Looking for ideas on how to lose belly fat or just lose weight in general? You know burning off more calories than you take in is necessary to lose weight, but it often seems like that only gets you so far. You know what I mean. You start dropping some weight and then you just reach a place where you just don’t seem to lose any more no matter what you do. This is when it can be helpful to boost metabolism and eat some specific fat burning foods. When you boost metabolism you are increasing the calories your body uses up per day. Around 60% to 70% of the calories you consume go towards just providing the energy your body needs to function. This amount is called your RMR or resting metabolic rate. The higher your particular RMR is, the more calories you can consume without weight gain because your body is using that food and turning it into energy. You may think that if you are overweight you just have a slow metabolism, but according to Pamela Peeke, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After Forty, this isn’t the case. She points out that the more weight you have the harder your body must work. Your metabolism does slow down the older you get though. Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., Director of the Physical Center for Activity and Nutrition reports that the RMR slows 25-30% for people between 40 and 80 years of age.
Natural Solutions to Boost Metabolism
Protein and Muscle Building
A metabolism that is off balance can use a boost to help in burning off extra calories. Building muscle is one way to boost metabolism. Muscle uses more energy and burns more calories than fat. The more muscle you have the harder your body works to burn calories. Adding more lean protein foods to your diet and cutting back on carbs will help you in building muscle. Beans and eggs are both good protein sources that are low calorie, low fat and the fat they do have are healthy ones like omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs. Foods high in protein often take more time to eat as they require more chewing which means you are likely to eat less. This extra chewing also can burn off some extra calories. Digestion of proteins also burns up more calories than digesting carbs and fats.
Fat Burning Foods
You can’t stay away from fat altogether as your body needs certain amounts of healthy fats for heart and brain health. According to Dr. Jonny Bowden foods like eggs and avocados that have natural healthy fats can help retrain the metabolism to burn fat rather than store it and use it as energy. Other food sources reported to be fat burning foods and boost metabolism include those with caffeine, antioxidants, catechins and capsaicin. A shot of caffeine from black tea or coffee can actually help you burn off an extra 80 to 128 calories daily and every little bit counts right? Green tea has catechins which is an antioxidant that can increase RMR as much as 4%. Capsaicin is what makes peppers hot and studies show eating hot peppers can help you burn off an extra 100 calories per day.
Another way to boost metabolism is by taking a digestive enzyme supplement with meals and in between meals. Enzymes literally metabolize food, fat and toxins in the body. Increasing the number of enzymes in the body can increase the metabolizing capability. Enzymes also help your body get the most nutrition it can from the foods you eat. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus help your body process and digest the foods you eat and move them through the digestive system.
Foods rich in antioxidants also help increase metabolism. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and low in calorie so you can fill up on them without weight gain. Research has shown that these types of foods can keep fat cells from getting larger. If you don’t get as many fruits and vegetables on your plate as you should, you can fill this gap by taking an antioxidant supplement that also has the nutritional power of AFA bluegreen algae.
Eating Tips for How to Lose Belly Fat
Slow down when eating. Eating slower gives you more time to enjoy your meal, but it also gives your brain time to register the fact that your stomach is actually full. Once you are full, stop eating. So many of us were raised on the concept of having to clean our plates, that we keep eating past the point of fullness until we are stuffed. That is especially true when eating out. Restaurants are notorious for dishing out large portions. At home try using a smaller plate and put less on it if you feel you have to clean your plate and when eating out, get a doggie bag before you start your meal and put half away to take home before you start instead of waiting until the end of the meal and just saving what is left.
Chris Powell from Dr. Oz’s team of experts advises eating small meals every few hours to boost metabolism. Each meal should have a small amount of protein, a carb or healthy fat and then all the vegetables you want. This works to boost metabolism because it engages your digestive system each time you eat and digestion raises the metabolic rate. He also suggests eating good complex carbohydrates like whole grains, beans and root veggies to keep your thyroid working well since the thyroid controls the rate you burn calories.
You can’t beat exercise and healthy eating to stay healthy and keep your weight under control. When you need a little extra help to get those extra pounds off though, try out some of these ways to boost metabolism and make it easier to get to the weight you need to be for good health.
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