How traditional weight loss plans mess up your metabolism

Foods That Speed Up Metabolism

  • Natural & safe ways to speed up metabolism.
  • Foods that speed up metabolism – directly & indirectly.
  • Safe & effective supplements to speed up metabolism.


eden_project_coffeeBoosting your metabolism to try to lose weight can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what the right foods or supplements are. Regardless of your current weight, extra pounds can cause your metabolism to decrease and even cause hormonal changes that make your body resistant to weight loss. Weight gain+ inactivity= a reversal of the fat to muscle ratio which lowers your metabolism and makes weight loss all that much harder.  The solution for effective weight loss is to focus on eating healthy whole foods, doing the “right” muscle building exercise and eating foods that are proven to boost your metabolism. Once you boost your metabolism, you can experience rapid weight loss or a steady pace of weight loss. Either way, choose healthy whole foods to lead the way.

Metabolism has a direct relation with your body and how it processes and distributes nutrients within food to your organs. These nutrients are than converted into energy through the body to help you move and function, generate heat to burn calories, or for fat storage. If your body is converting energy molecules efficiently, you start to burn calories rather than   holding onto them which means they are stored as fat.  If you follow my website, along with my blogs, articles and books, you will gain a large knowledge of how food can seriously influence your weight.

Foods that Speed up Metabolism

Today’s food market is full of “food like” substances that sabotage your metabolism, and articles as well as popular weight loss franchises that give you misleading information. Unfortunately, unless you are that lucky person born with a high metabolism- you must search for the healthiest food to eat to lose weight and supplements to boost your metabolism. Everything you eat causes a different reaction within your body. Therefore all sorts of foods labeled as metabolism boosting have different mechanisms that are indirect or direct. This article will provide the truth about the foods that are touted as metabolic boosters-some really are and some have really “indirect” effects. This article reviews what’s real and what’s really not in terms of foods and supplements which “do the job”.

Natural Metabolism Boosters


Foods with a real metabolic Kick (peppers, salsa, wasabi, horseradish, ginger, garlic, mustard, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger)

Over the years, more studies are showing that the chemical capsaicin found in several spicy foods double an individual’s energy expenditure for several hours after eating, therefore eliminating up to 100 calories per day (according to a study done from UCLA). This can even include mild peppers. However, this doesn’t only apply to peppers this applies to various other foods and ingredients that have a similar effect- such as wasabi.  Just add these ingredients to your meals and your metabolism can increase. Note that all the foods listed above will kick up your metabolism and I’m calling them foods rather than spices. Why? Some people eat some of this stuff as if it is food. Ever see someone tear through a plate of hot peppers? Wow! And guess what? This spicy stuff will also amp up your immune system, too!

Caffeine & Green Tea

I am sure you have heard this one before, but there is a reason for it. First, Green tea has been proven to boost metabolism and even aid in weight loss, disease prevention, and increased mood. Green tea can also a metabolism boost in decaf form with  it’s natural small amount of caffeine, plus it’s antioxidant called EGCG.

Caffeine in coffee, dark chocolate and black tea creates a metabolism boosting effect. However, limit yourself with each of these items as with a large dose of them it can cause negative side effects. Here I’m specifically referring to coffee and strong tea which, in large doses causes the adrenal glands to secrete toxic levels of cortisol and adrenaline.


Drink your water! There are plenty of benefits that I could list to influence you to increase your daily water intake but one of them is to help boost your metabolism. Not only does water act as a natural appetite suppressant that flushes out all of the toxins within your body, but it keeps you from mistaking thirst for hunger. The detoxification and aid in digestion helps raise your metabolism when consuming water daily. Stay hydrated!

Foods that Speed up Metabolism – Indirectly

This is an important section of this article as there are foods listed everywhere as metabolism boosting, but they do not directly impact your metabolism rate. Instead the process of eating (chewing), it being an appetite suppressant, and so forth has an indirect link toward influencing your metabolism. Below is a list of the foods that will help you get rid of the idea that it is hard to lose weight and give you motivation to lose weight as well.

Fiber Rich Foods (whole grains, legumes, oats, fruits and vegetables)

Broccoli is loaded in nutrients and vitamins like calcium, fiber and vitamin C. This superfood is calorie dense and can boost your immunity. Along with broccoli, many other fruits and vegetables are high in fiber that can aid in weight loss. High fiber foods work indirectly by causing you to feel full faster and longer.

Steel cut or rolled oats are always a favorite when it comes to a satisfying and healthy meal. It keeps you fuller longer and provides sustained energy. Oats also provide a healthy amount of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Neither actually boost your metabolism, although a surprising number of articles say they do!


Yes, soup can definitely suppress your appetite. However, it does not increase your metabolism but it can lead to weight loss due to its ability to satisfy your hunger. IN fact several studies show that if you start your dinner with a bowl of healthy, low calorie soup, your “satiety center” in your hypothalamus will get the message that you feel full sooner and you will lose weight more readily. When it is hard to lose weight, consider adding healthy soups to your meals!

Protein (Turkey, fish, etc…)

Foods that are high in protein do speed up your metabolism, but again, not directly as you may have read elsewhere. Increasing your protein intake will increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns about 50-73 more calories per day than fat during rest. If you improve your fat to muscle ratio, your metabolism will increase with it as well. An easy way to add more protein to your diet is to ensure that each meal has a clean source of protein such as free range, organic, anti-biotic free eggs, turkey or chicken. Vegans need to be creative with legumes. Another way to obtain what is now verified to be the #1 most physiologically utilized protein is by adding healthy whey protein smoothies to your eating plan. There is a great article in the blog on this website to show you just what to buy and how to do that. Another great tip to give you the motivation to lose weight.

Energy Exhausting Foods (Celery, Apples, anything that requires a lot of chewing)

Celery has been shown to help individuals lose weight when replacing unhealthy snacks with it. Apples apply a similar affect as well. The energy used to chew celery and apples burn more calories than absorbed. Although these do provide a boost in weight loss, it does not necessarily boost your metabolism.

Last little “tidbit”: Xylitol sweetened chewing gum

Before we get to the supplement section, let me dispel the myth that chewing gum stimulates appetite. Clinical studies have shown that people who do 3-4 xylitol sweetened gum chews daily have a decreased appetite, eat less and lose weight more effectively. And yes, there is a physiological reason. Chewing gum (and this rule applies to celery and other chewy foods if you are wondering) does indeed suppress appetite. It does this by increasing levels of serotonin which is a happy brain chemical and an appetite suppressant. No kidding! More about this in the next section.

Natural Metabolism Boosters

Ingredient / SupplementDescriptionPrimary Function
CaffeineNatural Stimulate that can aid in weight loss and increase metabolic weight.Stimulates metabolism and mobilizes body fat for use as energy. Take precautions with any caffeine intake.
GuaranaBest known for its fruit, guarana is an effective stimulant that contains around twice the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans.Studies have shown that guarana, when used with other supplements, may promote weight loss.
Green Coffee Bean ExtractBeans found in the berries of coffee trees that contain high levels of chlorogenic acid.Chlorogenic acid works in two ways: reduces blood sugar adsorption in intestine than inhibits an enzyme in the livers so less glucose is released into bloodstream. The body than burns more fat as energy.
L-CarnitineFound nearly in all cells of the body.Converts storage of fat to energy, also may help treat conditions relates to energy production and fat utilization.
FucoxanthinType of antioxidant carotenoid found naturally in edible brown seaweed, such as wakame and hijiki.Although it’s not fully understood how fucoxanthin works, it appears to target a protein called UCP1 that increases the rate at which abdominal fat is burned.
Coleus ForskohliiForskolin is the active ingredient in forskohlii and is a chemical found in the roots of the plant Plectranthus barbatus (Coleus forskohlii)Some clinical studies show this ingredient helps reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
CapsaicinNatural compound in chili peppers.Does increase metabolic rate a bit and the ghrelin studies are intriguing-would be very careful about supplements and get it naturally instead with spicy foods.

More Natural Metabolism Boosters which can be synthetic as well

Ingredient / SupplementDescriptionPrimary Function
Citrus Aurantium/ Synephrine/ Bitter OrangeBitter orange contains several alkaloids that stimulate body’s beta-3 receptors to boost metabolism and increase fat burning for weight loss, even enhancing mental energy and focus.Studies show that bitter orange can stimulate the fat burning process. However, be cautious as it can raise blood pressure, heart rate, or cause abnormal heart rhythms.
Raspberry KetonesAromatic compounds that can blast fat.Increases production of two hormones: norepinephrine- raises body temperature, and adiponectin, which regulates metabolism.
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)Found naturally in dairy products and beef (however most store bought are synthetic and made from safflower oil).It may reduce fat while retaining muscle, as a special conjugated omega-6 fatty acid. It can possibly boost metabolism.
Garcinia Cambogia/HCAResearch shows the effectiveness of HCA in reducing fat, increases metabolism, appetite suppressing, and lowers LDL cholesterol.HCA may also inhibit citrate lyase enzyme which is important in the metabolic process of converting excess carbs to fat.
ChromiumChromium is a metal. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health.Chromium is needed for normal sugar and fat metabolism. It improves the efficiency of insulin.
Green Tea ExtractGreen tea extract contains a catechin known as EGCG, which may slow carb absorption and increase fat burning by improving the function of insulin.When combined with caffeine, EGCG has shown to elevate metabolism beyond that of caffeine alone.
Yerba MateKnown as an adaptogenic herb in South America and Europe. It contains polyphenols and catechins.May increase energy expenditure and aid in the loss of body fat by stimulating the body to use fat for energy.
7-Keto DHEABy-product of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a chemical that is formed in the body.7-keto-DHEA speeds up the metabolism and heat production to promote weight loss. This is accomplished through the activation of three thermogenic enzymes.

Natural Metabolism boosters I personally recommend as safe and effective:

What you have just seen in the tables above is what is listed as “gospel” on each of these products. However, I have reviewed the literature and can tell you what is safe, what is not particularly so and what will likely be a waste of your money unless used differently than “advertised.”

Safe and effective:

Green Tea Extract

WORKS! Would always use decaf supplements and make sure they are pharmaceutical grade or else you don’t get enough active EGCG.

7-Keto DHEA

WORKS! Can be used with decaf green tea. And OK, you can throw in a little caffeine. Generally causes no health issues.

Safe and effective with some precautions:


For this to amp up your metabolism you need a LOT of caffeine. BUT if you give up all other sources of coffee and it doesn’t give you palpitations then it’s OK. I’m not really crazy about it for weight loss but I’ll give it an “it’s OK”-just don’t expect miracles. At least in reasonable doses it won’t jack up your blood pressure.


Another one that will work but don’t combine it with caffeine or it WILL jack up your blood pressure. Another one I’m not crazy about but again, in reasonable doses, it’s OK

Green Coffee Bean Extract

Appears that enough chlorogenic acid does cause some degree of fat burning. If you take this, don’t use other caffeine containing products OR use a decaf version.


Does increase metabolic rate a bit and the ghrelin studies are intriguing-would be very careful about supplements and get it naturally instead with spicy foods so you don’t get a “capsule dump”. Note that all spicy foods, even the wasabi you get eating sushi speeds up your metabolism to some extent. This gets an O.K. from me if you are careful about the source.

Effective but not safe for prolonged intervals:

Citrus Aurantium/Synephrine/Bitter Orange

You just read that it increases two substances-epinephrine and nor-epinephrine and that this increases mental focus. Well, as with ephedra, which is not on the list because other than black market, it isn’t sold-this will also increase cortisol levels. When you increase these three things, you start getting sleep issues and that impedes weight loss. High cortisol CAUSES belly fat deposition so why would you want to start this cycle? And high cortisol depresses your immune system which can lead to all sorts of medical problems. Therefore when you use this effective product as a metabolism booster and possible weight loss supplement you need to take days on and days off so you do NOT get into “cortisol issues.”

Garcinia Cambogia/ HCA

Mixed reviews. Depends on amount of HCA% so you need a product with enough. It doesn’t amp you up but remember long term safety is “unknown” so I’ll give this a weak OK, if you want to try it, try it as on on-off product also.

Yerba Mate

Also works-similar to green tea extract. Note that calories burned are not that significant. Not loving something associated with increased cancer risk, thought, so I’ll need to say short-term bursts on this one.

A Waste of Your Money if Used as Advertised:


This is a great, healthy supplement I use for bringing down glucose, triglycerides, increasing brain protection but it sure doesn’t do anything to “directly” and immediately speed metabolism. However it helps increase muscle mass which does indeed eventually speed metabolism.


It does NOT speed up metabolism. Be careful of chromium picolinate as it is linked to possibly causing cancer. However chromium nicotinate should be classified as an appetite suppressant and 600-800 mg 2x a day is quite effective! 

Raspberry Ketones

Incredibly mixed results-depends on the quality of the product so if you are going to try this do a LOT of reading. I am not too crazy about the part where it makes you shaky (that always implies epinephrine and hence cortisol which I just warned you about) and REALLY don’t like the idea of you taking something which will INCREASE inflammation when I go crazy on this website and my Program teaching you how to lower it. I am therefore going to give it a personal NOPE!


Big NOPE! Does not work at all!

Coleus Forskohlii

Conflicting studies, but might work in combination with other ingredients.


NOPE! Nothing I read tells me this works at all!

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