What can be used to boost metabolism?

Tanya Zuckerbrot
Nutrition & Dietetics

Certain foods have a strong impact on your metabolism and are called metabolism-boosting foods. These foods speed up the rate at which your body burns calories. In addition, by eating small frequent meals every 2 hours and incorporating 10-12 cups of water throughout the day you will keep your metabolism working all day long leading to accelerated weight loss.

5 metabolism-boosting foods:

  • Low-fat Greek Yogurt: Countless studies link calcium (high in yogurt) and weight loss as it has been shown to burn fat more efficiently and prevents body fat storage.
  • Cinnamon: This spice has been shown to enhance glucose metabolism which results in decreased abdominal fat storage and increased weight loss.
  • Oranges: Foods that contain vitamin C, like oranges and other citrus fruits help metabolize fat faster and make losing weight less difficult.
  • Green Tea: Green tea contains caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that can help your body burn more calories while at rest, meaning that you can burn fat without doing a thing.
  • Lean Chicken or Turkey: All lean meats help to speed up metabolism and burn more fat simply because they require so much energy for complete digestion. Studies have shown that people who follow a high-protein diet burn twice as many calories after a meal as people who follow a high-carbohydrate diet.
Anyone can boost their metabolism by simply increasing physical activities, including standing and moving in any fashion. Metabolism is the sum of all the bodily processes necessary to keep us alive, and the energy/fuel that these processes used is measured in calories. Everyone has complete control over total metabolism or the calories they burn per day. The more you move, the more bodily processes take place so the more calories you burn. Therefore, moving more is the only significant practical method to boost metabolism.
There are natural and synthetic compounds that can slightly increase resting metabolic rate (RMR). Caffeine is the most common compound used to increase RMR and has been shown to increase metabolism/energy expenditure (EE) ~3-5% in the first 2.5 hours after ingestion. Comparable increases in EE have been shown with Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) a compound found it green tea. Combining caffeine and EGCG together, as found in some weight loss supplements, may have a synergistic effect on 24 hour EE. Capsaicin from cayenne fruit may also increase RMR by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. To be fair, some of the documented daily increases in the total 24 Hour EE from any of these 3 substances may also come from their well known ability to induce daily movement, whether it be through fidgeting at rest, or from an increased desire to move more due to feeling more energetic.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.