A simple meal plan for weight loss shouldn’t only help you shed fat. It should make you feel and be healthier inside.

A proper nutrition program isn’t necessarily the one a famous model endorses. It should start with finding out your body composition and your nutritional needs. That’s why it’s always best to consult a health expert if you want real weight loss.

That said, here’s a list of foods that can help your digestion and facilitate weight loss, according to research.

What Foods Help Burn Belly Fat?

Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin, the compound that makes cayenne pepper spicy, can stop the development of adipocytes or fat cells in your body. The study conducted by researchers in Taiwan showed that capsaicin signals the fat cells to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death.

White Tea

White tea from the plant Camellia sinensis slows down the production of new adipocytes, making it a natural fat-burner. Apart from that, white tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, which both improve metabolism.

Dark Chocolate

If you’re feeling gloomy and want to cheer yourself up without the fear of sabotaging your weight loss plan, munch on some dark chocolate. It can offer better relief than a tub of ice cream when you’re emotionally stressed. However, more than that, it’s a great source of the fatty acid butyrate, which encourages fat-burning.

Berries

Berries and grapes can turn excess white fat into beige fat, which promotes calorie-burning. You might have heard that wines such as cabernet and merlot can aid in weight loss. That can be true because they still contain a bit of resveratrol, which enhances fat oxidation. However, wine production filters most of the phenolic compounds and fiber from grapes and berries. Therefore, consuming the whole fruit is still much better than drinking wine.

Soy

The idea that to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more isn’t always right. Weight loss is a complicated physiological process. It involves your brain and your hormones.

One of these hormones, leptin, sends a signal to your brain once you’ve had enough food.  Research suggests that soy can mimic leptin’s function. Soy peptides have anorectic effects, meaning, they make you feel satiated. These peptides can also boost your metabolism.

Milk

Research from McMaster University showed that those who exercise burn more fat when they drink skim milk compared to when they consume energy drinks.

The study supports the idea that consuming calcium from dairy is better for weight loss compared to the intake of calcium supplements.

Vinegar

Evidence suggests that vinegar, which is present in most kitchens, can help burn fat. The acetic acid in vinegar stimulates the production of proteins that break down fats.

So, the next time you make some salad, reach for a vinegar-based dressing.

What is the Best Meal Plan for Weight Loss?

The best meal plan for weight loss shouldn’t be too restricting to the point of undermining your health and maybe killing you in the long run. Meaning, it’s not always the quantity that’s most important, it’s the nutritional content of the food you’re eating.