Does the start of a diet usually see you venturing out to stock up on super foods, sugar free products and maybe even a few supplements?

According to Healthista, if you're wanting to drop some weight, you'll find some very helpful fat-burning foods already in your kitchen.

Many of the foods recommended in the list below have what's known as a thermogenic effect. Basically, because they are harder to digest they use more energy and produce heat in the process, boosting your metabolism and burning calories.

While they're not miracle foods - they will only help you to lose weight in combination with a balanced diet and regular exercise - they're a great place to start if you're looking to change up your meals without blowing the budget.

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1. Chillies

A 2015 study found that a compound in chillies called capsaicin may stimulate white fat storing cells to the point that they behave like brown fat cells, which are thermogenic, so they burn fat.

Don't be shy about adding chilli to you meals. Your tolerance will build, eventually ...

Try adding chillies to marinades, curries or finely diced on top of a salad. Photo / Getty
Try adding chillies to marinades, curries or finely diced on top of a salad. Photo / Getty

2. Complex carbs and vegetables

Basing meals around vegetables and complex carbohydrates will help with your weight loss efforts. Photo / Getty
Basing meals around vegetables and complex carbohydrates will help with your weight loss efforts. Photo / Getty

Complex carbohydrates such as quinoa (also high in protein), brown rice and oats are high in dietary fibre, meaning the gut has to work extra hard to digest and break them down.

Vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and kale are also high in insoluble fibre, meaning to digest them the body will generate more energy, burning more fat.

3. Black pepper

Use pepper instead of salt for seasoning. Photo / Getty
Use pepper instead of salt for seasoning. Photo / Getty

Rather than reaching for the salt to add flavour to your food, you'd be far better off going for its seasoning counterpart: pepper. Piperine, which is found in black pepper, has a thermic effect, meaning it can help break down some fat cells.

Pepper can be added to more than just savoury dishes: Add it to sweet plates to give them a little kick. Strawberry and black pepper is a great combination.

4. Ginger

If you find ginger hard to peel because of its peculiar shape, try using a teaspoon. Photo / Getty
If you find ginger hard to peel because of its peculiar shape, try using a teaspoon. Photo / Getty

Like chillies, ginger contains capsaicin which uses energy and produces heat during digestion. Studies show ginger can also reduce feelings of hunger after meals, enhancing weight loss.

Add it to curries, stir fries and marinades or into your tea with a dash of lemon for a taste sensation.

5. Garlic

Garlic makes for a great flavour boost in any savoury meal. Photo / Getty
Garlic makes for a great flavour boost in any savoury meal. Photo / Getty

A popular pick to add flavour to many a savoury dish, garlic works well in marinades, stir fries, curries, pastas, and dressings.

This heavenly root also has the bonus effect of boosting your metabolism because it also enhances the thermogenesis effect in brown fat cells.

6. Mustard

You've likely already got mustard in some form in your fridge or pantry. Photo / Getty
You've likely already got mustard in some form in your fridge or pantry. Photo / Getty

Mustard is another hot food that heats up your metabolism. Mustard has the same affect as chillies do on the body because it also contains capsaicin.

7. Green tea

Switch your regular cup of tea for green. Photo / Getty
Switch your regular cup of tea for green. Photo / Getty

Green tea is full of micro nutrients which are great to help you get rid of that gut. Caffeine and catechin polyphenols will help you to burn those calories as they stimulate digestion.

8. Protein

Eggs are a fantastic, affordable source of protein. Photo / Getty
Eggs are a fantastic, affordable source of protein. Photo / Getty

Protein is complex for the body to digest, burning more calories which can lead to weight loss. What is not complex is that you should eat more protein.

Good sources of protein include quinoa, nuts, beans, eggs, lentils and brown rice.