15 Best Foods to Boost Your Metabolism


grapefruit

Remember the days when your metabolism was like a caffeinated mouse in a wheel? Yeah, me neither. If you aren’t one of those lucky gals who can eat whatever she wants and burn it off thanks to an annoyingly fast metabolism, look to these helpful foods to boost your metabolism. (And check out this post on additional tips to speed up a sluggish metabolism.)

Grapefruit

This diet super fruit (above) lowers the insulin levels in your body that trigger your system to store fat. Plus, it is rich in fiber, and your body must burn extra calories in order to break it down.

Green Tea

green-tea

Green tea is the main source of epigallocatechin gallate, known better as EGCG. This healthy catechin speeds up your brain and nervous system, causing your body to burn more calories.

Yogurt

yogurt

The high levels of protein present in natural yogurt require a lot of energy to be processed. Plus, the pro-biotic cultures found in yogurt help regulate your digestive tract.

Almonds

almonds

Almonds’ essential fatty acids help raise your body’s metabolism. Just don’t overdo it because they’re also very high in calories.

Coffee

coffee

Coffee has caffeine, which does give you a boost. Just ensure that you don’t exceed 2 or 3 cups a day, or you risk a host of side effects, including irritability and jitters.

Turkey

turkey

This protein-rich meat builds lean muscle tissue, which causes your body to burn extra calories and raises your metabolism.

Apples

apple

Like grapefruit, this low-calorie snack is high in fiber, which your body must burn calories to break down. Plus, since apples help you stay full for longer, you’ll eat less.

Spinach

spinach

Popeye was right about one thing: spinach can help make you strong and healthy. In addition to speeding up your metabolism, it’s a great source of antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamin C.

Beans

beans

Low in fat and packed with protein, beans keep you full for long durations, and your body must burn extra calories in order to process this fiber-rich food.

Jalapenos

jalapenos

The capcaisin found in jalapenos causes your body to burn extra calories for hours after you ingest them, speeding up both your heart rate and metabolism.

Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli contains a highly effective metabolism-boosting team of nutrients: calcium and vitamin C. Calcium acts as a metabolic trigger, while vitamin C helps your body absorb more calcium.

Oatmeal

oatmeal

Because your body takes a long time to break down the fat-soluble fiber in oatmeal, this healthy food lowers your body’s insulin level and speeds up your metabolism as a result.

Soy Milk

soy-milk-cereal

Fortified soy milk is loaded with calcium, which helps boost your metabolism. Just stay away from the sweetened varieties.

Curry

curry

Like jalapenos, curry increases the amount of calories your body burns and speeds up your metabolism.

Cinnamon

cinnamon

A little bit of cinnamon can go a long way. Add some zing to your daily cup of tea with this tasty spice to help your body metabolize sugars more effectively and maintain steadier blood sugar levels. Cinnamon can also help lower your cholesterol.

For more healthy food and diet tips, check out these popular articles:

Ignite Your Brainpower with the 20 Smartest Foods on Earth

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Top 20 Foods for Energy and Better Sex Drive

 

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DISCUSSION

86 thoughts on “15 Best Foods to Boost Your Metabolism

  1. An perfect share, I turned over your link to a co worker who was doing a little analysis on this topic. And he bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smiling. So let me reword that : Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and really like reading more on this topic. If possible, would you mind updating the blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!.

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  3. I do not agree with some of them foods!! Yogurt is not a good food to help with body fat! Yogurt is full of fat and if possible all dairy products should be avoided. No matterhow many times I see pro biotics commercial fat is fat and = belly fat. It is better then eating sour patch kids or a candy but not that great for you to get a lean stomach. Soy beverages as well are not good for you soy will make you gain weight. Tuna is not there and it is awesome for building muscle and helping with calories. Turkey on here looks processed, that is just sodium all in one. Stay away from anything artificial and anything with aspartame. Alot of people will think aspartame is better because it is in diet pop. Sugar in the long run is better then aspartame but all should be avoided. Aspartame is a artificial flavour. I know my stuff!! Any questions or comments feel free to ask ! Good luck and watch where you take advice from!

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  7. How can a diebetic( type 2) boost their metabolism system
    and please list the food that speeds the metabolism system of diebetic

  8. Something important to remember, related to what you said, is that when resting or doing easy exercise (walking, doing housework etc) the body uses fats in the form of free fatty acids or triglycerides before using carbohydrates. So doing moderate to vigorous activity only will not help you burn as much fat.
    So: do low intensity exercise when looking to burn fat. Do moderate intensity activity when weight is lost to build muscle tone and keep weight off.

  9. Goats milk is much better than soy milk. Much tastier and its especially better for the bones. Soy milk is not good for men to drink especially young guys.

  10. NOT FLAVOURED. ON THE CARTON IT WILL SAY PLAIN/NATURAL YOGURT.

  11. Oatmeal is the American word for porridge. You make it with oats – rolled, steel cut, whatever floats your boat!

  12. “Curry” can indeed refer to a blend of spices, which may or may not include cinnamon.

    But “curry” can also refer to curry leaf or powder from curry leaf. This is a single spice.

  13. Oh excuses. I’m assuming you don’t want to exercise.

  14. on weekdays almost everymorning i eat oatmeal with cinnamon sprinkled over it . im 13 and im a girl but i have a sleder body and i think its becuase of my morning meals . on weekends though i eat bigger breakfasts

  15. THANK YOU so much for this article this has helped me so much I used to be able to lose weight with no problems, but since I turned 40 it seems my metabolism is shot. I think making sure I include these foods in my diet will help me reach my weight loss goals, thanks again.

  16. Thanks for the info!! I know am still very young and all but I have always been a little overweight for my height… am going to try these foods out and see what happens.. I try to exercise and do as much as I can but with school and work seems like no time.. any suggestions?

  17. Before we dive into what foods increase your metabolism, it is important to understand what your metabolism is and how it works.

    The metabolism process determines the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly a person can gain weight or how quickly a person can lose it. When your cells need energy they will break down carbohydrates first. Your body then breaks down fat and finally protein. Your body then converts carbohydrates into glucose that your body uses as fuel.

    Any surplus carbohydrates that you eat will be formed into fat for storage. It is important to not forget that any fat that you eat will also be stored as fat. Eating and exercising correctly, will result in you burning those fat stores and increasing your metabolism.

  18. Cool- just don’t drink too much soy milk becuase soy is what is used to make pesticides. Look at the ingredients and if you find soy lethecin, then it’s the good part of soy. Other wise, don’t drink too much =)

  19. I forgot to mention- one cliche thing that has helped me is making a food journal of everything I eat.

    Also, for people who dont like fruits and veggies- consider taking a cooking class, you’d be surprised at the delicious low calorie metabolism foods you can whip up with ordinary garden veggies.

  20. I have lost 35 pounds and definitely boosted my metabolism since April… I’ll list everything I’ve been doing that has apparently been working. Off this list the foods I agree work are yogurt, coffee, apples, spinach or any dark green, turkey, oatmeal and cinnamon.

    Plain oatmeal or 2-3 egg hardboiled eggwhites w/ one egg yolk (lots of pritein and fiber) for breakfast. Low calorie/High Fiber whole grain bread w/ various flavors of sliced turkey depending on my mood (I often put spinach and tomato on my sandwiches)or spinach salad w/ turkey. I cut out the xtras such as bread and softdrinks b/c they add up quick. I DO however allow myself one meal a day where I dont feel guilty, if I want lasagna or chkn and dumplins I’ll have it, just not dessert or seconds.

    One big thing is fiber intake, we’ve all heard it over and over but its true-it makes you feel full longer which means less likelihood to binge right before bedtime or whenever.

    Yogurt is a great substitute when having a sweets craving, toss it with blueberries and granola as someone else said and thats better than creme brulee! well, maybe.

    Coffee is a known appetite suppressant, I can def testify to that, and also it simply keeps you going, so yes it may chemichally not be great for your metabolism, it may still help you shed pounds, not a great option but worked for me.

    I know this is all coming out randomly but I’m trying to remember everything = )…

    Rather than carefully counting every calorie, I only count approximate calories for processed foods or foods high in fat such as greasy stuff-however much I know I have had I try to burn that many calories in the next day. E.g. I usually wouldnt even count the breakfast and lunch examples I listed above (since our daily routines burn a good deal of calories) but then say if I had a big lasagna dinner of 600 calories, I try to do an hour and a half of moderate to high physical activity (thats about how long it takes for me to burn 600 calories on average) like gardening, elliptical, biking, sex, etc…

    One big thing that helped me emotionally in the endeavor to lose weight is buying a digital scale…and rather than having a goal of losing 35 pounds, I have had lots of 2 pounds goals. Its much easier to lose 2 pounds than 35 ; ) The digital scale lets you see the half pound and was helpful in charting my progess.

    Good luck everyone!!! If I can do it then you can!

  21. Thank you for these food suggestions! Anyone out there has had successful dieting stories (after eating these foods) to tell ? ;D
    Help would be really appreciated! ;D thank you!

  22. Can anyone help me to reduce my waistline (40incs.) I am 54, height 5.11ft. born Indian, running a baby shop and exericising moderately ? I would appreciate it really.

  23. Eating 6-8 small meals a day moderate EXERCISE and no corn syrup products like soda only natural sugar and grape sugar. no junk/fast foods. ginseng and prickly pears have also an effect.

  24. some good items there. remember that Protein and Fibre are what help you to feel satisfied.

  25. Nice article, information is power, the more you know, the more power you will have to overcome not just weight but anything or goal you have in mind, and by the way, LETS GO MIAMI HEAT,, “I just had to say it cause I’m a fan that’s excited about the upcoming season”

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  27. Cinnamon is in Curry. Curry is not a single spice.

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  32. I will try to add more of these foods into my diet but if the prices on these things would be a bit slimmer i believe alot of these things can be more popular in everyday diets.

  33. Thank you so much for this page. When I was in middle school I didn’t have to worry about my weight, but when I went on to High school I did and now im not confident the way I look or when I am out shopping. I would love to start this weight plan for my future. I know I am young and people are telling me not to worry about but I am. When I worry about it, it makes me feel like I can’t do anything. BUt now that I found this page I can do it. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  34. So, it looks like I should exercise frequently, drink lots of water, make sure I eat breakfast EVERY morning with smaller more frequent meals or healthy snacks daily and I should start adding these metabolism boosting foods to my diet with the exception of Soy Milk and I should be able to lose weight. I’m going to give it a shot. It’s been very had loosing the weight since I had my thyroid removed. Thanks for the listing and to everyone else for all their posts.

  35. According to one study I read, I learned that the benefit of coffee gives you that boost of alertness and being awake that helps give you that drive to keep active, either by working or exercise, and thus in turn burns calories. However, on the flip side, the bad part about coffee is that it causes you to have cravings of either hunger or, cravings for something sweet, which as we all know is bad for your blood sugar levels. And may cause you to over eat.

  36. Keep in mind that weight loss happens when the food intake v exercise is balanced (greater exercise balanced by smaller eating). It’s no use eating these foods in large portions just because they’re all healthy or snack eating small portions which make up a larger total of food over the course of a whole day. Why put sugar on top of oatmeal? It makes it unhealthy. Number 1 tip? Don’t eat junk food. Number 2 tip? Portion control health food and learn to cook it so it’s interesting.

  37. I knew most of them, but I didn’t know a few, this was very helpful and made me happy because these are all my favorite foods :)

  38. I’m a total coffeehead and probably drink more than I should but am delighted to read it boosts the metabolism. However I recently read an article in a magazine that said drinking coffee in excess “places undue stress on the adrenal glands, causing the body to be flushed with fat-forming hormones”. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

  39. Some interesting options there. I do love my green tea, almonds and beans but you cant beat regular exercise!

  40. I have recently learned from an expert that the oils in the coffee beans that are brewed slows down your matabolism. People might want to skip getting coffee if they are working to speed it up.

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  42. Nice article. Just make sure you eat breakfast. By not eating breakfast, you slow down your metabolism and send your body into hoard mode.

    Don’t starve. Dropping your calorie intake below 1,000 calories a day will signal to your body that you are in starvation mode, and will slow down your metabolism. Eat smaller meals frequently to keep your blood sugar stable and provides a steady source of energy to fuel metabolism.

    Get enough aerobic exercise. That will definitely speed up your metabolism!

  43. Sounds like a lot of people perpetuate myths and exaggerations of food and metabolism. I’m amazed how many of you take information at face value without questioning validity.

    You guys should look into metabolic studies, instead of reading advices based on overblown science that has little practicality in the real world.

    All this so-called great info available to us, yet 2 out 3 of us are still fat. Odd.

  44. Great Page!

    I especially like the yogurt tip, It really is good for your digestive system and can help with metabolism. I would also like to add that curry is good for you the chili’s and spices can also help boost your metabolism… cooking you’re own curry’s though rather than greasy take-outs that contain high fat and salt.

  45. Please drop the soy milk entry soy products unless properly fermented are about as healthy as ingesting poison. They are strongly linked to thyroid problems and will cause havoc with any weight loss attempt!!!

  46. Those are great!!but I think to increase ur metabolism uve got to eat more spicy food,lots of water,eat in a small portion and exercise..keep jogging or walk or even cycling..any of them is great..what matter is eating less and exercise more.trust me losing weight is not as hard as wad u think.. Do it consistently and ull be seeing great results..dun stress out..losing weight is fun!!
    Wad u think..do it constantly..

  47. Thanks for the list of foods that boost your metabolism. Cayenne pepper will do this as well. I add it to a lot of my meals.

  48. Folks should be careful with soy. Especially if you have a thyroid problem. Unfermented soy is a goitrogenic, which slows the thyroid down even more. Broccoli is also a goitrogenic, but it isn’t included in a ba-zillion products the way soy is. Soy is cheap and used everywhere, even as a filler in some ground meats. Read your ingredients and you’ll be amazed. Most people are getting more than enough soy in their diets without purposely adding it.

    On the other hand, fermented soy is not a goitrogenic and is fine for people with thyroid issues.

    I thought it was odd that I lost my taste for broccoli until I did some research on goitrogenics (after being dxd with hypothryoidism). Sometimes the body knows what the mind doesn’t.

  49. i’ve recently been fed up with my squisy body :) I decided to start goin to that gym that i pay for each month, but don’t go. i heard that diet is the most important thing, then excersice….that it takes a 9 mile run to burn off one donut !! so, ive been excercising, mostly running on tredmill, or low impact stuff like elliptical machines…but ive always wondered about diet, what to eat, and what not to eat..this has helped a bunch, thanks…i have done lots of research, and they all say water water water, oatmeal for breakfast, and whole grain foods, fruits and veggies, and to eat every 2 or 3 hours, instead of twice a day like i was doing, skipping breakfast etc….now i make oatmeal in the morning (takes all of 3 minutes in microwave) and take an apple for a mid morning snack, eat high fiber bread with peanut butter (that’s prolly bad) and a banana for lunch, and fix some chicken and brown rice for dinner. i try to mix it up, to keep from getting bored, and i take my time at the grocery store, reading labels and spending most of my money in the produce section…thanks again!

  50. :( are the patches helpful and safe in loosing weight??? I would like to try them, but I am afraid a little bit.

  51. Thanks for this. im in the uk and had my 5th child 5mths ago so im desperate to loose weight. ive never herd of oatmeal. how do i prepare it? do i use flavor free yoghurt with no sugar? what curry should i eat? a hot one?
    Thanks

  52. I have tried loads of things to lose weight. I like almost everything on your list of foods to boost metab. I like Grapefruit, but was told it could interfere with some of my meds. I take. I live alone and still work, so I hate cooking just for 1. I have changed lots of the foods I used to eat and don,t keep junk food in the house. Have done nutri system couple of times. I now have weight watchers meals n desserts in the house. Still can not seem to lose the weight. Have been looking online and actually found some articles that say my thyroid med. could be the reason I,m not having any success. I have definitely decided that when I go for a checkup I,m going to talk to the dr. about this. It is so difficult when older. Never thought about how the weight came off when younger.

  53. I think on the oatmeal is brown sugar, looks good :9

  54. I was looking at the picture of oatmeal. What is the topping on the oatmeal? Everything in this article seems very interesting. I’ve been informed by my doctor to lose weight. I will try some of the suggested foods from this article.

  55. I’ve never been a big fan of oatmeal until a friend suggested I make it with apple juice instead of water. It is soooo good. It’s a great fulfilling breakfast.

  56. Thanks for sharing this list. With a full time job and going back to school I’m always pressed for time. It’s easy to fall into bad eating habits with a busy schedule. In the morning I like to eat plain yogurt with blueberries and sometimes I sprinkle some granola on top. Very Yummy. Because I can’t get fresh blueberry’s year round at the grocery store I usually just buy them frozen.

  57. There’s yogurt, it’s just mixed with the fruit and nuts. It’s a good example of what you can do with something as simple as yogurt. :)

  58. I wonder why the pic under Yogurt doesn’t contain yoghurt, but tangerine, sliced nuts ( look like almonds) and honey.
    It shoudn’t be diffecult to get a pic with yoghurt in it.

  59. i think organic food is the best to our metabolism
    thanks

  60. After 40 years I found the secret, for me anyway, to lose weight. As someone else referenced above, eat a couple of bites an hour or so all day, and never eat a full meal.

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  63. I workout with a Personal Trainer (Terry Frare) at Fitness in Motion (St. Louis, MO). I received some great suggestions about boosting ones metabolism and your site was their source. Reading your suggestions was extremely informative; I do try to live-up to eating all the foods you mention. Love your web-site and will look in to joining. Thanks to
    Fitness in Motion.
    Charlotte Mussman
    St. Louis, MO

  64. Hi Melissa, thanks for your comment! I think you make a good point about coffee. I’d love to see any research you’ve found on caffeine’s impact on hormone production. With soy, some people eat whole, fresh soy beans and are quite fine with it, so I’m not sure that the body can’t digest unfermented soy; also, while soy does have some minimal levels of phytoestrogens, these hormones are in smaller doses and are much more gentle than the hormones found in regular dairy milk. Though I agree, the best source for nutrition is fresh produce. ;)

  65. Interesting….I just read another article about increasing metabolism and it said to stay away from caffeine, which I’m more inclined to believe. Caffeine dependency can contribute to sluggish adrenal glands..and that’s bad in the long run in terms of metabolism, and every other bodily function pretty much.

    Soy milk is not good for you either. It is chemically processed and your body can’t properly digest soy unless it is a fermented, not to mention current studies that are showing the negative affects soy can have on estrogen levels. There are plenty of other sources of vitamin C available in vegetables and fruits…like broccoli which is already listed on here. I wouldn’t depend on soy milk for vitamin C to boost your metabolism, I think it will do more harm than good in the long run.

    dark green fiberous veggies, lean proteins, lots of water, exercise, and less sugar and refined foods. That will certainly help your metabolism.

  66. I was expecting to see a list of unappetizing foods like grapefruit and straw here, but I am pleasantly surprised to learn that it actually includes some of my favorite staples! Now I can eat more curry without so much guilt–yeah!! Thank you!!

  67. One thing to keep in mind is giving our digestive tract a break. Many sources say eat less, but more often. Your digestive is working all day and even into the night. We Americans need to remember two meals a day can sustain us. Especially if we don’t burn that midnight oil and let our bodies get some rest as well.

  68. I love yogurt smothered fruit. I keep reading that the grapefruit thing is a myth, though.

  69. thank you for this great suggestions. My metabolism is not great and I have been told by my doctor that I need to lose about 25 pounds and it’s been hard to lose the weight. I this great food suggestions would go a long way to help me increase my metabolism and in turn start to lose some weight. thanks again for your tips.

  70. I loved this article because of all the excellent food suggestions. I just read another similar article that explained that peppers are metabolism boosting foods because they contain a natural compound called capsaicin, which increases fat oxidation (fat burning) for energy.

  71. Fantastic Article! I was surprised to discover that Jalapeños were on the list as well as curry. That might be why I put them on everything. :p

    Luanne: Have you had your thyroid checked out. I had the same symptoms you are exhibiting years ago. I discovered my thyroid wasn’t quite working after visiting an endocrinologist. It’s a common problem. If it is your thyroid, your metabolism might never be the way it once was I’m afraid. I still struggle with my metabolism even with thyroid medication. :(

  72. Why is it I eat all of that good stuff and still have a sluggish metabolism unless I work out pretty hard? I guess it’s all moderation. When I’m working out and eating a lot less, my furnace is cranking! I would like to eat more grapefruit.

  73. At last – an explanation for why a bowl of chopped fruit smothered in yoghurt for breakfast perks me up more than anything. It’s not the fruit – it’s the yoghurt.

    Oatmeal, however, slows me down all day (or seems to – maybe it’s the milk or something else).

    Is it a rule then that the more complex a foodstuff is (in the raw, unprocessed sense, I mean), the more your body has to work on digesting it and the more your metabolism gets boosted?

 

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