American breakfast foods are notoriously unhealthy–greasy bacon and eggs or sugar laden breakfast cereals. Lots of diet gurus will tell you breakfast is the most important meal. Since I’m usually not very hungry in the morning, eating breakfast was a hard habit to develop until someone explained it to me like this. Think of your morning metabolism as a fire that has burned low. When you put more wood on it, it immediately roars back to life. To get your metabolism burning calories, you need to stoke the fire in the morning by eating something.
When you’re dieting, you’re limiting the number of calories you consume. That means you don’t want to waste a meal on something that tastes good, but isn’t high in nutrition. You’ll only have to eat more to get the vitamins and minerals you need. A 250-calorie snack is all it takes to boost your metabolism in the morning.
Another way to increase your metabolism is to add spices to your food. I’ve started adding cinnamon to my oatmeal. In some studies, cinnamon was shown to improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, just a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon increases your metabolism 20 fold.
One thing that has helped me is to stop restricting certain foods to certain meals. A good choice for breakfast is soup. You can put all the ingredients in a slow cooker the night before and wake up to a healthy meal.
When planning your meals, think of ways to add more vitamin C. Research suggests that vitamin C is necessary if you want to burn fat. You need at least 75 milligrams a day but if you eat kiwi you’re getting 90 milligrams. Don’t ingest more than 2,000 mg though, or you’ll start experiencing bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Another trick to boost metabolism is to add ice to a drink. Your body works harder to heat the liquid in your stomach which increases your metabolism. Also, ingesting caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee raise your heart rate and increase your metabolism.
A daily multivitamin/mineral supplement will also help your body burn more calories. Chromium also boosts metabolism by moving blood sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells to be used as energy and to turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy.
You’ve probably noticed that people who skip meals or starve themselves aren’t successful at weight loss. If you really want to kick your metabolism into high gear, you have to eat. Although it sounds odd, every time you eat, it helps you burn calories. Eating frequent small meals may sound like an odd way to lose weight, but it works.