Foods that Boost Your Metabolism, Fact or Fiction?

So how many of you out there have heard about endless super foods that boost your metabolism to aid in weight loss? From green tea, to berries to grapefruit…Do they really work? Do they have these magical fat burning powers that would make every person’s life easier when trying to shed those excess Kgs?! The verdict – THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT A FOOD HAS THE ABILITY TO BURN FAT OR BOOST METABOLISM especially for those trying to lose weight. Here are the facts…

Let us start by describing what metabolism is.  Metabolism is basically the process by which your body changes food and drink into energy. Your BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate- is the energy you need at rest i.e. the calories you need for normal functions such as breathing, digestion & circulating blood. Now factors which are believed to affect your metabolism and you have no control over are:

  • Genetics
  • Your sex
  • Your Age

A lot of you probably blame your metabolism for weight gain but unfortunately it is simply the result of eating more calories than you are burning. Certain medical conditions, however, do affect your metabolism and can result in weight gain or difficulty to lose weight and they include hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and Cushing’s syndrome.

In order to set the record straight, here is my take on common metabolism myths.

  • Green Tea & Hot peppers DO NOT BOOST METABOLISM. Some studies have shown a minor spike in metabolism for both green tea & chillis after consumption, however, it was only noted to be a minor spike and nothing permanent. Verdict – Metabolism unaffected. No food can speed up or change you metabolism permanently.
  • There is no truth behind not eating after 7pm to avoid converting the food you eat into fat. You might hear about your metabolism slowing down at night which is relatively true but this only applies to when you are asleep! Your metabolism never stops working. The reason behind the myth is to control late night bingeing & snacking on unhealthy foods. People also tend to have a large meal at dinner time packed with calories and fat! Extra Calories, Extra weight!

  • Eating 6 small meals rather than 3 main meals does not affect your metabolism. My take on this is people need to avoid long time gaps in between their main meals i.e. no long that 4 hours without eating. If you’re running low on energy & switch to ‘I’m starving’ mode, portion control & food choice will go out the window! That is when snacks come in the picture. Always have an emergency snack around such as fruit, low fat yoghurt or raw vegetable sticks to keep that starving sensation at bay.

A lot of you may be thinking, “So what do I do now?” Unfortunately, all those magical claims about metabolism boosting foods are false and untrue but my advice in regards to giving your metabolism a boost is the following:

1. Breakfast has to be eaten daily.

2. Light weight training and regular exercise has to be incorporated into your lifestyle.

3. Do not skip meals & starve yourself.

4. Control your hunger levels by having small frequent meals should that suit your lifestyle.

Stay tuned for the next post for more on my metabolism boosting advice and weight loss!


1 Comment
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