The foods and drinks you consume can affect your metabolic rate. The faster your metabolic rate, the easier time you will have losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. The right foods and drinks can burn hundreds of extra calories a day, and the wrong foods may leave you feeling sluggish, bloated and heavy.
You can thank capsaicin for burning your tongue when you bite into a spicy habanero pepper. However, capsaicin does a lot more than provide a little heat to a meal. According to research conducted at the Laval University in Canada, a spicy meal boosts your metabolism for a short period. As an additional benefit, spicy foods also leave you feeling fuller for longer and act as an appetite suppressant.
High levels of insulin in the body trigger the body mechanism that stores fat. Foods that are high in fiber keep the body’s insulin levels low and therefore improve your metabolism, according to Margaret McNurlan, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Add more whole grains, legumes and beans to your diet to ensure that you acquire most of your daily carbohydrates from these healthy options.
Protein is a hardy substance that is harder for the body to break down than carbohydrates or fat. This results in the body working extra hard to digest a single, protein-rich meal, therefore burning more calories than other foods. In fact, Jeff Hampl of the American Dietetic Association claims that these foods burn an extra 150 to 200 calories a day. To derive this benefit, eat more lean meats, nuts and eggs. However, protein should still make up only 10 to 35 percent of your overall diet.
The drinks you consume can go a long way in improving your metabolism. Cold water, for instance, boosts the metabolism by forcing the body to heat your core after drinking it, according to Madelyn Fernstrom, founder of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center. Caffeine can also go a long way in boosting metabolism. A study that appeared in the journal Physiology & Behavior cited that caffeine drinkers had a 16 percent faster metabolism than their less jittery peers did. Low-fat or nonfat milk is another great beverage choice. A study published in the January 2003 American Society for Nutritional Sciences Journal of Nutrition illustrated that people who consume the recommended three to four servings of calcium a day lost 70 percent more fat than those who did not. This suggests a metabolic improvement.
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