When you’re trying to get rid of belly fat, sometimes it can feel like you need a magic wand or superpowers to accomplish your goal. Luckily, there are a few types of foods that actually do boost your metabolism — and this article is going to tell you exactly which ones they are!

You want to look for foods that have a high thermogenic effect. This is the amount of energy it takes for your body to digest and metabolise the food – so the higher the thermogenic effect – the harder your body is working.

1. Protein

Getting enough protein in your diet can help you burn more calories. This is because it requires more energy to digest protein than either carbohydrates or fat, so when you eat and digest protein, your body is using more energy, which can increase your metabolic rate by 15-30%. Protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans and lentils, tofu and tempeh, nuts and seeds—and yes, everyone’s favourite – peanut butter! When shopping for peanut butter (or any nut butter), look for an all-natural variety with no added sugar or partially hydrogenated oils. Our preferred brand is Mayvers for its clean ingredients and great taste.

2. Chilli and other spices

Chilli can help you burn calories as well as warm you up. Aside from being packed with great antioxidants, chilli contains capsacian, which may increase the speed your body burns calories. If you can handle heat, add a few shakes of your favourite chilli sauce to your food to make it more exciting. You could even try adding Tabasco or other hot sauces to recipes when cooking for an extra kick!

Other spices with similar effects include ginger and cinnamon, which are great at warming up the body.

3. High fibre foods

High fibre foods are packed with vitamins and minerals, are filling and taste great. But did you know they can also help boost your metabolsim? A high fibre diet means you feel fuller for longer, so that you’re less likely to snack between meals and overeat at mealtimes. It also helps support blood sugar regulation, which has a positive effect on your energy and mood. Studies show that people who eat high fibre diets consume fewer calories than those who don’t, which is good news if you’re looking to lose weight. Just be sure to drink plenty of water so that the fibre can do its job!

Peanut butter is a great source of fibre – contrary to popular belief – peanuts are actually a legume! Aside from being a tasty snack, Mayvers Peanut Butter can help you feel fuller for longer and is packed full of good fibre. Other fantastic sources of fibre include wholegrains, beans, lentils, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

4. Brazil Nuts

A serving of 1-3 brazil nuts contains more than 100% of your daily needs of selenium, a mineral that is essential to thyroid health and impacts your metabolic function. Selenium deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which your metabolism slows down. So if you’re feeling sluggish or like your weight-loss efforts are stalled despite diet and exercise, reach for brazil nuts!

5. Green tea

Green tea has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, but it has only recently started catching on as an alternative to coffee. Due to its catechin and caffeine content, one of its greatest benefits is that it can help provide a gentle boost to your metabolism and energy expenditure. Enjoy a cup or two of green tea all day long to help boost your metabolism!

So, did any of these foods surprise you? Some of the foods, such as peanut butter or green tea, are easy to add to your daily routine. Others may take a little extra effort and planning, but are well worth it for their health benefits – not just for your metabolism! 

The most important thing is that you should eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains and whole grains. And remember to just eat real food!

Posted by Shahna Sarpi

Shahna is a qualified nutritionist passionate about helping people live a nourished life through healthy eating and lifestyle practices. Utilising a whole foods approach to nutrition, Shahna aims to educate and inspire people to become their healthiest selves. With a love of food and being in the kitchen, she enjoys cooking up a storm and creating healthy recipes that everyone will enjoy.