Thermogenic Food Simplified

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You’ve done the right thing and booked a consultation and health appraisal to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in losing the extra weight given, you are eating smart, working out and taking better care of yourself, yet the scale stubbornly just plain refuses to budge.

Your ‘smart nutrition’ may not be so smart after all, your diet may still contain some sneaky foods like salt and pasta sauce that can lead to water retention and significantly hike your calorie intake. Let’s start by cutting back on ultra-processed foods, bubbly drinks, chewing gum, and sugary beverages that can increase bloating.

Food that can “spot train” belly fat is pure urban myth however, there are some smart swaps you can introduce to your diet that will improve gut health, digestion, reduce water retention, eliminate cramps and gas while helping you look and feel and less puffy.

Vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, fish, whole grains, and other smart choices are high in protein and fiber, keeping you feeling fuller for longer eliminating the snacking while fuelling you with healthier, tastier foods.

Certain foods have a thermogenic effect, you literally burn calories as you chew. Other foods have nutrients and compounds that crank up your metabolism. Stoke your metabolic fire by eating more of these foods, while cutting out unhealthy snacks and empty calories.

For those that eat meat, lean meats like biltong offer awesome snack options. Protein has a high thermogenic effect. You burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion, for example, a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down. Winning!

Low-fat dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which preserve and build muscle mass, essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.

When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss however, plant-based foods offer greater options to add more wholesome taste to your diet without the extra centimeters to your waistline. Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole-grain foods, especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice as opposed to processed foods.

Drinking four cups of green tea a day could help you shed as much as three kilograms in eight weeks, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports which gave credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced green tea in the fridge.

One cup of lentils packs 35% of your daily iron needs, fantastic news since up to 20% of us are iron- deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows because the body’s not getting what it needs to work efficiently.

Capsaicin is the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body which in turn makes you melt additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers. Add as much cayenne or hot sauce as possible to soups, eggs, and meats.

Olives and eggs are two easily sourced superfoods many overlook or are misinformed about, that are awesome for your health and weight loss goals also adding flavor, taste and awesome variety to any meal.


This is the ultimate heart-healthy snack whether pressed into cooking oil or eaten cured and whole. When cold-pressed and consumed as true extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), this tiny Mediterranean fruit will help you to slim down by keeping you fuller for longer, while reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

  1. Long-term evidence suggests that people who consume extra- virgin olive oil daily are at a lower risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular mortality.
  2. Olives are chock-full of monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat linked with lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (“good” cholesterol”). The powerful antioxidant properties of olive polyphenols help protect you against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation which is a key initiating factor of heart disease.
  3. Compounds found in olives boost short- and long-term health because they can increase nitric oxide production which in turn improves vascular function by promoting blood flow to your tissues. Better circulation improves everything, you could train harder, recover faster, even maybe improve your overall risk of chronic disease. Certain types of olives can provide up to 25% of your iron needs which helps deliver more oxygen to your organs when you need.
  4. Polyphenols which are other compounds found in olives aid in the reduction of chronic inflammation, halting organ tissue damage before it starts. Improve your health by improving your diet as a whole and adding olives to a diet that includes vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. These polyphenols may reduce degeneration in your bones by improving bone mineral density.
  5. Olives help protect vital organs like your brain from harmful and potentially irreversible damage by reducing oxidative stress caused by inflammation. This tiny fruit also contains the antioxidant vitamin E, linked to improved cognition and reduced risk of cognitive decline. Diets that rely on olive oil as a primary fat source are also associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  6. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is full of healthy, flavourful fats that boost not only the taste but the satiety of meals when used in cooking. Each tablespoon is about 120 calories, is worth roughly 30 olives depending on type and size. Snacking on a cup of olives provides 15% of your daily dietary fiber.
  7. High-antioxidant foods like olives are great snacks that can also lower your chances of certain cancers, both by protecting cellular DNA, potentially preventing tumor growth and reducing oxidative stress.
  8. Extra virgin olive oil could lower blood sugar as early as two hours after a meal by aiding insulin action. The oleic acids (a heart-healthier type of fat) and polyphenols in olives can help too. Research indicates diets high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants may lessen the risk of type II diabetes.
  9. Adding a tablespoon of olive oil to salads and drizzling it in veggie dips can help you better absorb the antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables can help enhance your intake of carotenoids, which benefit your eyes and diminish long-term disease risk.

Eating olives, in addition to more vegetables and fruit not only makes a positive change that can benefit your health in the long term but crucially, also help you achieve weight-loss goals.


High-protein breakfasts, that include eggs, have been linked to weight loss and a reduction in belly fat. You can add natures perfect ‘nutrient bomb’ to your stir-fry, sautés, salads or pair them with whole-grain toast and vegetables.

Eggs are delicious, and leave you fuller for longer than that apple or banana you swipe out of the fruit bowl on your way out every morning, yet we claim to be ‘too busy’ to eat breakfast in the morning, the result is, we are absolutely ravenous and totally distracted long before lunch. We settle to make time to either snack or keep filling the coffee mug while wondering why we are getting fatter.

Its time for a simple change…eat three eggs every morning. Try adding this simple yet comforting routine to your day for a week and feel how remarkably positive your days (and waistline) feel.

Eggs are natures perfect little package. They protein-rich with about 7 grams each, the yolks contain inflammation-fighting omega-3s; vitamins D, E, and B12; and minerals like selenium. Eating just two eggs a day gives you 50% of your daily needs for the memory boosting nutrient choline, which most of us severely lack.

Food science has come a long way since the heyday of egg white omelets, and much of the ‘bro science’ advice about nonsense like the saturated fat and cholesterol in eggs would lead to your early demise.

Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids necessary to rebuild the muscles and tissues in our bodies additionally experts now say that, yes, there’s cholesterol in eggs, but, contrary to what we’ve previously been told, dietary cholesterol doesn’t seem to have much effect on blood cholesterol, the type that actually clogs your arteries, for the average person.

How many eggs you can safely eat per week as advised by your nutritionist, largely depends on how the rest of your diet looks, which makes it a pretty personal and variable recommendation. Get active by joining our 10 000 steps a day challenge or run for fun and eat the whole damn egg!

We all have a ‘forgotten’ bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer. Ramp up the fiber content of your breakfast while adding some fun texture and subtle sweetness to your morning eggs by tossing in a handful of these into the pan with your eggs.

Ripe avocado and cilantro on top is delicious or just scramble them on their own, no milk or fancy additives just a knob of butter and eggs… Same time it takes to make a packet of instant cereal. I don’t have time is a myth.

Making yourself breakfast every morning may seem tedious, but making the commitment to your three egg routine in the morning will provide 21grams of protein that will extend the hunger pangs that cause you to snack badly to stay at bay until midday significantly streamlining your morning and eliminating that food guilt you’ve been carrying.

Eat breakfast. Sit down for 10 minutes each morning and feed yourself. Eating well is a form of self respect and it gives you a moment to relax and mentally prepare for the rigors of the day ahead.

Tiger Athletic is a modern, private, appointment only gym in Sandton, Johannesburg using a rigorous, results-focused methodology. We are passionate about helping you be the healthiest version of yourself, so you can lead a more fulfilling personal and professional life.

Together changes everything. Let’s work out.