A study has found that Britain has the worst diet amongst 19 European countries and at a greater risk of obesity. With this in mind, it’s not so shocking to hear that many Brits are now turning to weight loss plans for a healthier lifestyle. Whilst many are exploring their options when it comes to boosting their metabolism in order to lose weight, many dieters don’t seem to be aware of what ‘metabolism’ actually is.
So, what exactly is metabolism?
The term metabolism refers to all the processes in the body that use energy and often enough. Dieters often use the word ‘metabolism’ to describe the rate in which our bodies burn calories or energy. In reality, this is called the metabolic rate.
The issue with trying to maintain a healthy diet and boost ‘metabolism’ or the ‘metabolic rate’ is that there are healthy foods linked to weight loss, however they can lower the rate in which the calories are burned instead.
Here are 5 surprising foods that will slow your metabolism:
1- Non-Organic Fruit and Vegetables
Yes, apples are healthy and are great for weight loss but are they of the organic kind? Pesticides found on fruit and vegetables increase the rate of fat cells, causing you to gain weight. To limit the exposure to pesticides, ensure you wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming.
2- Raw Kale
Whilst there are dozens of benefits to eating this green superfood, it is considered to be goitrogenic when eaten raw. This means it contains thiocyanate that can affect iodine production, effectively promoting the growth of thyroid tissue, which manages our weight. Just cook Kale rather than enjoying it raw, there are plenty of mouth-watering recipes out there!
Granola can be high in nutrients and is often viewed as a ‘healthy food’, however they can contain more sugar than most breakfast cereals. A half-cup of store-bought granola can contain around 12 grams of sugar and homemade granola can contain 13 grams. The gluten and processed honey contribute to lowering your metabolism.
4- Regular Sea Salt
Sea salt lacks iodine and without sufficient levels of Iodine, your thyroid is unable to produce thyroid hormones, which will make it difficult for your body to burn fat. Instead opt for iodised salt in your diet over sea salt.
5- Refined Grains
Commercially sold foods such as breads, cereals, crackers, and muffins can slow down your metabolism when consumed regularly. Refined grains can carry high level of gluten; starch and phytic acid that contribute to slowing your metabolism. Grain products can also contain added sugar, salt and synthetic preservatives that can make it hard to metabolise.
There may be many reasons why you want to boost your metabolism, whether it’s diet-conscious or not.
We have listed 5 symptoms to look out for which may be a result of a low metabolism:
- Cold hands and feet
- Dark circles under eyes
- Slow growing nails
- Reduce hair growth
- Infrequent bowel movement
If these symptoms sound familiar then perhaps it’s time to start eating foods that will boost your metabolism. If you’re looking to introduce a plant-based diet into your life just ensure you wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly!
So how can you boost your metabolism?
1- Green Tea
Green Tea contains catechins, which are a type of antioxidant; they help speed up the liver’s ability to turn fat into energy. Studies show that people, who drink the tea, burn an extra 70-100 calories per day.
2- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is made of healthy fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) that help burn body fat. Coconut oil can be a great replacement for oils when cooking.
Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity, meaning it helps to stop your body from storing fat. It contains manganese, which boosts the metabolism.
4- Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a popular spice that contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is a compound in the body that converts calories into energy.
It’s no surprise to see water make the list. In fact, just by drinking water you can speed up your body’s ability to burn fat. According to a study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and metabolism, the metabolic rate increased by 30% in men and women who drank water.
6- Changing your meat and dairy consumption
According to a study by Dr. Hana Kahleová, the findings showed that after six months, participants following a vegetarian diet had lost an average of 6.2kg, whilst those on a non-vegetarian diet lost 3.2kg. The vegetarian diet consisted of fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds with a limited portion of low-fat yoghurt per day.
Are you proactively seeking ways to boost your metabolism or metabolic rate? If it’s a healthier diet you’re after, then have you considered giving up dairy products?