Eating the right foods can prevent the metabolic decline that can accompany dieting and slow weight loss. Let’s take a look at foods that boost metabolism and shed light on how the wrong diet actually impedes weight loss.
Worst Dieting Mistake
We know well the formula for weight loss: Weight is lost when more calories are burned than consumed. Armed with this formula, we get started on constructing our leaner, meaner selves. We eat better. We exercise. We burn more calories than we eat. And our weight loss is headed in the right direction. At first. But before you know it…oops… the weight stops falling off.
Low calorie intake can hit the brakes on weight loss. The body can go into starvation mode, a defense that attempts to prevent starvation by making the most of the calories gotten from food and drink. The fat that is stored is protected by using lean tissue or muscle to provide calories, resulting in a loss of muscle. This in turn lowers metabolic rate. The body needs fewer calories and weight loss slows down. Now you get to be hungry and not lose weight, as well.
Read, “Break a Weight Loss Stall”
If this isn’t the plan you signed on for, then you will be pleased to learn that there are solutions.
What about Low Carb Diets?
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that eating the right kind of food can prevent the metabolic decline that can accompany dieting.
Study subjects were divided into three groups. The first was a high-carbohydrate maintenance-diet group. The second a moderate-carbohydrate maintenance group. And the third a low-carbohydrate maintenance-diet group. All of the test subjects had recently lost ten to fifteen percent of their body weight.
The high and low carb diets both had poor outcomes. The high carb had the biggest drop in metabolism and the low carb had increases in the stress hormone cortisol. Both outcomes are associated with poor health and weight gain.
The diet with a moderate amount of carbs fared best. The diet consisted of: 40 percent of calories coming from vegetables, fruit, beans, low-fat dairy and wholes grains; another 40 percent of calories coming from olive oil, nuts, fish, avocado and protein; and the final 20 percent of calories coming from beans, fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meats.
In order to boost metabolism it is best to get your carbs from whole fruit, veggies, beans, low-fat dairy and whole grains while avoiding refined foods such as white bread and sugary food, according to the study.
How to Smartly Boost Metabolism
Dieting is more about eating smart than eating less. Begin, of course, by giving junk food a one-way ticket out of your home! Then replace them with foods that are lower in calories and have enough volume to satisfy hunger. Choose foods that boost metabolism naturally and burn calories without promoting hunger.
Here are some helpful tips:
◦Whole grains and starchy vegetables should be eaten modestly in their least processed form and healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, fish and olive oil belong in your diet, as well.
◦Protein sources will be beans, nuts, eggs, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry and lean meat.
◦Sugary drinks and sweets are to be avoided.
◦Green tea and foods that contain capsaicin such as jalapeño, cayenne, and chili peppers also have been shown to increase metabolism, although the boost they provide is small.
Keep an eye on your total calorie consumption and be active! For additional information, check out these articles by bariatric dietician Elizabeth Anderson:
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photo: Women’s Day