Lots of people put a ton of effort into their nutrition plans when dieting, but sometimes, they’re missing key variables or specific foods, that could mean the difference between those last 5lbs, or that last 2% bodyfat you’ve been trying to lose. Check out these 10 metabolism boosting foods, and try to incorporate at least a couple every day into your meal plan.
Blueberries – A lot of dieters, and people in the fitness industry (especially bodybuilders), claim that essentially, fruit is the devil. I’m serious. They think that the second they put fruit in their mouth, they’ll lose muscle, gain fat, become unattractive to their significant others, and perhaps cause an angel to lose it’s wings. This is NOT the case. Granted, anything you eat in excess will put weight on, but in moderation, fruit is OKAY. Blueberries are good because they contain antioxidants. When free radicals (caused by the stress of pollution, over-training, aging or rigorous dieting) start to build up in your body because they’re not cleared, they damage cells which can lead to inhibited muscle growth and fat loss, or even cause disease. Good thing we have antioxidants like blueberries. Antioxidants help prevent this oxidation from taking place, and thus prevents the build up of free radicals.
Almonds – Calorie dense, yes. Unhealthy, no. Fat burning, yes! It’s been shown that dieters who eat a handful of almonds a day tend to lose more weight than those who don’t. Almonds are most definitely a filling snack (remember that fat has more calories per gram than protein and carbs). Almonds contain protein, fiber and monounsaturated fat, all which may help keep you satisfied throughout the day. So as long as you watch your portions, you’ll be fine.
Whey – There’s really only one easy way to put this: When used in conjunction with a solid weight training program, taken pre or post workout, whey protein can help build muscle. The more lean mass you have, the faster your metabolism is. So although whey doesn’t directly CAUSE your metabolism to speed up, the increased muscle mass you’ll have from the whey + training combo, will help keep your metabolic fire burning.
Salmon – I’m sure many of you are staying away from salmon because of the fat content. But this is one fat you DON’T have to be scared of. Salmon is SUPER high in protein and the Omega 3 essential fatty acid. Linolenic acid (Omega 3s) help lower insulin levels over the course of the day, as well as help prevent the storage of triglycerides.
Psyllium Husk – I can’t say enough good things about fiber. I picked psyllium husk specifically because it’s soluble (as opposed to insoluble). The basic reason people need to add soluble fiber to their diets is to add bulk to the stool. The more bulk, the more stuff that passes through your digestive system, translates to more waste elimination, and thus, more weight loss.
Spinach – I love anything green. Broccoli, green peppers, brussel sprouts, etc. But I picked spinach because not only does this superfood have fiber and is NOT calorically dense, but it DOES have a multitude of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, so it’s NUTRITIONALLY dense (meaning that a very small portion contains A LOT of micronutrients). It helps fill you up because it takes up a lot of volume in the stomach, and this is great for people on a diet.
Chicken – The KING/QUEEN of protein whole foods. Granted, eggs have a higher biological value, but nothing beats good old white meat boneless skinless chicken breast as a filling, hearty, bodybuilding food. Being extremely high in protein, it’s great for building muscle and losing fat because it keeps the metabolism revving, and helps fuel the muscles before, during and after a workout.
Water – The body’s best natural detoxifier. Water cleanses, purifies, and helps us eliminate waste from our bodies. It’s a better alternative to diet soda, and can assist with weight loss by helping to clean our insides, and keep us full by putting volume in our stomachs.
Green tea – Green tea helps with fat loss in a number of different ways. First of all, like water, is a liquid that helps take up space/volume in the stomach when you drink it. Secondly, a lot of types of green tea have caffeine; and, as you’ll see, caffeine is GREAT for fat loss. Lastly, it has a catechin known as EGCG (short form name) which also helps speed up the metabolism, and give you more energy.
Caffeine – I know this this isn’t exactly a “food” per se, but to me (with 2 part time jobs, contest prep and side projects on the go), it’s not only a food, but a FOOD GROUP unto itself. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and subsequently it can also help the body BREAK DOWN fat more efficiently. Essentially, fatty acids in the bloodstream are converted to usable energy (when there’s caffeine in the system), and the fat is oxidized)
By: Jamie Filer