Metabolism Boosts and Busts
Foods that Rev Up & Slow Down Your Metabolism
What you eat can either boost your metabolism or slow it down. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn, the easier it is to maintain your weight or the easier it is to rid your body of unwanted fat. Here are 3 metabolism boosters and three things you should avoid that will automatically slow down your metabolism.
FOODS THAT BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
Protein Packed Foods
Meats, fish, eggs, legumes and other protein-rich foods can help increase your metabolism for a few hours. These foods make your body use more energy to digest them. Researchers call this the thermic effect of food which is the number of calories needed by your body to digest, absorb and process nutrients in your meal. Proteins increase your metabolic rate by 15-30 % and may reduce the drop in metabolism seen during weight loss.
Selenium, Iron and Zinc Packed Foods
All 3 of these are needed for your thyroid gland to properly work. The thyroid regulates metabolism. Researchers have found that if your diet is low in any of these nutrients, your thyroid may not produce sufficient amounts of hormones. A lack of hormones may slow down your metabolism. Add meats, seafood, nuts, and seeds to your daily diet can help with proper levels of zinc, iron, and selenium.
Oolong and green tea has been found to increase metabolism by 4-10 %. Research suggests the caffeine and catechins combination in these teas can help the body burn an extra 100 calories per day. Studies have found that green tea and oolong tea seems to aid your body to use stored fat for energy more efficiently. Some studies have found this has been increasing by nearly 20 %.
FOODS THAT SLOW DOWN YOUR METABOLISM
You might save some calories, but margarine might be slowing down your metabolism due to its trans fats. Research has found that trans fats can slow down your metabolism to a virtual standstill. A recent study found that a diet high in trans fats had subjects gaining more weight than those who ate healthy monounsaturated fats even with no difference in the total number of calories.
Starch and phytic acid found in refined grains may slow down your metabolism. Research has found that choosing whole grains as opposed to refined grains, allows your body to have an increased calorie loss. This happens because there are fewer calories saved during digestion and your metabolism speeds up and becomes more active. Refined grains are easier for your body to break down, therefore, your metabolism does not have to work as hard to break it down.
The antibiotics found in farmed beef can have a terrible effect on good gut bacteria. Researchers say that the change in bacteria in the gut correlates with an increase in weight gain as it changes and negatively affects the way we process food. Many researchers believe the antibiotics found in farmed beef slows down our metabolism and makes us gain weight. Nutritionists suggest always eating grass-fed beef when possible.