Eating certain foods burn calories faster

LOS ANGELES "There are some foods that have a thermogenic effect, and what that means is they take some calories to burn or they cause some kind of a metabolic effect," said dietician Andrea Ginacoli, spokesman for the /*American Dietetic Association*/.

One of Giancoli's favorite /*fat burners*/ is lean protein, as it takes far more calories to digest or breakdown than fat or carbohydrates. Getting adequate protein like chicken or turkey breast, fish, eggs, even beans, makes good sense.

Other foods to fire up the furnace are nuts, whole grains, and produce - all contain fiber which helps you feel full longer and they also help keep blood sugars even to prevent those nasty food cravings.

In addition, adding some spice to your life with capsaicin, an ingredient found in chili peppers, can also torch a few calories.

"If you've ever had spicy food, you feel that kind of rush, and it feels really hot. Well guess what, that's some calories burning," Giancoli said.

Tea and coffee both contain caffeine, a stimulant that kicks us into gear. Green tea has a natural chemical that helps us burn a bit more, but again, just a petite bit.

"It would be really great if there were foods out there that could significantly burn a lot of calories, but we're really talking about a few calories here, a few calories there," Giancoli said.

Along with what you eat, when you eat is also important. Start with fuel in the morning, have a hearty lunch and a lighter dinner, as we tend to store and make fat in the night.

Since you burn more calories when you are adequately hydrated, keep water with you throughout the day.

And finally, to burn fat, get some sleep!

"Not sleeping, it messes up with our hormones that govern our appetite," Giancoli said. "Those appetite-suppressing hormones go down, and the appetite-increasing hormones go up."

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