People often blame difficulty losing weight on a slow metabolism. Furthermore, many people mistakenly believe that a slow metabolism is something they are born with and cannot change. Metabolism is one of many factors that can contribute to weight loss and gain – it’s also something that can be sped up with lifestyle behaviors, such as the foods we eat. So how can we start thinking about metabolism not as the culprit of weight gain, but as a facilitator of weight loss?
Let’s dive into the basics of metabolism and cover 7 foods that help boost metabolism
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is a collection of chemical processes in the body that converts food into energy. The body uses energy for all its functions, including breathing, circulating blood, and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories the body uses to carry out these functions is known as “metabolic rate.”
Metabolic rate is determined by various factors, like body size (people who are larger or more muscular burn more calories, even while resting), gender (men usually have higher metabolic rates), and age (metabolic rate tends to slow with age). However, metabolic rate is also influenced by behavior, like physical activity, sleep, and diet. In this article, we’ll focus on how diet can help the body speed up metabolic rate.
What types of food speed up metabolism?
There are many misconceptions about the relationship between food and metabolism. For example, it’s often assumed that eating leads to a slower metabolic rate and therefore weight gain. Actually, this is the exact opposite from reality. Eating jump-starts the chemical processes that lead to burning calories.Foods that are high in fiber, protein or nutrients can increase metabolic rate. However, not all foods have a positive effect on metabolism. Processed foods like white breads, pastas or candy can actually block a properly functioning metabolism.
For a healthy boost in body metabolism, try these 7 foods instead:
Beans are high in protein and fiber. Foods high in protein and fiber take more calories to digest and boost metabolism.
Berries not only contain healthy carbs and fiber, which boost metabolism, they also are rich in antioxidants, which help combat damaging free radicals generated during exercise and facilitate healing.
Chewing on celery stimulates digestion, is full of fiber and is low on calories. It’s a good substitute for chips as dipper for guacamole, salsa or peanut butter.
- Coconut oil:
Coconut oil contains lots of medium chain fatty acids, which is more easily converted into energy. It’s a good type of fat that helps boost metabolism. Coconut oil can be eaten plain but can also be used as a cooking oil.
- Coffee or green tea:
In moderation, caffeine can help give the mind, body and metabolism a healthier boost than sugar. In conjunction with exercise, caffeine can speed up fat loss results.
Fish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower inflammation and blood sugar. It also decreases stress hormones and turns up the body’s ability to burn fat. These combined effects raise in the body’s metabolism.
- Hot peppers:
Chili peppers contain capsinoids, which have been shown in numerous studies to increase the body’s metabolic rate. They alert hormones and increase heart rate, making the body burn more calories and fat. They even help the stomach feel full faster and decrease appetite, which can help with weight loss.
Adding these foods to a balanced diet can help speed up the body’s metabolic rate, leading to more calories burned and faster weight loss. In addition to diet, there are other behaviors that can speed up metabolism, too. Check out our blog post next week on “5 Ways to Boost Metabolism” for more on that!