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December 24, 2018
Hands down, one of the top questions that we get asked is how to boost metabolism. While there are many strategies—particularly increasing spontaneous physical activity and utilizing certain types of exercise like weight lifting and interval training—that can effectively accelerate a seemingly sluggish metabolism, we find that food choices often get overlooked. Along those lines, here are some of the top metabolism-boosting foods.
1. Eat REAL food. As generic as it sounds, a general guideline is to choose real, whole, minimally processed foods. Research shows that it takes the body more energy to process (digest, absorb, utilize) whole-food meals compared to processed foods.
2. Choose high-protein foods. The thermic effect of feeding (TEF) refers to the amount of energy the body burns to process the foods we eat, and TEF is a major component of daily metabolism. The TEF of protein is about 3 times greater than carbohydrate and 6 times greater than fat. In other words, high-protein foods boost the metabolism to a substantially greater extent than carbs or fats.
3. Don’t fear the fat. Having said that, even though fat is calorie dense and has a low TEF, it doesn’t inherently make you fat. In fact, certain types of fat—such as omega-3s from fatty fish and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil and dairy—can boost metabolic rate and improve body composition.
4. Eat more “resistant” starches. Going low-carb is in vogue these days, but you don’t need to run the other way when you see carbs. And along those lines, you don’t need to completely eliminate starchy carbs. In fact, foods like raw oats, raw potatoes, and green bananas, as well as starches that have been cooked then cooled (such as potatoes, rice, lentils, beans, and whole grains) contain resistant starch, which is a unique type of carb that “escapes” digestion and boosts the metabolism.
So, there you have it, friends. If you’re looking to boost your metabolism—and your overall health—consider adding more of these foods to your grocery list. Your waistline will thank you!
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