Brought to you by Good Health magazine
Every sip and bite can count when it comes to making your metabolism work for you.
Drink your water cold
"One study found that women who drank 500ml of cold water raised their metabolic rate by 30 per cent, which equates to about 100kJ. Drink two litres of cold water a day and you could burn 400kJ," says Melanie McGrice, founder of Health Kick Nutrition and Dietetics.
Enjoy a morning latte
A cup of coffee can boost metabolism by about 10 per cent for 30 minutes after consumption, says McGrice. "Caffeine increases thermogenesis in our body, which increases our body temperature and metabolism. Thermogenesis accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of our total energy expenditure." Just drink your daily cup unsweetened.
Sip green tea in the afternoon
According to McGrice, green tea packs a greater metabolic punch than caffeine alone. "Studies have shown that the antioxidants in green tea can help increase our metabolic rate by four per cent," she says. In addition, ECGC, a compound in green tea, was found to slow down weight gain in mice.
Spice up your meals
Spicy ingredients like pepper and chilli not only boost metabolism, they curb appetite too. "In one study, researchers found that people who consumed both red pepper and caffeine saw an increase in their thermogenesis and a decrease in the amount of food they ate, compared to people who consumed neither," says McGrice. Add fresh chilli to stir-fries and pasta sauces, and avoid sugary sweet chilli sauce.
Power up with protein
Eating small amounts of protein – including low-fat dairy products and legumes – throughout the day can help prevent damaging metabolism dips. “Our basal metabolic rate actually increases after we eat protein,” explains McGrice. “And when we don’t eat enough protein, our body breaks down muscle tissue to get the amino acids it needs to make new proteins, slowing down our metabolism.”
For more nutrition tips pick up the September issue of Good Health magazine or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.