In my own personal struggles with my weight and metabolism I have tried negative calories, limiting when I eat, and a dramatic increase in exercise. In all fairness, I have had some moderate success with these methods. I have lost about 50+ pounds since about 10 years ago. Frequently I have heard there are certain foods that provide an all-natural way of boosting your metabolism, so I decided to do some online research about it. I found this article on Huffington Post written by Arti Patel entitled “Boost Metabolism: 10 Natural Ways To Boost Metabolism,” and the following are highlights of what I found to be helpful.
WHY IT WORKS: ‘Green tea contains a type of antioxidant called catechins, which have been shown in studies to reduce body weight and waist circumference,’ says Haley Barton, family nutritionist of Nutrition Savvy.”
As an avid tea drinker myself, I plan to incorporate organic green tea into my diet whenever possible.
WHY IT WORKS: ‘Chili peppers contain bioactive chemicals called capsinoids,’ Barton says. Studies have shown that the consumption of capsinoids increased energy expenditure (the amount of heat you produce internally and your external physical activity level) by 50 calories a day.”
While I can’t really do spicy food that often, because it gives me the hiccups, I do enjoy peppered hummus which seems to be just under the bar for my gastrointestinal reaction threshold.
“Coffee (Caffeinated Or Decaffeinated):
WHY IT WORKS: ‘Small amounts of caffeine have been shown to boost your metabolism through stimulation of your central nervous system,’ Barton adds. But make sure you’re drinking the right amount. A cup of coffee (with about 150 mg of caffeine) is often enough to benefit from metabolic effects.”
This is something that I have been doing already without knowing coffee’s metabolic effects, as I’m sure many other people have as well.
WHY IT WORKS: ‘When you eat protein,’ Barton adds, ‘It needs the most time to metabolize (at least 20 to 30 per cent of your body’s energy). Eating fish, lean meats, eggs and plant protein like beans and soy will keep your metabolism accelerated for hours after your meal.’”
I have always felt the need to eat protein when I get hungry, so maybe I already knew this on a subconscious level.
WHY IT WORKS: ‘Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen to tissues throughout the body,’ Barton says. Iron also helps our bodies make energy — low iron levels can lead to fatigue, loss of appetite, anemia (not enough red blood cells) and slow down your metabolism. Foods rich in iron include oysters, mussels, beef, lamb, fish and poultry. Plant sources of iron include pumpkin seeds, lentils, tofu, chickpeas and other beans.”
It is good to know that there are options to help people keep their iron levels high regardless of whether or not they choose to eat meat as a part of their diet. Not only do I frequently eat beef and poultry myself, but I also can get chickpeas through the hummus that I frequently enjoy.
WHY IT WORKS: …studies have suggested low vitamin D levels may lead to fat accumulation. Looking for natural ways to get vitamin D? Get outside or eat some salmon.”
Personally, I love salmon and spend large amounts of time outside, so this is particularly easy for me. But, I guess that a person could go fishing for salmon and knock out both of the suggested avenues.
WHY IT WORKS: The worst thing you can do to your metabolism is starve yourself. ‘Consuming a very low-calorie diet that robs your body of enough energy to satisfy its basic functions will plunge your metabolism into slow motion,’ she says. Ensure you’re consuming at least 1,200 calories per day for women and 1,500 for men to meet your basic metabolic needs, she adds.”
I likely do this already, and I can imagine that this is one of the easier items on this list to accomplish.
WHY IT WORKS: …one study showed that elderly women who ate two to three meals per day were generally more overweight or obese compared to those who ate four to five meals or snacks per day. Consuming regular meals and healthy snacks can support your metabolism throughout the day.”
I’m not sure that the sample bias on this study would apply to most people. But if the general information is applied to all demographics, then it would seem to me that keeping your metabolism burning could only help the cause.
“Get Enough Sleep:
WHY IT WORKS: …Studies show that chronic lack of sleep can slow the metabolism, increase appetite and increase risks of obesity and weight gain, Barton says. [You should a]im to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night…”
This is probably one of the most difficult items for me and many others, but I’m willing to admit that it is likely one of the most important.
WHY IT WORKS: …Exercise not only raises our metabolic rate, but as you exercise, it also keeps your resting energy expenditure high during the recovery period. Try at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day, as well as two strength training sessions a week to keep your metabolism up.”
This confirms what I’ve found through my own weight loss efforts: “The only tried and true method for weight loss is diet and exercise.” But, perhaps coupled with some of the other items on this list, it might make the process a bit easier.