It’s your body’s way of converting food into the energy you need to do everything. Fast metabolism is like a hot furnace; it burns through food quickly to help keep the body running. The opposite is true for slow metabolism. Slow metabolism doesn’t require as much food for fuel because the body isn’t using that much energy.
I think it’s safe to say we all wish we could have the metabolism of a teenage boy who can eat two hamburgers, fries, and a milkshake without putting on a pound. But the reality is once you’re an adult, your metabolism starts to decline. (#Adulting strikes again!) So it’s no surprise that we’re always looking for ways to boost our metabolism.
There are so many factors that determine the efficiency of our metabolism. Sleep, hormones, genetics, and muscle mass are all key players. But how about the food we eat? Here are the top 10 foods that can rev up your metabolism and get it burning at an optimal level.
Fish, eggs, lean meat, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all protein-rich foods that can help boost your metabolism. Protein is a good aid since your body naturally requires more energy to digest protein in comparison to carbohydrates and fats. In fact, research shows that protein-rich foods increase your body’s metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats.
Aim for a protein source at each meal. An average portion size is four to six ounces. Remember to balance out your meal with complex carbs, veggies, and healthy fats.
2. CHILI PEPPERS
Spice up your life! Capsaicin, an antioxidant in chili peppers, may boost your metabolism and help curb your appetite. Red chili flakes are easy to add to almost anything: avocado toast, eggs, salad, soup… The possibilities are endless. Sprinkle that stuff like confetti!
That’s right: I’m giving you permission to pour yourself another cup of coffee. Caffeine found in coffee can help increase your metabolic rate. Research shows consuming 100 milligrams of caffeine can increase metabolism up to 11%. Just remember that some individuals are able to tolerate caffeine better than others. If you’re prone to getting the jitters, it may be best to opt for decaf. Also, be cautious of sugar levels in coffee drinks. Your best option is black coffee, or mixing a cup with milk or creamer with minimal ingredients.
Celery has the reputation of having negative calories. While that’s not exactly true, celery is low in calories and high in fiber. It takes a lot of work for your body to process all that fiber. The entire digestive process raises your metabolic rate as it efficiently tries to absorb, store, and eliminate. As it happens, celery makes for the ultimate vessel for delicious dips and spread. Get creative by spreading them with nut or seed butters, or enjoy some stalks with your favorite hummus.
Grapefruit is high in both vitamin C and fiber, both of which play important roles in metabolism. Research shows grapefruit can even help with weight loss and lowering insulin levels. One intriguing study in particular reports that those who eat half a grapefruit with each meal can lose up to 3.6 pounds, while those who drink a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day can lose 3.3 pounds. Bonus: These results don’t require making any other dietary changes. Impressive!
Grapefruits are more bitter than other citrus fruits, but this trick might help! Slice them in half and rub the surface with a little coconut oil before sprinkling with cinnamon. Then, place them under the broiler for two to four minutes until slightly golden.