Metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories) is one of the buzz words in the weight loss community. Many people believe that increasing their metabolism is the key to weight loss success. Whilst the extent to which you can realistically boost your metabolism has been exaggerated there are still things you can do to increase the amount of calories you burn each day. One of these things is to make changes to your current diet. That is why in this article I am going to be discussing three healthy foods that can boost your metabolism.
1) FIBER: Fiber is found in carbohydrate based foods. Generally carbohydrates that are low in fiber are easier to digest meaning that your body burns less calories whilst digesting them. Carbohydrates that are high in fiber take longer to digest meaning that your body uses more calories whilst digesting them. Therefore, by making an effort to eat high fiber carbohydrates (such as fruits, vegetables and nuts) instead of the low fiber alternatives (such as cakes, chocolate and crisps) you can give your metabolism a small boost. Plus, you can enjoy all the health benefits that come with increased fiber consumption which include reduced bowel disease and improved blood sugar control.
2) PROTEIN: Just like fiber rich foods, foods that are high in protein also require an increased number of calories to digest. Most people’s carbohydrate intake is as high as 60% to 70%. Therefore, by reducing your carbohydrate intake slightly and eating a little more protein you can increase your metabolism slightly. However, when doing this make sure you do not go overboard. Consuming excessive amounts of protein places stress on a number of your organs whilst cutting down the carbohydrates too much means that you will not be getting a variety of vitamins and minerals that are found in these foods.
3) SPICES: Spices boost your metabolism temporarily in two ways. First, some spices stimulate your body’s fat burning process meaning that you will burn more fat for a short period after eating them. Secondly, hot spices temporarily increase your body’s temperature meaning that your body has to use additional calories as it attempts to return the temperature to normal. Therefore, adding some spicy foods to your diet is another way to give your metabolism a small boost. However, like with protein you need to exercise moderation when consuming spicy foods. Eating too much can damage your taste buds, irritate your bowel and cause stomach ulcers.
It is possible to boost your metabolism through dietary changes. However, one important thing to understand is that the impact of these dietary changes is not as significant as most people believe. The thermic effect of food (the amount of calories your body burns during digestion) accounts for approximately 10% of the calories you burn in a day. Any dietary changes you make will not burn huge amounts of extra calories. Whilst eating more of the above foods will help boost your metabolism and improve your overall health they cannot compensate for excessive calorie consumption.