20 foods that help boost metabolism

When we try to lose weight, we tend to focus on the foods that we are not supposed to eat. Our mouths water with cheesecake in the cafeteria, and friends‘ pizza when we go out with them. Instead, it shifts the focus to delicious, healthy foods that actually boost metabolism, aiding in weight loss, and preventing more fat from being stored. Maybe you should hook up on green tea, yogurt, avocado, and hot peppers to cheat a bit of your previous favorite off-diet cravings. Delicious nutritious foods like chocolate and avocado can help you lose weight.

Eat these 20 foods to help boost your metabolism

The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to maintain your weight or shed unwanted body fat. Here are 20 foods that boost your metabolism, and that can help you lose weight.

Green Tea

If you want to boost your metabolism, choose green tea over black tea or coffee. Studies have found that green tea is not only packed with flavonoids and antioxidants, it also has thermogenic properties, which promote fat oxidation. That means it helps burn the calories in the food you are eating as you eat and digest it.

Apples to boost metabolism

That frequently repeated adage about apples and doctors is backed by solid science. Apples are a low calorie and nutrient source of fiber, so eating them with meals or snacks can help you feel fuller for longer. Eating an apple each day can also help prevent metabolic syndrome, a disorder associated with abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Low fat yogurt

Probiotics in products that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, help the beneficial bacteria in the gut to process food more efficiently. Low-fat or fat-free yogurt (skip the flavored versions as they are full of sugar), is a great source of protein and calcium, and studies have found that eating yogurt as part of a reduced-calorie diet can help burn fat faster than going on a diet without it.


You’ve probably heard of the „negative calorie diet,“ which states that some foods, like celery, take in more calories to eat and digest than they contain. That’s only partially true, and yet eating celery can still help you lose weight. It is made up mostly of water and non-digestible cellulose, so including it in your meals can help you eat less.


Did you know that cinnamon is a natural blood sugar stabilizer? After much speculation about the effect of this spice on insulin levels, a 2007 study confirmed that a teaspoon of cinnamon added to a dessert helped moderate blood sugar spikes. Researchers are still trying to determine if cinnamon could be an alternative treatment for type 2 diabetes.


There’s a good reason why grapefruit is so often recommended as an optimal breakfast for people trying to lose weight. This low-sugar citrus contains an antioxidant that has been found in studies to lower insulin levels after eating a meal.


Broccoli contains two essential nutrients, calcium and vitamin C, which come together to boost metabolism, as long as you have a healthy thyroid. Broccoli is also „goitrogenic,“ which means it can slow the production of thyroid hormones in people with thyroid disease.

Lean meat and fish

Lean proteins from sources like meat and fish can help boost metabolism and energy levels. Protein also helps curb hunger and ensure that the weight you lose is fat, not muscle. Having greater lean muscle mass helps you burn more calories on a daily basis, aiding in long-term weight management.


Adding garlic to foods rich in fat and carbohydrates can prevent these substances from wreaking havoc on your health. Studies have found that garlic supports blood sugar metabolism and helps control blood lipid levels. Of course, that doesn’t mean that garlic bread is suddenly a healthy food and that it will help you lose weight, but adding fresh crushed garlic to your meals certainly won’t hurt.


While many foods, such as those high in sugar, can cause blood sugar spikes that signal the body that it is time to store fat, oats and other whole grains keep insulin levels low after eating. This ensures that you burn calories rather than increase them.

Olive oil

Eating fat to burn fat? It may seem like it doesn’t make sense, but healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil can actually help the body burn calories. But to get a benefit, you have to replace other types of fat – like cream or butter – with olive oil, and consume only in limited amounts.

Chili Peppers

Jalapeño, chipotle, and habanero peppers, for example, make meals deliciously hot, and boost your metabolism, too. Research has shown that adding hot peppers to a meal, even just in the form of a pinch, can increase metabolism by up to 25 percent for three hours after eating.


This pale green, creamy fruit may be high in fat and calories, but it’s also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. More importantly, most of the calories in an avocado come from monounsaturated fats, which help control the metabolic rate.


Another ideal source of lean protein, beans are packed with soluble and insoluble fiber that help lower insulin levels after digestion by helping your body store less fat. The process of digesting the fiber and protein in beans also burns extra calories.

Integral rice

The most important fiber in brown rice and its effects on insulin levels is what makes brown rice a great food for boosting metabolism. Choosing a complete, unrefined carbohydrate like brown rice over white rice, white flour, and other processed carbohydrates can be a huge boon for weight loss.


A low-calorie diet rich in almonds can help increase weight loss, according to a 2003 study. Researchers have speculated that the good monounsaturated fats in almonds not only have an effect on insulin levels, but also give dieters feel full, so they eat less overall.

Dark chocolate

Scientists have found that eating dark chocolate can actually aid in weight loss. The benefit comes from the effect of chocolate on stress hormones. Subjects in one study who ate chocolate every day had reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is one of the factors that drives the body to store fat.


Like the capsaicin in hot peppers, the itchiness of ginger root can decrease appetite, aid in digestion, and increase metabolic rate after eating. To boost your metabolism, try adding sliced or grated ginger to your stir fry or tea, or adding to baked recipes like banana bread.


A study of 175 overweight Japanese men and women found that the acetic acid in vinegar can „turn on“ genes that release proteins that break down fat. Study participants who drank 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced their body weight, BMI, visceral fat, and waist circumference.


Drinking lots of water can help speed up weight loss. One study found that drinking two cups of water increased the metabolism of study subjects by 30% for 30 to 40 minutes. Experts warn that the effect is „very, very small,“ but combining it with all of these other metabolism enhancers can help you get the results you want.


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