Healthy Food,  How Tos,  Wellness

Speeding up your metabolism to help burn fat

If you are looking to increase your fat burning capabilities, increasing your metabolic rate is a great add-on to your routine.  Now I refer to it as an add-on because there is no substitute for proper exercise and proper nutrition.  When you are eating properly and exercising regularly your fat burning is already working for you.  Adding a little boost to your metabolism will simply push it a little farther.  How much of a boost will vary.  Genetics has a lot to do with how your metabolism works and what it is capable of.

As I mentioned, proper nutrition has a tremendous amount to do with increasing your fat burning capabilities, and by adding in some of these foods I will share with you, you can make it just a little more effective.

Keep in mind that everyone may be on their own diet or way of life already and this list is not meant to change your course.  If you are on a Lower Fat Diet, you shouldn’t suddenly start eating a lot of nuts because they are high in fat.  You Low-Carb Dieters should still continue to avoid grains and if you are like me, an extreme Low-Carb Dieter being on a Ketogenic Diet, you should continue staying away from the natural sugars and continue to avoid sweeteners with carbs and those pesky fruits and sweeter veggies.

The science of burning fat through diet can get a little tricky and everyone out there is an “expert” and even with so many “experts” we continue to see our society getting more obese. But I’m not here to focus on the science, I’m here to teach you a little simple math.  A principle that applies to every dieter whether you are on a Keto diet, Paleo diet or simply just making healthier choices.  The math is simple… if you want to burn fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit.  You need to be burning more calories than you are consuming and a boost to your metabolism might just give you that edge you need.

So here are some foods that might just help boost your metabolism to give you that edge:

Let’s start with some fish:

  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Salmon

All three of these are high on the list of foods that boost metabolism.  Not only that, but they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and they are known to reduce the levels of a hormone called leptin.  Reduced leptin has been shown to help lose weight.  People should be eating more fish in general, but keep in mind that some canned tuna also has some amount of mercury in it.  So go easy on the amount of tuna you start consuming.  All 3 of these are great choices for those on a Ketogenic diet due to the good and abundant amount of healthy fats.

Next on my list is one I am very fond of due to my hobby of making hot sauces and that is capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes Habaneros, Jalapenos and Cayenne peppers hot.  It’s been shown that capsaicin can boost the metabolism for up to a few hours after consuming it.

Here are some things you can do to help add some capsaicin to your diet:

  • Add some Tabasco sauce to your eggs for breakfast
  • Add some sliced Jalepenos to your dishes to give then a little extra spice
  • Purchase some capsaicin drops from your local hot sauce vendor and add them to your favorite dish or even beverage

In addition to helping with boosting your metabolism, capsaicin has also been shown to help with joint pain and most peppers contain some vitamin C.

There are also many other foods and spices that have metabolism boosting benefits but don’t necessarily rank as high boosting on the list.  Here’s some more to add into your diet:

  • Egg Whites – When you make your breakfast, change up your ratio of Egg Whites to Egg Yolks or simply eat only the Egg Whites.
  • Coffee – While the debate about the good and bad of coffee is still going on, we know for sure that coffee will boost your metabolism for a short while.  So have a cup here and there.
  • Green Tea – Green Tea contains EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) a compound that researchers believe not only boost metabolism but helps promote fat burning.
  • Whole grains – Whole grains help your body burn more fat because whole grains take longer to break down.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon is being touted as a miracle spice by many, claiming that it boosts the metabolism 20 fold.  I call B.S. on that.  If that was the case, we’d all be pretty skinny burning so many calories.  They do however know that cinnamon can help move sugar from the bloodstream into our cells doing insulin’s job thus decreasing the need for making insulin.  This in itself is a good thing.  Plus, the faster we burn the sugars, the faster our body will look for other fuels like fat.  So sprinkle a little cinnamon on your oatmeal or in your espresso but don’t look for a miracle calorie burner.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Several studies have shown that vinegar can boost metabolism slightly but the real benefits are moderating your digestion which helps burn more calories and they also found that people who had Apple Cider Vinegar before eating, ate less.  So perhaps it helps curb your appetite although it has never been studied closely.
  • Coconut Oil  – Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) unlike other fats that are higher in long-chain fatty acids. This means that MCTs are used for energy instead of being stored as fat.  Being on Keto, Coconut oil is something I use very often. They also feel that Coconut oil helps your body to burn belly fat.  So start adding some to your cooking routine.
  • Water – Last but not least, good old plain water. Something our bodies need to not only work efficiently but also to help rid our bodies of waste and fat.  Drinking lots of water has been proven to boost metabolism, especially cold water because they body needs to heat it to body temperature to use it.  Water’s ability to boost your metabolism is very short so make sure to drink plenty all throughout the day and especially during your workouts.

I hope you are able to incorporate some of these metabolism boosters into your daily routine.  Just remember, these are not a miracle fat burner but rather add-ons to an already healthy routine.

Dave VanderWekke is former Electronic Engineer now Accomplished Software Engineer, former IBMer, amateur chef and amateur BBQ pit-master and definite Foodie. He is also a Paranormal Investigator, Ordained Minister and full time tinkerer into everything from Home Automation to A.I. and Robotics. Dave loves dining and dressing up for the occasion and thinks it's a lost art. "Sunday Supper should be something everyone does", says Dave. [More About Dave...]

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