Foods that Increase Metabolism

In the never ending battle to lose weight people have tried all sorts of calorie cutting diets, energy boosting pills and the latest “Fat Buster” exercise machine seen on late night TV. During this quest to burn off the fat they come to realize that maybe what they are doing is not working as well as advertised. The reality is that if we give our bodies the nutrition that they need by eating healthy nutrient dense foods we’ve already won half the battle. What happens when we eat healthy nutritious food? Our bodies respond by increasing our metabolism, which in turn burns away extra fat. Now while this is rather simplified and loosing weight can require a little more effort as far as exercising and eating right in a nut-shell this is the first best step to loosing excess weight. One of the first things we must understand is how our body uses and stores energy. Our bodies get their energy from the foods we eat but that energy comes in many different forms. We can get it from protein, carbohydrates and fat and there are different forms of these as well. It’s how our bodies use these various forms of energy that affect our metabolism. In the case of fat our bodies have very little trouble converting them directly into fat stores for future use. Because fats tend to get sent directly to fat storage the body uses very little energy, or calories, accomplishing this. This is also true of simple carbohydrates, usually in the form of refined sugars, found throughout most of our diets. The body not only uses very little energy converting these refined sugars into fat the huge amounts of sugar the average person eats causes the body to release larger amounts of insulin to deal with this sugar overload. These higher insulin levels stimulate our appetites to eat more and increase the rate at which we store excess calories as fat tissue. Foods that increase metabolism include those foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and proteins. Why? Because complex carbohydrates and proteins require more energy for the body to break down and use. This results in extra calories being burned just for the sake of digestion and cellular metabolism. Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates also help to increase our metabolism in another way. Because complex carbohydrates take longer to break down by the bodies digestive system the release of the caloric energy is spread out over a longer period of time. This results in less insulin being released into the blood stream and a more balanced energy flow during our waking hours resulting in less snacking on sugary sweets. Sugars and fats on the other hand tend to cause energy spikes followed by a low period during which we are tempted to eat more of these fat producing foods to re-energize ourselves. Most of the complex carbohydrates we eat come from fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables can help increase our metabolism in one other way. They are high in fiber and our bodies’ burn more calories digesting fiber then just about anything else. In fact it is theorized that many fruits and vegetables fall into the “negative calorie” categories of foods. A negative calorie food is one that actually takes more calories to digest then it actually contains. The resulting increase in metabolism from eating negative calorie foods can help burn away excess body fat stores and result in a gradual weight loss. When combined with a moderate exercise program the weight loss and metabolism increase can be even greater. As you can see the foods that increase metabolism are healthy, nutrient dense foods. Steering clear of processed foods and refined sugars is key to not only increasing metabolism but also living a healthy fat free life.

To learn more about metabolism, how it works, and the foods that increase metabolism click here.

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