for cooking. It becomes a better replacement for both olive and canola oil.
Mushrooms: Add them to many different dishes. Salads or a stir fry is a popular choice.
Peppers and Berries: They are hot but the capsaicin in these are what cause the therogenesis. Any type of berry are all good choices. They are best eaten in whole form and not processed.
A and P Fruit: Simple as it gets: apples, apricots, pears and peaches. Do not use canned products or any preservatives.
Ice Water: An easy one to overlook, but water is very important. The water must be chilled so as exercising energy increases, the water reaches body temperature causing a nice thermogenic effect. It requires a lot of water to be consumed, but if you are already drinking a lot during training, try some crushed ice with it.
Most importantly the best thermogenic foods are protein based. This is because one third of protien calories are converted to heat during digestion.
Lean Protein: Fish is a nice starting point, including scallops and shellfish. If you choose the scallops try them with seaweed to increase the thermogenic effect. Poultry is an amazing source of lean protien. Gress fed, lean beef is preferable over grain fed. Generally because they have more saturated fats. Sirloin streak is especially an ideal suggestion. Finally eggs can be used as a source of protein.
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Ben Basos is the writer of the extremely popular Mission to Muscle blog which documented his 12 week transformation from flabby to fit. Ben also holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Human Movement studies and dedicates his time to keeping lean, fit and healthy. Read the full article on Thermogenic Fat Burning Foods.
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