July 2, 2009

10 Fat Burning Super Foods To Fire Up Your Metabolism

Metabolism is how your body converts food into energy and then burns that energy as calories. The power to burn fat lies in your refrigerator as some foods are capable of increasing your BMR (basal metabolic rate) which is the number of calories your body burns at rest to maintain normal body functions. By eating every two or three hours and choosing fat burning super foods that make your body work harder, you’ll be well on your way to firing up your fat burning furnace.

To fire up your metabolism, it is important to choose high quality thermogenic whole foods which require more energy to digest them which in turns causes your body to burn more calories. The following are the best fat burning super foods for burning fat and increasing your metabolism.

Water: It is important to keep yourself hydrated to encourage optimal bodily functions including speeding up your metabolism. Metabolism is increased briefly due to the process of the stomach warming the water and the energy used to eliminate waste from the kidneys. Drinking eight 8 oz glasses of cold or ice water a day burns an extra 100 calories.

Green Tea: There are many benefits to adding green tea or a green tea extract to your diet as it is not only increases your metabolism, but also has anti-cancer properties, prevents heart disease, and enhances your mood. There are chemicals, mainly EGCG, in the green tea that speed up metabolism and make fat oxidation more efficient by triggering thermogenic properties to occur in your body.

Lean Protein: Metabolic rate increases when lean protein is consumed because the digestion of protein increases the number of chemical reactions occurring in your belly. This increase is due to the way in which amino acids, the building blocks of protein, stimulate cellular activity. Your BMR begins to rise within the hour and will last 3-12 hours. The best lean protein food choices are lean chicken and turkey breast, egg whites, fish and seafood, lean red meat, wild or game meat, and buffalo meat.

Complex High Fiber Carbs: Fiber is not only a highly thermogenic food, but it also fills you up and is what makes you fill full and sustains you longer. Complex carbs paired with lean protein creates a steady release of insulin into the bloodstream and minimizes insulin swings. The best high fiber complex carbs to choose are beans, whole grain breads, brown rice, oatmeal, and of course non-starchy vegetables.

Vegetables: High fiber non-starchy vegetables have the most thermogenic properties and also have minimal impact on your insulin levels which helps to regulate your metabolism. The best vegetables choices are cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, endives, celery, tomatoes, and peppers.

Fruit: Make sure to include a variety of fresh fruit to your diet. Fruit is well known for cleansing the body since it contains lots of fiber, water, and vitamins. Fruit is readily available and comes in its own neat little natural packages which makes it easy to pack and keeps well. The best fruit choices are apples, citrus fruit, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, melons, mangoes, kiwi, and pineapple. Choose fruits that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, potassium, and phosphorus as they are necessary for efficient operation of your metabolism.

Spices, Garlic, and Ginger: Hot spicy food will temporarily shift your metabolic rate into high gear. Capsaicin, a compound found in hot peppers, stimulates your body to release more stress hormones, such as adrenaline, thereby speeding up your metabolism and increasing your ability to burn calories. Ginger and garlic raises your body temperature and helps to stimulate your body’s fat burning mechanisms. Garlic also boosts your immune system and helps prevents colds and flu’s.

Vinegar and Lemons: The addition of fresh lemons and apple cider vinegar and red or white wine vinegar to your diet speeds up your metabolism and are actually used in treating metabolic disorders. The acid from vinegar and lemons slow down the rate of starch digestion and keeps your insulin levels balanced and can actually lower blood sugar by 30% when consumed with a meal.<

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s): Omega 3 fatty acids affect levels of the newly discovered fat hormone, leptin. A powerhouse, leptin influences how many calories to burn and how many calories to store as fat. People with low levels of leptin circulating in their bloodstream tend to burn more calories than those with higher levels of the hormone. EFA’s are also essential for optimal brain and nervous system health. The best sources of omega 3 fats are salmon, tuna, lean white fish, and sardines. Eating a variety of nuts and seeds provide healthy fats and protein which raise energy levels and increase metabolism.

Calcium: A mineral that is essential for regulating hormones in the body can enhance weight loss by accelerating the breakdown of fat in fat cells. Insufficient calcium intake can actually result in a net weight gain. The best choices for calcium are low fat dairy products, leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds and almonds.

Combining a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, high fiber carbs, and healthy fats with a moderate exercise program will fire up your metabolism which in turn will help you burn fat and finally get the physique of your dreams.

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