Metabolism Boosting 101: Best and Worst Foods for Your Metabolism

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Updated on January 29, 2024

Reviewed by Eman Sameh

Food is one of the world’s best delicacies that give our lives an intricate enjoyment. It is also embedded in cultures, shaping them and creating traditions around certain types. Not only that, but it is also a simple pleasure that gathers people during celebrations. But, are those really the real reasons behind the existence of food? Of course not.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying all food, it is mainly there to provide us with energy to be able to carry out the simplest activities and for our bodies to function properly. Food is our main source of energy, and the lack of it can lead to a serious deterioration in many aspects of life, especially the complex process known as metabolism.

In order for food to get inside our system and emit energy, there must be a process that carries out this function, and that is metabolism. Moreover, metabolism comes in different types, in which each of them has a specific function that works in our own interest. 

Metabolism is all about pairing oxygen with the calories getting into your body, releasing a certain amount of energy, based on the amount and types of foods and drinks you consume. This means that some foods are better than others, and the other way around. Some foods can work on boosting your metabolism and others can slow it.

Some of our daily habits can also have an impact on the function of metabolism, either in a positive or negative way. Keep reading to learn about the foods that you need to consume more and others to avoid in order to keep your metabolism healthily functioning. 

Foods that Impact your Metabolism

Revving your metabolism is not that hard to do at all. It is all about picking the right foods, which are mostly ones with nutritious values that will improve your overall health, and consequently improve your metabolism function. Check out this list of the best foods to opt for and the worst ones to avoid for a healthier lifestyle.

Increase Your Protein Intake

Protein has multiple benefits that you can reap when consuming it in the right amount. One of the best functions that protein-rich food has is increasing your metabolism, helping you burn more calories around the clock. It is your best option if you’re looking for an easy way to shed the extra pounds or even simply maintain your weight.

The reason behind the impact of protein on the metabolism is that it stimulates the thermic effect of food, simply known as TEF. Not only does that help in burning the extra fats your body stores, but it also helps in maintaining your muscle mass so your weight reduction keeps you healthy and strong.

Many food options are laden with protein, with meat coming at the top of the list. Meat options include chicken, beef, salmon, and whitefish. Dairy is also another option where you can find a generous amount of protein, yet you need to be careful with your dairy consumption. 

Opt for Spicy Food

If you are into adding some hot and chili flavors to your meals, you can actually use this habit for your own benefit. Many studies over the years have proven that spicy food has the tendency to increase the ability of your metabolism for some time. It is a great way to lose weight and still enjoy some of your favorite foods.

The effect of spiciness is deemed minor, but it can be a useful way to suppress your appetite. So, not only does spicy food impact your metabolism, but it is also capable of delivering feelings of satiety quicker than regular food. This is also another successful way to reduce your daily portion and stay full for longer. 

If this sounds appealing to you, consider adding some jalapeño or chili peppers besides your main courses. You can also use flaming spices as seasoning. Drenching your food in hot spices is your gate to creating some flaming hot dishes that aid in firing up your metabolism yet are super succulent ones.

Drink More Caffeine

According to many studies, it was proven that caffeine has a positive effect on the function of one’s metabolism. The impact can vary from one person to another, depending on many factors, including their body decomposition. However, coffee is still a great way to promote fat burning and kickstart your metabolism at the beginning of the day.

To reap the benefits of coffee, make sure you don’t go for ones that are laden with creamer, sweeteners, and other calorie-dense flavors that may fire back instead. Super sweet coffees can have a negative effect on both your metabolism and waistline, for it throws off your daily intake of calories.  

Other caffeinated drinks that you can reach for are herbal teas and green tea. They are rich in antioxidants and works as great appetite suppressants. So, even if their impact on your metabolism isn’t that significant, they still affect it and assist in your weight reduction journey.

Avoid Refined Grains

Who doesn’t like treating themselves to a nice slice of pizza or a creamy dish of pasta? Well, there is nothing wrong with indulging in food high in carbs and refined grains every once in a while. However, it becomes an actual problem when these foods are a huge part of your lifestyle. The amount of starch and gluten found in this kind of food can hurt your metabolism in a terrible way.

The process of digesting starches puts your body under more pressure, causing your metabolism to slow down. Besides, this type of food may provide you with some succulent taste, but it will never deliver satiety. In a few hours, your hunger pangs will come knocking again while your body is still pushing your metabolism to digest the previous meal. 

Thus, make sure you don’t always reach out for pasta, pizzas, doughs, and other gluten-laden foods. They contain a crazy amount of calories and very little to almost no nutritious values, which doesn’t treat your body any good.

Go for Greek Yogurt

Yogurt in general has more than a few benefits on one’s overall health, given its being rich in calcium and protein. Greek yogurt is even better, for it gets its whey and other liquids eliminated, making it less fatty than regular milk.

Adding Greek yogurt to your daily diet goes a long way when it comes to boosting your metabolism. While it is quite rich in protein, it is still not sufficient to give your metabolism the needed rev up it needs to keep you in perfect health. However, it does wonder when it becomes a part of a balanced diet.

Avoid Fried Food

We know how tempting fried food can be, especially when reaching that perfect golden hue and crispy texture. However, deep-fried food has almost no nutritious value and is laden with an insane amount of calories. Such fatty foods are made by being dipped into hydrogenated oils, which have harmful impacts on your overall health.

Most importantly, they can take a huge toll on the function of your metabolism, slowing it down and affecting your digestion process. Thus, you burn fewer calories and are left with little to no energy. Heavy consumption of fried food also leads to feelings of sluggishness and unexplained fatigue. 

Instead of risking your life with every bite you take off these foods, treat yourself to a fried meal every once in a while when you crave it. However, having French fries, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks every single day is a surefire way to cause some long-lasting damage to your metabolism; ones that will take quite long to reverse.

Say No to Granola


This may sound weird, but, actually, granola is not as healthy as it is always marketed for it to be. The only healthy thing about granola is the oat base. Oat may have a lot of beneficial impacts on one’s health, including improving metabolism, regulating blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol. 

However, the heavy sugar additives found in the granola can put all of that at a halt. Not only that but also the high amounts of preservatives found in most granolas and granola bars have a deteriorating effect on one’s metabolism.

Before reaching out for your favorite granola bar, make sure you read out the label carefully. If you realized that it contains a high amount of unhealthy ingredients, then it, definitely, causes more harm to your metabolism than good.

Foods High in Fiber

When someone is trying to shed off their extra pounds, they are always advised to increase their fiber intake. In fact, fiber is known to be digested quite slowly, making you feel full for longer and not have the urge to reach out for calorie-dense snacks in between meals.

The most significant part is that fibers improve the function of your metabolism, boosting it to burn more calories and regulate the overall functions of the body. There are many foods that are quite rich in fibers and will help you safely reach your safe haven when it comes to metabolism-boosting and health improvement. 

There are many sources from which you can get high fibers, either vegetables, fruits, legumes, and more. Fibers can be found in different vegetables, including carrots, broccoli, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and beans. 

Fruits that are laden with fibers are bananas, avocados, raspberries, apples, oranges, and pears. It is also advisable to reach out for nuts like almonds as they have lots of fibers, making for an ideal healthy snack. Other fiber-rich foods are green peas, lentils, popcorn, oats, quinoa, and flaxseed. 

Other Habits that Enhance Your Metabolism Function

While food plays the biggest part in regulating your metabolism, there are other habits that have a significant contribution to that. Check out this list of the habits that have an impact on your metabolism, add or eliminate some of them as needed to improve your lifestyle and have a healthier body.

Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol has been linked to accumulating toxins in your body, especially when consumed excessively. Another side effect that alcohol has on our bodies is reducing its ability to break down the necessary nutrients. In excessive drinking, alcohol may induce fat storage in your liver, leading to unwanted liver diseases. 

Well, all of those harmful effects of alcohol, and we still even haven’t mentioned its negative impact on your metabolism. Besides being laden with empty calories, alcohol plays a significant role in diminishing your metabolism by damaging your digestion process. 

Thus, if you want to keep your metabolism working healthily and properly, make sure you watch your alcohol consumption. In the end, no one ever won by consuming lots of alcohol, even too much than your body can handle.

Lead an Active Lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyles can lead to your metabolism becoming slow and exhausted, which, in turn, burns fewer calories and contribute to weight gain. However, if you are paying attention to what you put into your body, you will be fine. But if you need to see the extra fats melt off your body, then you need to add some movement to your daily activities. 

Walking goes a long way in keeping you in a good shape by burning more calories and maintaining your muscle mass. It may also contribute to boosting your metabolism a little, but if you are looking for something more efficient, aim to do HIIT.

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training; it involves going for real quick bursts for a few minutes and then going slower to rest. It has been proven to be efficient at increasing the metabolic rate for long even after you are done with your workout. 

Lift Heavy Weights

One of the best ways to keep your metabolism always uplifted is to keep your muscle mass in check. The rule goes as follows, the higher the muscle mass, the better the metabolism. That is because muscles are metabolically active, a lot more than fat is. 

During your weight loss journey, you may face a plateau that can seem challenging to overcome. However, working on building enough muscles while dropping the weight ensures that this doesn’t happen. So, consider adding some resistance training that will build new muscles and maintain the ones you already have. 

Weight lifting doesn’t have to be an activity you dread throughout your day or die to skip the gym because of it. There are many ways to incorporate weight lifting into your workout even from the comfort of your home.

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

Lack of sleep has always been linked to obesity, for messing up your biological clock can lead your metabolism to deteriorate. Sleep deprivation can also mess up with your hormones balance, making it harder for you to produce leptin, the hormone responsible for feeling full. 

On the other hand, the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is significantly boosted, explaining why sleep-deprived people have a disrupted appetite and struggle to control their calorie intake. This is definitely not something you want to do to your metabolism. Thus, adjust your sleep schedule and you will realize how energetic you will feel. 

Drink More Water

Staying hydrating is essential for our bodies to carry out their functions properly. It also saves us the trouble of having a severe headache struck out of nowhere or feeling exhausted and depleted. One thing that you may have never known about water is that it can stimulate your metabolic rate for a while. 

Drinking water is great but adding ice to your water is even a more successful way to kickstart your metabolism. When cold fluids enter your system, your body works hard to warm the fluid to its temperature. That is when you effortlessly have more calories burned while gulping down satisfying drops of cold water. 

It is recommended that you have a couple of glasses of cold water the first thing in the morning. In fact, many of us tend to drink enough water throughout the day. So, it may be a smart idea to get yourself a nice bottle that you keep full and in hand at all times. Besides, water can also help suppress your appetite, making you lead fewer calories. 

Your metabolism is your gateway to leading an energetic life and having a fit body. Make sure you treat it right by consuming the best foods that boost your metabolic rate and avoiding those that don’t. 

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