It's hard not to hate those people who are naturally blessed with a racing metabolism when the rest of us have to spend hours slaving through interval workouts on the elliptical. You've heard that food is fuel, but did you know that what you eat can impact how quickly your body converts nutrients into energy? Rev up your metabolism and you don't have to think twice every time you want to indulge in more caloric fare. So what's on the menu?
There are many reasons why protein is an essential part of your diet - including that chicken, tofu and other sources can give your metabolism a boost. Dr. Heather Bauer explained to Refinery 29 that protein helps to build up muscle and uses up more energy to digest. So not only are you satiated for longer, but you actually burn calories while your body is breaking down the protein. Look for poultry, eggs and fish for that fullness factor without the high fat content.
Regardless of what trends have told you in recent years, carbohydrates are not the diet devil. However, Bauer noted that it's important to choose complex carbs that are high in fiber. Beans, whole grains, berries, carrots and leafy greens are all slow-digesting and require more effort to break down. In fact, The Huffington Post reported that according to research from the University of Colorado, certain starchy foods - like beans and slightly green bananas - can help scorch as much as 24 percent more calories throughout the day.
It might sound counterintuitive, but you need to eat fat to burn it. The Huffington Post recommended noshing on one to two servings of foods that are high in monounsaturated fats every day. Almonds are an especially good option since they pack a one-two punch from their 14 grams of fiber and healthy fats. Bauer suggested to Refinery 29 cooking with coconut oil, as some research suggests that it's metabolized differently than other fats, allowing it to break down in the liver rather than intestines.
For a super-shot of fatty acids, try the david kirsch metabolic makeover. These pills contain omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, fish oil and flaxseed oil, which work together to fuel your metabolism into overdrive.
Your mouth isn't the only thing on fire when you eat spicy foods - they can ignite your metabolism, too. According to The Huffington Post, the capsaicin in chili peppers can react with capsiate to help your body torch 50 to 100 more calories after you eat. If you can't handle that kind of heat, there are other spices that have similar benefits. Bauer told Refinery 29 that cinnamon, for example, can enable sugar to pass through your bloodstream and into the cells more easily so that it can be used for energy, instead of being stored as fat. Try sprinkling some on your morning oatmeal, coffee or even Greek yogurt.
Ever noticed you work faster when you've had a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea? Your metabolism reacts in the same way. The Huffington Post noted that one cup of java can put the pedal to the - boosting your metabolism by up to 15 percent.
In addition to caffeine, green tea contains catechins, antioxidants that can facilitate fat burning. Dr. Molly Morgan, author of "The Skinny Rules: The 101 Secrets Every Skinny Girl Knows," told Shape magazine that in a study by the Journal of Nutrition, people who exercised regularly and consumed green tea burned more calories than those who worked out sans the beverage. When I need a jolt of energy before a workout, I reach for david kirsch thermo bubbles. The powder is infused with green tea, white tea and ginseng and can torch fat and calories faster without the added sugar, jitters and crashes of your typical energy drink.