Your genes play an important role in determining your metabolic speed, but there are diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help boost metabolism. Here are 5 essential foods to add to your diet to help you lose weight.
What exactly is metabolism and how does it work?
You’ve heard of metabolism and may even have an idea of what it is. However, there are a lot of myths related to the impact metabolism has on your health, especially in terms of weight loss.
In simple terms, metabolism is the internal process by which your body expends energy and burns calories. It runs 24/7 to keep your body moving, even when you’re resting or sleeping, by converting the food and nutrients you consume into the energy your body needs in order to breathe, circulate blood, grow and repair cells, and everything else it does to survive.
The speed of your metabolism is determined mostly by your genes. Depending on your body size and composition, you may have a fast or slow metabolism. Age also affects metabolism, as it can slow over the years, even if you start out with a fast metabolism. Differences in metabolism speed are evident in how easy or hard it is for people to gain or lose weight. A slow metabolism burns fewer calories, which means more get stored as fat in the body. That’s why some people have difficulty losing weight by just cutting calories. A fast metabolism burns calories at a quicker rate, which explains why some people can eat a lot and not gain extra pounds.
How can you boost metabolism?
Even though your genes play an important role in determining the speed of your metabolism, there are different diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help rev up your metabolism. Here are 5 foods to add to your diet to speed up your metabolism:
Avocado contains metabolism-enhancing monounsaturated fat. This creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and free-radical-killing antioxidants. Antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables can help neutralize some free radicals, but they can’t reach the mitochondria – the hub of free radicals.
When your mitochondria aren’t working properly, your metabolism runs less efficiently. A 2015 study found that monounsaturated-rich oil pressed from the fruit can help mitochondria become more resilient. Try eating half an avocado each day. Some simple ideas include avocado toast, adding it on top of salads, or adding it to your smoothies.
Recent studies have shown that garlic supports blood-sugar metabolism and helps control lipid levels in the blood. Adding garlic to foods that are rich in fats and carbohydrates may keep those substances from doing the damage they’re known to do. Eating garlic can also help boost your immune system, prevent heart disease, fight inflammation, and lower blood pressure. It’s a powerful spice!
3. Whole Grains
It takes the body more effort to break down whole grains than more refined and processed grains, like the flour ordinarily used to make bread and pasta. You can help keep your metabolic rate elevated by consuming foods that the body has to work harder to digest, as shown in a Food & Nutrition Research study. Pomona College researchers found that consuming whole foods increased your post-meal energy expenditure by 50% compared to eating processed foods.
Your go-to foods that boost metabolism are whole grains that are also rich in fiber.
- Brown rice
- Sprouted grain bread
Not only are beans a great source of plant-based protein, but they’re also packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber. The process of digesting the fiber and protein in beans burns extra calories. Both types of fiber help lower insulin levels after digestion and cause your body to store less fat. Here are some delicious recipe ideas using beans: Mexican Burrito Bowls, Smashed White Bean and Avocado Open-Face Sandwich, Flourless Chickpea Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Salmon is the best fish to work into your diet when trying to increase your metabolism. That’s because most cases of under-active thyroid are due to inflammation of the gland, and salmon boasts significant anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effects of weight loss and seafood consumption and showed salmon to be the most effective at reducing inflammation.
Try adding these 5 essential foods into your regular diet and see if you notice a difference in your metabolism. Having a higher metabolism will lead to more energy and feeling better overall. Along with diet, work in regular exercise to boost your metabolism and burn fat. We hope this useful information and delicious recipes from SoFabFood Home Chef, Nicole from Living Well with Nic help you in your quest for a happier, healthier you! For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!