Metabolism boosters for weight loss – do they work?

Anyone who has ever attempted weight loss has also attempted to find some way to boost or speed up the rate at which they burn calories.  Metabolism, defined as the sum of all physical and chemical changes taking place in living cells in order to maintain life, can either make or break our ability to be successful at weight loss. Think of your body like an engine with your metabolism the rate at which your engine runs.  By making a few adjustments, you can cause your engine to rev up a little higher burning a few extra calories.

There are all kinds of tips and tricks out there claiming to be the answer to giving your metabolism a much needed jump-start to get the weight loss ball rolling – take an ice bath, drink 1 liter of ice cold water daily, or try kissing in the cold – other than sounding like an obsession with being cold, do they really work?

Instead of putting all your effort into pseudo-science, why not just base your weight loss endeavors into looking at what may actually work because it is based on scientific evidence.  Why not do a little more – ok a LOT more – of simply doing the boring yet realistic means of what could provide that push to get your weight loss started? 

Even though the following suggestions will only result in a very modest boost to metabolism, if combined with healthy food choices and regular exercise, they may enhance weight loss efforts.  Here are some of these tried and true metabolism boosters that just may be the one(s) you need to reach a healthy body weight:

·Some like it hot

There is a compound found in chili peppers giving them their burn that also has the backing of science supporting it can give a boost to your metabolism.  Capsaicin is the compound particularly found in hot peppers that bump up your metabolic rate by using up a few extra calories right after a meal containing some jalapenos and other spicy peppers.  It seems like capsaicin stimulates the sympathetic nervous system creating an enhanced environment to use up extra calories.

·Down a glass of ice cold water

Drinking ice cold water can require a few extra calories to be used up as it takes energy to warm up the water we are drinking.  In fact, researchers have found that consuming ice cold water will burn about 12 extra calories as our body warms it up. That really is not a significant amount of extra calories used up but the important thing is we all need to drink more water.  If you like it ice cold, go ahead and drink away.  At any temperature, water is a healthy beverage – far better than any sugary drink or coffee drinks resembling a milkshake. 

·Choose green tea

Some weight loss tips swear by green tea as a metabolic booster but few studies back this notion up.  The main thing is if you like green tea, it also is a healthy beverage and perfectly fine to consume.  For anyone affected negatively by caffeine, be careful not to go overboard. Brewed green tea is better than bottled green tea as it won’t have the health boosting flavonols found in freshly brewed varieties.

·Go for the caffeine buzz

We all love our caffeine and this just may be one that could increase your metabolism – at least according to one study from several years ago. Before you go and pour yourself another cup of coffee, do consider the fact that no long-term studies have shown caffeine paving the way to easy weight loss.  And for anyone who is affected by caffeine’s ability to increase heart rate, nervousness and sleepless nights, consume it in moderation of no more than 400 mg daily – one cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine.  It is also advisable to avoid taking caffeine supplements for weight loss.

·Eat more protein

The act of eating actually causes some burning of calories known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).  TEF is the temporary speeded up metabolism in the body because of using calories to digest, absorb, and store nutrients from food.  Protein creates a greater TEF than fat or carbs so just adding in some extra can burn a few more calories.

The one thing to remember is that our body can only process about 30 grams of protein at any one time so consuming any more than that, it will only be stored as fat.  A 3 ounce chicken breast contains approximately 26 grams of protein.  Include lean protein sources at each meal of no more than 30 grams along with other health-boosting foods of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.