How to Change Your Metabolism with Diet
Once they wrap their minds around the power of their metabolism, many people are tempted to take the easy way out with artificial supplements and stimulants, something that a Certified Nutrition “Natural metabolism boosters will not negatively impact your body’s metabolism centers like your thyroid, while artificial or pharmaceutical stimulants may “If you choose supplements, you’ll have energy now, but you will be more tired later on,” she says. “Over time, this will just get worse until your body collapses.”
You risk hurting yourself if you over-supplement. “Your brain could become deficient in B vitamins, making your thinking slow and foggy,” Expert says. “There is a large burden on your liver and kidneys with all supplements that could prove harmful.”
At the very worst, then, herbal supplements can do damage on your body. It’s just not worth it, particularly considering that a more natural solution is so much simpler and better for you.
That being said, boosting your metabolism is not quite as straight forward as just eating healthy, Expert explains. “While eating healthy will affect overall health, it has little effect on how your metabolic rate works,” Expert says. “However, there are certain foods that have been shown to change the rate of how much energy our bodies can produce, thus fat it can burn.”
What to Eat
“Eating any food causes an uptick in metabolic rate. This is called the ‘thermic effect of food.’ Thermogenesis from eating throughout the day burns about 10% of our daily calorie intake, which is about 180 calories for a diet of 1800 calories/day.”
In other words, don’t think that starving yourself or eating less is going to boost your metabolism; technically speaking, the opposite is true.
That being said, you can’t just eat anything. As Major explains, “For most people, processed foods, breads, pastas and grains are foods that block a properly functioning metabolism.”
Switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet is the first step; the second is including some (or all!) of these 21 metabolism-boosting foods in your daily diet.
Although high in calories (don’t overdo it), almonds contain fatty acids that raise your metabolism.
Protein and fiber are two of the building blocks of boosting your metabolism, so beans, rich in both, are a good choice.
“Dietary proteins take more calories to digest than any other macronutrient “When you boost your intake of protein, you naturally begin to burn more calories each day.”
“Consuming 400 calories of protein will require about 80 calories to digest it, compared with only around 40 calories for carbohydrates and 12 calories required for fat digestion of the same amount of food,” says Experts.
But that’s not the only reason that beans are good for your metabolism. the importance of all foods rich in iron when it comes to boosting your metabolism. “Iron is an important mineral that helps transport oxygen to muscles, needed to burn fat. Iron helps our bodies make energy,” Experts says.
All fruits are a good idea due to their carb and fiber content, both of which are important tools for boosting metabolism. the powers of berries in particular, which she says are rich in “antioxidants, like vitamin C, which helps combat damaging free radicals generated during exercise.” Berries help you heal more quickly.
4. Bone Broth
bone broth as a metabolism booster, due to its protein, mineral and collagen content. “Collagen supports the mucosal barrier in the gut, which means it is useful for supporting healthy/strong digestion and assimilation of nutrients – which is critical for a strong metabolism,” Expert says.
You might have heard the urban legend that celery is a “negative-calorie” food, that this very low calorie food can be a big-time metabolism booster.
“When you chew on celery, you’re stimulating digestion, adding water to hydrate (a key to better metabolism),” suggesting that you use celery as dippers for guacamole, salsa, or peanut butter. You can spiced up your dip cinnamon, ginger or cayenne for an extra kick, both of flavor an of metabolism-boosting action.
6. Chia Seeds
“Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and healthy omega 3 fats,” says Experts. “When you have all three together, it is very powerful.”
Cinnamon is a fairly unanimous metabolism booster among our experts. “Cinnamon contains thermogenic properties, which means when you consume it, your body automatically starts to burn more calories throughout the day.” Experts recommends about ¼ teaspoon per day.
not only cinnamon’s role in helping the body to effectively metabolize carbohydrates, but also its role in managing cravings for sweets as keys to its success.
8. Coconut Oil
“It is high in medium chain fatty acids – which a more easily converted into energy than other kinds, so they help to boost the metabolism and are less likely to get stored as fat,” Expert says. “It is supportive of the thyroid gland too – which is essential to a healthy metabolism.”
coconut oil plain, but you can also use it as a cooking fat. It doesn’t add a coconut flavor to dishes, so there’s no need to worry about your chicken tasting too tropical if cooked in coconut oil.
Caffeine gives your mind, body, and metabolism a boost, and a much healthier boost than sugar according to Sports Dietician. “The caffeine in (coffee, tea and espresso) gives a short-term jump to your metabolism, so if you need a pick-me-up, drink one of these instead of an energy drink loaded with sugar.”
Energy-boosting effects of caffeine have been proven to consistently increase metabolic rate. “Most studies with caffeine in doses of about 100mg per day (1 cup of coffee) showed an increased calorie burn of between 75 to 110 calories for the entire day,” says Expert. This admittedly is not a ton – and it’s comparable with the other foods on this list – but in conjunction with exercise and other metabolism-boosting foods, it can make a big difference over a long period of time.
Many of our experts tout the short-term effects of caffeine on metabolism and energy boosting as well. “When your metabolism is charged by these substances your Central Nervous is more active and you can train harder.”
That being said, don’t overdo it on caffeine – try to limit yourself to 2-3 cups per day.
This is probably good news for a lot of you out there – yes, according to Experts, dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao) can help boost your metabolism.
“Raw cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium, and magnesium helps to support healthy glucose levels,” she says. “Magnesium also stimulates the fat-burning hormone adiponectin.”
As with all sweets, less is better, but a bit of dark chocolate won’t hurt your efforts towards a better metabolism and might even give you the boost — emotional and physical — that you need.
If that wasn’t enough, Palinski-Wade also cites cider vinegar’s role in leveling blood sugar levels, which helps to curb cravings.
Not just rich in protein, fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, allowing it to do double duty on your metabolism.“Omega-3 oils lower inflammation and blood sugar which helps raise the body’s metabolism.”
The importance of fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, and says that you should aim for three servings per week thanks to its richness in protein and omega 3s. “Omega-3 fatty acids help to fight against inflammation in the body as well as decrease circulating stress hormones,” Expert says. “When stress hormones are elevated in your body over a period of time, they begin to store fat and elevated blood sugar and insulin levels. However, foods rich in omega-3s can lower these circulating stress hormones and turn up your body’s ability to burn fat.”
Eat fat to burn fat? We can get on board with that.
Grapefruit has long been linked to weight loss because it has been proven to lower insulin levels. Its fiber contents are also helpful in boosting metabolism, and its vitamin C content helps your body stay healthy and your immune system work the way it should, both of which are essential to boosting your metabolism.
13. Green Tea
Expert found in green tea and a substance that has been proven to enhance the fat burning process, according to Experts
Many of our experts agree that green tea-extract boosted the metabolism by 4 percent over a 24 hour period. To put that into perspective, “It has been stated that three to five cups a day can help you burn an extra 70 calories a day, which would add up to seven pounds a year, 35 pounds in a 5-year period and 70 pounds in 10 years,” Experts explains.
Spinach, but also any leafy green, is a great metabolism booster. This is in part due to the high fiber content of leafy greens, according to Experts. “High fiber foods like leafy greens can increase your fat burn by 30%,” Expert says, recommending a minimum of 3 servings per day for maximum results.
Not the only reason you should be considering including more leafy greens in your diet. “Organic dark leafy greens like spinach and kale provide iron to support healthy blood, which is key to optimal cellular metabolism energy, and calcium to support muscle performance,” Expert says. All the more reason to stock up on leafy greens.
While many warn against eating too much watermelon due to its high sugar content, Expert says that adding a slice of watermelon to your meal might actually be a good idea. “Thanks to watermelon’s high concentration of the amino acid arginine, this delicious fruit just may help you shed more pounds,” Expert says.
Last but really not least is water. “the starting point for a boosted metabolism,” citing a study published in the Journal that found that drinking water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent.
“Increasing your fluid intake may help your body to more effectively break down fat. In addition, even slight dehydration can slow metabolism.” Add to that its natural appetite suppression, and water may be your metabolism’s new best friend.
But how much water should you be drinking?
You’ve likely heard 8 glasses a day, but it’s never a good idea to trust a catch-all solution when it comes to your health, as the amount you should be consuming of anything depends largely on your weight and calorie expenditure. that even 2 extra glasses was helpful. But what should you be aiming for?
½ your bodyweight in ounces of water is the ideal amount of water intake,” says Expert. In other words, for a 160-pound person, 80 ounces of water is a good base amount.
Eat the right number of meals.
There is a common misconception that eating 5-6 small meals every day is better for your metabolism. “Research has disproven that theory showing over and over that 3 meals a day is just as beneficial, if not more beneficial, to your metabolism,” Expert says.
That being said, something that can help is to eat smaller portions and add healthy snacks to your diet more often, so that you avoid getting overly hungry at meal times and risk overeating.
See the sun.
“Getting exposure to sunlight in the morning can help boost metabolism,” Sunlight sets your body clock, which is important is regulating metabolism.
Sleep is an important way for your body to recharge and repair itself. Lee cites one study in particular published by The Obesity Society that “noted a direct correlation with increased hours of sleep with lower waist circumferences and body mass indices.”
“Chronic lack of sleep can slow metabolism, so aim to get 7-8 hours per night”.
The benefits of organic foods just keep on coming. that the best way to make sure that the foods you choose are actually doing their job is to choose organic whenever possible.
“Our bodies need regular clean up of the dirt (free radicals) that accumulates every day from what we eat, from stress and from exposure to toxins,” Expert says. “Your body’s clean-up team comes from all the different fruits and veggies (aim for a rainbow), but if those are ‘dirty’ (contain lots of pesticide residues), it makes the clean up team less efficient – it’s like mopping your floor wearing dirty shoes.”
Keep your food clean, and your metabolism will be that much more efficiently boosted.
Lower your stress.
Stress of any kind can actually hinder your metabolism according to our experts “Women with higher levels of perceived stress were more prone to obesity. Interestingly, this study also noted increased stress levels with increased television viewing times.” You know what that means – pick a more active activity to de-stress than vegging in front of the TV.
“Any activity that lowers stress, like meditation or yoga, will help regulate metabolism,” suggests Expert.
Not only is this an additional way to reduce your stress, but working out is key to boosting your metabolism.
“Foods and supplements cannot magically raise your metabolism enough to help you lose weight,” says Expert. “If you want a quick metabolic boost, you’re better off hitting the gym or going for a brisk walk. While some studies have shown that certain foods can increase metabolism, the boost won’t last and after about 30 minutes the rate of metabolism will be back where it started.”
A vigorous workout can help your metabolism be boosted for several hours afterwards.