Hey Angels and Alphas,
We all know that if we want to lose weight, gain weight, or even just maintain your weight, the key is and always has been in “calories in vs calories out.”
That being said, the total amount of calories you burn will likely be made up of the calories you burn when you exercise and the calories you burn through your metabolism… and the latter amounts for a much higher number of calories burned daily.
The process of converting calories into energy is a process that occurs naturally throughout the day – the calories we use when we breathe, when we digest, and when we’re just generally being alive and active are known as our basal metabolic rate (BMR.)
And if we increase our BMR, we increase our daily calorie burn.
This naturally brings us to the process of thermogenesis… which is just a fancy way of saying the metabolic process through which your body produces heat by burning calories. You can think of the process of thermogenesis like your body’s internal furnace. You basically crank up that furnace when you exercise, when you’re digesting food, when you’re cold, and for countless other reasons, resulting in calorie burn.
According to the Journal Nutrition & Metabolism, the diet-induced thermogenesis will account for up to 15 percent of your total calories burned throughout the day.
So the question is – can we increase our metabolism by eating specific foods? The answer is yes… but it’s not that simple.
There’s no food that will boost your metabolism in the long haul. However, some foods can help give you a little bit of a boost after eating. Let’s see how eating these four specific foods can affect your metabolism:
#1 FOODS HIGH IN PROTEIN
Protein takes more energy to break down than other nutrients. Consuming an adequate amount of protein from your daily meals and snacks can help boost that metabolic burn and the thermic effect of the food after a meal. Essentially, it will take up more energy for your body to digest a high-protein meal.
If you want to take advantage of this, you have to make sure you’re consuming an abundant amount of protein regardless of whether it’s animal or plant protein. Some amazing sources include lean beef, eggs, legumes, chicken, beans, and more.
Caffeine is a stimulant that impacts the central nervous system. As such, it can help you burn more calories… and potentially, more fat. One study has shown us that caffeine can increase our metabolic rate by up to 11 percent… while other studies have discovered that people who consume around 270 milligrams of caffeine every day burn an extra 100 calories.
That being said, caffeine affects people differently. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you should be really careful and make sure you’re not overdoing it. 270 milligrams of coffee is equivalent to about 3 cups of coffee… which will likely be way too much for a lot of people.
#3 HOT OR CHILI PEPPERS
If you’re one of those people who likes spicy food, your metabolism is in luck! Capsaicin, a chemical found in peppers, has been shown to play a slight role in boosting your metabolism.
Experts point us to research that suggests that consuming around 150 milligrams of capsaicin could result in burning an extra 50 calories every day. And while this doesn’t sound like much, this effect can compound and account for about 5 pounds of weight loss per year.
#4 TEA, GREEN TEA, OOLONG TEA
Furthermore, the caffeine found in tea has also been proven to boost your metabolism in small amounts. Some studies have shown us that oolong tea could potentially increase the body’s energy expenditure by up to 10 percent over a 2-hour period. Tea could also be very effective in increasing the oxidation of fat in the body, further helping you burn fat.
But regardless of what you eat to lose weight… you still have to exercise!
Eating specific foods is surely a great way to ignite that internal furnace in your body… but moderate training and high-intensity exercise are also vital (and necessary) metabolism boosters.
We know that metabolism is increased significantly after interval training, and it even stays elevated for a longer period of time after periods of steady-state activity. That’s why if you want to keep your metabolism going and that furnace burning hot, you have to supplement your healthy diet with plenty of intense exercise.