If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, you may be looking for foods that can boost your metabolism. It is true that some foods may help increase your metabolic rate slightly. Adding these foods to your diet may make it easier to lose body fat or prevent excessive weight gain, if that is your goal.
However, eating more of these foods does not guarantee that you will lose weight. Instead, it serves as a supplement to a balanced diet and moderately restricted in calories to promote weight loss.
Protein-rich foods — such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds — can help boost your metabolism for a few hours.
This is because it requires your body to use more energy to digest it. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF refers to the number of calories your body needs to digest, absorb, and process nutrients in your meals.
Research shows that protein-rich foods increase TEF the most. For example, it increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbohydrates and 0-3% for fats.
High-protein diets also reduce the metabolic dip often seen during weight loss by helping your body retain muscle mass. Furthermore, protein may also help keep you full for longer, which may prevent overeating.
2. Foods rich in minerals
The minerals iron and selenium play different but equally important roles in the proper functioning of your body.
However, they have one thing in common. Both are required for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism.
Research shows that a diet that is very low in iron or selenium may reduce the thyroid gland’s ability to produce adequate amounts of hormones, which may slow down the metabolism. To help your thyroid function at its best, include foods rich in selenium and iron such as meat, seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds in your daily menu.