You might have read articles on fat burning foods before. But I want to see if they really exist. And do they factor in our battle of how to lose belly fat?

I know what you're thinking, it sounds counter intuitive that you should EAT in order to lose belly fat. Shouldn't that be STOP eating to lose belly fat?

While I agree that there are certain foods that you need to stop eating right now (put down those fries :-)), it is important to understand the concept of good foods and how they help your body burn fat.

Foods That Burn Fat - Do They Really Exist?

The nay sayers will tell you that there is no such thing as a food that burns fat. And that is because they take the phrase literally. In just the same way that there is no such thing as a magic fat burning pill or powder, there is "magic" food that will help you lose weight by adding to your meals once per day.

But, there are hundreds of delicious and satisfying foods, that when combined into a healthy nutritional program, create a fat burning hormonal response in our bodies.

Let's use the analogy of a car to illustrate the point. We all love our cars (myself more than most), but without the right fuel inside of them, they are pretty much useless.

If we get the fuel choice wrong then it can lead to all kinds of problems, such as stalling, backfiring and a sluggish performance. And if we get it really wrong then it just won't go anywhere at all.

But your car has been carefully engineered to run in a certain way, and if you keep putting the wrong kind of fuel inside it will damage the mechanics and shorten its lifespan.

However, the right fuel choices will see the car running smoothly and we should get many years of service from it.

Now instead of the car, let's think of our body in the same way. Our fuel is the food and drink that we consume on a daily basis. With no food, we just don't work.

In the same way that the wrong fuel affects our cars performance, the wrong food affect ours. We feel tired, grumpy, get colds more often and we start to store more unwanted flab.

Keep putting the wrong foods inside and we gain more fat, and the health problems become more serious. Now we are shortening our own life expectancy!

On the other hand, the right foods help our bodies to work perfectly. We're alert, awake, suffer fewer illnesses and we can attain a lean physique.

On its own food does not "burn fat", but it is the fuel that allows our body to burn fat, and keep it off permanently.

The Foods NOT To Eat

Unfortunately for us, it is one heck of a lot easier for us to buy the wrong kinds of foods that it is to get the wrong kind of gas/ petrol. The modern, westernized diet is loaded with stomach bulging pitfalls, and foods that will cause you store more belly fat.

One of the things that makes our grocery store decisions even harder is the supposed "health foods" industry. A lot of the products they market to us are really just junk foods in disguise. And they can sabotage our best efforts to lose weight.

I've written a lot of articles about foods that make you fat. But here is a general list to get you started:

Fast foods

Deep fried foods - fries, onion rings etc

Foods containing or cooked in hydrogenated oils and trans fats - lots of fast foods and convenience packaged foods

Foods high in refined sugar - cakes, candies, soft drinks

Low fat "health" foods - always check the label for added sugars and artificial sweeteners

HFCS - High fructose corn syrup, a dangerous artificial sugar substitute

Diet soda - Artificial sweeteners cause you to store fat too

Refined "white" carbohydrates - breads, pasta, rice etc

You might notice a pretty common theme here - processed foods. If you were to remove all of the above from your weekly diet, would there be anything left?

Processed foods dominate the grocery store and dominate our shopping baskets. But processing removes natural goodness, only to replace it with artificial bad stuff that our bodies react badly to.

I'm so serious about this point that I believe processed foods are causing the obesity epidemic. Which means there is only one cure, and that's to get rid of them from our weekly shop.

The RIGHT Kinds Of Foods

If you're thinking that no processed foods means a lack of interesting food options then you'd be wrong.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of natural fat burning foods out there. So at the very least there are tens of thousands of combinations primed and ready to help you lose your belly fat.

Here is a list of some of the very best fat burning foods:

Free range, grass fed red meat - beef, bison, game etc

Free-range chicken and poultry

Raw dairy - unpasteurised, unhomogenised

Raw, mixed nuts

Fresh fruit and vegetables - literally too many to list

Free-range eggs

Coconut oil, palm oil

Wild caught fish

Oatmeal

Unsweetened herbal, fruit, green, chamomile, oolong etc teas

Dark chocolate - 70% coco minimum And the list goes on....

So what gives? Some of the foods listed above have been classified as "high fat". But this is just the health foods industry trying to push their junk down your throat. Natural fats are actually vital for fat loss.

It is really important to note that you can't get the full benefits of the foods listed above unless you combine as many as possible into a balanced nutritional program. Just adding one or two to an already unhealthy diet won't get you any positive results.

Also, there is a lot of emphasis on how you prepare your foods. Deep fried, battered cod isn't good for you, even if the cod was wild caught. You get the picture.

Let's not forget one last important point. Eating right doesn't just make us look good, it improves our health too. I don't know about you, but I think that is even more important than a flat stomach (well only just :-)).