Heat to keep us warm
Energy for basic bodily functions like your heart beating, and digestion
Energy to move, be that exercising or simply pottering about the house
All these use calories, so the faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn (both through food you’ve eaten and body fat stores), so the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.
But just how do you make sure you have a fast metabolism rather than a slow, sluggish one that leaves you with no energy and difficulty losing weight?
My trickiest request from a journalist came a couple of years ago when someone from a well known women’s gossip mag wanted me to compile a list of ‘superfoods that make fat cells explode’.
Please believe me, if there was a food, supplement, pill, diet, exercise that made ‘fat cells explode’ faster than any other I’d give it to you; you’d be happy, I’d be rich. Job done.
But there’s a few other myths surrounding boosting metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories) that I should probably clear up while we’re here.
Every time you eat, it raises your metabolism. However the lower calorie / smaller the meal, the less it happens and vice versa. So 3 meals of 500 calories spread out through the day raises your metabolism no less than 5 meals of 300 calories (because the total is 1500 either way).
What CAN help a tiny bit is making sure what you do eat is high in protein, as protein raises your metabolism more than any other food type. Calories still have to be in check though.
(Watch this video afterwards too; How To Speed Up Your Metabolism)
Certain compounds in green tea raise metabolism….a teeny teeny bit. Drink enough green tea and you might burn the equivalent to half an apple. Would skipping half an apple mean you’re getting fewer calories? Yes, technically. Will it impact weight loss? No way (unless maybe you’re an ant).
What MAY help is having some caffeine pre-workout (unless you workout in the evening) as this can boost performance, from the energy boost., so you get more out of your workout Caffeine is not a ‘toxin’, and tea and coffee are perfectly healthy if not drunk in excess. A warm drink can also curb appetite temporarily.
Some spices are ‘thermogenic’ – you feel warm eating them (think chili, ginger etc) because your metabolism is raised. But like green tea, the effects are too small to have any real effect.
What COULD be helpful is getting more creative in the kitchen with spices and learning how to make food interesting and tasty, while still being healthy. Boredom is a big reason people ‘fall off the wagon’ which is a shame, because healthy food can be soooo good when you know how to make it! And it’s not as hard as you think either – some Chinese 5 spice on your stir fry is a really simple addition.
Want to really turn your body into a fat burning machine? Eat more protein, workout with intensity (helped by caffeine if needs be), consume fewer calories than you burn.
Simple, but not easy, which is why I’m here to help.