Found: The Top 10 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism
Counting calories is an outdated weight loss approach. As I’ve often said, your body is not a bank account—it’s a chemistry lab! It’s all about where your calories come from. Different foods cause different metabolic responses in your body. Just as the wrong choices can make your metabolism sluggish, the right foods can help you rev up your metabolism so you can find your happy weight effortlessly.
Here are my top 10 picks:
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) that help your body burn fat. MCTs also control your blood sugar and naturally dampen your appetite, so adding this food to your diet can make it easier to pass on snacking between meals. I like to scoop a tablespoon into my morning protein shakes, and it’s also a great swap for vegetable oils when cooking.
2. Green Tea
The superstar weight loss ingredient in green tea is antioxidants known as “catechins.” Catechins fight obesity and protect against type 2 diabetes. These powerful antioxidants are also known to stop the inflammation that can lead to premature aging, weight loss resistance, and weight gain. As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, green tea also amps up your primary fat-burning hormone! Drink it hot or cold—just hold the sugar and artificial sweeteners and switch to decaf after lunch so you still sleep well.
I’m definitely a big coffee lover, and I start every morning with a half-caf Americano with coconut milk. Studies show that coffee burns fat by activating hormones that melt away stored fat and speed up your metabolism. When shopping, buy quality beans and watch out for mycotoxins in your coffee. It’s also key to pass on the artificial sweeteners and sugar so you only get the good stuff with no sugar impact!
Like your food hot? It’s time to spice things up! It’s the capsaicin in chili peppers that give it that distinctive flavor kick. And capsaicin has been shown to boost metabolism, fight obesity, and keep your appetite under control. Add cayenne to your meals or choose dark chocolate with added chiles for an extra health boost.
These healthy nuts are packed with protein, vitamins, and omega-3s. They’re also easy to take with you anywhere! Studies have shown that adding almonds to your diet can lead to increased weight loss, while also lowering your risk of heart disease. I like to swirl some almond butter into my chocolate shakes to make them taste like a candy bar, only healthier and guilt-free!
A recent study showed that a daily serving of lentils can result in both weight loss and lower cholesterol levels. In addition to its high protein content and nine essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, the fiber in lentils helps keep you feeling full and satisfied. Lentils are also super versatile in soup or as a savory side dish!
Full of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber—what’s not to love about this amazing food? Avocados combat metabolic syndrome on many levels, and its anti-obesity effects have been noted in several studies. Though most folks consider them a vegetable, avocados are actually big berries! And they’re super useful in every meal of the day, whether you add them to your morning smoothie, make a batch of spicy guacamole, or top a bowl of soup with a few creamy slices.
8. Wild-caught salmon
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are natural anti-inflammatories. Research proves that eating salmon also promotes weight loss and lowers belly fat. Including this clean, lean protein in your diet keeps you feeling full longer and helps you maintain muscle as you burn fat! Remember to choose only wild-caught salmon, not farmed—it’s better for both you and the environment.
9. Fresh spinach
High-fiber superfoods like spinach are great for boosting metabolism and keep you feeling full for hours. It’s also rich in vitamins, minerals, and even some protein. A handful of spinach in your breakfast shake is a great way to increase fiber and rev up your metabolism at the start of your day!
This popular and versatile spice has been shown to have many health benefits, including increasing insulin sensitivity, which helps to prevent your body from storing fat. Cinnamon is also rich in manganese, which is great for metabolizing fat and carbs. Adding cinnamon to your diet is easy—try sprinkling some cinnamon in your oatmeal or spice up your coffee with a pinch of this rich, warming spice!
If you’re serious about quickly reaching your weight loss goals, these 10 foods are definitely great additions to your grocery list. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and try burst training to really kick up your metabolism and feel energized throughout your day!
JJ Virgin, CNS, BCHN, is a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert who helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerance. A certified nutrition specialist, board certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Certified Exercise Physiologist, she is the author of the New York Times best-sellers The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days and The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast.