My name is Lisa Simonelli Rennie, and I have been involved in the health and fitness industry for about 20 years. I've always loved being active, and have participated in some form of sport all my life. I became seriously interested in the fitness realm in university, where I studied Kinesiology and Health Sciences, and trained in the Men's Hockey team's facilities. I am very excited to be able to share my knowledge and information to help everyone on their own personal health and fitness journey.
Your metabolism is responsible for burning unwanted fat and calories from your body. Speeding up your metabolism will allow you to burn fat more quickly and efficiently. Therefore, this keeps your body fat composition to a minimum. Competitive bodybuilders in particular need to keep their body's fat and calorie burning capabilities in peak condition in order to shed the excess layers of fat that are hiding the muscle mass they worked so hard to build.
Why Your Metabolism Is So Important
Metabolism is the process that your body uses to convert food into energy. Your metabolic rate is vital to every type of bodily function, including while at rest. How fast your body is able to convert food into energy is the essence of metabolism. Therefore, the faster your metabolic rate, the faster your body is able to burn fat and calories. Of course, the faster your metabolic rate, the better. Improving your body's ability to burn fat quickly is a crucial component to getting rid of unwanted layers of fat tissue and keeping a lean body, which is a factor that all bodybuilders are concerned with. Unlock your fat-burning potential with these five metabolism-boosting foods!
Five Foods That Will Rev Up Your Metabolism & Help in Your Fat-Loss Challenge
Boosting your metabolic rate can be done a few ways. Obviously, various types of exercise can certainly improve the speed of your metabolic rate intensely. Couple your metabolism-boosting exercise regimen with some fat-blasting foods that will take your fat burning to the next level.
The five following foods should be part of your diet in order to speed up your metabolism and burn fat:
1. Cayenne Pepper & Other Spicy Foods
Studies have suggested that adding spicy foods such as cayenne pepper to your diet can help to speed up your metabolism. The reason for this is the effect that spicy foods have on thermogenic activity within your body. Thermogenesis is a process whereby energy is turned into heat within the body, which ultimately increases the internal body temperature and calorie-burning effects. Foods such as cayenne pepper contain a component called "capsaicin,” which has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and speed up fat loss.
Adding spicy foods like cayenne pepper, chili pepper, or jalapeno peppers to any meal can be done quite easily. Sprinkle some of these spices over your salads, pasta, or meat dishes, and benefit from their thermogenic effects to boost your metabolism.
2. Green Tea
Green tea appears to increase the metabolic rate within the body, as well as speed up fat oxidation. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, one particular study conducted by Abdul G. Dulloo at the University of Geneva, Switzerland involved healthy males who were within the lean to mildly overweight range. Each participant of this study was put on a specific meal plan - one including green tea and one without. Those who consumed a diet that included green tea showed an increase in thermogenesis and fat-burning capabilities.
Sip on some green tea throughout the day to reap the benefits of its metabolism-boosting effects. You'll also be able to suppress your appetite by including this tea in your diet. Just be weary of the caffeine content in this particular tea (especially if you are drinking it in the evening).
The Grapefruit Diet has been around for decades. Although a diet that focuses too much on one particular food and eliminates many others is not ideal for overall health and longevity. However, the theory that including grapefruit in your diet to help lose fat is not a myth. In fact, grapefruit has been shown to help dieters shed fat from their bodies and rev up their metabolic rate.
According to Dr. Ken Fujioka with the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, those who include grapefruit in their diet will be better able to shed unwanted fat deposits due to the link between grapefruit and insulin levels. The chemical components of grapefruit help to regulate blood insulin levels, which in turn helps to maintain fat metabolism.
The best time to eat grapefruit is with your breakfast, and in the early afternoon to not only help to rev up your metabolic rate, but also to provide you with a much needed energy boost.
Blueberries are an amazing source of antioxidants, which have been long known to counter serious health issues such as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants are able to prevent these diseases by preventing and repairing oxidative stress on the body. Since the oxidation of cells can result in inhibited muscle growth and reduced fat loss, this will in turn affect the metabolic rate within the body. By increasing your antioxidant consumption, through foods like blueberries, you can improve your metabolic function and therefore help to burn fat more efficiently.
Include fresh blueberries as part of your snack, or else add them to your yogurt or oatmeal. You can also blend them into a smoothie with other antioxidant-rich fruits for an extremely healthy and fat-blasting treat.
5. Whey Protein
According to research sourced in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein has certain thermogenic effects on the body (which increases the metabolic rate). In comparison to meals consisting solely of carbohydrates, meals consisting of at least half protein will provide a much greater effect on speeding up the metabolism. In particular, whey protein--when compared to other proteins such as soy and casein--has been shown to have the greatest effect on energy expenditure within the body.
Whey protein is generally found in certain dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and certain cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and ricotta. You can also find high quality whey protein powder for shakes in products such as Body Mechanics® Whey Protein.
Including all of these foods into your diet can help to give you that extra boost you need to get your metabolism working to burn the fat off your body and achieve a lean physique.
"Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand"; Effect of Chili Pepper (Capsicum Frutescens) Ingestion on Plasma Glucose Response and Metabolic Rate in Thai Women; P. Chaiyata et al.; September 2003
"British Journal of Nutrition"; Effects of Red Pepper Added to High-Fat and High-Carbohydrate Meals on Energy Metabolism and Substrate Utilization in Japanese Women; M. Yoshioka et al.; December 1998
"Green Tea Boosts Metabolism, Protects Against Diseases", WebMD.com <http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/19991128/green-tea-boosts-metabolism-protects-against-diseases>
Medical News Today; Grapefruit and weight loss; Jan. 24, 2004
"Amerian Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism; Acheson KJ, et al; Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):525-34
Lisa Simonelli Rennie – Lisa is a kinesiologist and has a BA in the Health Sciences from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in sports her whole life and became seriously involved in fitness and strength training while at York University. During this time, she also became heavily involved in running and trained for half-marathons. She has also been involved in sports and physical therapy and has helped to rehabilitate patients through strength training. As of the last few years, Lisa has become involved in sharing her knowledge of the health and fitness industry through writing and hopes that the information she shares will benefit anyone who reads her material.