A recent Gallup poll found that Americas desire to lose weight does translate into effort. Fifty-one percent of adults desire to lose weight but only 25 percent say they are seriously working toward the goal. (1)
Gallup poll finds that 51 percent of adults in the United States desire to lose weight but only 25 percent are making efforts towards their goal!
Often our metabolism is thought to be the culprit behind our inability to lose weight. Metabolism is the process in which the body converts the foods and beverages we consume into energy. The body burns energy every hour of the day, even during cycles of rest. The calories that the body needs to carry out basic functions is called our basal metabolic rate. (2)
Several factors that determine your bodies metabolic rate are your body size and composition, your sex, and your age. Your metabolic rate accounts for 70 percent of your daily calories burned. For most people, the body’s energy needs for basic functioning remain consistent and are not easily altered.(2)
Food processing and physical activity can impact your body’s basal metabolic rate!
Food processing and physical activity are two factors that impact your body’s metabolism. How the body digests, absorbs, transports, and stores food accounts for 100 to 800 of the calories used each day. Physical activity accounts for the rest of the calories burned each day.(2)
While metabolism can be genetic, food and exercise are an important part to maintaining a healthy body and allowing your metabolism to function at its highest capacity. Below are 9 foods that you should consider incorporating into your diet in order to get the most from your metabolic rate!(3)
Nine foods that will improve your metabolism, protect your heart and fight cancer!
- Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important in protecting your body from oxidative stress. Without antioxidants, free radicals can build up in the body causing damage to cells and muscle tissue. For some people, free radical build up can actually prevent weight loss! (3)
- Almonds: Almonds are nutritionally dense and are packed with macronutrients and healthy calories. Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, another antioxidant, and a good source of fiber. Nine clinical studies have shown that almonds lower cholesterol levels as part of a healthy diet. Almonds will also help keep you feeling full and satisfied. (3)
- Salmon: Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body and must come from our food supply. Salmon is also a good source of selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B6. The omega-3 fatty acids prevent erratic heart rhythms, blood clots and improve cholesterol. (3)
- Psyllium husk: Psyllium husk comes from the crushed seeds of the Plantago ovate plant. Psyllium is a soluble fiber which helps promote regular bowel movements, removing toxic waste through the colon in less time. It also helps maintain an optimal pH in the intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances. Psyllium husk will also leave you feeling full longer. (3)
- Spinach: Spinach is nutrient dense and will help protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis and other diseases. Studies show that spinach can protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce the effects of age-related decline of brain functions. (3)
- Turkey: Turkey is a good source of folic acid, vitamins B, B1, B6, zinc, and potassium. These nutrients help protect agains cancer, heart disease, and improve nerve growth and function, boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure and improve the bodies ability to heal.(3)
- Oatmeal: Oats are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber fights against cancer by attacking specific bile acids and reducing their toxicity. Studies have found that those who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease. The phytochemicals found in oats may be helpful in fighting cancer.(3)
- Water: Drinking the amount of water that is half of your body weight in ounces will improve your energy, increase mental and physical performance, remove toxins and waste products from the body, improve skin health, improve weight loss, reduce headaches, and improve digestion.(3)
- Green Tea: Green tea is a good sources of polyphenols that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. One study found that men who received a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo. (3)
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a meat-eater, there are plenty of foods that will improve your health and allow your body to optimally function. If you are struggling in your weight loss journey, don’t underestimate the importance of diet and exercise!