IF you’re eating well and exercising but still not shedding the pounds, we’ve got some good news for you.
Eating these foods that boost your metabolism means you can burn extra calories while doing very little.
Yes, really, this is not a joke.
Certain foods are rich in nutrients that can benefit weight loss and boost your body’s fat-burning capabilities.
While some are still in the early stages of research of their metabolism benefits, others have strong science behind them.
A humble fruit you’re likely to be familiar with.
Research has suggested that cherry juice could help reduce fat around the middle.
A study published in 2009 in the Journal of Medicinal Food fed tart cherries to a group of rats on a high-fat diet.
The researchers looked for changes in weight, inflammation and blood fats in one group compared to rats eating a high-fat diet without cherries in another group.
There was an association between tart cherry consumption and reduced body fat, especially belly fat, in the cherry-juice drinking group.
This is one food you’ve almost definitely come across on your weekly shop.
But did you know the humble beetroot could help boost your diet?
The juice is used by Olympians both before and after exercise for its performance enhancing and muscle recovery benefits.
Beetroot juice’s effects have been the subject of a series of studies by Andrew Jones of the University of Exeter who found that after taking it, athletes’ muscles worked more efficiently.
It’s also been shown to help lower blood pressure.
3. Green tea
You may have heard of it, but you may not know what it is.
Rick said: “One of the most highly researched fat burners is green tea.
“Scientific studies have shown that drinking up to five cups of green tea a day can increase daily metabolism.”
Matcha is a powdered version of green tea that is covered in shade cloths before it’s harvested bringing you a more potent version of the metabolism-boosting brew.
In one study, done in 2014 at Penn State University, mice on a high-fat diet that consumed green tea extract and exercised regularly experienced sharp reductions in final body weight and significant improvements in health.
After 16 weeks, the high-fat-fed mice that exercised regularly and ingested green tea extract showed an average body mass reduction of 27.1 per cent and an average abdominal fat mass reduction of 36.6 per cent.
The mice on the green tea and exercise programme also experienced a 17 per cent reduction in blood sugar level, a 65 percent decrease in insulin levels and a reduction in insulin resistance of 65 per cent.
These are all substantial improvements for people with diabetes.
4. Yerba mate tea
Yerba mate is a herbal tea.
Rick said: “Yerba mate works on hormone levels and blood sugar to help balance out cravings and studies have shown it could have an anti-obesity effect.”
Research done in 2012 and published in the journal Laboratory Animal Research found that this South American plant could lower fat levels in the blood of mice fed a high fat diet.
It was also found that it could reduce levels of leptin, the hormone that signals hunger, often called ‘the obesity hormone.’
“When it comes to metabolism and weight loss, Yerba Mate is extremely beneficial,” Rick added.
5. Green coffee extract
Next time you reach for a coffee, you may want to switch up your order.
Green coffee extract is the unroasted extract from the coffee plant.
It has been shown to help stop the absorption of glucose in the intestine.
A study published in 2011 in Gastroenterology Research and Practice said evidence was promising for the extract’s anti-obesity effect and more trials hope to confirm this.
Chlorogenic acid is believed to be the main active ingredient in green coffee beans and the substance that produces the weight loss effects.
Unfortunately, straight up increasing your Pret habit won’t have the same effect as most of the chlorogenic acid is removed when the coffee is roasted.
So your morning latte won’t help you drop those pounds.
6. Black pepper fruit
This is something you won’t find in your regular fruit and veg section in Tesco.
But it’s worth visiting the local health food store for this.
Rick said: “Black pepper fruit is a thermogenic spice, which means it helps heat the body to burn fat and can also assist with the absorption of other nutrients.”
A study from 2011 on mice found that those fed a high-fat diet still lost weight when they were given supplements of black pepper.
Further research in 2012 published in the Journal of Agricultural and food Chemistry uncovered the way the spice might work for weight loss.
It blocks the formation of new fat cells.
7. White kidney beans
“There’s a lot of research coming out about the fact that while kidney bean blocks carbohydrate absorption,” said Rick.
Taking white bean extract supplements 15 minutes before each meal led to a reduction in both weight and waist circumference compared to taking a placebo, according to a study published in The Journal of Applied Research in 2010.
Other studies have shown similar results.
Another food you will have to go to a health store for, but the benefits might be worth it.
The native Peruvian vegetable was traditionally used as an aphrodisiac but Maca has also been shown to help endurance, which could be beneficial when you’re exercising.
One study showed it increased sexual desire and performance in male cyclists.
While there is not a lot of evidence that it works specifically for weight loss, if you’re post-menopausal there’s a chance maca could prevent weight gain.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Hygiene Research that investigated the potential of maca to reduce body fat in post-menopausal female rats that had their ovaries taken out found that the rats gained less weight when supplemented with maca.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a tree.
It is, in fact, a species of tree.
But it the African superfruit that comes from the tree that will help you out.
In the UK we eat it mainly in the powdered form.
On its own it is not very appetising, but it can be mixed through something like porridge or even a savoury stew or soup.
It contains three times as much vitamin C as an orange.
Vitamin C not only helps with hair, skin and nails but also immunity.
Good immune function is important if you’ll be training, exercising or for any fitness or weight loss regime.