Ditch The Diet! Speed Up Your Metabolism With These 5 Foods

Nutrition // Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu

Imagine there is a shopping list of foods that could boost your metabolic rate simply by eating them? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, nothing IS ever that easy. But, we’ve hit the research hard and found some foods that might be the ticket to boosting your metabolism. 

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PROTEIN: Protein is a pretty impressive macronutrient. Not only does it help repair and restore muscle fibres, but it’s also really good for helping us feel full and satisfied. Metabolically though, it has another interesting trait. For our body to digest protein, the body requires a larger amount of energy to make that happen. It’s called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Research supports that the TEF is at its peak when digesting protein by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats.

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CHILLI: A chemical found in chilli (capsaicin) not only fires up your taste receptors but it also fires up your metabolism. In a review of 20 research papers, it was found that capsaicin can help your body burn through an extra 50 calories a day. I am not sure if many people could stand a regular hit of 135-150g of capsaicin a day. But, if you like it hot then this one’s for you!

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CAFFEINE: I think most of us can say we love a cup of tea or coffee. Interestingly, consuming 100mg of caffeine has been shown to increase the metabolic rate by 3-4%.

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LEGUMES: Legumes are a great plant-based protein source and can be added to everything from salads to curries. In one study, humans eating a legume-rich diet for eight weeks experienced beneficial increases in metabolism and lost 1.5 times more weight than the control group.

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GINGER: There has been quite a bit of research around ginger and its effect on our metabolism. One study has shown dissolving powdered ginger in hot water and drinking it with a meal may help burn up to 43 more calories than drinking hot water alone. A hot ginger drink also seemed to decrease levels of hunger and enhance feelings of fullness and satisfaction.

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Of course, these foods might look like a magic way to fast track your metabolism. But, the bottom line is, a combination of nourishing foods, exercise and staying hydrated is the best way to bump up your metabolism. Sure you can include some of these ingredients into your day, but don’t rely on them alone to transform your health! After all, nothing beats diet, exercise and hydration!

Related 12WBT recipes you might like:

Ginger, Legume and Protein

Chili, Protein and Legume

And if you’re after dedicated support 24/7 from Accredited Practicising Dieticians, join 12WBT now!

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