When is the last time you heard someone say “ I’m trying to lose weight. I need to eat for my metabolism ”?
Instead, losing weight has become all about “dieting,” which is – far too often – all about draconian calorie or fat restriction. Oh, and don’t forget to exercise! Nevermind that you don’t have the energy (derived from fat and calories!) necessary to work out … just push through it. Because that works oh so well…
Despite all of the advances in nutrition, exercise science and the like, we’re still inundated with the wrong messages. You can thank the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry and their outright deceptive media machine. (Yes, they pay scientists a fortune to lie for them, too.)
Diets fail because dieting isn’t the answer. Here’s the all-too-simple truth: 80 percent of weight loss is about eating the right foods. Here’s a secondary, cherry-on-top factoid: diets fail over 95 percent of the time.
“The diet industry is making a lot of money selling us fad diets, nonfat foods full of chemicals, gym memberships, and pills while we lose a piece of our self-esteem every time we fail another diet or neglect to use the gym membership we could barely afford.” ~ Portia de Rossi, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
As Ms. de Rossi touches on in the above quote, gyms aren’t much better. “Just sign here, pay the $100 monthly fee and get your two free training sessions!” As if personal training is a feasible solution to fitness to anyone else besides the handsomely rich.
Yoni Freedhoff, MD, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa and contributor to the U.S. News & World Report, says:
“I believe that 95 percent of diets fail people … For at least the past 100 years (and likely many more), dieting has been synonymous with suffering. It’s been “die” with a “t,” where adherents to diets have been instructed to either suffer through hunger and cultivate the skill of white-knuckled willpower, or to consider food to simply be fuel and deny themselves either the dietary indulgences they love the most or eliminate entire food groups.”
Eating to Lose Weight
Dr. Freedhoff, unsurprisingly, is a staunch advocate of eating to lose weight. Similar to millions of other physicians who specialize in nutrition and health, he understands the vital importance of incorporating foods that stimulate the metabolism.
Here are 10 such foods that put your metabolism into fat-burning mode:
Beans are rich in dietary proteins and require a fair amount of metabolic energy to digest properly. Additionally, beans are rich in fiber which – along with protein – is a catalyst for a fueled up metabolism.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Besides being terrific for both heart and brain health, omega-3’s regulate metabolic rate by affecting the fat-burning hormone, leptin.
3. Egg Whites
Egg white, like chia seeds, contain concentrated amounts of fatty acids. Also, eggs whites include what are called branched-chain amino acids, which get your metabolism revved up. Finally, egg whites are packed with protein – and that’s always good for fat-burning!
4. Chili Peppers
Chili peppers contain a chemical compound called capsaicin, which boosts your metabolic rate. Merely adding a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers to your meals throughout the day is enough to obtain their fat-burning benefits.
5. Whole Grains
Unlike processed grains (e.g., white bread and pasta), whole grains are slow to break down. This extra digestive effort requires a higher metabolic rate and, you guessed it, this added effort burns more calories. Foods rich in fiber, such as brown rice and oatmeal, are particularly effective.
This Indian specialty provides a few noteworthy benefits. The reason for its nutritional versatility is that curry contains a wide array of different spices – all of which have properties that help burn calories. Among these are ginger and turmeric.
7. Green Tea
Green tea supplements are particularly popular for weight loss, although one can get the same benefits from fresh tea. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea-extract boosts metabolic rate by as much as 4 percent.
8. Lean Meats
Lean meat, such as that found in chicken and turkey, is packed with iron. As it turns out, iron deficiency is one of the most common in developed countries; which is strange considering the abundant sources of the mineral.
(Fortified cereal is another excellent – and vegetarian/ vegan-friendly – source of iron.
Studies show that cocoa may help prevent weight gain by reducing the absorption of calories. Additionally, extracts of cocoa activate the genes associated with fat-burning. Dark chocolate that contains over 70 percent cocoa (sometimes spelled ‘cacao’) is best.
No metabolism-boosting article would be complete without water. H2O prevents dehydration, which slows down metabolism; it also promotes proper digestive function – a crucial part of losing weight. It’s best to drink water cold, as this forces your body to use more calories for digestion.