There are certain foods that will increase your metabolism, which can help you lose weight, or keep you from gaining weight. While a diet rich in these foods can give you an edge in weight control, other factors also help to control weight. For example, increasing energy expenditure by exercising is even more effective. Also, the quantity and timing of eating foods that increase your metabolism are also significant factors.
Foods that are known to increase metabolism all help your body burn calories without contributing to fat storage. These include fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Among fruits, blueberries and tomatoes are the best at increasing metabolism. Dark leafy green vegetables are likewise very efficient at increasing metabolism. Whole grains are high in dietary fiber which keeps your digestive system flowing. Fish is high in protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Water consumption is also extremely important. Staying hydrated speeds digestion, decreases fat absorption and makes you feel full.
It is important to also know which foods will decrease your metabolism and contribute to fat storage. Anything that is high in fat and calories is on the list. This includes most dessert foods and alcohol. Fatty meats and other animal products slow metabolism considerably. Smoking is especially bad. Many people claim that smoking decreases appetite, but the nicotine in cigarettes actually constricts blood vessels, which reduces your metabolism.
When to Eat
Eating foods that increase metabolism is even more effective if you eat them as soon as you wake up in the morning. It is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your metabolism naturally slows down while you are sleeping. When you wake up, your body wants food to power it through the day. If you eat foods that increase your metabolism for breakfast, your body will efficiently consume the calories you feed it throughout the day.
Metabolism spikes whenever you eat. If you consume big meals when you are hungry, your body will attempt to store as much of the nutrients as possible in the form of fat. This is because your body acts as if it won't be fed again for a long time. If you eat small amounts throughout the day, your body will feel free to consume what you eat and not feel an urgency to store as much in fat. Try to eat at least six small meals per day consisting of many foods that increase metabolism.
When to Stop
Eating late at night can contribute to weight gain, even if you are eating foods that increase metabolism. This is because your metabolism naturally slows down as you prepare to go to sleep. Eating a meal at this time fills your stomach with food that your body doesn't need for energy. It is therefore more likely to be stored as fat. It is best to eat your last meal of the day at least 4 hours before you go to sleep.