It’s true. There are foods and supplements that can amp up your metabolism to burn more calories, eat less, and feel less hungry. Here’s the skinny.
Cinnamon is a natural remedy that can be used to relieve symptoms from the common cold, diarrhea, and most gastrointestinal upset. However, cinnamon also has stabilizing effects on blood sugar levels especially in diabetics. Keeping your blood sugar steady thought the day can help you curb your appetite and feel less hungry; thus, eating less calories. Cinnamon is easy to incorporate in any diet. Taking a cinnamon supplement can be beneficial. But if you like cooking and trying new flavors, here are some ideas. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or tea, in your cereal, or even to plain Greek yogurt to give it some more flavor.
Green Tea has different functions in the human body, including weight loss. Green tea can help improve cognitive performance and mental alertness. Green tea naturally contains bioactive components, called EGCG. Clinical studies have shown the components in green tea is ideal for weight loss causing your body to burn more calories, especially when taken with caffeine (1). However, taking a green tea extract supplement may be more beneficial for weight loss due to the variability of processing of green tea leaves while drying, the tea type, and overall brewing method. Green tea extract supplements contain a specific amount of standardized extracts so you know exactly what your getting.
Turmeric is a plant usually used in cooking and is widely used in curry dishes. The important bioactive component of turmeric is called, curcumin. Curcumin is known to help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammatory symptoms, and also improve mental cognition. Recently, studies have concluded that curcumin and adding spices, especially turmeric, everyday is likely to help most people in the prevention of obesity, diabetes, and associated complications (2,3).
Eat “Good Carbs”
All complex carbs (aka good carbs) typically come from plant sources. Quinoa is an awesome high fiber, high antioxidant food food because it contains protein along with other vitamins and minerals. If you don’t like quinoa replace it with brown rice in a recipe. Or for breakfast eating a high fiber cereal like oatmeal or granola on top of yogurt.
Avoid “Bad Carbs”
Bad carbs are known as refined carbs. Refined carbs do not exist naturally in nature. Refined carbs have been processed to alter the whole food itself. Refined carbs usually contain a high amount of sugar and lack fiber. It’s easy to eat a lot of these foods because they are tasty and are readily available in our culture. Refined carbs contain most of it’s calories from sugar and carbohydrates. Avoid foods such as: white bread, desserts, sugar, syrup, and beverages containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Fresh is BEST!
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can help you feel full without all the calories. All fruits and vegetables contain a hearty serving of fiber. Good examples of fresh fruits and vegetables are: apples, carrots, salad, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, etc. all contain fiber and require more energy for your body to breakdown. There are so many recipes using fruits and vegetables on Pinterest. Check out some of our pins for healthy ideas.
Protein + Meal
Your body burns more energy while digesting protein. Protein is essential to building and maintaining muscle mass in the human body. Eating a protein with each meal can help you feel full. Good examples are: grilled chicken breast, turkey breast, black beans, chickpeas, hummus, tofu, and low fat greek yogurt.
Salads are usually the #1 go to food when someone is on a diet or trying to lose weight. Instead of using store bought salad dressing, use vinegar instead. Nowadays there are so many different flavors of vinegar; sweet, bitter, sour, and savory. Find your favorite flavor vinegar and combine with extra virgin olive oil for a fresh spin on dressing.
Don’t Confuse Hunger Signals
Staying hydrated throughout the day is just as important as “watching what you eat.” The human body sometimes confuses the signals of hunger and thirst. Spritz up your water by adding a lemon or orange wedge, or strawberries. If you prefer something not as sweet tasting, add cucumber or mint leaves. The amount of water you drink depends on your gender, height, activity level, and how much you sweat. Calculate how much water you need everyday here: Water Calculator
(1) Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, Girardier L, Mensi N, Fathi M, Chantre P, Vandermander J. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5.
(2) Henning SM, Niu Y, Lee NH, Thames GD, Minutti RR, Wang H, Go VL, Heber D. Bioavailability and antioxidant activity of tea flavanols after consumption of green tea, black tea, or a green tea extract supplement. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1558-64.
(3) Aggarwal BB. Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals. (ital Annu Rev Nutr.) 2010 Aug 21;30:173-199