Achieve your weight loss goals with these 10 metabolism boosting foods

You must have heard of the word “metabolism” every time experts talk about weight loss. That’s because without correct understanding of metabolism, it’s difficult to device an effective diet plan for weight loss. It is imperative to understand that weight loss does not revolve around extreme fasting or depriving yourself of desirable foods. It actually goes much beyond that towards mindful eating. 

So what is metabolism?

Metabolism is the process by which your body breaks down the food you consume to obtain energy, whereas metabolic rate is the rate at which your body carries out this process. Naturally, the faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the easier it becomes for you to lose weight. A healthy metabolism allows you to have the right amount of energy available at all times, maintaining stability of your body structure.

The best thing about metabolism is that once you understand its working, you can manipulate it to favor weight loss and achieve your goals faster. And there are several natural foods that can help you increase your metabolic rate.

1.       Protein-rich foods: Proteins remain the cornerstone of weight loss diet simply because our body has to go through a lot of effort to breakdown protein-rich foods. They not only help regulate resting metabolism but also maintain satiety levels, which prevents you from over-eating and helps you stay full for a longer time. Good sources of proteins include eggs, whole chicken and fish of all kinds. Vegetarian sources of proteins include soy, cottage cheese (paneer) and soy products like tofu. 

2.       Lentils and beans: Similar to meat and fish, lentils and beans serve as a source of protein for vegetarians. In fact, lentils contain the highest amount of proteins among plant-based foods. They can serve as an alternative to animal protein. Additionally, they also contain fibre which aids metabolism and helps in digestion. So go ahead and simply include daal or beans like rajma in your daily meals to keep up your metabolic rate. 

3.       Leafy vegetables: The benefit of consuming green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale go beyond weight loss. Firstly, they are rich in soluble fibre which boosts metabolism. Secondly they are rich in iron. Iron improves oxygen flow throughout the body to maintain a steady metabolic rate even when you are resting. Leafy vegetables also contain a good amount of micro-nutrients like magnesium which further helps boost metabolism. 

4.       Citrus fruits: Fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit and berries are rich in vitamin C, a nutrient important for fat metabolism in your body. They are also rich in fibre content, which helps digestion and supports increased metabolic rate. You can alternate between a variety of fruits to keep your daily diet plan dynamic. 

5.       Oats and quinoa: Grains like quinoa and oat bran work wonders in weight loss plans. They regulate sugar levels in the body and prevent the body from signaling fat storage. They contain enough fibre to keep you satiated for a long time, preventing hunger pangs. The fibre content also aids metabolism by making the body work more to burn calories. Whole grains can serve as a good start to the day and a healthy breakfast option if you want to lose weight. 

6.       Seeds: There is a good reason why most diet plans include seeds as a healthy snack option. Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps regulate blood flow to the muscles. Good blood flow is essential to get the metabolic rate going faster. 

7.       Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cashew; make them all a part of your evening snacks to drive away hunger pangs and boost metabolism naturally. They contain proteins and healthy fats that suppress hunger and aid weight loss. They also offer several micronutrients like selenium, magnesium and phosphorous which are shown to increase metabolic rate. 

8.       Milk and Yogurt: Research shows that calcium intake helps fat metabolism thereby facilitating weight loss effectively. So adding a cup of low fat milk to your breakfast once in a while can actually help you lose weight. Yogurt, on the other hand, is known for its probiotic properties, serving as a kick start to good digestion. 

9.       Chili: There’s no harm in adding chili peppers to your diet once in a while. Studies have shown that capsaicin, a compound found in chilies, has the ability to increase the pace at which the body burns fat. It also helps in suppressing appetite, keeping your portions controlled.   

10.   Green tea: Green tea is naturally rich in catechins, compounds associated with increased function of the liver that converts fat into energy. The increased rate of this function simply allows your body to burn more fat and help in weight loss. It also contains antioxidants which help reduce appetite. Green tea can easily be a healthy replacement of your early morning beverage.

 Although studies have shown the role of each of these foods in weight loss, it is important to understand that expecting weight loss without physical activity is not ideal. Exercising along with effective diet plan with these foods can go a long way in supporting your weight loss goals.

Dietician Arti Jain

Nutrition and Weight loss Consultant, Founder and Chief Nutritionist of Diet4Health

MSc (Dietetics), PG Dip(Nutrition), Diabetic Educator (USA), International Sports Nutrition (California), Genetic Diet Expert

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