ORLANDO, Florida – Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
So, could revving up your metabolism with certain foods help you burn more calories?
Exercise, eating right and drinking enough water. There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss.
“I just hear about myths around certain foods that can burn fat or promise the world to you,” said Tara Collingwood, RD, dietician with Diet Diva.
While it’s your total daily calorie intake that matters most, some research shows what you eat can slightly affect your metabolism. For instance, your body uses the most energy to break down proteins, so you’ll burn more calories on a high-protein diet. This is called the thermic effect of food. And studies show processed foods take less energy to digest, which means you burn fewer calories when you consume them.
“One of the best ways to eat for good energy throughout the day is to eat small, frequent,” Collingwood said.
Protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds could help increase your metabolism for a few hours. Research also shows compounds in chili peppers, green tea, and coffee may slightly boost metabolism as well. A recent study from Columbia University found having a hot beverage containing ginger powder with meals increased the thermic effect of food helping you to burn more calories. But remember, weight loss is a long-term plan that won’t happen by just adding certain foods to your diet.
“One of the things that I recommend when you’re trying to lose weight is the slower it comes off the more likely it is to stay off,” Collingwood said.
Even if you incorporate these particular foods, you’re not likely to see results unless you also cut your overall daily calorie count. A well-rounded diet that includes proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans is recommended to support a healthy metabolism.
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