With summer just six weeks away you may be thinking of going on a crash diet. Don’t do it because there’s more to healthy weight loss than just eating less. The key is to cut back on foods that cause weight gain while eating more of the kinds of foods that are filling, nutritious, and that actually help burn fat.
Wild salmon contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to boost metabolism. Omega-3 alters levels of leptin, a hormone that directly effects metabolism and determines whether you burn calories or store them as fat. Consuming cold water fish such as salmon increases the levels of fat-burning enzymes in your body and decreases the levels of fat-storage enzymes. Eating salmon may boost metabolism by as much as 400 calories per day!
Greek yogurt is one of the best foods to eat if you're trying to lose weight and boost your metabolism. It is more nutrient-dense than regular yogurt and the body uses as much as 25 percent more energy digesting protein than fats or carbohydrates. Another plus: as a great source of lean protein, Greek yogurt helps build and preserve lean muscle mass, which is important because muscle tissue is our body’s calorie-burning machine. Studies show that eating breakfast can increase your resting metabolism for the rest of the day by as much as 10 percent, and a breakfast of fruit and Greek yogurt is a great choice.
Broccoli is a rich source of both calcium and vitamin C. In fact, these vitamins work together to burn calories faster and more efficiently. As calcium activates the metabolism, vitamin C actually helps the body absorb more calcium. Therefore, both work together to build and maintain healthy bones in our body.
Not only is this whole grain packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E, a one cup serving is a belly-filling, fat-burning powerhouse packing 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. For a delicious metabolism-boosting meal combine quinoa with some lean protein, high-fiber vegetables or nuts.
Green tea contains caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that can naturally help burn more calories. Caffeine speeds up the heart rate and also frees fatty acids stored in the body, making them more readily available for energy use rather than storing it as fat. Also, green tea contains a compound called ECGC that may help to boost your metabolism by speeding up the brain signals and nervous system.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the bestselling author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and register for new weekly newsletterby visiting her website Ffactor.com.