Burn More Calories With These 8 Frugal Foods


Sure, you read all kinds of "don't eat" lists criticizing foods with too much fat or too many carbs. But did you know there are foods that can actually boost your calorie burn? Believe it.

Add the following frugal foods to your daily routine, and you might lose more weight while eating like a king (or queen).

1. Eggs

Eggs aren't just an amazing source of protein, they've also been shown to positively impact individuals with metabolic syndrome. For the rest of us, this means they fill us up, all while helping to restore levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Of course, eating eggs for breakfast (or any time at all) has huge benefits for jump-starting your metabolism in general. Plus, they're super inexpensive!

2. Hot Peppers

Chili peppers contain this crazy chemical called capsaicin that super-boosts metabolism into hyper-drive. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Wyoming, peppers have also been shown to help convert "bad" white fat into "good" brown fat. All good news for those of you who like it hot. The best way to save on peppers is to buy them up when they're in season.

3. Whole Grains

We've all heard that refined carbohydrates aren't good for our health. Thankfully there are many hearty whole grain alternatives that are both delicious and beneficial to the body. Just read the science: "Whole grain intake is inversely and refined grain intake is positively associated with the risk of having metabolic syndrome." Try baking your own bread at home for whole grains on the cheap. (See also: 10 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Homemade Bread)

4. Berries

A Swedish study recently revealed that berries aren't just tasty — they also fight obesity. Even mixed with an otherwise high-fat diet, the addition of berries kept insulin levels and weight loss steady. The specific berries you should munch include lingonberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, raspberry, açai, crowberry, prune, and blackberry. My favorite way to get my dose is through fruit smoothies, and I find buying frozen berries is a better investment because they don't spoil.

5. Grapefruit

My mom always said that grapefruit is great to eat while dieting. Now science is backing this idea. In a 2006 study, 91 obese participants saw greater weight loss and a lowered post-glucose insulin level by eating fresh grapefruit. This study also uncovered that a grapefruit supplement and juice aren't as effective as the whole food (and groceries are less expensive than supplements, right?).

6. Dairy

I'm quick to blame my cheese consumption when pointing fingers at weight gain. But researchers studying the dairy-eating habits of healthy French-Canadians discovered eating dairy products has a positive impact on metabolic health. The key here is calcium, and the recommended intake to see benefits is two to four servings each day. Try buying products in bulk to save.

7. Water

While technically not a food, water is key to overall health, including boosting metabolism. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, participants saw a 30% increase in metabolism after drinking just 17 ounces of the stuff. The increase started about ten minutes after drinking but continued beyond a half hour afterward. And keep your pennies — tap water is better than bottled.

8. Coffee

While we're on beverages, coffee's influence on metabolic rate can't be denied. Ingesting coffee — caffeine — immediately increases heart rate, an effect that lasts up to 30 minutes after consumption. The down side? Drinking coffee may put you at risk for coronary heart disease in the hour after ingestion. Moderation is best, and brewing your coffee at home will cut your costs tremendously.

Do you enjoy any of these frugal calorie burners?

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