Eating food to speed up weight loss might sound like a contradiction, but it is possible. This is due to the fact that certain types of food can actually boost the metabolism of our bodies and facilitate faster calorie burning.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that other healthy habits such as exercising and getting enough rest can be overlooked, as eating these foods is just one part of the process. By incorporating some of the following foods in your diet, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, you can give your metabolism the kick start it needs to start burning off fat and shedding any excess weight.
Some of these foods also make for great snacks, which are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. This is because depriving yourself of snacks only leads to bigger meals that are consumed faster, which are things you want to avoid.
Apples make the perfect snack to help with weight loss as they can help regulate blood sugar, improve digestion and boost metabolism. These benefits are thanks to the high fiber content of apples, which also means that, instead of fat storing, they encourage fat burning. Apples are also very filling, so they offer a great way to tide you over until the next meal instead of succumbing to sugar cravings. In addition, the pectin in apples binds with water and decreases the amount of fat the cells in your body can absorb.
2. Cold Water
Proving that consuming healthy foods and beverages doesn’t have to cost a fortune is water. In fact, a glass of cold water is hard to beat when it comes to hydration. Staying hydrated is a key element of keeping your body functioning at its best, and beverages such as sodas often do more harm than good. Another benefit of water is that it increases satiety, and people often turn to food when they think they are hungry, but are actually experiencing thirst. For a bit of taste, squeeze some fresh lemon in the water.
Spicing up your meals with some hot peppers not only enhances flavor and presentation, but can also fire up your metabolism. The very spicy habanero chili peppers will get the heart pumping and body sweating because they are packed with capsaicin, but cayenne peppers and jalapeno peppers will also help to kick your metabolism into a higher gear. In addition to providing your metabolism with a temporary rise, chilies also work as an appetite suppressant, which can help to curb the amount of calories you consume during a meal. This doesn’t mean that you have to add chilies to everything you eat, but a spicy dish every now and then definitely has some benefits.
4. Low-fat Dairy And Yogurt
Substituting unhealthy breakfast foods with yogurt is a great way to boost your metabolism. This is due to the high protein content of the yogurt, which requires more from your body to break it down. Low-fat dairy products are also rich in calcium, which is a known metabolic trigger.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is a very healthy beverage in general, but comes with the added benefit of boosting the metabolism as well. This is thanks to the compound, called EGCG, which is found in the tea. The metabolism boost it provides is only temporary, but the tea can be consumed hot or cold, which makes it a great option whenever you are thirsty. Most of the studies that focus on the fat oxidation benefits of green tea deal with its extracts, but there is enough evidence to ensure this beverage deserves its place on the list.
Adding oatmeal to your diet will provide you with an energy boost, improve digestion and maintain normal insulin levels while also speeding up your metabolism. Since oatmeal doesn’t cause spikes in insulin levels like sugar-rich foods are prone to do, it doesn’t trigger the body to start storing extra fat. As an added benefit, it is also known to lower cholesterol. Starting your day with oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to ensure fullness and consuming fewer calories at the next meal. Just make sure that you do not have any gluten allergy or sensitivity before consuming oatmeal.
Iron deficiency is a common ailment, and lentils are a healthy food to increase this nutrient in your body. A lack of vital nutrients in the body can lead to a slower metabolism, so it is important to make sure your body has everything it needs to stay efficient. Iron in particular helps with the transportation of oxygen throughout the body, which can improve energy levels. Since lentils pack a variety of vitamins, they also make a good substitute for starchy carbohydrates.
As mentioned earlier, staying hydrated is an important part of maintaining a good metabolism, which means cucumber is a great food choice due to its high water content. Cucumbers also have plenty of fiber, vitamins and nutrients, along with low caloric levels. As part of a delicious salad or even as a side dish, cucumbers are a boon to your weight loss efforts.
Dairy products are not the only choice for calcium, as broccoli also packs plenty of this mineral, along with essential dietary fiber. In addition, broccoli is a low-calorie food that helps with weight loss, provided you substitute it for foods you eat and not only add it to your diet.
Coffee is another beverage that can increase your metabolism and it is all thanks to its caffeine content. Bear in mind that while coffee will help you burn calories, you shouldn’t load it with cream or sugar. Excess coffee can also take a toll on your liver, but when consumed in moderation can definitely help to speed up your metabolism.
11. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also good foods to keep around as snacks as they are a far healthier option than reaching for the sweet stuff. Not only are they rich in essential fats that can boost the metabolism, but they are also very filling. It is best to keep a stash of raw nuts on hand as the roasted or salted variety offers way less nutritional value. Hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts are all great options. Peanut butter (in moderation) is also a tasty choice as it will stabilize blood sugar levels and is digested slowly enough to provide lasting energy along with reduced sugar cravings. As far as seeds are concerned, go for flax seeds since they are low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and omega 3 fatty-acids and also offer improved satiety.
12. Fatty Fish
Since omega-3 fatty acids have positive effects on the metabolism, such as increased satiety, adding some fatty fish to your diet is highly recommended. Because omega-3 fatty acids are able to stimulate leptin levels in the body, which is one of the hormones linked to satiety, it also allows you to burn calories faster. Once again, don’t overdo it, and stick to the recommended servings of twice per week for fatty fish.