Here it comes again – as inevitable as accidentally writing “2016” on every form you fill out for the next two months – Resolution Time. Whether it’s promising yourself that you’ll hit the gym at least 5 days a week or swearing you’ll never touch processed or refined carbs again – every year we say to ourselves, “this is it, the time to make a change is now.”
And we want to help you. Our first goal for the New Year? Helping you unlock your body’s secret weight management weapon – your metabolism.
Like a fine engine, your metabolism, while partly ruled by genetics, can be revved up naturally by eating the right foods at the right times. Here are 5 foods that may help you naturally boost your metabolism and help you unlock your body’s energy burning potential.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Forget about all the fad diets and trends you’ve heard about. At the end of the day, our bodies need fat. Period. Now that doesn’t mean you can head to the grocery store and buy all the Cheetos and donuts your heart desires (tragically). Moderation, especially with foods, is the key to success. And the different types of fat matter – saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and the infamous trans fat. Foods naturally high in monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oils can help your body burn calories. Extra virgin olive oil, affectionately nicknamed EVOO by America’s culinary sweetheart Rachael Ray, may also help you feel fuller faster and longer so your less inclined to eat less.
Meat, Meat, Meat!
Compared to other macromolecules, proteins are harder for the body to break down, meaning your body will expend more energy (calories) to metabolize it. Eating lots of lean protein, like turkey or chicken, will help keep your metabolism elevated for longer without doing too much damage to your cholesterol. Plus, if you exercise on top of eating lean meats, the more muscles you have, the more calories your burn as it takes more energy for your body to maintain protein mass at rest compared to fat!
Green tea has longed been hailed as metabolism magic. The drink, which originated from China, is rich in catechin polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a very powerful antioxidant that helps the body neutralize harmful free radicals and protect your cells from damage. EGCG is also believed to naturally boost your metabolism by triggering the release of fat from fat cells and speeding the liver’s capacity to turn that fat into energy. The effects of EGCG may also be enhanced by the caffeine found naturally green tea as well!
A 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming green tea extract increased thermogenesis by 4% and overall energy expenditure by 4.5%. Similarly, a 2005 study published in the same journal found that daily consumption of 690 mg of catechins over the course of 12 weeks led to significant body fat reduction.
While clinical studies in humans have demonstrated mixed results on the efficacy of green tea in boosting your metabolism and helping you burn fat, drinking antioxidant rich beverage certainly won’t hurt and will probably help given its plenty of other awesome health benefits.
Remember what I said about moderation being key? That definitely applies here with almonds, the super nut that is packed with monounsaturated fats (yes, the same type found in extra virgin olive oil!) that can help lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Plus, eating nutrient-dense nuts like almonds can even help you lose weight and lower your risk of gaining weight.
Eggs (Yolk Included!)
Eggs are on the rise. It seems like all our favorite foods are now being adorned with a beautiful sunny side up egg. It’s a good thing they are good for you, too! Although they once had a bad rap for raising your cholesterol, new studies indicate that eggs, including the yolk, don’t adversely affect cholesterol and don’t increase your risk of heart disease. Eggs are nutrient-dense powerhouses that can increase satiety and may even help you lose weight! Live bold and eat the whole egg – we dare you.
Posted on December 30, 2016