Top Food & Exercises to Keep You Burning Fat All Day Long

By Joanna 22/03/2022 In
Nutritional Tips

Don’t we all just wish that our body is able to burn fat more efficiently all day long? Well I know I do. When it comes to burning fat, it is highly associated with our body’s metabolism. Yup, your fat-burning machine is your body’s metabolism. Therefore it is safe to say that if we can keep our metabolism healthy and active then we would be turning on our “fat burn” mode throughout the day, which can help with weight loss. Below are some of the top workouts and food choices that can boost your metabolism and encourage your body to continue burning fat all day long.

So before we get into the food and workouts, let’s first understand your body’s metabolic rate, which is also referred to as the body’s Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). TDEE is basically the number of calories one burn in a day.

TDEE = is different for everybody and is influenced by 4 main components:

  1. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) - constitutes 60- 70% of our TDEE. BMR is the minimum number of calories that your body needs to function at rest.
  2. Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT) -  constitutes about 5 - 10% of our TDEE. EAT refers to as planned, structured and repetitive physical activity such as hitting the gym or going for a jog.
  3. Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) - the energy we burn through non-sports activities such as doing house chores, cooking and even small movements like fidgeting or playing a musical instrument. NEAT makes up about 10 - 20% of our TDEE.
  4. Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) - constitutes about 10% of our TDEE. This refers to the amount of energy we use to eat, digest and metabolise our food.

With this information, we know that in order to promote more fat burn throughout the day, we should be looking at improving the biggest contributor to our TDEE, which is our BMR. Here are the top 3 workouts to improve your BMR.



1. Strength Training


Strength training is a method of training that helps you increase your muscular strength and build lean muscle mass. Strength training is important because your BMR is largely determined by your total lean muscle mass. Muscle mass burns more calories than fat. For every pound of lean muscle, your body burns an additional 14 calories a day, whereas a pound of fat only burns 2 - 3 calories. Hence, the more lean muscle you have on the body the higher your BMR will be, which increases your body’s fat burning ability.

Examples of strength training includes exercises with gym machines, or free weights such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or equipment such as a resistance band, or even bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups. Adding strength training 2 - 3 times a week burns significantly more fat than those who only perform cardio exercises.


2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


High Intensity Interval Training or more commonly known as HIIT involves quick intense bursts of activity. Some common exercises used in a HIIT session are burpees, squat jumps and sprinting. The whole goal is to push your body into an anaerobic state and for you to empty your tank.

This will not only help you burn tons of calories in a short period of time however it also will help keep your metabolism elevated (post-workout) even after your workout is over through a process called Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) a.k.a. the “afterburn”. EPOC or more commonly known as the "afterburn" effect. This refers to all of the oxygen and energy, in the form of calories that your body takes in and uses after exercise to help repair your muscles and recover. The after-burn effect can last up to 36 hours. Therefore HIIT has become a famous training mode as it is known to help fire up your metabolism throughout the entire day.


3. Compound Exercises


Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that are designed to target multiple muscle groups at one time. Examples of compound exercises include squat to shoulder press, lunges, push-ups, and plank row. Most compound exercises will not only challenge your muscular fitness, but will also get your heart rate up and improve your cardio fitness while burning lots of calories.

To simplify how doing compound exercises could boost your metabolism, let us look at our muscles as a factory, the more muscles we work at one time, the more energy is needed to power the factory thus increasing our body’s metabolism. Most of my workout videos are based on compound movements. So do check them out on my YouTube and they are perfect, especially for those of you who have limited time to train.



Alright now that you know the right type of workouts to start including into your routine, let us not neglect the most important aspect to weight loss, which is our food. Here are my top 5 functional foods that are known to help you boost metabolism.


1. Protein Rich Food


As mentioned previously, our metabolism is highly linked to our muscle mass. Therefore it is important to always fuel our muscles with the protein it needs. The guideline to follow is that 20 - 30% of your total daily calories should come from proteinThis can be easily met by including a serving of protein such as lean meat, fish, nuts, legumes, or yoghurt at every meal and snack. This in turn will ensure that our muscles continue to efficiently function as a powerhouse in burning fat as fuel throughout the day.

On top of that, did you know that protein causes the largest rise in Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) as compared to carbs of fats? This is because protein takes longer for the body to break down, which means it needs more calories to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meals. It can increase your metabolic rate by 15 - 30%, compared to 5 - 10% for carbs and 0 - 3% for fats. Therefore consuming plenty of protein can make you burn an extra 150 - 200 calories a day, plus you’ll also feel more full and prevent overeating. 


2. Coffee


Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3 - 11%. This is why if you were to take a look at fat burners, most of them have caffeine as the number one ingredient. That doesn’t mean that you should be a caffeine addict and just sip on coffee all day long expecting to lose weight. You still need to put the effort in. Drinking a cup of black coffee before exercising can improve your workout performance, speed up your metabolism, and hence help you burn fat more efficiently. And that’s something I personally practice myself. One cup of Jo before my training!


3. Dark Chocolate

This next food is probably one of your favourite desserts, dark chocolate. Yup, dark chocolate is definitely one of the yummiest snacks out there that can help you boost your metabolism. The monounsaturated fats present in dark chocolate are not only known to boost the metabolism but also improve your gut flora, thus improving digestion. In addition, dark chocolate also contains an amino acid called tryptophan that your brain uses to produce(s) the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can increase feelings of overall happiness. Burn fat and feel happy at the same time? Now, that is my go-to snack. So next time you crave for dessert, opt for small amounts of dark chocolate.


4. Chili peppers

Capsaicin found in chili peppers is known to help boost metabolism by slightly increasing the rate at which your body burns calories. Studies have shown that they may help your body burn around 50 extra calories per day. Besides that, According to a review of studies in nearly 200 people, consuming at least 2mg of capsaicin directly before each meal appears to reduce calorie consumption, especially from carbs. So spice up your meals and turn up the “fat burn” mode.


5. Water

We all know the importance of water, but did you know that your body needs water to process calories? Hence, if you are even slightly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. Experts suggest that drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day would increase your daily energy demand by at least 95 calories. So keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

Some simple tricks to drink more water daily are to drink a glass once you are up in the morning and drink a glass of water before every meal. Or consume a healthy vegetable soup before your meal and also snack on fresh fruits and vegetables which naturally contain water. Water helps to fill you up. This means those who drank more will tend to consume less food. What you need to avoid are sugary drinks and alcohol, as they contain empty calories but can add up over time and cause weight gain.

Though almost all foods will increase your metabolism a bit, these are some top foods that can give a good kick to your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories, provided that you add a sufficient amount of physical activity with it.


In Essence

Although we often link metabolism with weight loss, metabolism is responsible for so much more, such as having energy, and mental clarity and it is the foundation of everything we do. Hence, remember that a healthy metabolism is the first step in helping your body in burning fat efficiently throughout the day and this is fundamentally achieved by pairing an active lifestyle with a well-balanced diet.




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