Is it actually possible to boost your metabolism, burn more calories and lose weight just by eating? It is, if you eat the right kinds of foods at the right times, in the right amounts, and by eating those foods that burn more calories by chewing and digesting them.
At one time, it was thought that a calorie was simply a calorie. We used to think that if you eat 500 calories of carrots or 500 calories of cheesecake, your body will burn or store them exactly the same, right? Wrong! Newer science tells us that calories are not all alike, and it's important to know how they affect your metabolism.
Metabolism is how our body uses food by transforming it into energy, the burning of calories. Foods that are more effective in this process are known as metabolism boosting foods. They require more of your energy in order for your body to process and digest them. If you have a good mix of these foods, your body will be a little better at burning the fat that you eat, which would otherwise contribute to weight gain.
Some foods take more work to eat, and therefore burn more calories while you're digesting them. Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing, so eating foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can increase your calorie burn by up to 30%! The fiber and protein in such foods take so much effort to digest that your body doesn't absorb some of their calories.
Compare that scenario to the 500 calories of cheesecake, which is one of the softest and easiest foods to eat, and you can understand how you're likely to absorb every calorie and store a lot of it as fat.
The kinds of foods that require a lot of energy to eat and digest generally fall into four categories: chewy foods, such as whole fruits and veggies and nuts; hearty foods that are chewy and also packed with fiber; energizing foods such as coffee, black and green teas, and dark chocolate; and warming foods, including peppers, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and mustard. Many of these foods contain important compounds such as antioxidants that can raise resting metabolism or send fat-burning signals to the brain.
And don't forget how important water is to your metabolism! Drinking water all day is critical to digestion. It improves liver and kidney function and prevents digestive problems that can result from all the protein and fiber in the chewy and hearty foods.
Bring on those chewy and hearty whole fruits and vegetables! You can save money and burn calories, too!