Eating certain foods can help boost your metabolism and promote fat-burning. A faster metabolism means you burn more calories, which can lead to weight loss over time. While no single food will dramatically increase metabolism, filling your diet with metabolism and fat-burning foods can make a difference.
Here are 12 of the best metabolism boosting foods to help increase metabolism and promote fat burning.
Adding some spice to your meals can provide metabolism and fat burning benefits. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that has thermogenic effects. It helps boost metabolism by increasing your body’s core temperature.
Research shows that capsaicin and other capsaicinoids increase energy expenditure (calories burned) following meals. They also promote fat oxidation, which is the breakdown of fats. Cayenne pepper and chili peppers are great options for spicing up foods. Try adding them raw, cooked, dried or in powdered form.
Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, which both increase metabolism and promote fat burning.
EGCG stimulates your nervous system, causing increased calorie burning. The caffeine provides an extra boost to metabolism as well.
Drinking green tea, whether hot or cold, boosts metabolism by about 3-5% over a 24-hour period. It’s perfect before a workout to help burn more body fat.
Like green tea, coffee contains metabolism-boosting caffeine. The caffeine stimulates your nervous system and signals fat cells to break down body fat.
Coffee may also reduce appetite and calorie intake, which supports weight loss.
Try to stick to black coffee without adding high-calorie creamers and sweeteners that can counter the fat-burning benefits.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods. They provide health effects throughout the body, including the gut.
Research shows certain probiotics can increase fat burning and metabolism. Lactobacillus gasseri, in particular, has been shown to help reduce body fat and belly fat.
Add fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, miso and yogurt into your diet for a metabolism-boosting punch.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is gaining popularity as a weight loss aid. Drinking small amounts of ACV diluted in water may help boost metabolism and burn fat.
ACV contains acetic acid, which has been shown to increase calorie burning for over an hour after a high-carb meal. ACV may also suppress appetite when taken before meals, which can help reduce calorie intake.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to a glass of water and drink it before meals to maximize the benefits.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that may increase metabolism and promote fat loss, especially around the belly.
MCTs are a type of fat that your body can easily absorb and use for energy. They’ve been shown to increase calorie burning compared to long-chain fats.
Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat, so limit your intake to about 1-2 tablespoons per day if you’re watching your saturated fat intake.
Ginger contains the compound gingerol, which has a thermogenic effect in the body. It helps turn up your metabolism like heat being turned up on a stove.
Consuming ginger can increase overall calorie expenditure. It also promotes fat burning, especially visceral fat around the belly.
Add fresh or ground ginger to dishes, steep it into tea or take ginger supplements to give your metabolism a boost.
Legumes like beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas are great for increasing metabolism.
They are high in protein, which requires more energy to digest than fat or carbs. Legumes also contain resistant starch, which supports gut health, controls blood sugar and helps increase calorie burning.
Aim for at least 1 cup cooked legumes per day, adding them to soups, salads and dips.
Seaweed is packed full of metabolism-boosting minerals. It’s a rich source of iodine which helps regulate thyroid function and metabolism.
The iron, magnesium and zinc in seaweed also aid metabolism and energy production. Plus, it contains fucoxanthin, a compound that stimulates fat burning.
Add seaweed to your diet by using it to wrap sushi rolls, including it in miso soup or buying seasoned seaweed snacks.
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, an antioxidant that has been shown to improve metabolic health and promote fat burning.
One study found that women who consumed a diet high in cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of obesity and decreased body fat.
Aim for 1-2 cups cooked cruciferous veggies per day to max out on the metabolism and fat-burning benefits.
Citrus fruits are low-calorie, fat-burning, metabolism boosting superstars. They are high in vitamin C, which improves fat burning during exercise.
Research shows higher vitamin C intake is associated with lower body fat and waist measurements. Citrus fruits also have antioxidants that fight inflammation, which can interfere with metabolism function.
Eat fresh grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and lemons daily or try juicing them into water and smoothies.
Leafy greens like spinach and kale provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that optimize metabolism. They are loaded with fiber, keeping you feeling full between meals.
Greens are also rich in iron, which helps transport oxygen to muscles during exercise and improves metabolism. What’s more, the nitrates in leafy greens help convert fat into energy.
Aim for big servings of leafy greens at meals and in smoothies for an easy metabolism lift.
As mentioned earlier, hot peppers contain capsaicin that provides a metabolism and fat burning advantage.
The better your body becomes at burning fat, the easier it is to maintain an ideal weight and body composition.
Chili peppers, cayenne, jalapenos and habaneros all turn up your metabolism’s ability to burn fat both during and after meals.
Protein requires the most energy for your body to break down and digest. So, eating a protein-rich diet forces your body to burn more calories processing the nutrients in the foods you eat.
Foods high in protein like eggs, meats, fish, whey protein, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese can all increase calorie burning throughout the day.
Drinking enough water is crucial for metabolism and fat loss. Water helps metabolize stored fat and reduces water retention under the skin.
Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. Adding lemon can give your water an extra metabolism boost by promoting liver function.
Eating more metabolism boosting foods can help increase calorie burning, promote fat loss, especially around the midsection, and aid in weight maintenance.
Fill your diet with fat burning foods like green tea, spicy foods, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, probiotics, coffee and more to rev up metabolism and your body’s fat burning potential.
What foods should you avoid to increase metabolism?
Avoid foods high in trans fats, added sugars and refined carbs like cookies, cakes, pizza, fries and white bread. These low nutrient foods can slow down metabolism.
What foods increase metabolism while sleeping?
Casein protein, berries, chamomile tea, and foods with magnesium can aid metabolism overnight. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
How much water should you drink to boost metabolism?
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to stay hydrated. Adding lemon can further increase metabolism.
What type of exercise is best for metabolism?
Both cardio and strength training exercise boost metabolism. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) provides the biggest metabolic boost.
What small change can you make to increase metabolism?
Drinking green tea daily and adding metabolism boosting foods like hot peppers, apple cider vinegar, seaweed and leafy greens can make a big difference.