Our metabolic rate plays an important role in deciding our weight. Being able to eat anything and anytime without worrying about our weight is something that we all want. The higher our metabolism, the easier it for us to lose weight. Well, there are certain foods that speed metabolism; all you need to do is include them in your diet. Find out more about them below.
Foods That Increase Your Metabolism
Here is a list of foods that can help increase your metabolism. We know, it will be hard for you to include them in your diet in the beginning, but try if you want to stay fit and healthy.
1. Protein-rich Foods
We all know that proteins help in building muscles and their recovery. When you consume protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, dairy etc., your metabolism increases for a few hours because more energy is needed to digest them. Thermic effect of food or TEF is the number of calories needed to absorb and digest the nutrients in your meals. Eating protein-rich foods increase the TEF, which translates to a 15-30% increase in metabolism.
2. Chilli Peppers
By improving energy expenditure and increasing the heat in your body to melt fat (thermogenesis), scientists have found out that chillis are one of the spicy foods that help boost metabolism. Capsaicin is the main phytonutrient that helps increase the number of calories and fats you burn.
Caffeine is a great alternative to energy drinks loaded with sugar and can increase your metabolism. Coffee doesn’t only help you stay alert and perked up; it also aids in the oxidation of fats. However, that does not mean you overdo your caffeine intake; limit it to 2-3 cups a day.
Beans are rich in protein and fibre. They take a long time and energy to digest. They are a great source of iron, which plays an important role in boosting metabolism since it transports oxygen to muscles in order to burn fat. So, eat away beans.
Replacing refined grains with wholegrain products can help with the absorption of fibre which in-turn can boost the metabolism and help you maintain weight. Quinoa, barley, oats, and brown rice are some examples of whole grains that you can include in your daily diet.
One of the foods that help in boosting metabolism would be the last one you would expect – it is chocolate, cocoa, or cacao. Dark chocolate that contains higher than 70% cacao to be precise is especially considered good for increasing the metabolism. Raw cacao is rich in magnesium which helps regulate glucose levels as well as aid in burning fat. However, as with any other food, eat in regulated portions.
Berries are high in fibre and thus can help in increasing metabolism. Furthermore, berries are also a good source of antioxidants and can help you regulate your blood sugar.
A study by the University of Tennessee showed that consuming dairy like milk can increase the efficiency with which the fat is metabolised in the body. Increased calcium intake can also increase the quantity of fat that is excreted from the body.
9. Green Tea
Green tea is a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols and is considered as one of the healthiest drinks. The catechin content in green tea helps in boosting metabolism too. You can burn up to 70 calories by drinking five cups of green tea.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar too can increase your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories. However, you must not consume it directly. It should be mixed in water. Also, limit your consumption to 2 tablespoons each day.
Since our childhood, we have all been encouraged to eat green leafy vegetables to stay healthy. Spinach is high in Vitamin B, which helps increase metabolism naturally. It is a great food source for people who exercise because it helps muscles recover which leads to a higher metabolism due to higher muscle mass.
Water is not only essential for our survival but also for our well being. Water helps flush out toxins, maintains gut health and help lower inflammation. A study shows that drinking 500ml of water increases your metabolism by up to 30%. So drink water and drink some more, and stay healthy.
Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats, which help lower cholesterol and boost metabolism. It is rich in other nutrients as well such as carotenoids, minerals, phenolics, vitamins among others. So next time, don’t be shy to order that avo-banana smoothie.
14. Legumes and Pulses
Foods like lentils, peanuts, chickpeas and the like are a great source of protein and your body spends higher calorie count to digest these. They also have a good amount of dietary fibre which acts as a feed to the good bacteria in the intestines. Legumes and pulses also have an amino acid component called arginine which can increase the number of fats and carbs that gets burned into energy. The amino acid glutamine also increases the number of calories burned during digestion.
15. Coconut Oil
Since it is high in medium-chain fatty acids, it gets converted into energy a lot faster than other kinds. This increases metabolism and is less likely to get stored as fat. You can use it while cooking and make a variety of dishes to make it a part of your diet.
Your body burns about 2 calories for every 10 calories of celery you eat. Since it is mostly a water-based vegetable, you’re inadvertently hydrating as well which is key to improved metabolism. Celery is a great choice to get lean.
17. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like walnuts and almonds; and seeds like sunflower seeds and chia seeds have many health benefits. Nuts are rich in protein and are good fats. Since protein takes longer to digest, your body will burn fats and help improve your metabolism.
Broccoli is filled with nutrients that are very beneficial to the human body including dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, protein, and numerous phytonutrients that help fight metabolic syndromes. It also helps with blood sugar levels and improves abnormal metabolism.
19. Fenugreek Seeds
A glass of fenugreek-soaked water first thing in the morning is a great way to increase metabolism. It contains water-soluble fibre, galactomannan, which assists the process by curbing your appetite and by increasing the feeling of being full.
20. Whole eggs
Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition including protein, fats and essential amino acids all in the right quantities. Yolks are high in fat and protein, which help improve stamina and recovery after a workout. They are required for proper growth and also help in boosting metabolism.
Yoghurt is great for gut health and aids in digestion. It helps with glucose levels, and full-fat yoghurt also helps you feel full for a longer time. Your metabolism gets a boost since your cells are all functioning at the optimum level so make sure to consume yoghurt at least once a day.
Lifestyle Changes That You Need to Make to Improve Your Metabolism
Although a good diet plays a significant role in increasing your metabolism, there are ways to supplement your diet by making some changes in your lifestyle that will also help you further this endeavour. By changing your lifestyle and changing your diet, you can provide your body with newfound energy that you may have never experienced before. Changes you can make in your life that will boost metabolism are as follows:
- Get adequate sleep.
- Exercise at least 3-4 times a week.
- Take up a sport.
- Laugh to stay lean.
- Start doing high-intensity workouts.
- Lower your stress levels.
- Stand up at work often.
1. Which Part of the Body is in Charge of Metabolism?
The thyroid is the gland that is responsible for your metabolism. It regulates metabolism and growth. It affects the heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and other processes.
2. What Do You Mean By Metabolic Rate?
It means the rate at which your body burns calories, whether during exercise or while resting. A range of factors that influence your metabolic rate is diet, age, sex, emotional state, pregnancy, hormonal levels etc.
3. Who Has a Higher Metabolic Rate – Men or Women?
Men have a higher metabolic rate. It is due to the higher proportion of muscles and lower amount of fats.
4. Should I Eat Low-calorie Foods to Speed Up My Body’s Metabolism?
No, you should not. Reducing your calorie intake suddenly can work against you, because it sends your body into starvation mode, which causes the metabolic process to slow down. Eating a snack or something every couple of hours is great for your body since the food keeps the metabolism in check.
5. How Can I Boost My Metabolism?
In order to boost your metabolism, you must exercise regularly, eat healthy and nutritious food and drink plenty of water.
6. Can Taking Supplements Help in Boosting my Metabolism?
The best and safest way to alter your metabolism is through natural means such as diet and exercise. Your body will usually respond well to both. However, if you need to consume any supplements, please consult a nutritionist who will be able to help you out.
7. Will Eating a Lot Increase My Metabolic Rate?
No. Although it is understood that skipping meals slows down metabolism since the body goes into starvation mode and starts to burn fats, there are simply no studies indicating that eating more through the day will lead to improved metabolism. What is important is the number of calories being consumed every day. The body needs the right quality and quantity of nutrients to function at the optimal level so unfortunately, eating a lot will not make your metabolism faster. If you are eating a lot, you will need to supplement it with exercise so that your body is able to burn extra calories. However, exercising and building bigger muscles will lead to an increase in metabolism which will also increase your requirement of nutrition.
8. Which Foods Are Harmful to Metabolism?
We have spoken all about the metabolism and many ways to boost metabolism. However, there are some foods that are bad for your metabolism. The foods that are high in calories provide little to no nutrition and do not satiate hunger. Sugar is on top of the list because it causes your cortisol and insulin levels to spike, which in the long run can lead to metabolic disruption.
Processed grains such as white rice, pasta, processed bread, etc. have a similar effect and cause your insulin to skyrocket. Processed soy, which was thought of as a health food that increases metabolism is also bad for your metabolism. Although scientists aren’t fully in agreement about this, some studies indicate that consumption of soy can negatively impact your thyroid, which is responsible for the metabolism in your body.
While there are many foods that are beneficial for your health and boost metabolism, you must make sure that it is supplemented with the right kind of exercise. Try to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and constantly be on the move so that your body is always active and at the top of its performance. It also helps to stay away from vices such as smoking, drinking and/or drugs, which are detrimental for your health. Drink plenty of water, eat the right quality and quantity of food and exercise regularly in order to boost your metabolism, to stay in shape, and to feel great!