Eat protein with every snack/meal
Protein has the highest thermal effect of all the macronutrients meaning that you burn more calories just digesting protein than you do when you eat carbohydrates and fats. The thermal effect of eating protein is approximately 30% compared with carbohydrates which are 20% and fats have a mere 3% thermal effect. By eating eggs, meat, fish, poultry, game or high protein diary sources such as low fat cheeses, yoghurts and protein shakes help boost the metabolism right at the start of ingesting them! This is why high protein/low carbohydrate nutrition plans help people maintain healthy body fat levels in the modern day, less physically demanding, life-style. Protein with each meal also means better insulin management and results in steadier blood glucose levels and decreases risk of type 2 diabetes.
Smaller meals more often
Every time we eat, our metabolism is raised as eating and digesting food requires energy. When we eat little and often, our body also gets used to these regular fuel top-ups. It therefore, becomes less likely to hold on to and store fat as it is getting a regular source of fuel so does not need to save any in case of a temporary food shortage. Providing your body with 2-3 meals a day does in fact tell your body there is a food storage. Think of hunter-gatherer times when we would have been finding and eating fruits and leaves throughout our waking ours. Studies have shown that participants that ate the same amount of calories by eating meals/snacks frequently over the course of a day lost weight compared to those participants who ate their calories in 2-3 meals over the course of the day (note that both groups ate the SAME amount of calories!)
Sweet spice and all things nice
Cinnamon along with other sweet and savoury spices such as (turmeric, paprika, cumin, nutmeg etc) contain certain vitamins and minerals that create a better environment within the body to metabolise fats as use them a fuel, thus providing energy. These vitamins and minerals also aid the liver and kidneys in the detoxification of man made chemicals and particles ingested from non-organic foods and fluids, excess salts, sugars and pollution. Creating the right environment inside your body not only makes you look healthy on the outside but also helps to strengthen your immunity to infection and disease, aids brain and memory capability, and increases feelings of wellbeing and motivation.
Hot and sweaty
Foods that when ingested make you feel hotter are undoubtedly giving your metabolic rate a boost (this is another reason to embrace feeling hot and sweaty when you are exercising). Your body temperature increasing is a sign that your body is converting calories to fuel which will be dispersed from your body as heat. Hot spices and chilli snacks/meals are a sure way of healthy weight management. Don’t worry if you can’t tolerate hot flavours though, just eating a hot meal or drinking a hot drink can help you.
Take advantage of exercise and active tasks such as cleaning and cooking
Exercise boosts your metabolism as you not only give off more body heat but you require energy to do it! Aerobic and anaerobic exercise also keeps your metabolism elevated for hours and hours once you have finished training so you will be burning calories and feeling its benefits long after you’ve finished. Anaerobic exercise such as weight training and power walking (or walking on hilly terrain), that challenges you aerobic system creates lactic acid. The body requires energy to remove this which is another reason why exercise elevates your metabolism both during and after the exertion itself.
Green tea contains 2 ingredients that aid metabolic function: caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and increases the utilisation of fats for fuel. EGCG disrupts the conversion of dietary lipids into stored fat and also elevates the metabolism. Green tea is also a powerful antioxidant and studies have confirmed that it can help reduce the risk of various types of cancers. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and so may be useful in treating arthritis and reduce bowel and bladder inflammation. A US study has shown that Green Tea Slows Down Plaque Formation In Huntington’s Disease.
Water is essential for every chemical reaction in the body and therefore it needs to be in abundance for optimal metabolism of calories and conversion of fats to fuel. Your body uses energy in the consumption, digestion , usage and elimination of water. Studies at the University of Berlin suggest that consumption of 500ml elevated participants metabolic rate by 24% for up to an hour afterwards. Water also helps keep joints lubricated and makes up a large percentage of your muscle tissue and blood volume. Aim to drink 2-3 litres per day, but more may be needed in hot weather or if you live a very active life.