Ignore the fad diets and countless powders and drinks which claim to burn fat and boost your metabolism, if you’re trying to shape up before your weddings, it’s important to ensure you take the healthy approach and instead look to fresh, healthy produce. Filled with key vitamins and nutrients, these everyday items will help to boost your metabolism for long-lasting results you can easily maintain!
Citrus fruits, especially lemons and grapefruits, are great for digestion. They’re low in sugar and contain an antioxidant that can help lower your blood sugar response after meals—and the vitamin C helps your body metabolize fat faster.
Oats not only keep your insulin levels low after you eat them, preventing blood sugar spikes that signal your body to store fat, but they also have plenty of fibre. As your body breaks down that fibre, it burns calories.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain three essential nutrients that power your metabolism: B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin C. They also have high water and fibre content, a combination that increases your body’s ability to burn fat.
Berries have been shown to have beneficial effects on metabolism, stabilizing glucose levels and decreasing body fat content. Eating red berries also is shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
Spicy foods have natural chemicals in them that fire up your metabolism. Capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot, is also precisely what helps your body burn more energy. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with chilli flakes. Can’t handle chillies? Even just a pinch of cayenne has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 25% for three hours after you eat while also curbing hunger.
Several spices (like cayenne pepper as you just learned) are known to rev up metabolism, but cinnamon also curbs your sweet tooth, helps balance your blood sugar, and improves insulin sensitivity. Add it to your dessert to help thwart post-meal blood sugar spikes.
Garlic supports a balanced blood sugar and a healthy metabolism. Studies have also shown that eating garlic can increase the number of calories burned throughout the day while decreasing the body’s production of fat.
Beans (think red and black) are a metabolism-boosting food loaded with fibre, which lowers insulin levels after eating and improves insulin sensitivity over time. The result? Your body stores less fat. The B vitamins and zinc in beans boost testosterone, which helps increase energy and build calorie-burning muscle. Your body works harder when digesting protein than when it’s digesting fat or carbohydrates. Eating good lean meats like white meat chicken and turkey helps speed up your metabolism simply because they require so much energy to fully digest. Plus, all that protein helps preserve your muscle mass to keep your metabolism at its peak.
Are you getting enough iron? Over 20% of women are not, and your body needs iron to carry out its calorie-burning processes effectively. Iron facilitates the flow of oxygen throughout the body, which helps increase energy and your metabolism. Just one cup of lentils provides 35% of your daily iron needs, plus protein and fibre, which aid in digestion.
Oily fish like salmon, herring, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce resistance to leptin, a hormone that plays an important role in determining how fast fat is burned. They also balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, both of which help to regulate metabolism.
Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple of hours. Research suggests that drinking 2 to 4 cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17% more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.
The high protein content of nuts makes your body burn more fat in order to digest them. They’re also a low-glycaemic food, which means eating them keeps your blood sugar very stable.
The short-chain fatty acids in whole grains trigger the release of leptin, the satiety hormone, helping you eat less. The high levels of fibre also slow down the blood sugar release and even out insulin spikes, all of which means extra energy is used for digestion.
Hemp seeds and flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to your muscles to kick your metabolism into high gear.
If you're a coffee drinker, you probably enjoy the energy and concentration perks. Taken in moderation, one of coffee's benefits may be a short-term rise in your metabolic rate. Caffeine can help you feel less tired and even increase your endurance while you exercise.
Both anti-viral and antibacterial, coconut oil works to keep a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut, which is necessary for efficient digestion. And its high-fat content (good fats) works to give your metabolism a boost. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fats, a type of fat that speeds up your metabolism more than the long-chain fats found in substances like butter.
Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost metabolism at mealtime. Good sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
Eating more often can help you lose weight. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals. Having a small meal or snack every three to four hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day. Several studies have also shown that people who snack regularly eat less at mealtime.