You don’t have to sit in a sauna for an hour or pedal your life away on a stationary bike to burn extra calories throughout the day. Although exercise is an important aspect of healthy metabolic maintenance, you can do just as much if not more good for your metabolism through the foods you eat.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, include these 7 foods to not only spice up your cooking but to stimulate your metabolism and encourage your body to burn extra calories.
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1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne along with other red, hot peppers contains a substance called Capsaicin that has the ability to stimulate metabolism temporarily. Typically, consuming Cayenne or a similar pepper with meals can speed up your metabolism for up to 8% for 3-4 hours after the meal and also contributes to feelings of fullness.
Cayenne pepper can be added to most savory dishes to give it a bit of a kick.
2. Green Tea
This one may be a given but then wouldn’t more people take advantage of the health benefits green tea has to offer? Much like cayenne pepper, green tea contains a substance called EGCG that not only acts as a powerful antioxidant, it boosts the metabolism.
Keep in mind however that you have to consume 4-5 cups of green tea daily to increase your calorie burn by 100.
3. Lean Protein
Consuming lean protein like turkey, chicken breast, and fish such as salmon and tilapia takes longer for the body to digest than other foods and therefore requires more calories to fully digest. Lean protein also plays an important role in building lean muscle mass which actually functions as the best metabolism booster of all.
Lean muscle mass requires more calories to maintain than other tissues in the body and therefore burns more nutrients to use as energy.
A recent study performed at the Scripps Institute demonstrated that individuals who consumed half a grapefruit at each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds over a 12 month period. This number may not appear significant but when you consider that no other lifestyle changes were made (only that the test subjects were actually consuming more than usual), this number appears a bit more impressive.
Even those who drank grapefruit juice with each meal lost 3.3 pounds over the same 12 month period.
Oatmeal is one of the best foods that raise metabolism. It is an extremely high source of heart-healthy fiber that works to improve metabolism while it’s digested. Because oatmeal is so high in fiber it takes more time and energy than usual to digest. Therefore, more calories or burned simply while oatmeal is being digested.
Oatmeal is often the go-to breakfast food for bodybuilders and fitness competitors not only because it stimulates the metabolism but also because it promotes feelings of satiety. We recommend starting your morning with ¼-1/2 cup oatmeal mixed with either fruit or nuts.
Commonly referred to as one of the top “Superfoods,” blueberries are a high source of antioxidants that fight the free radicals that can be the source of a sluggish metabolism in the first place. Aside from their ability to increase your calorie burn, blueberries also help clear and strengthen the skin, increase energy levels, and improve digestion when consumed regularly.
Although not the most price-friendly fruit in the fridge, blueberries are great to take on the road as snacks or even better when incorporated into smoothies and protein shakes.
7. Whey Protein
Don’t be mistaken, whey protein isn’t only for the chiseled bodybuilder. No, whey protein is a great source of nutrients for any individual of any age. Whey protein is derived from milk and offers a pure, refined source of protein that can easily be mixed with berries, ice, or even your morning cereal to help you feel full, energized, and fueled for the day.
Like lean meat, whey protein takes a while to be digested and therefore requires energy in the form of calories to be processed. Whey protein is also a great additive for those looking to put on lean muscle mass and with extra muscle on your body, your metabolism will increase as well.
Head to the Grocery store
All of these foods can be found relatively inexpensively at your local grocery store and are easy to incorporate into your diet schedule. Try replacing one food you know you shouldn’t be eating with one of these calorie-scorching alternatives and watch how losing weight becomes less of a battle.
Additionally, if you’re still looking for an extra kick to get your metabolism moving there are plenty of safe and effective weight loss supplements on the market that can do just that—boost your metabolism. The most common supplements associated with metabolism-boosting are fat burners that are supplements known for their ability to up energy levels, improve drive and concentration, and most importantly, stimulate calorie burn (read more about fat burners here).
Whether you’re looking to burn calories au natural or are looking for some help, the foods mentioned above and the supplements we offer on our site are here to help.