15 Thermogenic Foods That Help You Burn Fat

If you’re on a mission to drop a couple of pounds, then you’re probably doing everything you can to keep your calories in check and enjoy a healthy, varied diet.

But did you know that, when it comes to weight loss, not all foods are made equal. When you eat food, your body processes them in different ways, and some of these processes lead to more fat burning than others. Essentially, there are some foods that are just better at fat burning.

Sounds interesting right? Well let’s take a closer look at exactly how this works and what fat burning foods you should be eating.

What is thermogenesis?

All this extra fat burning we talked about above is a result of a process called thermogenesis.

Every single time you eat something, the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract start working faster, your stomach starts to produce digestive juices and every nutrient requires a different amount of energy to be absorbed.

All this activity requires energy and produces heat, which is where the term thermogenesis comes from

What makes thermogenesis so interesting for anyone looking to lose weight, is that some foods heat up your body than others. This essentially means you need more calories to process and absorb certain things in comparison to others. So, by ensuring you eat a varied diet that uses lots of these key ingredients, you could burn through more calories, and contribute to weight loss.

What are thermogenic foods?

Now we know some foods are better than others for inducing thermogenesis, we need to find out what they are.

The best place to start is grouping the main types of foods together. Carbohydrates, protein and fats are all processed differently and therefore offer different values when it comes to thermogenesis. Knowing which of these helps you to burn more fat, and the health benefits they offer could help you to guide your weight loss diet. On top of that there are certain ingredients and flavorings that can have a huge impact on your thermogenesis.

By looking out for these thermogenic foods, you should be able to influence your calorie burn.


Now we know some foods are better than others for inducing thermogenesis, we need to find out what they are.

The best place to start is grouping the main types of foods together. Carbohydrates, protein and fats are all processed differently and therefore offer different values when it comes to thermogenesis. Knowing which of these helps you to burn more fat, and the health benefits they offer could help you to guide your weight loss diet. On top of that there are certain ingredients and flavorings that can have a huge impact on your thermogenesis.

By looking out for these thermogenic foods, you should be able to influence your calorie burn.

Carbohydrates and fats

These are both an excellent source of energy and play a huge number of crucial roles in keeping your body happy and healthy. But when it comes to weight loss, carbs and fats get a bit of a bad rep. in particular, so many people forgo carbohydrates in an attempt to drop the pounds, but it’s just not necessary.

Burning fat comes down to a calorie deficit, not the number of carbs you have in your system.

Plus, carbs are the second most thermogenic macro nutrient you can have. After eating them, you can burn between 5-15% more calories [4].

Spicy foods

Outside of macronutrients, spice appears to be a big player when it comes to thermogenic activity. Ever noticed how you feel hotter and even sweat more after a meal? Well this is thermogenesis in action.

Hot peppers, spices and even some herbs contain compounds that offer their mouth-watering flavors and thermogenesis. Heat from these foods irritates the stomach, which means it works harder to process them, warms your body more and leads to extra energy expenditure [5].

Now you know the main types of food that can influence your metabolic rate, you need to know what you can add to your diet. To help, we’ve rounded up all the best thermogenic foods available.

Best Thermogenic Foods

1. Hot Peppers

Spicy hot peppers are one of the most well-researched and highly potent thermogenic foods available. The spice comes from a compound called capsaicin, which is also responsible for the thermogenic effects of this ingredient. Research shows the spice from cayenne pepper can help to boost calorie burn and even improve your body’s ability to use fat for fuel [6].

They’re so well researched for their ability to induce a thermogenic reaction, we’ve used a generous serving of cayenne pepper in Hourglass Fit. This should help you to support a higher metabolic rate even while at rest.

2. Turmeric

You may be familiar with this as a flavorsome addition to a range of Indian dishes, but it’s also a thermogenic.

The active ingredient curcumin has been proven to complement a healthy diet and exercise, by increasing overall fat loss by triggering that all important thermogenesis [7].

On top of helping out as a metabolic support, it’s also an anti-inflammatory, which means it can promote overall health and can even help you to recover from workouts more easily [8].

3. Black pepper

This is way more than just a way to season your food. Ever noticed that black pepper burns a little when it’s in your mouth? Well this works in a similar way to the hot chili peppers we talked about earlier – it’s all about the spice.

Within black pepper, there’s a compound called piperine, which is a proven thermogenic compound [9].

4. Coffee

We all know the main active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, and its benefits go far beyond helping you wake up during a mid-afternoon slump.

Caffeine is also a potent thermogenic. There’s plenty of research out there, proving time and time again that this is one of the best ingredients for increasing calorie burn.

In fact, one study found it increased metabolism by around 11% and another found it improved focused fat burning by about 13% [10] [11]. As such, it’s been found to reduce body fat and improve BMI readings after consistent supplementation [12].

5. Cinnamon

This is way more than a delicious treat or a way add a dash of flavor to your bowl of oats in the morning. That little throat burn you feel when you have cinnamon is, you guessed it, a sign of a thermogenic.

A recent study found it acts directly on fat cells to help convert them into energy, as well as improving overall calorie burn [13].

This combination is a fantastic support on a weight loss diet. Simply add a sprinkling to your Greek yogurt, or bowl of oats for a hit of flavor and a little metabolic support.

6. Ginger

We’re all familiar with the spicy, zingy flavor of ginger. This tasty spice is used in a huge range of sweet treats and dishes, but you may not know it contains small amounts of the exact same compound that makes hot peppers thermogenic – capsaicin.

The amount found in ginger is far smaller than that in a cayenne pepper, but it’s still enough to leave a burn in your throat.

With a little more ginger in your life, you should be able to improve both your metabolism and your ability to burn fat directly [14].

7. Green Tea

This is a big hitter in the world of thermogenic foods. Green tea contains two key elements that have both been proven to influence thermogenesis – caffeine and catechins.

Caffeine has been shown to increase your metabolic rate by up to 11% alone [15]. But, when combined with anti-oxidizing catechins, research has shown this to can go up to 17% during moderate exercise [16].

In one study, researchers found that those who regularly supplemented with green tea extract burned an additional 179 calories per day [17].

This is one of the most popular thermogenic ingredients available and you’ll find endless articles online about the many health benefits it offers. It’s such a powerful thermogenic ingredient, we’ve added a generous portion of it to the Hourglass Fit formula to help support you in your efforts.

8. Mustard

Mustard also has a sweet and spicy kick and, you guessed it, that heat offers a nice little boost to your calorie burn.

It includes capsaicin from our friends the hot peppers, but also a few other compounds that can help to boost your body temperature when you eat it. The combination of these could make it a great way to add a little heat to your daily menu.

9. Chicken

We’ve talked a lot about spicy thermic ingredients, but we can’t forget about high protein foods either.

Chicken is one of the leanest, most high protein meats out there, and is therefore an excellent thermogenic food. A 100g serving of chicken offers around 27g of protein, and only about 150 calories.

This is perfect if you’re on a weight loss diet, as you’re keeping calories low, protein high and thermogenesis thriving.

10. Turkey

Next up is turkey. Like chicken, this is also an extremely lean, providing about 30g of protein for every 100g, and just 130 calories.

Needless to say, this high protein count and low-calorie level is the ideal combination for someone looking to burn fat. Add this to a couple of meals a week to easily up your thermogenic activity and bring your protein intake up.

11. Lean red meat

Red meat is one of protein you can find. While it is jam-packed full of those essential amino acids, it also comes with a bit of a bad rep. High fat red meats are associated with a number of health issues surrounding cholesterol, so we recommend you stick to leaner cuts and eating it on occasion rather than every day.

These should lessen the concerns around health and help you get in a good serving of thermic protein.

12. Fish

While fish may contain less protein than other types of meat, it can still have a great influence over your thermogenesis.

On top of that, fish is packed full of nutrients like omega-3, which are essential for promoting overall health and can even help to prevent diseases.

Just like red meat, we’d suggest having fish occasionally rather than with every meal, as there are some issues surrounding cholesterol health.

13. High protein yogurts

Dairy comes with a good portion of protein, but nowadays you can buy products specifically made to boost your amino acid levels.

Some yogurts offer up to 20g of the muscle-building compound in a single pot, which is an easy and sweeter way to add this thermogenic to your daily menu.

So many protein products are savory, making yogurt can be a great idea if you want to add something sweet to your daily menu, whilst also working towards to that essential protein target.

14. Coconut Oil

This is more than just a health food fad. Coconut oil is made up almost entirely of medium chain fatty acids, which are metabolized in a different way to long-chain acids.

Medium chain fatty can induce a thermogenic reaction, and one study found that those who had one or two teaspoons of it a day increased their total daily energy expenditure by around 120 calories per day [18].

On top of that, there’s evidence to suggest that these medium chain fatty acids within coconut oil aren’t stored as well as the long-chain kind, which means they aren’t held easily. In research conducted on rats, the rats that fed on acids like those in coconut oil gained 20% less weight and held 23% less body fat [19]. Not only can they help to boost your thermogenesis, they help to support your fat loss in other ways too. Coconut oil really lives up to its ‘super food’ name.

15. Mushrooms

This vegetable comes with a big helping of protein, and a tiny serving of calories. As such it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost their thermogenic activity, whilst keeping their calories in check.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, then a mushroom can also be an excellent alternative to meat.


As we said at the beginning of the article, not all foods are made equal when it comes to fat burning.

Now, with all these foods on your daily menu you should be in a better place to ensure you’re burning more calories and supporting your weight loss efforts with the foods you eat.

As long as you’re achieving a calorie deficit, sprinkle a few thermogenic foods into your diet, enjoy a varied menu and exercise regularly, there’s nothing stopping your from achieving your body goals.

One easy, low calorie way to add more thermogenic foods to your diet is to take a supplement like Hourglass Fit. Our formula includes a range of concentrated thermogenic extracts, added specifically to support your metabolism, so you don’t have to think about including them in your diet. It just makes the whole process that little bit easier. Check out the formula for yourself right here.

Check out the formula for yourself right here.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results in the Testimonials may not be typical and your results may vary. Not all people will obtain the same results. These products are intended to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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**Glucomannan has been recognised by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in relation to weight loss.

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