Being muy caliente pays off in a big way. Spicy food makes you break into a sweat because it's speeding up your metabolism. Additionally, a Japanese study found that participants who had a breakfast with red pepper ate less during the day. That's because they contain the appetite suppressant capsacin. This benefit isn't just limited to red peppers. Any pepper will suppress your appetite. Hot peppers also give you a metabolic boost. The more you burn, the more you burn. Get it? So the next time you see a pepper symbol on a menu, order up.
Nuts are a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, they are notoriously high in calories. On the other hand, they provide a powerful metabolic boost. Researchers at Purdue University found that people who snacked on nuts were thinner than those who didn't. When they did a study, they found something else surprising. Participants who added 500 nut calories to their diet snacked less. These diet benefits make nuts more than worth the calories. If you're watching your calories, try almonds. They have just 500 calories per cup.
#3 Olive Oil
Want to lose weight? Put olive oil on almost everything. It's full of healthy monosaturated fat and it helps you burn calories. An Australian study found that women who ate just half an ounce of olive oil with breakfast enjoyed a metabolic boost. For the best results, eat the olive oil raw. Cooking the oil breaks down it's beneficial properties - and it's flavor. There are lots of great ways to eat it raw. Mix it with balsamic vinegar for a salad dressing or a delicious bread dip. Or, toss it in some pasta or drizzle it on a sandwich in place of mayo.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But a pear a day keeps the fat away. Pears are chock full of belly-filling fiber that keeps you from snacking throughout the day. There are lots of ways to eat pears. Add them to your oatmeal at breakfast. Pear and brie sandwiches are great for taking to work. Add some to your salad before dinner to keep you from overeating at night. However you can get them, they'll do you good. A recent Brazilian study found that overweight women who ate three small pears a day lost more weight than women who skipped out on the fruit.
Sometimes losing weight is about eating more. Eat a large salad before your meal and you'll eat less. A study at Penn State University found that participants who ate a large salad before each meal ate 12 percent less pasta. And fettuccine alfredo is pretty hard to resist. But not just any salad will do the trick. The key is to keep it low calorie. That means no meat, eggs, cheese or creamy dressing. Eat a plants-only salad with low calorie dressing.
We've all heard of beans. But not many of us have heard of cholecystokinin. That's an appetite-suppressing hormone that beans encourage your body to produce. A recent study at the University of California, Davis found that participants who ate beans had more of this appetite-suppressing hormone. This discovery is so new that scientists aren't sure how it works. The hormone may keep food in your stomach longer to stave off hunger pains. It may also keep your blood sugar level to avoid hunger spikes. The only thing that science knows for sure is that beans help you lose weight. Work them into breakfast or lunch to enjoy the hunger suppression all day long.
#7 Raspberry Ketones
Raspberry ketones are the biggest natural weight loss craze to date. Ketones are the compounds that give raspberry their heavenly aroma. They also give your body a powerful metabolic boost. Raspberry ketones also help your body shed fat. They infiltrate your cells and break down the fat inside. This broken down fat is more easily transported out of your body. But you'd have to eat a truckload of raspberries to benefit from these properties. Lucky for you, they sell them in capsules. Doctors recommend taking 100 mg per day to reap the benefits.
#8 Green Tea
We've been underestimating green tea this whole time. Turns out, this tasty beverage actually keeps your body from storing fat. It's a complicated scientific process. But basically, it breaks down the triglycerides responsible for storing fat on your stomach and thighs. And that's not all it does. Green tea also boosts your metabolism to help you burn calories faster. Plus it gives you an energy boost that can help you exercise harder and longer. That makes it pretty much the perfect beverage.
A new study by the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic just proved that grapefruit can help you lose weight. People in their study who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds on average. Some lost as much as 10 pounds. Those results are pretty good. Turns out that the high fiber and low glycemic load of these fruit curbs your appetite in a major way. Chomp on grapefruit before a meal and you'll eat less than usual. If you can, choose grapefruit over grapefruit juice. Because grapefruit juice is stripped of the fiber of grapefruit, it's less effective. Study participants who drank juice lost less weight than those who chose the fruit.
#10 Drink Caffeine
Caffeine does more than keep you from falling asleep at work. It also gives your metabolic rate a boost every time you drink it. But be careful. Some forms of caffeine come with a lot of calories. Use skim milk and light sugar with each cup of coffee. Or try flavored tea with a little less sugar in each cup until you can drink it au natural. If natural sources of caffeine aren't your thing, try diet coke. It's delicious and it has no calories at all.
#11 Fish Oil
Take a fish oil supplement and your metabolism will burn up to 400 more calories a day. Plus you'll store less fat. For the best results, you'll need to take the 300 milligrams a day the EPA recommends. That's a lot of fish. There's no need to fillet it all. Instead, look for capsules. You'll find them in the vitamin section of your local health food store. Just pop one in in the morning before you eat breakfast. It will keep your metabolism humming all day long.
#12 Red Meat
That's right. Meat is good for you. Especially red meat. Breaking down that tough stuff makes your metabolism kick in to overdrive. And that's not all. Protein keeps you full longer than carbs. That means you're less likely to snack throughout the day. And while you're busy not snacking, protein builds your muscles. Muscles burn more calories than fat, too. So when your body finally breaks down your calories they'll go to good use. Now you have a reason to splurge on that porterhouse.
#13 Eat Organic
We all know that we should eat organic. Not all of us know why. Organic foods are free of pesticides. What does that have to do with dieting? Some of the pesticides found in grocery store produce slow down your metabolism. Organic produce may cost a bit more, but it's totally worth it. Not only will you stay healthier, you'll lose more weight. Free of the toxins, your metabolism will kick in to high gear. That's especially true for vegetarians who's diets are primarily made of fruits and vegetables.
#14 Add Ice
The only thing better for your body than water is cold water. Ice-cold drinks are a great weight-loss aid. The ice cools down your internal temperature and forces your metabolism to warm you back up. The effect is small but it adds up over time. Drink 8 glasses of ice-cold drinks a day and you can burn 70 extra calories a day. That's 25,500 extra calories a year -- just for keeping it extra cold. So toss those cubes into your soda, juice and smoothies to keep the calories burning.
#15 Drink Water
We've all heard that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. But did you know that H20 helps you lose weight while it keeps you happy? Your metabolism only works at top speed when it's well-hydrated. When you haven't had enough to drink, your metabolism slows down at a snails pace and holds on to what you put into your body. Most of us know that water flushes the toxins out of our bodies. But did you know that water flushes fat out too? When you're dieting or exercising, water helps you drop those pounds and see quicker results on the scale. Those combined properties make water the single best addition you can make to your diet.