What to Eat to Increase Metabolism and Fat Burning

There is a lot of information on the internet regarding how to speed up your metabolism. However, it’s typical for several physiological processes, like your metabolism, to slow down as you become older.

Unfortunately, this can lead to weight gain and excess fat, which is something that none of us wants! 
There are also thousands of weight-loss products and formulae on the market that claim to speed up the fat-burning process in your body.

The truth is that there is no “magic medication” that can make your body burn fat more efficiently. In terms of food, exercise, and self-care, a lot of it boils down to your own efforts. 

What Is Metabolism?

The process by which your body turns food into energy is known as metabolism. This is a complex biochemical process in which calories from food and beverages interact with oxygen to release energy for diverse tasks. 

Even when you’re sleeping, your body needs the energy to function. Breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormones, restoring, and repairing cells are just a few of the many functions going on within you that you aren’t even aware of. 

Similarly, to carry out these essential processes, your body requires a specific number of calories. This is referred to as your metabolic rate or basal metabolic rate. 

Several factors determine the speed of your metabolic rate, including:

  • Your body size and composition – People with more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
  • Your gender – Men generally have less body fat and more muscles than women, so they burn more calories.
  • Your age – As you get older, your body’s muscle content tends to decrease and fat begins to increase, which can slow down your metabolism.

Can you change your metabolic speed? Well, your metabolism is generally fairly stable, but there are ways to ramp it up a little.

Related: 4 Fat-Burning Hacks (And Sustainably)

What Happens If You Speed Up Metabolism?

When your metabolism is working properly, you’ll get a slew of health benefits. It’s crucial to note that your metabolic rate is influenced by a variety of things, not the least of which is your weight! 

Your energy levels will be a lot more stable, and you will be less exhausted if you have a rapid metabolism. This is because your body will transform the food you eat into fuel effectively, giving you a constant supply of energy. 

People who have a fast metabolism can also maintain mental attention. You’re less prone to gain weight and can lose weight rapidly if necessary. 

6 Foods That Can Speed Up Metabolism

It might seem counter-intuitive to think that certain foods could speed up metabolism, but it’s true. Your body needs some nutrients to kick-start your fat-burning processes; that’s why skipping meals may not actually help you lose weight in the long run.

The following foods have been shown to help boost your metabolism and get your weight-loss journey on track:

1. Lean Meats

Protein digestion takes a lot more effort than carbohydrates or fat digestion. As a result, nutritionists advise eating fresh, lean meats like poultry and fish.[1]  

Because digestion necessitates a lot of energy, you’re burning calories to break them down. Protein has been found in studies to improve your post-meal calorie expenditure by up to 35%. 

Furthermore, protein is essential for muscle mass growth. The faster your metabolism is, the more muscle you have. As a result, make an effort to include protein in each meal and snack throughout the day. 

Related: How to Find Weight-Loss Meal Plans That Work

2. Legumes

Plant-based protein can be found in abundance in beans and pulses. They’re also high in soluble and insoluble fiber.

When your body breaks down fiber and protein, it expends a lot of energy, which keeps your metabolism in good shape. Beans’ high fiber content also helps to maintain blood sugar levels and avoid sugar cravings in the afternoon.[2]

In addition, legumes are high in iron, zinc, and selenium. These are minerals that your thyroid requires in order to create enough hormones. Your metabolism may stall or become affected if you don’t take them.

3. Nuts

Nuts are another high-protein, high-fiber food. According to studies, those who eat nuts on a regular basis have a lower chance of insulin resistance and have smaller waist sizes than those who don’t. [3]

Your body is less prone to accumulate fat or develop type 2 diabetes if you have reduced insulin resistance. Nuts, on the other hand, take longer to digest, making them more gratifying and beneficial to your metabolism.

Nuts, moreover, have been shown to speed up your metabolism in studies. Nuts have been shown in several studies to increase energy expenditure, which could help you burn an extra 10% of your total energy yield.

Related: How Do Vitamins Help With Weight Loss?

4. Whole Grains

Whole grains are a type of complex carbohydrate with a longer chain of sugars. It means your body takes longer to break them down, which means your metabolism burns continuously for longer.

According to studies, eating whole grains increases post-meal energy expenditure by up to 50% more than eating processed foods. 

Complex carbohydrate foods usually include more nutrients, especially B vitamins. They are crucial in transforming the food you ingest into energy, which is the foundation of your metabolic activity.

Vitamin B12, in particular, is frequently linked to weight loss since it improves metabolism and gives long-lasting energy. 

Choose whole grains over processed grains wherever possible. Whole-wheat flour, quinoa, brown rice, barley, corn, and oats are also good options. 

5. Probiotic Foodsz

Fermented foods including yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut aid in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are in charge of digesting meals in your intestines and promoting nutrient absorption. [4]

Adults who ate around 1/2 cup of probiotic yogurt at supper every night for six weeks reduced 3-4 percent body fat, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Functional Foods. In comparison, those who ate plain yogurt lost only 1% of their body fat.

It’s been claimed that probiotics alter the body’s bile acid metabolism. The liver produces these acids, which have the principal purpose of breaking down lipids in the upper stomach.

If probiotics can affect how bile acids are digested, this could affect how much fat your body absorbs from your diet.

6. Caffeine

Caffeine is a strong stimulant that can help you “wake up” and speed up your metabolism. It acts by inhibiting the neurotransmitter adenosine, which causes the release of more dopamine and norepinephrine via other neurotransmitters.

This makes you feel more alert and energized, allowing you to work out for longer periods of time. However, remember that too much coffee can cause a persistent stress reaction and leave you feeling exhausted, so use it sparingly.

Caffeine has been found in studies to enhance your resting metabolic rate by 3–11 percent, depending on the amount.[5]

This has also been demonstrated to aid in fat burning. Caffeine-based supplements were found to enhance fat burning by as much as 29 percent in one study. As a result, researchers believe that caffeine has a major impact on energy balance and metabolism speed.

Related: How to Efficiently Burn Calories (the Healthy Way)

Bottom Line

Remember, while this article focuses on what to eat, to really speed up your metabolism and burn fat, you need to make efforts in terms of exercise and self-care too.

Start eating healthy with the above foods that I suggested, and exercise regularly to keep yourself moving.


  1. Heart: Meat, Poultry, and Fish: Picking Healthy Proteins

2. Harvard T.H. Chan: Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar

3. NCBI: Benefits of Nut Consumption on Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Multiple Potential Mechanisms of Actions

4. PubMed: The energetics of nut consumption

5. Healthline: Can Coffee Increase Your Metabolism and Help You Burn Fat?

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