We all love to blame our weight on a slow metabolism, and want to boost ours, but what is metabolism anyway? Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Metabolism influences your energy needs, but it isn’t really the culprit in weight gain. One way to make your metabolism work for you is to start at the beginning of the day. Here are 10 breakfast foods that boost your metabolism all day.
1. Milk or yogurt
Grab a low-fat variety to cut calories. Milk and yogurt have great bacteria that help your body digest food well. So don’t give up your beloved cereal or granola and yogurt bowl. Grab a Greek-style yogurt for twice as much protein as regular yogurt.
You might not think this is a breakfast food, but have you ever tried spreading this on your toast? Or blending it into oatmeal to make a savory, protein and fiber-filled bowl? Avocado is packed with fiber and protein. Just adding half a Haas avo to your breakfast could hold you over until a late lunch.
3. Energy nuts
If you’re a peanut butter lover, indulge in it in the morning. Two tablespoons of peanuts can provide six grams of protein, not to mention the healthy fats. If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, add chopped peanuts or walnuts to your yogurt.
Try making a tofu scramble a few times a week if you’re trying to cut down on eggs. Tofu contains 12 grams of protein in just three ounces and is very low in calories. Your body burns energy breaking down protein, so this is a great alternative for vegetarians.
If you’re an old-fashioned eggs-and-bacon lover, keep eating those omelets. Two eggs provide 12 grams of protein, and four egg whites provide 14 grams. The great thing about eggs is that your body burns more calories digesting protein, and since the calorie count in eggs is low, you almost burn away the calories of the entire food just in processing it.
6. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese needs to come back in style. It tastes delicious with fruit, or just honey. Half a cup offers 14 grams of protein, and it’s great fuel for your muscles. Dairy in general is a metabolic trigger, so if you can consume a low-fat variety of cottage cheese, you’re in great shape.
Oats and other whole grains help keep insulin levels low after a meal, which helps you burn calories while keeping you full longer. This is important because when your body experiences frequent blood sugar spikes, it believes it has to store fat.
8. Green tea
The particular type of caffeine found in green tea speeds up your heart rate as well as your metabolism. Green tea also contains a chemical called EGCG, which speeds up the rate at which you burn calories.
They aren’t just for your grandmother. Prunes help move red blood cells throughout your body, so the more you eat, the quicker your body will do this, which directly boosts your metabolism. Add prunes to your yogurt or oatmeal for a sweet kick.
Swap out the orange in your fruit salad for grapefruit. Better yet, add chunks of it to your cottage cheese. Studies have shown that grapefruit can lower insulin levels after a meal, which greatly helps regulate hunger and stave off cravings.