Let us know the foods that improve metabolism. “I eat so less and even do workouts regularly, still I am not losing weight”, I think we all are familiar with this dialogue. The reason that people say is that “Your metabolism must be very low”. Now what do you mean by metabolism? Metabolism means the calories that you burn for carrying out the chemical reactions in our body to keep your body alive and propped up. The higher the metabolism or metabolic rate that is used interchangeably, the more calories you burn and easier to lose weight and maintain it.
There are certain factors that are not under our control to speed up the metabolism like genes, age or gender but there is a sunny side too. A few healthy changes can speed up the metabolism. Regular exercise like strength training or weight exercise helps in losing fat and building up the muscles that give a metabolism a boost. Food also plays an important role in improving the metabolic functions.
Which Are The Foods That Improve Metabolism?
Beans are nutritional powerhouses that keep the metabolism moving. Beans are rich in protein, folates, fibre and iron that promote digestion, enhances metabolism, lowers cholesterol and keeps you satisfied. It is also rich in resistant starch that has a positive effect on blood sugar levels and improves upon the insulin sensitivity.
Toss kidney beans into the salads or blend chickpeas into hummus or whole wheat crackers, Mix black beans into tacos or burritos or as a side dish with brown rice.Prefer lentil soup for a high filling snack.
Choose dried beans rather than the canned ones though it may take time to soak and cook as canned ones are high in sodium.
Though technically almonds are high in calories, it is nutritionally dense consisting of healthy macronutrients and healthy calories in a small portion size. Just as we say value for money, almonds are value for nutrients. Almonds are rich in protein and hence it causes body to burn more calories after you eat them. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which is an antioxidant that protects the heart and also in magnesium that is essential for metabolism. Being rich in fibre, eating almonds improves the satiety.
You can make your very own nutritious snack with almonds, dried fruits and sprinkle dark chocolate curls which will satisfy your hunger as well as cravings.
However, almonds are high in calories, hence don’t go overboard. 10 to 15 almonds in one serving is quite a lot.
Eggs have been considered as one of the best breakfast foods that can put the metabolism into the gear and start the engine for the day. Eating eggs is the best way of getting right amount of protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins and essential amino acids. Eggs are also rich in iron which is essential to flag off the metabolism. One egg consists about 78 calories and packed with nutrients. Hence a meal that consists of 3 boiled eggs with generous serving of vegetable can come up to 300 calories only. Of course if you fry eggs in oil or butter, you are adding more 50 calories.
Eggs contain all essential amino acids in right proportion and eating a high protein diet like eggs can boost up the metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day as body needs to expend more energy to metabolize protein in our food.
A healthy and simple breakfast of a fruit, Greek yogurt, a wheat toast and an egg helps to kick start your day and alerts the body.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the most friendly fat that helps in weight loss. It consists of a unique combination of fatty acids that helps in boosting the metabolism. Most of the foods contain long chain fatty acids but coconut oil consists of medium chain triglycerides or medium chain fatty acids which goes from the digestive tract directly to the liver where the fatty acids are metabolized either to provide energy or converted to ketone bodies.
The nature of coconut oil is that it is thermogenic as consuming coconut oil increases energy expenditure compared to the other fats. Of course you need 1 to 2 table spoons of coconut oil per day to increase the energy expenditure by 5 % which comes up to 120 calories per day.
However, finally coconut oil is a fat that provides 9 calories per gram. Hence if you are on a fixed diet that provides certain amount of calories and you add coconut oil on top of it then you are adding more calories. You need to replace some of the cooking fat with coconut oil to see the difference.
Celery is a healthy snack food, cheap and crunchy and an alternative to fried and salty chips. I know you all must be knowing this fact but do you know that one large stalk of celery provides only 10 calories and consists about 95 percent water. Hence when we have a pound of celery we will not gain even a pound of weight. It is actually equal to eating water when you eat celery. Staying hydrated is essential to put your metabolism at work.
Apart from the virtue of hydration, celery also contains fibre and fibre is one of those where the body has to work hard to digest. You can burn up to 2 calories for every 10 calories of celery that you eat. Thus given the importance of calorie burn and metabolism boosting hydration, celery has been the perfect choice to get lean in a healthier way.
There have been many spices or herbs that help in the weight loss journey. One of them is cinnamon. In addition to assisting in burning belly fat, decreasing blood sugar and controlling the insulin levels, cinnamon also helps in speeding up the metabolism. The presence of cinnamon speeden up the metabolism as it takes extra energy to metabolize. It can alter the metabolism of not only sugar but also carbohydrates as the body is able to utilize the carbohydrate storage so that it is not converted to fat.
However cinnamon may not be a magic bullet for metabolism but it is packed with flavors and low in calories, providing up to 6 calories per teaspoon. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on yogurt, hot cereal or smoothies or fresh fruits like apples or pear to enhance the flavor of the food.
7. Green Tea
We keep on saying that green tea is good for weight loss and maintaining the ideal body weight. The reason? Green tea increases the metabolism; it is able to increase energy expenditure as a result of which it increases the burning of calories. Green tea contains caffeine and catechin that can stimulate the nervous system to increase thermogenesis or burning of the stored energy and also fat oxidation.
And now last but of course not the least is water. Water is the most easiest, healthy and convenient way of boosting metabolism by 30 percent. Remaining hydrated helps in burning down fat and a slight dehydration slows down the metabolism. Researchers have found that drinking 6 glasses of cold water helps in raising the metabolism by 50 calories which is enough to shed 5 pounds a year. When we drink cold water, body needs to work to heat the water to body temperature. You may not see the difference in pounds within one day of drinking water or by drinking a glass of water. But if you make it a habit of drinking water regularly, it can help in losing pounds in the long run.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes
The foods that we mentioned are not such that you gorge on it and you will find the difference in one day. It’s a long term process with healthy lifestyle changes that also contributes to the metabolism.
Lifestyle changes that help in boosting the metabolism are:
- Prefer calories from a good and healthy source.
- Go for low glycemic, high protein, and high iron foods.
- Eat in smaller portions and add healthy snacks to your diet.
- Get exposed to the morning sun.
- Try to destress
- Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Give importance to workouts like weight bearing exercise or even a brisk walk.
Hence foods that improve metabolism leads to 10 to 100 calories per day of the daily calories burn that will show an effect on weight over a month or year rather than day to day. It is always the combination of nutrients, diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle that will speed up your metabolism.