Best Foods for Burning Calories & Boosting Metabolism

Was reading through some magazines and decided to sum up some of my fave naturally slimming foods. I always say, your diet is about 70-80% of the way you look and the last bits are working out and genetics. So we need to clean up from the inside out! Start replacing some of the foods in your diet with the ones below to start melting that fat away.

That’s the printable version I made for tumblr. But for you lucky duckies on my wordpress blog, you get the more in-depth explanation! Here are the facts.

Chili peppers, Jalapenos!!

How? The chemical capsaicin in peppers which gives them their spicy bite, contributes to speeding up your heart rate. The faster your heart rate, the more calories you burn. A study in the 80s found that eating 1 spicy meal can boost your metabolism by up to 25% which the increase in calorie burn lasting up to 3 hours after. Another recent study found that eating spicy snacks and drinking coffee throughout the day can help you burn an extra 1000 calories a day! You can read more about this study here.

Green Tea, Coffee!!

How? Caffeine and the EGCG in tea can help speed up your heart rate, which makes your brain and nervous system run quicker. Studies have found that having a combo of caffeine and EGCG 3x a day can help you burn an extra 80 cals a day at rest.

Lean protein! Chicken, Turkey, Egg Whites, Tofu!!

How? The body uses more energy to digest and break down protein vs. breaking down carbs, sugars, and fats. One study at Arizona State University found that people who ate high protein vs. a high carb diet burned 2x as many cals after the meal. In Denmark, scientists discovered that subbing protein in for 20% of one’s carb intake can help boost calorie burn by 5% a day.

Fish!!

How? The omega-3 fatty acids in these fishes alter levels of the hormone leptin in your body. Low leptin levels equal faster metabolisms, meaning you’re able to burn fat more quickly than people with higher leptin levels. The best way to lower your leptin is to eat fish! French scientists found that by replacing 6g of fat with 6g of fish oil, you can boost your metabolism and lose about 2lbs in 12 weeks.

Water!!

How? We are made mostly of water, so we need to stay hydrated to keep functioning! Drinking half your body weight in fluid ounces of water will keep you energetic, help you perform better throughout the day and in your workouts, remove waste/toxins from the body, make your skin and hair look nice, aid digestion, and help you feel fuller! Drinking ice cold water can also help you burn a few more calories than drinking room temp.

Whole Grains, Oats!!

How? Complex carbohydrates and fiber! These things increase your metabolism and help keep your insulin levels low after a meal. It’s good to keep your insulin levels down because once you get a spike in insulin production (like after eating candy) your body starts thinking it needs to store fat. So then this causes your metabolism to slow down, resulting in a decrease of calorie burn.

Milk, Yogurt (Greek), Cottage Cheese, Kefir!!

How? Calcium also helps trigger your metabolism! At the University of Tennessee, researchers found that dieters who consumed between 1,200 and 1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day lost 2x as much weight as dieters getting less calcium.

Sources:

NCBI: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11242488

Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/abs_diet_foods/printer.php

Bodybuilding.com http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/10_metabolism_foods.htm

Comments

  1. Thanks! i will try this

  2. Great list, for everyone seeking to lose weight!! But i really would like to know do spicy eatables burn fat?

  3. Thanks for the info. This should be very helpful to someone trying to lose weight.

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  6. I heard that bananas have more calcium than milk! :D Or something like that anyways… :)

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  8. FML – I’m allergic to animal proteins, milk, oats, tofu (soy), rice, gluten-products since I have celiac disease….

    • dont worry! you still have tea and water and veggies, and you can take calcium supplements instead of milk , and eat spicy things lolll. plus this list is not the be all end all to being healthy or reaching your goals, its just some extra perks to take advantage of so don’t let limitations make u feel bad :)

  9. I really don’t know why you satanize carbs so much! I am a nutrition major and a healthy diet for ANY individual (including athletes) should consist in 55-65% carbs, 10-15% protein and 25-30% fat of you total calories per day. A high protein diet helps you maintain your weight but these diets have a lot of kidney complications among other health issues. Some of your recipes are actually really good, this is just a health tip ;)

  10. What’s a good way to get calcium if I’m lactose intolerant?

    • Other good sources of calcium include: green vegetables like broccoli, curly kale, and bok choy; some fruits such as oranges, apricots and dried figs; canned fish with soft, edible bones (the calcium is in the bones) such as sardines, pilchards and salmon; nuts, especially Brazil nuts and almonds.

      You can find more info here http://www.iofbonehealth.org/bonehealth/calcium

      Hope that helps!

    • I am lactose intolerant too and its kinda easy to get calcium invlyour diet. They say milk is bad for us anyway and supposedly humans are the only animals that continue to consume it after adolescence. Green LEAFY veggies have a good amount of calcium. Lactose free milk (all it is regular milk with the lactose removed and tastes much better in my opinion than soy, almond, rice milk etc.), Organic Valley makes a good one if you try to stay away from the bad stuff in non-organic milk. If you don’t care about organic (or can’t afford it) there’s Lactaid brand milk at almost all stores and many grocery stores are making their own brands. Breyer’s makes a lactose free ice cream (only in vanilla though) which is available at most stores and has no artificial ingredients. A lot of cheese is actually more oil than milk so you may find an amount you can tolerate. If worse comes to worse look for calcium fortified products (actually Simply Orange is an artificial ingredient free amazing tasting O.j. that has a “plus calcium” formula available) and supplements (I have heard coral calcium is the best, most well metabolized one).

  11. I really like how you wrote this post because even though I have read things similar to this , this was just clear and simple and I actually understood it lol. Thanks for posting and I Needed the reminder !

  12. I think milk needs to be addressed more carefully. Another study shows that some nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, magnesium and lactose helps retain calcium while protein, phosphorus and sodium promote calcium excretion. Regardless of the amount we take in our body, calcium retention and the strength of bones may depend much more on other things we eat together with it. In another word, no matter how beneficial a food is, it’s of no use without the balanced diet.

    Also as milk contains a lot of saturated fat, it’s safer to recommend low, non fat milk since more than 1200mg is a lot to take in just from food.

    If you are interested, read “What to eat” by Marion Nestle. It’s informative!

  13. Hey Cassey,

    I’ve been making a lot of stirfrys with cous cous instead of brown rice or noodles etc (because I live in Australia and can’t find Miracle Noodles), I’ve been using greek yogurt + sriracha as my sauce….ok, sounds awful, but think tex mex and it changes everything! It’s ahhhh-mazing because the greek yogurt when used in stirfry context tastes like sour cream!!! However, if I’m having a stirfry for lunch and dinner, how much cous cous should + greek yogurt should I be eating a day? Approx….

  14. I loved this post!! It’s so great that you put so much research and effort into your posts and videos!

    I just posted a recipe on my blog and thought: Cassey might like this one :) it’s an Apple Chicken Quinoa Stew. If you’re interested:
    http://happiness-is-in-the-little-things.blogspot.com/2012/03/apple-chicken-stew.html

  15. Love this post, Cassey!! I feel so cool cuz I know I am eating this:) Thumbs up for coffe:) I need to add more spicy food and I am good:) I also love colorful pictures you used for this post:) Great great great*

  16. Ok, so as much as I love love LOVE your blogilates website, tumbr, facebook page, youtubes, everything!, A thought came to me that I think would be amazing for your website creating a more personal website for each individual, maybe almost like a pintrist or twitter for your blogilates website….like a change in the website that would include being able to “favorite” a blog post or workout or something like that…because I know at least for me, there are certain things on here that I Love and want to read again (and now my bookmarks on my comp are filled…LOL.) almost like allowing people to create different groups for different posts and stuff that we would easily be able to refer back to…like almost where you would have to Log In and have your own personal thing.. but anyway I still loveee your website and I think it is so amazing but it was just a thought and I wanted to share it with you :)

  17. Scarlett says:

    OMG thank you Cassey! This is why you have so many fans and such a wonderful community! Love You Lots!!! :-)

  18. Just wanted to drop a note and say how much I love your website! It’s so stylish and full of great information :-)

    This post is fantastic, bookmarking it now!

  19. This was so helpful Cassey! Thanks for putting this in one spot and explaining in detail why these food are so good for weight loss.

  20. Kate fitzsimons says:

    Omg I LOVE that you wrote this, it is pretty much my daily diet to a tee and it feels great knowing I am fueling it with the best and cleanest sources I can!! :) PS when are u going to put up some photos and recap your Sydney Lorna Jane visit?? :)

  21. Natalie says:

    Actually that’s really interesting to know. I always wondered how I was so slender when I was younger. I mean, I worked out a lot doing long-distance running and rugby etc but I ate like there was no tomorrow and drank several pints of milk a day but never gained in weight (except for muscle!) but I did eat a lot of raw vegetables and oats etc so maybe it’s something I’m gonna have to return to! Kick the bad habits!!!

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