When you’re looking to lose weight, what you eat can matter nearly as much as how much you eat. These foods have been found to boost metabolism, burn fat, suppress appetite, and more. Dig in!
If you’re one of those people who pours hot sauce on everything, you may unknowingly be helping your body burn fat. Research has shown that eating spicy foods can increase your heart rate and, in turn, give your metabolism a boost.
Plus, capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their spiciness, is known as an appetite suppressant. In fact, one study found that capsaicin might help convert white cells (which store fat) into brown cells (which burn fat). So, go out and buy yourself a bottle of sriracha sauce!
If you’re looking for something to sip on, green tea is a great choice (as long as you don’t drown it with cream and sugar). Not only is it calorie-free, but it can also help you burn extra calories.
Green tea contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which is known to boost metabolism. With traditional green tea, you’d have to drink about five cups to get enough EGCG to impact your metabolism. But research shows that matcha, a finely ground form of regular Japanese green tea, has at least three times as much of the antioxidant. So, if you’re sipping on green tea in hopes of boosting your metabolism, matcha is your best bet.
You’ve probably heard that fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, but you may not know exactly what that means or why they’re good for you. Well, aside from being great for your hair, skin, and nails, omega-3s can help regulate appetite and boost metabolism. They help stimulate the production of leptin, a protein hormone that helps your body recognize when it’s full.
Dairy products are known as metabolism boosters mostly because they contain both protein and calcium. Put those two nutrients together and they help keep your muscle mass intact while promoting weight loss.
Studies have found that among people on lower-calorie diets, those who ate dairy lost more weight than those who didn’t eat dairy. Be careful, though, dairy products like cheese and milk can be high in fat and calories, which could cancel out their metabolism-boosting benefits. Always read labels! Fat-free Greek yogurt is a smart choice.
Grapefruits have gone through cycles of being the “it” weight loss food, and it turns out there’s a reason for that. A compound in grapefruit called naringin can lower blood sugar and lead to weight loss. One study found that obese people who ate half a grapefruit before meals lost more weight than their non-grapefruit-eating counterparts.
A medium grapefruit has just 80 calories plus 3 grams of filling fiber. Eat one when you’re feeling snacky and it’ll help you resist eating higher-calorie foods. If it’s too tart for you, try adding a bit of natural no-calorie sweetener.
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