Fire up your metabolism, we all have that one friend who can wolf down an entire pizza and still flaunt the body of a runway model. It is true that some people are genetically blessed with raging metabolism but even if you aren’t there’s no cause to sulk, start skipping meals or staying off all things tasty.
Eating less can slow down your metabolism. On the other hand, eating more frequently – especially focusing on certain foods – can help you achieve a faster metabolic rate. This improves your body’s fat-burning capacity and helps you attain your dream figure.
Are you wondering which mysterious foods we are talking about? Try these 10 foods to begin with:
1. Egg Whites
For a perfect start to the day, have an egg white omelette for breakfast. Nutritionists say that egg whites are packed with branched-chain amino acids, which keep your metabolism on fire through the day.
2. Hot Peppers
Eating spicy foods may prevent overeating. But there’s another reason to add hot peppers or jalapenos to your food. They contain a chemical called capsaicin which boosts metabolism. Capsaicin makes your hormones alert, increases your heart rate and prompts your body to burn calories faster. Nutritionists recommend adding a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers to your meal daily.
3. Green Tea
Three to five cups of green tea a day can help keep fat away. This beverage contains bioactive substances like caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG), which have been proven to substantially increase metabolic rate. Research reveals that green tea increases your metabolism by four percent over 24 hours and makes you burn an extra 70 calories. This means one would lose roughly 3 kilos a year or 30 kilos in 10 years. So try a teatox today.
The bitter brew doesn’t just wake you up, it boosts the metabolic rate too. Studies have suggested that a cup of coffee increases your total calorie burn by 75 to 110 calories per day. A study found that caffeinated coffee consumers had an average metabolic rate that was 16 percent higher than those who drank decaf. Moreover, caffeine boosts energy and consuming it as a pre-workout food will rev you up and help burn more calories.
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Don’t be surprised to see this saturated fat-filled desi butter on the list. Ghee made from pure cow’s milk is known to increase satiety and boost metabolism. The fat contains conjugated linolenic acid, which can help you lose stubborn fat. It mobilises fat cells, encouraging them to let go of their energy source and shrink.
6. Milk & Yogurt
Drink a glassful of milk – full of calcium – every day. Research at the University of Tennessee has found that daily calcium intake helps the body metabolise fat efficiently. Yogurt or curd also contains probiotics, the good bacteria which help in digestion and keep your system cool in the hot weather.
Cinnamon not only adds a sweet-nutty flavor to your cake or pulao, it also boosts metabolism. The spice, which can clear your arteries and fight ageing, has thermogenic properties, which means it raises your body’s temperature and prompts it to start burning calories. It is advisable to consume about 1/4th teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day. It will also help reduce your sweet cravings.
8. Dark Chocolate
A piece of dark chocolate daily is a perfect pick-up for your mood and your metabolism. Dark chocolate is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs, which help increase metabolic rate so you burn calories faster. A study performed at Queen Margaret University, UK, showed that this sweet impacts the way our body synthesises fatty acids and therefore reduces the absorption of fats and carbohydrates. Cacao (which is in abundance in dark chocolate) is also packed with magnesium, which stimulates fat-burning hormone adiponectin.
Many dieters skip the katori of dal, preferring to stick to green veggies. Nutritionists say this is a major blunder as lentils – be it arhar or moong dal – are loaded with iron, which is essential to keep the body in shape. Iron facilitates the flow of oxygen through the body, thereby keeping your metabolism high and increasing energy production. Relish your favourite rajma too. Beans are rich in protein and fibre, the building blocks of good metabolism.
Last but truly not the least is water. If you are doing everything right and still not losing weight, the reason is probably dehydration. A dehydrated body never makes fat burning a priority. Increasing your fluid intake, be it coconut water or barley water, will help you feel better and also increase your metabolic rate. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent. You don’t have to aim for the 8-glasses a day goal. Even two glasses more than you normally have will do the trick. Moreover, water is a natural appetite suppressant so make it your best buddy for weight loss.