Posts

22 Metabolism-Boosting Foods That Help To Blast Fat!

When it comes to losing weight and being healthier overall, increasing your metabolism plays a big part. A faster metabolism helps you with digestion, and helps burn off fat and pounds, even while you’re sleeping. Here are 22 foods that have been shown to help give your metabolism a boost, and get you on your way to a fitter you!

1. Avocado: high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are less likely to be stored as body fat and also have been shown to reduce weight when eaten in place of carbohydrates. They also contain a sugar called mannoheptulose, which is associated with blunting insulin release, and since excess insulin is directly involved with fat storage, maintaining normal insulin levels can go a long way toward keeping normal body fat levels.

2. Berries: berries keep your metabolism working by (1) providing fiber, which helps to keep you fuller longer and (2) providing the needed sugars to curb your cravings, without a lot of calories.

3. Cayenne pepper: contains the fat-burning compound capsaicin. Capsaicin also helps to moderate caloric intake by stimulating brain chemicals that signal fullness! It also has a thermogenic effect, meaning it causes the body to burn extra calories for 20 minutes after you consume it. Jalapeno peppers, chili powder, and paprika also contain capsaicin.

4. Cinnamon: this thermogenic spice has been connected with burning fat, curbing cravings, and improving blood glucose control.  A half teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to significantly decrease blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

5. Curry powder: the turmeric found in curry powder is a well known fat-burner.

6. Edamame (aka soybeans): the isoflavones found in edamame are connected with less belly fat. They’re also a healthy body-friendly appetizer!

7. Eggs: A great source of protein, they’re great to help you stay fuller longer while providing your body with the necessary protein needed to help build and maintain muscle.

8. Ginger: boosts metabolism in two ways: (1) it burns more calories by increasing oxygen consumption by muscles, (2) it increases lactic acid production, which in turn increases growth-hormone production, which then increases the amount of fat released from fat stores to be burned as fuel.

9. Grapefruit: naringenin is an antioxidant found in grapefruit that has been linked with fat loss.  In a 2004 study at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, researchers found that eating half a grapefruit before a meal can actually help people lose weight.  And half a grapefruit has only 39 calories!

10. Green Tea: this might not be a food, but green tea is a great slimming solution. Researchers have found that green tea consumption can increase calorie burning by up to four percent. It speeds up fat oxidation and raises the metabolic rate, thus helping people lose weight. Some research points to five cups a day as the magic number for fat loss. Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants, promotes heart health and regulates blood sugar.

11. Ice water: few people realize that by drinking ice water versus room-temperature water, your body will burn an extra 9 calories per glass, totaling to 25 calories per glass for ice water (vs. 16 calories from room-temperature water). Eight glass of cool water a day can burn 200 calories! Plus, water is essential for all of your bodily processes, including your metabolism.  Water also flushes out fat deposits and toxins.

12. Lentils: are genuine belly flatteners. They help prevent insulin spikes that cause your body to create excess fat, particularly in the abdomen.

13. Nuts: almonds and walnuts contain fat-burning omega-3 fatty acids.  Not only do omega-3 fatty acids work to keep your cardiovascular system healthy, but they trigger genes that increase fat-burning and turn off the genes that regulate fat storage.

14. Olive oil: like avocados, olive oil has healthy fat that increases satiety, reducing your appetite. Also, research has shown that it has another slimming feature in its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation in the body is related to metabolic syndrome.

15. Parmesan: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who had one serving of whole mile or cheese daily were less likely to gain weight over time.

16. Salmon: like almonds and walnuts, salmon contains fat-burning omega-3 fatty acids.

17. Spinach: spinach provides both magnesium and B vitamins, which are needed for proper metabolic function.

18. Tofu: genistein, an isoflavone responsible for many of soy’s health-promoting effects (from reducing the risk of several cancers to promoting cardiovascular health), also appears to be the main factor responsible for boosting fat-burning, as it reduces appetite and abdominal fat.

19. Tomatoes: contain citric, malic, and oxalic acids, which support your body’s kidney functions, which helps your body eliminate more fat and waste from your system. They’re also a good source of fiber and contain high levels of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been proven to have several anti-carcinogenic properties.

20. Whole Grains: one of the best sources of dietary fiber, which helps to keep your body’s metabolism firing.

21. Yogurt: a great combination of carbohydrates and protein, which is great for building muscle and keeping hunger away.

22. Zucchini: this fibrous, water packed vegetable fills you up and is easy to digest.

Are You Under-eating?

Why it’s important to fuel your metabolism

Your body needs enough energy to support all the basic processes that keep you breathing and moving. The sum of these processes is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – aka your metabolism.

The moment you wake up in the morning, your body starts to burn energy – walking to and from rooms, brushing your teeth, typing an email, etc. These “activities of daily living” (ADL) combined with BMR total about 1800 calories a day for a typical adult female, give or take a few hundred calories depending on the amount of lean muscle, age, or genetics). That means a typical adult female needs an average of 1800 calories a day just to maintain her weight. Add in exercise and her energy needs can really increase. Yet so many women (and some men) are hesitant to fuel their bodies with enough calories for fear of gaining weight.

Why under-eating is damaging

If you eat less than your body’s needs, you’ll initially lose weight, but if you continue to trim too many calories, your body will eventually adapt to the lack of fuel by burning less calories to complete everyday tasks, causing your metabolic rate to drop. And if kept up too long, your body will use its own muscle as fuel, dragging your metabolism down even more. Still hesitant to add calories? According to research completed on elite runners and gymnasts published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the best-fueled athletes had lower body-fat percentages than those who were consistently underfed.

4 signs you’re under-eating

1. You’re losing muscle, or not gaining any

You need calories and protein in order for muscle growth to occur. If you’re working hard in the gym and eating enough protein, but feeling weaker or losing definition, you’re not eating enough.

2. You’re not sleeping well and you’re tired all the time

If your body is constantly undernourished, you’re body won’t be able to recover as effectively from workouts and can even make sleep difficult.

3. That annoying belly fat will not go away

Not fueling your body with enough energy over time not only encourages muscle loss but increases the levels of the belly-fattening stress hormone cortisol.

4. Your bones are showing signs of weakness

If you’ve suffered a recent stress fracture or an unexpected broken bone from a fall, it could be indicative that your bones are weakening, a side effect of inadequate calories.

So what now?

If you feel you might be under-eating, start by (1) getting a clearer picture of your input and output, (2) start adding more calories gradually so your body (and mind) have time to adapt, and (3) keep your foods clean! (eating more doesn’t mean eating junk).