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20 Foods That Will Speed Up Your Metabolism

Lean Meats

The body works harder to break down proteins than it does fats or carbohydrates. This means your metabolism will burn more calories while breaking it down. 

Diet tip: Incorporate lean beef, turkey, white meat chicken, and tofu into your daily diet to keep metabolism moving.

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Legumes

Black beans, chickpeas, edamame (soy), lentils, and kidney beans are all high in protein, fiber, folate, and iron. These legumes have the power to not only speed up metabolic rate, but they also help to promote digestion, lower cholesterol, and help keep you feeling full longer. 

Diet tip: Canned legumes tend to be high in sodium, so whenever possible, cook dry beans and freeze the leftovers for future meals.  

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Nuts

Especially Brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds contain healthy fatty acids and protein. The protein helps to make the metabolism work a little harder, thus giving you a metabolic boost.

Diet tip: For a snack, toss back a handful (12-14 pieces) of unsalted almonds to give yourself a temporary kick.

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Iced Water

There are several ways in which water aids in weight loss. Iced water makes your metabolism work a little harder to convert into energy because it must convert it to room temperature first. Thus, ice water burns more calories than room-temperature water. 

Diet tip: Either way, make sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and to keep that metabolism moving!

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Chili Peppers

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can aid in burning up to an extra 50 calories per day by increasing your heart rate and therefore speeding up metabolism. 

Diet tip: Chop up a chili pepper and add it as desired to a salad or healthy soup.

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Coffee

Coffee contains several stimulants and substances that can affect metabolism. The caffeine found in coffee—the main stimulant—can help increase metabolic rate as well as boosting your energy and level of wakefulness. 

Diet tip: Drink a cup of joe with your already-high-protein breakfast for an extra metabolism boost.

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Eggs

Eggs are high in both protein and calcium, but they are low in calories. They contain choline, which boosts metabolism and they keep you feeling full longer, which aids in weight loss goals.

Diet tip: Start your day with a high-protein meal or a high-fiber meal to wake your metabolism up.

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Green Tea

Green tea contains a combination of caffeine and antioxidants called catechins. They work together to boost metabolism by as much as 4-10%. Green tea has also been linked to fat burning, especially during exercise. 

Diet tip: Drink a cup of green tea during your late afternoon snack to energize you and keep your metabolism going.

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Ginger

This spice contains compounds called gingerols, which have an effect that helps food to digest quicker. A teaspoon of ginger per day could burn up to 43 more calories per day. Ginger is also known to decrease levels of hunger, making you feel fuller longer. 

Diet tip: Add a spoonful of ginger to a cup of tea for a quick metabolism boost. 

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides that go straight to the liver to be turned into energy. This means that this oil is unlikely to be stored as fat. There are studies that show that 30 mL of coconut oil per day may reduce waist size. 

Diet tip: Instead of butter, spread coconut oil on your high-fiber toast in the morning.

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Seaweed

Seaweed is a terrific source of iodine—a mineral required to produce thyroid hormones and proper function of thyroid glands. The thyroid gland is the master gland that controls metabolism and regulates metabolic rate. 

Diet tip: Try your hand at making your own sushi and serve it alongside a seaweed salad.

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Garlic

Garlic is considered a thermogenic, which basically means it raises your metabolism by causing the body to produce heat. This, in turn, burns more calories and helps you feel fuller longer. 

Diet tip: Try mixing fresh mashed garlic with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a healthy homemade salad dressing.

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon lowers the amount of insulin a body produces after a meal as well as helps to slow the digestion process, allowing you to feel full longer. The body needs extra energy in order to digest this spice, thereby naturally speeding up your metabolism. 

Diet tip: Sprinkle some cinnamon into your low-fat yogurt for a sweet treat.

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Tuna

Oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, halibut, and rainbow trout, all help to reduce levels of leptin, which can slow down your metabolism. They also all contain those ever-important Omega-3 fatty acids and protein that help to regulate appetite and are known to boost metabolism. 

Diet tip: Try fresh, grilled tuna instead of the canned variety.

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Grapefruit

This superfruit contains the compound naringin, which lowers blood sugar and encourages weight loss.

Diet tip: Eat as a snack with artificial sweetener to avoid eating higher-calorie options.

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Whole Grains

Rice, oats, wheat, and barley all control appetite, have a high nutrient supply, and give you sustained energy. When eating whole grains such as oatmeal or brown rice, your body burns twice as many calories as it does when you eat processed foods. These metabolism-boosting foods contain fiber that also assists in fighting constipation and bloating. 

Diet Tip: Cook a healthy meal of brown rice and black beans for a metabolism-packed power meal.

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Seeds

Flax seeds and chia seeds contain the ever-important omega-3 fatty acids that do a body good. In this case, the acids and the fiber contained in these seeds force your metabolism to work harder to aid in digestion. 

Diet tip: Toss a tablespoon of either type of seed into your low-fat yogurt for a texture twist and metabolism boost all at once.

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Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all low in calories and high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. As we’ve already mentioned, fiber speeds up the digestive process, which helps burn extra calories. 

Diet tip: Throw a handful of your favorite berries into a low-fat yogurt or in your morning oatmeal. 

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Leafy, Green Vegetables

Leafy, green vegetables are all packed with vitamin C, fiber, and are high in calcium while remaining low in calories. High calcium diets promote fat-burning and fill you up faster as well as keeping you feeling full longer. 

Diet tip: Because spinach has extra nutrients, we suggest tossing a salad with baby spinach, along with your other favorite salad veggies—and incorporating that garlic salad dressing from #14.

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Avocado

Avocados have many health benefits—not the least of which is aiding in weight loss. Loaded with healthy fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, this superfood can increase the rate at which fat is burned as well as increasing your feeling of fullness. 

Diet tip: Slice up a hoss avocado and add it to your spinach salad.

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Cocoa Powder

Although cocoa powder is often confused with chocolate, the two products are very different—cocoa doesn’t even have any fat or sugar! But it does help speed up metabolism and aid in digestion with its anti-inflammatory properties.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

According to huffingtonpost.ca, apple cider vinegar has several health benefits, not the least of which is boosting your metabolism and acting as an appetite suppressant.

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Greek Yogurt

Alone it won’t help much to help burn more calories. However, if you add it as part of a balanced diet that includes enough protein, fiber, and healthy fats, it can help to boost your metabolism.

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Broccoli

This vegetable is what we consider cruciferous, meaning it’s packed with water and high fiber content that boosts the body’s ability to burn fat.

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Chickpeas

Just one ounce of these legumes has just 46 calories and provides a decent amount of fiber and protein; both known to boost metabolism.

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Almonds

These yummy little treats contain essential fatty acids which help to speed up your body’s metabolism. They are also high in both protein and fiber, which help to give you an energy boost and make you feel fuller longer.

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Cheese

The trick here is just the right balance. As long as you don’t overindulge, the protein found in cheese and most other dairy products can help to boost your metabolism.

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Asparagus

Asparagus is low in calories while being high in nutrients such as Vitamin B-2 that has been proven through research to boost the metabolic rate.

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Carrots

They’re yummy, pack a great crunch, and they can help you lose weight? What’s not to love? Carrots are also super filling and increase bile secretion, which speeds up metabolism.

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Low-Fat Milk

Not only does the calcium and Vitamin D help boost your metabolism, but it also keeps you feeling full longer, helping to keep you from that mid-morning snack.

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