While you cannot completely control your metabolism, there are things you can do to help make it work for you. Discover 7 foods that increase metabolism below!
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When it comes to burning off unwanted fat, what you eat is just as important as the exercises you do. While there are multiple factors at play when dropping unwanted fat, metabolism–or the process your body uses to turn what you eat and drink into energy–plays a big role. The bad news is that you can’t completely control how fast or slow your metabolism burns calories, as genetics, hormones, activity levels, and other aspects are at work behind the scenes. Still, you can do your part, and one place to start is in the kitchen, as there are plenty of foods that increase metabolism.
Make the Most of Your Metabolism
If digging into the delicious eats below seems counter-intuitive when wanting to burn fat, it’s time to ditch the diet mindset. While “weight loss” equations are often skimped down to calories in versus calories burned, it’s not always such simple arithmetic. If you take in too little food, your body may think it’s starving and begin to store up calories instead of burning them off–the exact opposite of what you want to happen. The reality is that if you want to speed up your metabolism, you need to eat often. Sure, you won’t be sitting down to a turkey-day style feast when you do so, but eating small meals and snacks five to six times a day can give your body the heads up that it’s OK to keep converting calories into energy because more sustenance is always on the way.
Equipped with the knowledge to eat early and often, the next part is understanding what to eat.
While it would be wonderful to do so, you can’t just eat anything. Things like starchy carbs, such as pastas and breads should be reduced while processed foods should be eliminated whenever possible. A whole-food meal plan, filled with fresh produce, lean proteins, and beneficial fatty acids are the foods that increase metabolism best. Choose a few–or all!–from the list below, and set that unwanted fat ablaze.
- Spinach: Great as a base for salads, sauteed as a dinner side dish, or added into an omelette, this leafy green is high in protein and fiber.
- Almonds: Full of healthy fatty acids, these tree nuts make a tasty small snack or a crunchy topping to yogurt, salads, and oatmeal.
- Jalapenos: Turn up the heat on any dish by adding in spicy peppers that create a hormonal reaction to the capsaicin (the hot stuff), causing you to huff and puff faster, and send your body into calorie- and fat-burning overdrive. Don’t like jalapenos? Go for any spice or pepper with a bit of heat.
- Eggs: Whether you’re a meat-eater or a vegetarian, eggs are an amazing lean protein source and quick to prepare. Bake them into mini quiches with veggies to grab on the go. Scramble them first thing in the morning. Hard boil and bring with you as a snack to the office. Or fry them sunny-side up to top off any dinnertime dish.
- Berries: Need something sweet to eat? Go for fresh or frozen berries. Filled with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, nature’s candy is a yummy treat to mix in morning yogurt, use in a midday smoothie, or enjoy all on its own.
- Beans: Fiber and protein are packed into little packages, making them a metabolism-boosting powerhouse. They’re also high in iron, which can help your body make energy. Add beans for a heartier twist on soups and salads.
- Salmon: Eating this high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids fish is like stepping on the gas pedal to rev up your metabolism. Serve it up at night with a side of grilled asparagus or chunk it up with raw veggies and hummus for a lunchtime wrap.
Which of the metabolism-increasing foods is your favorite? Share how you eat it with others in the comments!