Here’s your weekly dose of what you can eat, instead of what you can’t, on today’s Weight Loss Wednesday. Sick of hearing about the foods you should avoid? Well, starvation is definitely not the key to weight loss—and neither is getting rid of all your favorite snacks. That’s because weight loss is different for every person, since all of our bodies are designed differently; what works for you might not work for me. And a lot of this has to do with metabolism.
Your metabolism is a system involving the hormones and enzymes that are responsible for how your body converts food into fuel. If you have a fast metabolism, then your body will burn calories faster than others, allowing you to lose weight or not put on pounds, despite eating more food than someone on a weight loss diet. If you have a slower metabolism, then you burn calories slower and have more difficulty losing weight—and can easily put on extra weight.
As you age, your metabolism slows down. That’s why it’s vital to choose healthy foods in your diet—especially ones that can boost metabolism—which help you avoid putting on excess weight every year.
So can what you eat impact your metabolism? Studies show that some foods can boost metabolism more than others, and those are the foods you want to snack on during the day. Here are four foods that boost metabolism, part of Foods4BetterHealth.com’s “You Can” Diet:
1. A cup of brewed tea: A cup of tea a day can energize your body and boost your metabolism, since caffeine stimulates the body’s nervous system. According to one study in particular, a cup of brewed tea can raise metabolism by 12%.
2. Get used to cold water: Replace your daily dose of lukewarm water with six cups of cold water every day. The body will work harder to digest cold water, and studies show this can raise metabolism by 50 calories a day (it may not sound like much, but this adds up to five pounds a year). Plus, water helps rid your body of all the toxins and chemicals you don’t need—things that might be clogging up your metabolic system.
3. Sweet, savory oranges: Citrus fruits like oranges that contain vitamin C can help you lose weight faster, because vitamin C foods help metabolize fat faster. That’s one of the reasons that people on a diet often eat a grapefruit in the morning—not only because it’s a healthy fruit, but because the added vitamin C can boost metabolism and help you lose weight faster.
4. Hot, hot peppers: Not a fan of spicy foods? Now’s the time to try them. Spicy foods containing capsaicin, which is found in spicy peppers, boosts metabolism and your heart rate! Studies have found that eating spicy peppers can speed up your metabolism by 25% for three hours. If you don’t want to try them whole, add small amounts to your omelets, salads, or pasta.
The “You Can” Diet wants to show you that losing weight can be fun if you enjoy the healthy food you eat! Which of these four snacks have you tried?
Dolgoff, J., “Foods that can rev your metabolism,” Huffington Post web site, July 29, 2011; http://goo.gl/CdOrT, last accessed May 31, 2013.
Yeager, S., “Rev your fat burning with our high-metabolism diet,” Prevention web site; http://goo.gl/LEZg7, last accessed May 31, 2013.
Bouchez, C., “Make the most of your metabolism,” WebMD web site; http://goo.gl/BNFyU, last accessed May 31, 2013.