There’s no getting around it – to lose weight and get fit, you need to start moving and cut the calories. That is the best and, with minor exceptions, the only way. Yes, there are lists of dietary items, which are alleged to raise your metabolism and burn the fat, but they are minor, temporary boosts.
There is little scientific evidence from reliable sources that backs up the idea of “fat-burning foods.” A check of the most prominent medical institutions, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Mayo Clinic, etc. doesn’t turn up too much information. However, WebMD, a well-regarded site, does provide some suggestions, with a caveat: there’s no magic bullet. And getting fit and losing weight is hard work. These tips may help a little, so give them a try.
1. Water: Dehydration may lower your metabolism, and drinking eight glasses a day raises it more than four or less. Drink it before, during and after a workout, and also before snacks and meals. An unsweetened beverage is also acceptable. Also, munch on fresh fruits and vegetables – they are full of water. 2. Some Energy Drinks: They’ll raise your metabolism because they are loaded with caffeine and may have taurine in them also. Taurine is an amino acid which may also help, but it may raise your blood pressure, cause anxiety and give you sleep problems. It’s not for kids or teens.
3. Some Spices: The hot ones, like red and green chili peppers and jalapenos contain a substance called capsaicin which can raise your metabolism, but it’s temporary unless you eat them regularly. Try some red pepper flakes on your pasta, your chili, and in stews.
4. Protein: Protein takes more calories to digest than fats or carbs, thus raising metabolism a little. But the protein must be lean. Examples are lean beef, turkey, white meat chicken, fish, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy.
5. Black Coffee: Raises metabolism short-term. 250mg during a meal can increase the calorie-burning by 10%. But once again, beware nervousness, increased heart rate, and sleep issues.
6. Green or Oolong Tea: These teas contain a substance called catechins, which can raise metabolism for several hours. Two to four cups before a workout may burn 17% more calories for a short time.
There are more ways to keep your metabolism perking along. Here are some more suggestions from WebMD:
- Eat Breakfast: And make sure it is high-protein and high-carb. Three cups of coffee (if you can handle it) may raise your metabolism 10% for a short while. People who skip breakfast thinking that will cut calories usually wind up eating more later in the day. Also, going too long without food lowers your calorie-burning.
- More snacks and small meals: Studies have shown that decreasing the amount of time between meals keeps the metabolism up. Every 3 – 4 hours is recommended. Snackers tend to eat smaller meals, but be sure your snacks are healthy.
- Enough Sleep is Crucial: Lack of sleep lowers the metabolism. In fact, there is a link between obesity and poor sleep. Tiredness raises the hormone that makes you hungry, and lowers the one that makes you feel full. Eight hours of shuteye is optimal.
- Invest in Fish and Fish Oils: EPA and DHA, the omega 3 fatty acids, may raise the metabolism. Recommended is at least 300mg per day. That raises the levels of fat-burning enzymes and lower the levels of fat storage enzymes.
- A High-Fiber Diet: Eating a high fiber food raises the metabolism because fiber is indigestible, yet the body tries to break it down anyway, and that burns more calories. Nuts, fruits, and veggies are just a few suggestions.
And, of course, the best metabolism booster of all is exercise. Both aerobic exercise and strength training boost up the fat burning. Building your muscles is especially effective because the more muscle fiber you have, the higher your metabolism. This is because your muscles are active even at rest, whereas fat is inert. Plus your metabolism stays up after exercising, sometimes up to 24 hours, depending on the intensity.