Moderators: melkor

foods that speed up metabolism?

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I'm not the type of person to cut out food of my diet, I rather work out to eat what I want. With my busy work schedule, lately it's been hard to squeeze in a work out.

What are some foods, especially snacks to keep around the house or work, that are healthier or that speed up your metabolism?

I've heard spicy things and citrus fruits help.
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Studies do show that some foods or spices help speed up your metabolism, but only for a short time, and usually just by 1-2%.

Adding a bit of crushed red pepper flakes to your food can help speed up your metabolism (please make sure to note the word *can*, not *will*... It's not 100% for sure that it will help).

Try adding 100% lemon juice where you can too, because lemon juice is a natural diuretic and will help you keep from retaining as much water. 

Drinking ice water instead of room temperature water speeds up your metabolism in a way, since your body has to work harder to bring the water up to body temperature when it enters your system.

Snack more often, and eat smaller meals. Studies have shown that eating large meals can slow your metabolism, while eating smaller portions every 3 hours or so can help speed up your metabolism.

Eat plenty of protein. Protein is shown to take more energy to digest (up to 25% more), so your metabolism kicks up to aid in digestion when you eat protein.

Coffee may give you a short-term boost in your metabolic rate, but take it in moderation, and try not to add too much sugar or creamer.

Green tea is also shown to boost the metabolic rate in many people, though, just like the other things I listed, only for a short time.

From what I know, there is no surefire way to boost your metabolism with certain foods, and if you do boost it with the foods, it will not stay up for a long amount of time. If you do use the foods and seasonings/spices I have listed, your metabolism may get a boost, but I'm not sure how many pounds or how much fat it will help you burn in total.

The best way to keep your metabolism stoked and burning is to eat small meals every 3-4 hours.  I usually try to eat a protein with my fruit or veggie for snacks then eat my 3 square meals.  I eat a bowl of Steel cut oats withing 15 minutes of waking up to get the body woke up and burning.

I found when I started eating the right kind of carbs at the right time of day I lost more weight.  I found when I ate whole foods and kicked out the processed crud I lost weight.  I found when I ate a piece of fruit and some nuts, or a piece of meat I lost weight

I don't think any specific food boosts the metabolism, but good forms of workouts and eating properly will do wonders.

I've read the following help boost metabolism:

- Cinnamon - Don't overdo, I think I read a tsp a day max. I usually just put a dash in my oatmeal or coffee.

- Green Tea extract - I take a supplement becuase otherwise you'd have to drink green tea all day long. Try to get the decaffinated ones.

- Garlic extract - I take a supplement to avoid stomach issues

- I also heard the same about spicy foods, but again that you only need a little.

I don't think any of these things are going to have a dramatic effect on metabolism, but even if they work a little I say every little bit helps. :)


I think the best thing to do to boost metabolism is to build muscles.  You can increase your calorie burn about 50 per day with extra muscle mass - where as eating something may give you a 1 cal bump.


spicy and citrus things might help, but it isn't going to give you much. Although you don't want to eat less, the honest to God truth is that calorie restriction is the most straightforward fail safe method of weight loss, especially if you have difficulty finding time to work out. Trying to find a supplement or a trick isn't going to cut it. I wasted time and money myself on those things and finally just ate less, and it worked like a charm. Good luck!


I played around with the numbers on most of those claims a few years back, and the best boost bar none was from green tea - the total boost from the maximum effective dose of EPGC was on the order of 40-50 kcal/d. An approximate boost of 4.4% of your BMR, which doesn't scale with the activity factor used to calculate the energy expenditure of a sedentary-to-active person so the boost stays the same regardless of your activity level.

 Yeah, vaguely helpful, but nothing you'd want to rely on for weight loss, neh?

Besides, it's easy to seriously screw yourself up messing about with herbals; though most producers who aren't operating out of their basement keep decent facilities and actually do use th herbs they claim you're still dealing with plants who do not comply with any manufacturing directive as to how much of any given active ingredient they're supposed to contain so actual dosage will vary wildly between batches.

 The advertising may say "all natural", but if the stuff does work you're really dealing with unregulated and improperly controlled pharmaceutically active ingredients with somewhat random dosages. Bit of a gamble, that.

 'Course, for green tea the gamble appears fairly small according to this review - at least as long as you aren't taking it on an empty stomach.

 Other fat burners? Meh - caffeine and green tea are the only ones that appear to be both safe and effective, the rest are all somewhere out there lacking any actual evidence besides company marketing material or ineffective.

 Chili extract, capsaicin, does work, but the boost only last about 30 minutes and is for approximately 2.2% to your RMR for a total extra calorie burn of 12-15 kcal or the equivalent of an 3-minute walk.

Yeah, sure, I'll pay for some hot pepper pills rather than take an extra trip to the mailbox. Or maybe not.

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