Since writing this article I have revisited the topic of eating and metabolism. At the time of writing I thought that eating more frequently could boost your metabolism. However, after further reading I have realised that my initial assumption was wrong. For the full details you can read my up to date article on how eating affects your metabolism.
Are you one of those people who orders chicken chicken with the mild, lemon sauce? I know I am. However, if you do this you may be missing out on a simple secret that will help boost your metabolism. So what is this secret? Surprisingly, it is spicy foods.
Spicy foods help burn fat because they increase your metabolic rate temporarily. According to Weight Loss Resources some spices can raise your metabolic rate by as much as 50% for up to three hours after consumption. The reason spices boost your metabolic rate is because they raise your body’s temperature (you will notice this yourself when eating spicy foods) which in turn raises your heart rate. Spices are also believed to have thermogenic properties which means they stimulate your body’s fat burning process. Indeed cayenne, a red hot chili pepper, is found in many weight loss pills because it stimulates fat burning. The overall result is that eating spicy foods can increase the amount of fat and calories you burn temporarily.
So what foods can you use to boost your metabolism? Take a look at the list below for some inspiration:
1) BUFFALO WINGS:- Try to choose baked wings instead of fried wings. The extra calories from the fried option will have a negative effect on your weight loss efforts.
2) THAI FOOD:- Spicy Thai foods are a really great way to incorporate spice into your diet. Plus, a lot of Thai food is healthy with particularly good choices including lean meats, such as chicken or fish and vegetables.
3) INDIAN FOOD:- Indian food is well known for being spicy and is a great way to help boost your metabolism. The spiciness can range from the relatively mild Chicken Tikka to the hot Balti Curry so there are a lot of options available to you. Furthermore, lots of Indian dishes are low in fat.
4) MEXICAN FOOD:- Mexican foods are often spicy and hot. However, you need to watch out for the fat content in the meals. A lot of Mexican dishes come with heavily fried ingredients.
5) PEPPERS:- You can add peppers to everyday dishes and really spice them up. Try adding a few jalapenos, Thai peppers or other hot peppers. Just make sure that the peppers you choose complement the flavour of the meal you are eating.
The above list should give you a few good ideas on how to spice up your diet. However, it is important to remember that although spicy foods can boost your metabolism and increase the rate that your body burns fat, it is not wise to gorge out on them. One reason is because the fat burning properties of spicy foods are limited and temporary. There can also be some negative effects associated with eating too much spicy food including stomach ulcers and acid reflux, which can lead to heartburn. Too many spices can also irritate your digestive tract and damage your taste buds.
The key, like with many aspects of healthy eating and burning fat, is balance. You need to eat spicy foods in the right quantities and balance this with the factors outlined below:
EATING MORE FREQUENTLY:- Instead of eating your usual three meals a day, break them down into five or six smaller portions. By eating smaller portions you will boost your metabolism. Plus, your body burns a large amount of calories every time it absorbs and breaks food down (the thermic effect of food). Eating more meals will boost this thermic effect and increase the number of calories burnt.
HEALTHY EATING:- Just because you are eating spicy foods does not mean you can neglect other areas of your diet. Sure, your body will have an increased metabolism and increased fat burning properties for a short period after eating the spicy food. However, this does not mean you can substitute the positive fat burning effects of the spicy food by eating a pizza every night. You need to be eating the spicy foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
REGULAR EXERCISE:- If you add aerobic and muscle building exercises to your routine, this will really help increase your overall metabolism. Furthermore, the actual exercises will help you lose weight and burn fat.
Spicy foods can boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. However, you need to realise that this is just one factor which cannot act alone. If you just eat spicy foods all day, every day, you are unlikely to lose weight and will probably experience some damage to your digestive system. However, as part of a balanced weight loss plan which incorporates healthy eating and exercise, spicy foods can give you that additional boost you have been looking for.