Regular exercise and a balanced diet are both vital parts of losing weight and living a healthy life. Many people find, however, that they still cannot lose that extra weight and look for any extra help that may be available. Metabolism boosters have been shown to be effective both with anecdotal evidence and clinical studies to help facilitate weight loss and keep off unwanted weight permanently. Many of the substances in metabolism-boosting supplements are derived from natural sources, but which ones really work?
To help everyone make the right choices, here are 6 natural metabolism boosters that have been shown to aid weight loss.
Protein: Protein-rich foods have been shown to not only boost metabolic rate, help you to add and maintain muscle mass, but also to keep you feeling fuller for longer so you don’t snack or overeat. Foods rich in protein include fish, meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dairy. In addition, protein-rich weight loss supplements can be the best metabolism booster for hours after you eat as they trigger your body to use more energy during digestion.
This process is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) and is a measure of how much energy the body has to expend to properly digest a meal. This thermic effect of food generally makes up about 10% of our total energy expenditure. Of all the different food groups, TEF is increased most with protein-rich foods. These offer a metabolic rate rise of between 15 and 30%. Carbs typically raise metabolic rate by between 5 and 10% while fats increase it by between 0 and 3%. Metabolic rate naturally drops when you lose weight but protein can help to stabilise your metabolic rate by ensuring you maintain muscle mass.
Foods Rich in Selenium, Zinc, and Iron: Selenium, zinc, and iron all play important roles in the correct functioning of a number of different systems within your body. Each nutrient may have a different pain purpose, but the three have one function in common – the regulation of your thyroid gland. The thyroid is a gland responsible for your metabolism, as well as the regulation of many bodily functions, including breathing, heart rate and body temperature. There are various studies that have shown a dietary deficiency in any of these three substances can hinder your thyroid gland’s ability to produce enough hormones.
A hormone deficiency can seriously affect your metabolism leading to weight issues. If your thyroid is too active you may lose weight and become emaciated, if it is underactive you may experience weight gain. Foods rich in selenium, zinc, and iron are similar to those rich in protein such as meat, nuts, seeds, seafood, and legumes, so make sure you are getting enough of them in your everyday diet.
Chillis: Chilli peppers contain a naturally occurring chemical called capsaicin, which can give your metabolism a boost by increasing how many calories and the amount of fat you burn. In fact, studies show that taking 135 to 150mg of capsaicin each day may enable you to burn an additional 50 extra calories. That said, there have been other studies that show similar effects when subjects only took 10mg of capsaicin each day.
As a further benefit, capsaicin has also been shown to have properties that can reduce your appetite. A 2014 study suggests that if you consume just 2mg of capsaicin immediately before you eat a meal will reduce how many calories you consume, particularly when eating meals heavy in carbohydrates.
Coffee: Obviously drinking a full-fat latte isn’t going to help you lose weight, but various scientific studies have shown that caffeine can have a significant effect in raising your metabolic rate by as much as 10%. This won’t be news to coffee drinkers who know the effects caffeine has on your energy and heart rate, but you may not realise that this increase in energy and heart rate can help you to lose weight.
The speed of your metabolism is directly linked to how many calories you burn so controlled caffeine intake through drinks or weight loss pills that actually work can be very useful for weight loss. People who drink three cups of coffee (containing around 270mg of caffeine) each day could burn as much as an extra 125 calories a day. Caffeine may also provide extra energy when exercising so even more calories can be burned while you are working out after drinking coffee or another caffeinated drink.
Tea: As well as the benefits derived from the caffeine found in tea, tea also contains catechins. These antioxidant phenolic compounds have been found to boost metabolism and help you lose weight. Oolong tea and green tea in particular have been found to be especially effective and can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 10%. This can translate to you using an additional 100 calories a day compared to non-tea drinkers. Green and oolong teas can also help you to use more of your stored fat for energy which can facilitate fat burning. As with coffee consumption, results may vary.
Pulses and Legumes: Pulses and legumes, as well as being rich in protein, selenium, zinc, and iron, are also high in dietary fibre, particularly when compared to other plant-based foods. This fibre includes soluble fibre and resistant starch which you use to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. One of the functions of friendly bacteria is to cultivate short-chain fatty acids that enable you to store energy while still maintaining the regular levels of sugar in your blood. Additionally, legumes contain a high concentration of the amino acid arginine, which has been shown to increase the amount of fat and carbohydrates burned by your body to produce energy. Broad beans, lentils, and peas also contain glutamine in substantial quantities, which is an amino acid that can also help you to burn more calories.
Boosting your metabolism and losing weight are directly linked, and there are many natural substances that can help with both. Many of these can be consumed as whole foods or as active ingredients in a supplement. Try some of them out and see if they help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Before starting any diet or taking a weight loss supplement, you should first consultant with your doctor to make sure the diet or supplement is suitable for you. The fastest and easiest way to search for and book an appointment with your doctor is through MyHealth1st.