Clean Eating invariably leads to some weight loss. If you've been eating processed foods for a while, you've got some excess weight. Now, whether that excess is 5 pounds or 50 pounds - there are ways to accentuate that loss to help your body's machinery function at top performance. That's right, your metabolism. It would like some attention, please.
Clean Eating is about eating more
—more nutrient-dense food, to crowd out the empty calories and keep you full all day. That's important, because restricting food will kill your metabolism. It sends a signal to your body that says, "I'm starving here!" And your body responds by slowing your metabolic rate to hold on to existing energy stores.
Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism
1. Go to Bed Earlier
A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that in each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.
2. Eat More Protein
Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Plus, research shows that protein can up postmeal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.
3. Go Organic When You Can
Canadian researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater-than-normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose pounds.
4. Get Up, Stand Up
Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your waistline as your fitness routine. Missouri University researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shut-down of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat-burning, break up long periods of downtime by standing up—for example, while talking on the phone.
5. Drink Cold Water
German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that's 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—enough to shed 5 pounds in a year, with essentially zero additional effort. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature.
6. Eat the Heat
It turns out that capsaicin, the compound that gives chile peppers their heat, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about 1 tablespoon of chopped peppers (red or green) boosts your sympathetic nervous system (responsible for your fight-or-flight response), according to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
. The result: a temporary metabolism spike of about 23 percent.
7. Rev Up in the Morning
Eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism so it's no accident that those who skip this meal are 4 1⁄2 times as likely to be obese. The heartier your first meal is, the better.
8. Drink Coffee or Tea
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolts can rev your metabolism by 5 to 8 percent—burning about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12 percent, according to one Japanese study.
9. Eat Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Unless you restock your stores, you run the risk of low energy and a sagging metabolism. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and spinach are excellent sources.
10. Get More Vitamin DVitamin D is essential for preserving muscle tissue. Get 90 percent of your recommended daily intake (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs