Torch calories by chewing
Some foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you burn calories as you chew. Others contain nutrients and compounds that boost your metabolism. Here are five foods that will melt that fat right off:
- Chalk up the fat-burning ability of hot peppers to capsaicin, the compound that helps chili peppers bring the heat. Capsaicin warms up your body, which makes you melt calories. Eat chili peppers raw, cooked, dried or powdered.
- Low-fat dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which helps preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a cranked-up metabolism.
- Protein has a high thermogenic effect, meaning you burn about 30 percent of the calories the food contains during digestion. So you’ll burn about 90 calories to break down a 300-calorie chicken breast.
- One cup of lentils packs 35 percent of your daily iron needs. This is great news on the fat front, because as many as 20 percent of us are iron deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows because your body’s not getting what it needs to work efficiently.
- There seems to be no limit to the health benefits of green tea. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking four cups of the green stuff a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks. Nutritionists credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping.