At $3000 per kilo, this is not exactly WeightWatchers fare. The rare Japanese white truffle is very high in B vitamins, essential for fat metabolism. Not swayed? Shiitake are a lot more affordable and have similar perks, says nutritionist Miguel Toribio-Mateas.
These gourmet bivalves are very rich in iron, which your body uses to burn energy. “Depleted iron levels lead to lower metabolic rate, and reduced energy and aerobic capacity,” says Toribio-Mateas. They’re a must if you want to avoid clamming up when endurance counts.
Dairy Milk won’t cut it at the dinner table or on the scales. But any bar that contains 85 per cent cocoa or over will give your chilli con carne a subtle richness or desserts a refined edge. It’ll also help shift some flab. It’s all about the flavanols in cacao, which promote metabolism and fat burning. Try Lindt Excellence 85%.
Found on seven-course tasting menus and Gwyneth Paltrow blogs alike, these superfruits are packed with vitamin B1, to balance your thyroid function and prevent weight gain. Handily, the berries are also a hangover cure, speeding the rate at which your liver disposes of toxins.
Often used in Korean kimchi, the so-called “hipster cabbage” has a high fibre count, helping reduce the number of kilojoules absorbed via fat. Rich potassium levels also make kohlrabi an effective diuretic, “so less water retention and less flab stored around muscles”, says Toribio-Mateas.
A cut of Wagyu will cost you around $25 for 250g. “It contains the highest amount of conjugated linoleic acid per gram of any food,” says Toribio-Mateas. CLA is associated with lower body fat levels, particularly in those who exercise regularly.
A princely fish with a firm and meaty texture, Atlantic Salmon is also a handy agent if you’re looking to shed kilos. It helps reduce tryglycerides – fat stored in your blood – reducing your waistline and cholesterol.
It might contain up to 90 per cent fat, but it’s the good kind (MCTs, FYI). Coconut oil is nature’s weight-loss abettor. “Its medium-chain triglycerides are digested straight away, releasing energy, not being stored as fat,” says nutritionist Sarah Flower. Got that? Eat fat, burn fat.
Cholesterol botherers be damned, lobster should be firmly on the menu for any gastronomic weight watcher. A 100g serving of the king crustacean provides you with 120 milligrams of choline, “used in the liver to emulsify fat as part of the metabolic process”, says Toribio-Mateas.
Too long dismissed as the parsnip’s ugly cousin, this versatile root (also known as vegetable oyster) is a farmer’s market favourite for fit gourmands in the know. Unlike some carb-heavy roots, “it’s rich in inulin, a soluble fibre essential for fat metabolism”, says Toribio-Mateas. It’s also very low GI.
What’s the point of a food whose USP is its diminutive size? Well, for a start, quail eggs are a superior source of the vitamin D needed for a good metabolism. But it’s the higher ratio of fatty yolk to white that makes them your fat-burning ally. More than just a fancy canapé, then.
Cayenne is over and we’re done with harissa. Marinate your meat in Turkish Aleppo to taste the full benefit. The active ingredient in chilli is its metabolism-boosting capsaicin, and its deep, savoury umami flavour makes you feel more satiated and therefore less likely to overeat.
Caviar’s high vitamin D content means that it’s kryptonite to fat stores. Research at Laval University found people who consumed more dietary D had less belly fat than those who ate less. Serve Huon Salmon Caviar on blinis to spoil your guests – give the Ferrero Rocher a miss.
Plastic ham won’t do much for you, but the dry-cured Iberian variety is different. Sourced from pigs raised outdoors on acorns rather than swill, this meat is replete with CLAs, which “promote fat consumption in the muscles where the majority of our kilojoule-burning takes place”, says Toribio-Mateas.
Like so many other sea vegetables, this salty Japanese seaweed (find it in Asian grocery stores) is packed with iodine, which helps promote thyroid function. A working thyroid turns the heat up in the body and so burns fat. Highly versatile, it lends a healthy edge to lots of dishes. Our favourite? Miso soup.