The 5 Best Foods To Boost Your Metabolism
Metabolism, or metabolic rate, is the chemical reaction that breaks down energy in our bodies, in other words it is the rate at which we burn calories. Our bodies store excess energy as fat cells, so by consuming more calories (our energy intake) than you are expending through exercise and activity, you can put on weight. And similarly, if you eat and drink fewer calories than you are expending, you will lose weight. Your rate of expenditure can be affected by genetics (more on that in a moment), or how much exercise you do, and of course our diet. Some genetically blessed people will naturally burn calories at a faster rate, while others with a slower metabolism may find they have to be more cautious of the fuel they put in their bodies as they may gain weight more easily. The bottom line is, when it comes to weight loss and weight gain, understanding your metabolic rate is a crucial part of ensuring your body is fuelled in the right way to help you achieve both a healthy weight, and to fuel your body for your activity level.
1. Foods rich in protein
Your body uses more energy digesting protein-rich foods such as salmon, chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds. Foods high in protein will also help you to feel fuller for longer, which can help with snack cravings between meals. High-protein foods are also advantageous in that they will help to maintain muscle mass, even if you are trying to eliminate body fat.
2. Greek Yoghurt
Foods with high content of calcium feed your fat-burning cells, and Greek Yoghurt is a delicious addition to a healthy breakfast diet due to being full of slow releasing energy. A scoop of Greek yoghurt with a little honey, a squeeze of passion fruit and a sprinkling of low-sugar granola is a deliciously light breakfast option to keep you energised and sustained, and is a great metabolic boost post-workout.
You’ve always been told to eat your greens, but did you know spinach provides a hefty serving of iron? Iron helps to carry oxygen to the muscles, and well oxygenated muscles are able to burn fat faster. Iron is also imperative for healthy hair, skin and nails.
4. Green tea
Green tea has long been recognised for its antioxidant benefit, but its active ingredient catechin also serves to boost your metabolism. Drinking 40 ounces of green tea in a day can aid digestion, increase your energy expenditure and help you burn more calories. If you’re not a fan of the taste of plain green tea, there are some delicious flavours available in your local supermarket or health shop.
5. Peppers and spices
Spicy food fans rejoice! Chilli peppers heat the inside of our bodies (as well as the outside of our lips) and can aid in fat breakdown. If you do not enjoy hot or spicy foods, spices such as cayenne pepper can also help – but the hotter the variety the greater the effect! Results vary individual to individual, but research suggests that eating spicy foods can give up to a 5% instant boost to your metabolism after consuming.
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