Food can also speed up your metabolism by increasing your metabolic rate to digest, absorb, and transport nutrients. But not all foods have a high-thermic effect.
Feeling sluggish or tired all the time? Do you struggle to lose weight despite eating less? These can be signs of a slow metabolism.
The good news is that metabolism isn’t fixed; you can improve your metabolic rate and encourage calorie and fat burn (even while you sleep!) with a few healthy habits.
One key way to speed up your metabolism is with what you eat. That’s right – you can eat your way to a faster metabolism by enjoying certain foods with fat-burning potential.
How to Track Your Metabolism
Food can be a powerful way to speed up your metabolism. But the first step is knowing how much to eat to find your balance.
Your metabolic rate is determined by several factors, from your weight to your age to your lifestyle. With a few simple calculations, we can determine an approximate daily calorie target.
Step 1. Check Your BMR
BMR stands for basal metabolic rate – the number of calories your body needs at rest to maintain basic physiological functions such as breathing, circulation, and cell production. Your BMR is determined by your age, weight, and height, as well as any other factors that relate to how much energy your body expends (through exercise, stress, fear, or illnesses).
You can use a BMR Calculator to find out how many calories you typically burn in a day. Note that this number will be an average, and many other factors (like how active you are) can significantly affect this number.
Step 2. Consult a Daily Calorie Chart
Daily calorie charts give an idea of how many calories your body requires based on your BMR and your activity level. This approach gives a slightly more personalized view of how many calories your body needs to lose, maintain, or gain weight.
Food is Fuel: Why Low-Calorie Diets Don’t Work
If you want to lose weight, simply eat less. Right? While it might seem counterintuitive, low-calorie diets and undereating can actually slow down your metabolism and keep you from losing weight.
The “calories in, calories out” theory does have some truth to it. You want to eat fewer calories than your body will naturally burn in a day (based on your activity level) to start metabolizing excess fat cells.
But you can go too far. When the body is consistently deprived of calories, it may enter a “starvation mode.” It senses there isn’t enough energy to sustain the body, so it slows down the metabolic rate to preserve resources.
10 High Thermic Foods That Support Healthy Metabolism
What if you could eat your way to a slimmer figure and a faster metabolism? By eating fat-burning foods that encourage energy metabolism, you can. Let’s explore some of the best high-thermic foods to add to your plate if you want to reset your metabolism. Here are our top 10 recommendations for foods that speed up metabolism.
1) Protein-Rich Foods
Lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, and legumes, are great additions to a metabolism-boosting diet. Proteins require more energy to digest compared to fats and carbohydrates, so you’ll burn more calories (and fat) during the digestion process. Additionally, a protein-rich diet helps build and maintain healthy muscle mass, which is crucial for a faster metabolism.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Greek Chicken Power Bowl
2) Spicy Foods & Chilies
Spicy foods like chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which is known for its metabolism-boosting properties. Capsaicin can increase the body’s temperature and, consequently, the number of calories you burn. So, adding a touch of heat to your meals not only enhances flavor but also provides gives a quick boost to your metabolic rate.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Spicy Thai Noodles
3) Green Tea
You may have heard that green tea can help you lose weight. While there are a few different factors at play that make green tea a healthy beverage, one main reason is that green tea boosts metabolism. It does so through its high content of catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These antioxidants have been shown to enhance fat-burning processes and improve overall metabolic function. Enjoy a cup of green tea with your meals to enhance metabolism and improve digestion.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Minty Lime Iced GreenTea
The caffeine in coffee is a natural stimulant that can temporarily boost metabolic rate by increasing the release of adrenaline. This, in turn, prompts the body to use up more calories and burn fat. But before you give in to that extra cup of coffee, know that these coffee benefits only help in moderation. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to negative side effects and upset your digestive and nervous systems.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Cinnamon Bulletproof Coffee
5) Whole Grains
While proteins are the best macronutrients for boosting metabolism, we still need carbs to thrive. Focus on whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats – these are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates that provide a sustained release of energy to prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Plus, the body expends more energy digesting complex carbohydrates compared to refined ones, which will support a higher metabolic rate.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Creamy Tahini Quinoa Bowl
6) Healthy Fats
Healthy fats don’t just add flavor to your meals. They also help you feel more satiated and protect the lining of your gut. This supports several different metabolic functions, like maintaining your gut microbiome, absorbing nutrients, and enhancing immune function. Foods rich in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil are some of the best fats for providing a steady source of energy.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
7) Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen in the blood to our cells. This oxygen is essential for an efficient and fast metabolism. To give your metabolism a boost, eat iron-rich foods like lean meats, spinach, and beans.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Spicy Spinach and Chickpea Curry
8) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted as a helpful superfood for weight loss, detox, and digestion. Some studies also suggest that apple cider vinegar can help enhance metabolism by improving your insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels. It may also encourage fat burn and reduce appetite. Consuming a small amount of apple cider vinegar before meals may aid in digestion and contribute to overall metabolic efficiency.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing and Marinade
You may not think of water as “food,” but staying hydrated is essential for nearly all aspects of health, from glowing skin to sharp focus to a speedy metabolism. Water is necessary for numerous metabolic processes to take place, and drinking it can even temporarily increase calorie expenditure. Drinking cold water may be particularly effective, as the body expends energy to warm it to body temperature. Infuse your water with other metabolism-boosting ingredients (like lemon or ginger) for a special hydrating treat.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Cucumber Water with Ginger, Mint, and Lemon
10) Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices aren’t just a calorie-free way to add flavor to your food – they also pack in tons of health benefits. Certain spices (such as ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon) have been shown to have metabolic benefits. These ingredients are also anti-inflammatory and may help improve insulin sensitivity.
Metabolism-Boosting Recipe: Turmeric Ginger Red Lentil Soup
Jumpstart Your Metabolism in 10 Days
Eating more of these fat-burning foods or high-thermic foods is a great way to give your metabolism the boost it needs to get back to balance. But, it can take some time to feel the effects of diet change alone. To give your metabolism, digestive system, and entire body a reset, start with a simple 10-day cleanse.
Aceva’s Ultimate Body Cleanse & Reset is a complete nutritional detoxification program that targets 5 key areas of wellness: Improved Immune Function, Digestive System Repair, Liver Support & Repair, Parasite Elimination, and Toxin Removal. Together, this allows you to make quick progress in a short period and lay the foundation for a balanced metabolism.
Need More Help Resetting Your Metabolism?
Food is medicine. By eating more of these high-thermic foods that boost metabolism, you’re one step closer to enjoying a healthier, fitter lifestyle.
But resetting your metabolism and reaching your goal weight isn’t just about what’s on your plate. A fast metabolism comes from eating a healthy diet, burning fat through exercise, and creating a lifestyle that supports balance.
Along with eating these fat-burning foods, be sure to get a sweat on regularly with metabolism-boosting exercises, and adopt a few healthy habits that reset your metabolism.
If you’ve been struggling with a slow metabolism for a while, or simply want to take the fastest, most effective route to getting fit, reach out to your local AlignLife center. Our expert teams of chiropractors, weight management specialists, and functional nutritionists can get started with a personalized wellness plan to reset your metabolism and reach your health goals.
Connect with an AlignLife near you or schedule your visit today to take your first step to a faster metabolism!