Are you looking for the top 5 superfoods to boost metabolism? This post highlights the top metabolism-boosting foods that can help you lose more weight.
5 Superfoods To Boost Metabolism
So if you’re here, you’re probably looking for a faster metabolism. I mean, who isn’t?
I know I’m always looking for effective ways to speed up my metabolism.
Because, let’s face it, losing weight is not easy.
So learning how to increase metabolism can be very helpful. But unfortunately, there is no way to magically change your metabolic rate. Metabolism is complex.
But there’s good news. There are foods you can eat to give your metabolism that nudge, that boost. Small changes to your diet can lead to big changes to your waistline over time. So if you are ready to eat your way to a trimmer waistline, then read on.
This post is all about 5 superfoods to boost metabolism and burn fat.
Foods that increase metabolism and burn fat
The 5 superfoods to boost metabolism are listed below. But read on to find out why they are so important and the specific foods you need to incorporate into your diet for the ultimate boost.
5 metabolism boosting superfoods
- Protein-rich foods
- Chili pepper
- Black coffee and green tea
- Leafy greens
So how does eating protein help with your metabolism? One word, digestion!
Just the act of eating takes work, a lot of work. Chewing your food is actually the first part of digestion. And the process of burning calories during digestion is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).
So what does the thermic effect of food (TEF) have to do with metabolism? And how does protein fit into this equation?
TEF measures how many calories are burned during digestion. Our body requires more energy to digest protein than any other macronutrient.
So you burn more calories digesting protein than the other 2 macronutrients we consume. In case you didn’t know, macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in the largest amounts.
There are 3 macronutrients required to provide energy to the body; carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
If you ate the same amount of calories but increased the number of calories from protein, you would burn more calories daily.
How much more, you ask? Well, about 20-30% of the calories you consume from protein are required for digestion. This is much more than that of other macronutrients.
Carbs, for example, require 5-10%, and fats require about 0-3%. So this is why one of the most common recommendations for someone trying to lose weight is to eat more protein.
So what are some of the best sources of protein?
- Lean meats and poultry like skinless chicken and turkey breast, pork tenderloin, 90% lean ground beef, sirloin, and tenderloin steaks.
- Fish and shellfish like shrimp, white fish like cod, halibut, and tilapia (these fish are also low in calories)
- Whole eggs or egg whites
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines (these fish are high in protein but also high in omega-3s)
- Lentils and beans like black beans, pinto, and kidney beans (beans are also high in fiber)
- Seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds (seeds are also high in fiber
Ok, so you may be wondering, but how does chili pepper help with metabolism?
Well, chili peppers contain a group of chemicals called capsaicinoids. The most common capsaicinoid is capsaicin. And this chemical has been shown to increase metabolism.
A review of 20 research studies found that capsaicin boosts metabolism and reduces appetite.
But how much of a boost are we talking about?
Well, an extra 50 calories per day. Now I know I may have lost you at this point. And you’re probably thinking, 50 calories? Really, is that supposed to make a difference?
But if you have struggled to lose weight, you know anything, and everything helps.
Think about it, small changes add up to significant changes over time. Those 50 calories per day will add up, especially if you are simultaneously eating other metabolism-boosting foods and incorporating different weight-loss strategies.
The point here is to include a combination of these 5 superfoods to boost metabolism in your diet for more significant results.
But let’s say all you did was add some chili pepper to your diet daily. You didn’t change anything else; all you did was burn an extra 50 calories daily. Over a year (365 days), you would lose about 5.2 pounds.
Again this might not sound very significant, but it is a small change to lose 5 pounds. And imagine if you did this over a 2-year timeframe, you could lose up to 10 pounds.
Many people have been carrying an extra 10 pounds for years, and this one change could make a significant difference for them, with time, of course.
Black coffee and green tea
If you know anything about the benefits of caffeine on weight loss. You are probably not surprised that black coffee and green tea made the list of 5 superfoods to boost metabolism. But let’s first talk about green tea.
Green tea has some amazing health and weight loss benefits. And one of those weight loss benefits is its effect on your metabolism.
And it’s not just green tea; black tea, white tea, and oolong tea all boost metabolism. But green tea is the most well-known. Probably because it is the most researched for its weight loss benefits.
But how does green tea help with metabolism?
Green tea primes the body for more effective fat-burning due to the combination of caffeine and EGCG found in green tea. EGCG and caffeine have been shown to boost metabolism, reduce fat, and reduce appetite.
As previously mentioned, the effects of green tea on weight loss have been heavily studied. One study conducted on 14 participants taking a green tea extract supplement found a significant increase in their metabolic rate over 24 hours compared to those taking a placebo.
Furthermore, the effects of green tea on fat burning were even more significant during exercise. Participants had a 17% increase in their metabolic rate during exercise when taken before exercise.
So let’s look at black coffee and how it can help your metabolism. But you may be wondering, why black coffee?
Coffee is coffee, right? Well, yes and no. Coffee is coffee, but often when it isn’t black, a lot of stuff is added to it.
And let’s face it, coffee often gets a bad rap for several reasons. For one, too much caffeine is not good for you. And two, that added stuff is usually sugar, cream, and more sugar.
The added sugar and cream can make drinking too much coffee unhealthy, besides the caffeine. If you’re loading up your coffee with lots of sugar and cream, you might cancel out all the weight loss benefits.
So that is why black unsweetened or lightly sweetened coffee is the way to go, especially when trying to maximize the weight loss benefits of drinking coffee.
But why is coffee really so helpful when it comes to boosting your metabolism? And why is it on the list of 5 superfoods to boost metabolism? Well, studies have found that coffee promotes fat loss!
It’s all about the caffeine.
Caffeine mobilizes fatty acids. It stimulates the nervous system by signaling the fat cells to break down fat.
When the body breaks down fats, it moves fatty acids out of storage (fat cells) and releases them into the bloodstream for energy.
The more fat that gets broken down, the more fatty acids we release from our fat tissue. So when the body uses fats for energy, you burn more fat, which helps you lose more weight.
In fact, a popular ingredient in many weight loss and fat-burning supplements is caffeine because of its role in metabolism.
The caffeine in coffee can increase metabolism by 3-11% and, in some cases, much higher! And it can also help you burn more fat during exercise.
Drinking coffee as a pre-workout can help your body utilize more fat for fuel rather than only using carbs for energy.
The bottom line is this: When you are trying to lose weight, you want to burn fat. And you are trying to get your body to utilize more fat for energy rather than relying solely on carbs.
Coffee/caffeine helps you do this! It helps your body release more fatty acids into the bloodstream that it can use for energy through lipolysis.
Lipolysis is the process of breaking down fats and other lipids to release fatty acids.
But it doesn’t end there.
Coffee is packed with antioxidants.
Coffee beans contain powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, and studies show it provides the largest source of antioxidants in the western diet.
It contains antioxidants like polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acid. Hydrocinnamic acids help neutralize disease-causing free radicals.
Polyphenols are phytochemicals found naturally in plants.
You can find these plant-based chemicals in fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, whole grains, wine, and cocoa.
Polyphenols help reduce the risks of developing certain health conditions like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and Alzheimer’s.
It also helps improve the metabolization of fats and carbs.
As you can see, drinking coffee can really help boost your metabolism, but be mindful of a few things.
For one, if weight loss is your goal, drink your coffee black or with just a splash of milk or cream.
Be mindful of sweeteners, as too much sugar can result in the opposite effect, weight gain. And lastly, do not overdo it.
Drinking coffee in moderation is essential for your health. Make sure you are not consuming more than 400 mg daily according to FDA guidelines.
Another way to increase your metabolism is to increase the amount of leafy green veggies you eat, such as spinach and kale. But what is so special about leafy greens besides the obvious health benefits?
Well, for one, leafy greens are full of iron. Iron is an essential mineral that contributes to metabolism, growth, and development. They are also a great source of magnesium, supporting a healthy metabolism.
Good sources of leafy greens include:
- Bok choy
- Swiss chard
- Dandelion greens
- Collard greens
Ginger is also another excellent metabolism booster. It increases your body temperature, which increases your metabolic rate. Studies show that adding 2 grams of ginger powder to your hot water can help you burn an extra 43 calories.
So, imagine just adding it to your water with your meal, resulting in you burning an extra 43 calories? And what if you added it to all your meals? Those 43 calories would surely add up.
You could also add it to your food to spice things up. And there you have it, ginger is the final food on this list. But read on for the bonus food.
Commonly asked questions
How do I kick start my metabolism?
There are many things you can do to boost your metabolism, but an excellent place to start is with your diet. Try starting your day with some green tea.
Specifically, matcha tea can help kickstart your metabolism. Check out this post for more information on how to drink matcha for weight loss. But remember to incorporate as many of the 5 superfoods to boost metabolism.
What super foods burn belly fat?
Eat more protein-rich foods. Including more protein in your diet is a great place to start. Studies have shown that people who eat a higher protein diet tend to have less fat in the abdomen.
Metabolism booster bonus
So we are finally here. What is the bonus food that does wonders for your metabolism that is often overlooked? What is the fastest way to boost metabolism?
Drink more water. Drinking water helps you burn more calories throughout the day. I know this is not mind-blowing, but I’m not sure people understand why drinking more water helps with weight loss.
Well, for one, you burn more calories because drinking water increases your resting energy expenditure (REE), which is the number of calories you burn at rest.
For example, drinking a serving of 17 ounces of water can increase your resting energy expenditure (REE) between 24 to 30% within 10 minutes. And this effect usually lasts for a minimum of 60 minutes but can last much longer.
Studies show increasing water intake can lead to weight loss.
A study of overweight women showed that when they increased their water intake to over 34 ounces per day, they lost 4.4 pounds over 12 months.
For some, this may not sound like a lot, but the women changed nothing else during this study.
They ate the same, and no changes were made to their exercise routine; the only variable was that they drank more water.
For every 17 ounces of water they drank, they burned an additional 23 calories.
Remember, small, consistent actions add up over time to produce significant results, in this case, more weight loss.
Other studies on overweight people have found drinking even more water (more than 34 ounces) often leads to more significant results.
When water intake was increased from 34 ounces to 50 ounces, the weight loss results were even more dramatic!
But it doesn’t end there. If you want to see more dramatic results, drink your water cold. To get even more calorie-burning effects, ditch the room temperature water. Ice-cold water can help you burn even more calories than room temperature water.
One word, survival!
The body’s primary goal is survival, so it’s always trying to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain a stable internal environment regardless of varying external conditions.
So, when we ingest something colder than the body’s normal temperature, our body has to work harder (expend more energy) to warm it up. So, drinking your water cold forces the body to use more energy to regulate itself.
Final thoughts on 5 superfoods to boost metabolism
It’s important to note that no one thing or food is going to perform miracles when it comes to your metabolism.
But incorporating as many of these 5 superfoods can help. Remember, every little bit adds up.
Little changes can add up to significant changes over time. So be sure to give these 5 superfoods to boost metabolism a try.
If you liked this article, I would love it if you could share it with a friend. Have you tried any of these foods specifically to speed up your metabolism?
And if so, what have you tried? Or if you haven’t tried anything yet, what will you try?
Let me know down below in the comments; I’d love to hear from you.
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