Updated: Sep 7
When it comes to boosting your metabolism through diet, a lot of the information floating around is either false or heavily exaggerated. However, if you know which information to listen to and which information to ignore, you can quite easily increase the amount of calories you burn each day with a few simple dietary changes. In this article I’m going to be showing you how to do just that by listing five highly effective metabolism boosting diet tips.
Eat When It Suits You Best
One of the biggest metabolism myths out there is that you need to eat five or six mini-meals at even intervals during the day. While it is helpful to balance your meals and your blood sugar in some cases. It is not always necessary to eat five or six mini meals. The truth is that as long as your total daily calories are consistent and in line with your basal metabolic rate (click here to calculate your BMR), the timing and number of meals you consume isn’t important.
So instead of struggling to fit five or six mini-meals into your day, create a meal plan that suits your lifestyle. By doing this, you’ll not only enjoy your meals more but you’ll be much more motivated as you’re not forcing yourself to eat when you’d rather not.
Spices are a great way to add a kick to your meals and they also boost your metabolism in the process. When you consume spices, they temporarily stimulate your body’s fat burning processes and this results in you burning more body fat after you eat them. In addition to this, eating spices raises your body’s temperature and your body then uses up more calories as it regulates this temperature increase.
So if you don’t currently utilize many spices in your cooking, start making some changes today. There are plenty of different spices available with different intensities and flavors, so you can easily find one that you like. Spices are also incredibly versatile and can be used to season fish, meat, nut, vegetables and seeds.
Base Each Meal Around Protein
By basing every meal you eat around protein, you give your metabolism a huge natural boost. Unlike carbohydrates and fats (which burn very few calories during digestion), studies that when you consume protein, your body uses up 25% of the calories it contains during digestion.
So if most of your meals are rich in processed carbohydrates (such as white pasta or white rice), base them around a protein source instead (such as fish or meat) and then top up the meal with vegetables. By doing this you’ll still get some nutrient packed carbohydrates in your meal but you’ll cut out the excess carbohydrate calories and enjoy the calorie burning effects of protein.
Get Plenty Of Fiber
Like protein rich foods, foods that contain high levels of fiber require more energy to digest so naturally enhance your metabolism when you eat them. Fiber rich foods also increase the amount of nutrients you can absorb from your foods, protect against bowel disease and much more. Most plant based foods contain high levels of fiber. Therefore, to get plenty of fiber in your diet, simply fill up on fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
Avoid Processed Carbs
As mentioned above, if your diet contains a high concentration of processed carbs and you want to maximize your metabolism, then you need to be replacing your carbohydrate rich meals with protein rich meals.
The reason for this is that processed carbs require very few calories to digest, so the more processed carbs you eat, the fewer total calories your digestive system burns off. In addition to this, processed carbs contain very few vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These nutrients support numerous processes within your body (including metabolism) and by failing to get enough of them in your diet, you can slow down your metabolism and reduce the total amount of calories you burn each day.
So to keep your nutrient levels topped up, increase the amount of calories you burn during digestion and maintain an optimal metabolism, cut back on processed carbs and instead fill up on fiber rich, nutrient packed, natural carbs such as fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
As you can see, there are no magic dietary tricks when it comes to boosting your metabolism. However, by being sensible and adapting your diet so that it incorporates the five tips above, you can naturally raise your metabolic rate and burn through an increased number of calories each day.
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CNP, NNCP, HBSc. Nutrition.