My boyfriend is one of those annoying types who can eat just about anything and maintain his stick figure physique. The reason? He has a super high metabolism. That means that he burns through calories at a higher rate, even when he isn’t exercising. Of course, eating anything you want can have other consequences, so the fact that he has a high metabolism doesn’t mean that he should eat chocolate cake and French fries every day, but a high metabolism can absolutely help you get on track for better health. And, believe it or not, there are actually foods that can promote this.
Remember, before you start any new diet, consult a doctor. Not every diet is right for every person.
This healthy eating course is a great option if you want to learn more about how to lose weight and promote health using your diet.
When I was a kid, my parents had this friend who always smelled weird to me. When I asked my mom why, she said it was because he ate a ton of garlic and took garlic supplements. The same components in garlic that give it that familiar pungent aroma can also have a number of health benefits. Adding garlic to your diet can help you control you blood pressure, resist infection, and prevent cancer. You can read more about garlic here. And, of course, garlic helps boost your metabolism. Garlic is a natural thermogenic food, which means that it causes your body to produce heat, and producing heat takes energy, so the body burns off calories. Now, adding some garlic powder to your pasta isn’t going to make you lose a dress size, but regularly adding garlic to your foods, especially in raw form (think salad dressings, for example), can help kick-start your metabolism in conjunction with other metabolism-boosting foods and exercise.
This delicious summer treat can help you avoid packing on the extra pounds–all the more reason to snack on strawberries if you need a quick pick-me-up during the day. Strawberries (as well as raspberries) contain anthocyanins, which help you produce a certain hormone in your body. This hormone (adiponectin) in turn tells your body to burn fat. As an added benefit, strawberries help prevent the body from turning starch into sugar, which is key for any who has or who is at risk for type 2 diabetes. The best way to eat strawberries to increase your metabolism is to simply rinse, slice, and enjoy. Avoid strawberries in high-sugar desserts, since that will just cancel out the health benefits.
3. Green Tea
While caffeine can help boost your metabolism in small doses, drinking a pot of coffee every day isn’t going to help you. However, in healthy doses, caffeine can be very effective. Green tea is an especially good way to boost you metabolism. This beverage has bee showed to promote fat oxidation, and it gives you that little jolt you need to get moving in the morning without overdoing it. If you need your coffee, limit yourself to one cup, and try to steer clear of the extra sugar and milk. Remember to drink extra water for every cup of coffee or tea you consume.
Green tea is also great for those of you who are looking for a detox diet. Learn more about green tea and other detox foods here.
Beans are an amazing source of fiber, which makes them awesome for increasing your metabolism. Fiber can’t be digested by the body, but it makes and attempt – and thus, the body is working (i.e. burning calories for energy). According to Doctor Oz, navy beans have almost 20 grams of fiber per cup, making them an awesome choice for increasing your fiber. Pinto beans, kidney beans, and split peas are also great options in the legumes category. Not a fan? Other foods that are high in fiber and can increase your metabolism include prunes, raspberries, bran, artichokes, whole grain pasta, and brussel sprouts.
5. Hot Peppers
If you can take the heat, peppers that contain capsaicin can help you speed up your metabolism. This is the chemical in peppers that makes you sweat because the food is so hot. Remember how I mentioned that garlic causes you to put out heat? Capsaicin does the same thing. When your body is producing heat, it is burning calories. Of course, peppers alone can’t help you suddenly shed the pounds, but combined with other foods on this list, it can’t hurt! Just remember to take it slow if you aren’t used to spicy foods. A little goes a long way. :)
6. Lean Meats
Protein takes longer, on average, for your body to break down, so it is a great way to increase your metabolism. Make sure that when you’re choosing meats, you go for healthy options like chicken or turkey breast. If you want beef or pork, make sure to go for cuts that contain less fat. Craving a burger? Use ground meat that is the leanest available. It should be marked 90% or higher; if it’s not, skip it. Remember also to use herbs to make your meat more flavorful. Stay away from sauces like ketchup, steak sauce, and other condiments that tend to be high in sugar.
If you’re a vegetarian and hoping to avoid meats, check out this course for some great meat alternatives and ideas on how to work more high-protein foods into your diet without eating meat.
You’ve probably heard it before, but it is worth repeating: drink more water! Most adults (and kids) are not getting enough water for a maximum metabolism. Stay away from fruit juices, soda, and other liquids; go for straight up water! If you have to have flavoring, try adding some fruit to infuse your water with the taste of lemon, lime, or berries. Some studies have shown that you can increase your metabolism by as much as 30% by just adding three glasses of water to your diet every day. So, fill up that water bottle and keep it with you at all times to encourage yourself to drink more. Don’t just drink during meals or when you are thirsty. This free course about water will is a great place to start if you want to learn more.
Remember, just the act of eating anything can help promote a higher metabolism. So, instead of having one or two meals per day, try instead five or six smaller meals. Choose healthy snacks that are high in protein like nuts, and skip anything processed or high in sugars, which can make you “crash” during that 3 PM slump at work.
In addition to these seven foods, you can also try getting more sleep as a way to increase your metabolism. Restful sleep can help you not only feel more refreshed in the morning, but in combination with the foods mentioned and exercise, it can give your metabolism that little “umph” it needs to help you burn more calories. Check out the great sleep courses available here at Udemy:
We also have a great blog post about getting more sleep available here, and well as a list of the five signs you need more sleep available here.