10 Foods to Eat (and 5 to Avoid) to boost Your Metabolism

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Want to boost your metabolism and achieve your health goals? The foods you choose play a crucial role in how efficiently your body burns calories. By understanding what fuels your metabolism and what can hinder it, you’ll be well on your way to increased energy, easier weight management, and overall better health.

Have you noticed it’s getting harder to maintain your weight, even if your diet hasn’t changed? You may think your metabolism is slowing down. Our metabolism, the process of converting food into energy, naturally decreases slightly as we age. But there’s good news! Lifestyle changes, especially what you eat, can significantly affect your metabolic rate.

Let’s dive into specific foods that support a healthy metabolism and those that might be holding you back.

Foods to Boost Your Metabolism

1. Protein Powerhouses:

Lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, and lentils top the list. Your body uses more calories digesting protein than carbs or fat, which gives your metabolism a temporary boost.

[Reference: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/metabolism-boosting-foods ]

2. Spice it Up with Chili Peppers:

The capsaicin in chili peppers can slightly increase your metabolism, helping you burn more calories.

[Reference:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22634197/]

3. Get Your Ginger Fix:

Studies suggest ginger may play a role in increasing metabolism and fat burning. Enjoy it in tea, stir-fries, or added to smoothies.

4. Fuel Up with Coffee:

The caffeine in coffee can temporarily stimulate your metabolism and enhance fat-burning potential.

[Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266178/]

5. Glug That Green Tea:

Green tea contains caffeine and a compound called EGCG, which may promote fat burning and slightly boost metabolic rates.

[Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10584049/]

6. Hydrate with Water:

Staying well-hydrated is crucial for many bodily functions, including metabolism. Drinking cold water may further slightly increase your energy expenditure.

[Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14671205/]

7. Fill Up on Fiber:

Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans are fiber-rich, helping your metabolism stay efficient while keeping you feeling full.

[Reference: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508]

8. Don’t Forget Iron:

Iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body, essential for a healthy metabolism. Iron-rich foods include red meat, seafood, fortified grains, and leafy greens.

9. Seaweed Snacking:

Seaweed is a natural source of iodine, needed for proper thyroid function, which regulates metabolism.

[Reference: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-Consumer/ ]

10. Marvelous Magnesium: 

This essential mineral is involved in many bodily functions, including metabolic processes. Find Magnesium in nuts, legumes, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.


Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Metabolism

1. Ultra-Processed Treats:

Processed foods high in sugar, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats can slow your metabolism and contribute to weight gain.

2. Sugary Drinks:

Soda, sports drinks, and sweetened juices are loaded with sugar and calories, negatively impacting your metabolic health.

[Reference: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/]

3. Excessive Alcohol: 

Alcohol can interfere with fat burning and overall metabolic function.

[Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590618/]

4. Some Refined Grains: 

White bread, pasta, and rice lack fiber and can cause blood sugar spikes and dips, making it harder for your metabolism to work optimally.

[Reference: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/]

5. Super-Salty Snacks:

Too much salt can lead to water retention and bloating, and may impact metabolic processes over time.


  • Q: Can I speed up my metabolism overnight?
  • A: No drastic overnight changes, but smart food choices support a healthy, efficient metabolism over time.


  1. www.ijirset.com/upload/2018/august/52_Science.pdf 
  2. www.nordictrack.com/learn/tips-for-maximizing-your-treadmill-workout/ 
  3. ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/104186/UTEP_YR4_CHEU_FINAL_EXPLORING%20THE%20INFLUENCE.pdf?sequence=3 
  4. 3010weightlossforlife.com/this-quiz-should-be-a-piece-of-cake/

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Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

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