Simply put, metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. When comparing people with the same activity level, diet and weight, those with a fast metabolism may lose more weight than a person with a slow metabolism.
Metabolism can be influenced by age, gender, heredity, and weight. Although many of those influencers may be out of our control, we can also stimulate our metabolism by what we eat. Here are 5 foods (with tasty recipes) that can help rev your metabolism:
Chili Peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that gives peppers their heat. Your taste buds aren’t the only thing experiencing the heat; Peppers push your body to use energy several hours after eating and can burn up to 100 extra calories a day. Although the more heat the better, don’t ignore mild peppers – they also contain compounds that help burn calories by sending fat-burning signals to the brain. My Black Bean Tostadas recipe has the perfect amount of spice to speed up your metabolism.
For a simple metabolic boost, add crushed fresh garlic to your meals. Garlic raises your body temperature, naturally burning more calories. Additionally, it has the ability to break down fat and increase your metabolism. This Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry is a great example of how to easily add garlic to your meals.
Avocados are the definition of “healthy fats.” Packed full of essential amino acids, monounsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, avocados help keep inflammation down and metabolism up. Incorporate avocado into your diet by trying one (or more) of these recipes.
Foods high in resistant starch and fiber, like beans, require more energy to break them down. The more energy required during digestion, the more calories burned. This Three Bean Salad is the perfect meal to get your metabolism kicking into high gear.
Foods boasting Omega 3 fatty acids, like salmon, help build muscle, burn calories, and process your food effectively. Try eating salmon, or other fatty fish, once or twice a week. Try this incredible Salmon and Citrus Salad to get you started.
Don’t forget the drinks! In addition to foods we eat, the drinks we drink can help fuel metabolism.
There are plenty of reasons to stay hydrated, and your metabolism is one of them. Drinking water is an easy (and free) way to keep your metabolism in gear. Always have water available throughout the day. If you find it difficult to keep the water flowing, try drinking with a straw – I find that my water intake doubles when I have easy access.
Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system and can boost metabolism by 5 to 8%. 1 cup of coffee a day can be just what you need to awaken your metabolism – but leave out all the sugar and creamers as those can add unnecessary (and unwanted) fat and calories.
Green tea boasts caffeine and antioxidants, both of which help stimulate the nervous system and burn fat.