Skip to main content

12 delicious ways to release fat

After an exhaustive review of weight loss research, editors learnt a fascinating things: not all foods are created equal when it comes to shedding kilos. These 12 contenders seem t have special abilities to thwart your body's desire to hold on fat.

12 delicious ways to release fat
Image by Racool_studio on Freepik


Your mum told you to drink milk because calcium was good for your bones. What she may not have known is it also helps control your hunger. Research shows people who don't consume enough have a greater fat mass and less control of their appetite. Women under 50 (and men under 70) should aim for 1000mg a day. Over those ages? push your intake up to 1200mg if needed.


Yes, dairy is an excellent source of calcium, but even more excitingly, studies have found that dairy sources of calcium are markedly more effective in accelerating fat loss than other sources. Researchers theorize that other ingredients in dairy act synergistically with the calcium.

In one study from the university of Tennessee, USA researchers showed that eating three serving of dairy product a day significantly reduced body fat in obese subjects. And if calories were restricted at the same time, fat loss and weight loss accelerated.

There's more! A study done in 2010 indicated that drinking fat free milk immediately after whole body resistance training and again one hour after the workout allowed participants to increase fat loss, gain greater muscle and strength, and strengthen bones by reducing bone cell turnover. Have at least three servings of fat free dairy products each day. Time it with your exercise to maximize weight reducing effects.


Many studies clearly show that a small glass of wine a day is good for your health. Researchers credit the anti aging properties of resveratrol (found in red grapes, mulberries, and peanuts) in red wine. Now cutting edge research suggests this antioxidant is a fat releaser too.

In one study of more than 19000 women who were initially of normal weight, light to moderate drinkers had less weight gain and less risk of becoming overweight than those who drank no alcohol over the near 13 year study period. In several animal studies, researches have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption doesn't promote weight gain. And in a separate animal study from 2006, researchers found resveratrol improved exercise endurance as well as protected against obesity and insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

A small glass of red win each day won't hurt your weight loss efforts. In fact it may help.

Coconut oil

While saturated facts often get a bad rap, one source sits at the top of the "should enjoy" list: coconut oil. why? This oil was shown to do pretty nifty things for abdominally obese women in a 2009 study from Brazil, including decreasing their waist circumference, increasing beneficial HDL (High density lipoprotein) cholesterol and improving the ration of "bad" LDL (Low density lipoprotein) to "good" HDL cholesterol. And in populations where coconut oil is commonly eaten, high cholesterol levels and heart disease aren't common.

Limit saturated fat content to 10 percent of your total calorie intake each day, but make coconut oil or milk one of your top picks.

Vitamin C

You've heard for years to stock up on your vitamin C to fend off colds, but are you aware of its reputation as a weight loss aid? Research suggests that bodies of folks who are deficient in vitamin C cling more stubbornly to fat. In 2008, researchers in Canada reviewed a stack of studies to find what they called "unsuspected determinants of obesity" Their review linked less than ideal intakes of particular micronutrients to an increased likelihood of being overweight, and identified deficiencies in zinc, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin E as risk factors for having a higher percentage of body fat and belly fat. Women should aim for 75mg a day; men for 90mg.

"FAT Releasers vitamin C: strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwifruit, muskmelon, red capsicum."


There's a huge buzz around mono unsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, which seem to help people store less belly fat. They're found in olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, and avocado, and serving with each meal is recommended.

Now a small study from the Netherlands suggests that we should also enjoy polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, found in fish and in many nuts and seeds. In this study, consumption of high ratio of PUFAs to saturated fast led to a higher resting metabolism, as well as a greater diet induced calorie burn. PUFAs are also burned faster than saturated fats in the body, another win win.

Our diets generally have more than enough n-6, or omega-6, PUFAs, so focus on long chain n-3 PUFA's commonly known as omega-3s. These are found in flaxseeds, walnuts, beans, salmon and olive oil.

Researchers theorize that the weight loss benefits of omega 3-s may be result of their anti inflammatory effects (inflammation in the body has been strongly linked to obesity). These healthy fats are further associated with protection from cardiovascular disease, and enhanced mood. Women should aim for 1.1g of omega 3s daily, men 1.6g.


This is macronutrient  powerhouse for so many reasons: It promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, and muscle. It's also a fabulous weight loss aid, according to a 2002 study from Arizona State University. Protein increased satiety (satisfaction and feelings of fullness) and increased after meal calorie burn. In other words, eating protein rich meals, rather than higher carbohydrate ones, leads to more satisfaction, less hunger, and more fat burn three benefits in one. Earlier research also found that people following higher protein diets generally decrease their food intake by an average of 10 percent (about 200 kilocalories). Expert recommend around 40g daily for women; 56g for men.

"Eating protein rich meals leads to more satisfaction, less hunger, and more fat burn"

"Fat releasers protein: beans, nuts, meat, eggs, lentils, poultry, seafood such as tuna, mackerel, sardines and lobster."

Honey and Cocoa

What do the two share? All may lead to less fat deposition in our bodies.

Honey: This natural sweetener has shown great promise in animal studies for reducing weight gain and body fat when substituted for sugar. Known to have antibacterial, anti viral, and antifungal properties, honey boasts wide ranging health benefits. It may Improve blood sugar control and immunity, and it's an effective cough suppressant.

Cocoa: We all welcome any excuse to add more chocolate to our lives. Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Just look at this list of benefits from a recent study done at the US's Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center by Dr David Katz and his colleagues: "Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV radiation. And have beneficial effects on satiety , cognitive function, and mood." Enjoy these foods regularly and slow down fat creep.

"With cocoa, honey, nuts, fruits and cheeses all shown to help weight loss, good health can also be delicious."

Fibre and vinegar

Throughout the years, many weight loss researchers have recommended starting a meal with a salad to stave off hunger and ensure that you don't overeat. But why does this work so well? One reason is that salads are a great source for fibre: Lettuce greens, carrots, tomatoes, and the like all have plenty of this macronutrient. Fibre's effect on increasing feeling of satiety are well documented.

The surprise here? The vinegar that comes along for the ride in salad dressing also helps you feel full. Research has shown that vinegar can lessen the glycemic effect of a meal (meaning it tends not to spike your blood sugar), an effect that has been linked to satiety which reduces your food intake. Vinegar may also prevent body fat accumulation, according to a 2009 animal study by Japanese researcher. Mice that were fed acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, for six weeks accumulated up to 10 percent less body fat that the control mice in the study.

Whether you combine fibre and vinegar or not, know that they are great tools to have on hand whenever you feel the need to tame your appetite and turn on fat burning controls. If you're not a fan of salad, there are plenty of other sources.

Women under 50 need at least 25g of fibre a day. Over 50 they should get 21g. Men under 50 need 38g; over 50 need 31g. Aim to get a daily dose of vinegar in your salad dressing or in another recipe.

"Fat releasers fibre: carrots, artichokes, radishes, lettuce, raspberries, legumes such as peas, and oats."