If you’re trying to lose weight you will hear the word metabolism often. Metabolism is defined as a set of chemical reactions that occur in our bodies in order to sustain life. Anything we ingest, whether it is food, liquid or medication, is metabolized. Basically, anything we consume is utilized and transported to the appropriate places in order to fulfill its intended purpose.
When it comes to weight loss, a fast metabolism means the body will use and burn the calories we consume from the food we eat faster and more efficiently, leading to greater success. It makes sense then to do whatever we can to give our metabolism an extra push whenever possible.
1. Sip on Green Tea
Not only is green tea a delicious alternative to a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s also loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols. Not only do these antioxidants help protect against numerous health risks like heart disease and certain cancers, they also create a thermogenic effect. This means our bodies generate more heat, increasing caloric expenditure.
Try adding green tea to your day by serving it either hot or iced, with a squeeze of lemon. If it’s not your cup of tea so to speak, it’s also available in capsule form, making it very convenient to get your daily dose.
2. A Grapefruit a Day Keep Fat at Bay
Similar to green tea, grapefruit is loaded with antioxidants. This is reason enough to add one to your daily diet, but perhaps more important, this delicious fruit has been shown to have positive effects on metabolism as well.
A number of studies have been done on the fat burning potential of grapefruit with promising results. While the reasoning is still unknown, so far it appears that grapefruit may help control insulin, which would help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Add a grapefruit to your breakfast or enjoy as a midday snack and see if it works for you.
3. Lean Protein and Fiber Rich Foods
Protein is one of the three macronutrients and is imperative to our good health. It is responsible for muscle and tissue growth, among other things. Lean, quality sources of protein, like that found in fish, seafood, poultry and lean cuts of beef will help your body build and repair its muscle tissue while also offering a boost to your metabolism.
Protein is more difficult for the body to digest than many other foods and requires more energy. Simply consuming a high protein meal as opposed to a high carbohydrate meal will boost the metabolism due to the extra effort required. Adding some fiber rich foods to that dish will boost your calorie burning potential.
Roughage like leafy greens and fiber rich fruits require more of an effort to digest as well. Try a lunch of grilled chicken breast with a spinach salad or maybe salmon steaks with squash and asparagus for supper. Your body will be working hard on digestion while you fuel those muscles and burn some fat at the same time.
4. Kick it up a Notch with Spice
Spicy foods like jalapenos and dishes containing chilies and cayenne contain the metabolism friendly phytochemical, capsaicin. Capsaicin has been found to elevate the metabolism by increasing our internal temperature. It offers a thermogenic effect similar to green tea.
Another fat loss bonus of spicy foods is that they help keep you satiated for longer. This means that along with the slight boost in metabolism you will receive from consuming a spicy meal, you’ll also be less likely to feel the urge to snack between meals.
Try adding lots of curry, peppers, Cajun seasonings and spicy mustards or wasabi to your meals and snacks for an extra burn.
While the metabolism boosting benefits of spicy foods may be minimal, it certainly doesn’t hurt to add these things into your diet. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy the many other health benefits they offer while perhaps trying something new at the dinner table. Have some fun and experience new and exciting dishes. Your taste buds and your waistline will thank you for it.