Foods that Speed Up Your Metabolism

Author: Rod Ferris, CPT (ACE, YMCA), CPAFLA


There are certain foods which help speed up your metabolism by either:

  • Increasing muscle mass with complete protein dense foods
  • Stabilizing the bad hormones (insulin and cortisol) which accelerates fat storage
  • Keeping you full longer to help reduce cravings

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and can be made to taste great with whey protein and flaxmeal in the morning with high quality carbohydrates, protein and good fats. The best time to eat rolled oats is in the morning when your insulin sensitivity is at it's highest. Your body needs complex carbohydrates for your brain and body to effeciently function throughout the rest of the day.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is perhaps the best thing for your metabolism since sliced rye bread (yes, we know what the saying is). It is in powder format and comes from cows milk. Whey protein is a complete high quality protein which is great for increasing your metabolism because everytime you ingest protein your body feels full longer and revs your metabolism.


Almonds are loaded with good fats, fiber and incomplete protein. You can see the complete nutrient profile here. Since almonds have such great essential fatty acids they help your body raise it's metabolism just by ingesting them. Any fat that has ahigh calorie content should be ingested sparely. Be sure to have a few nuts every day. You can mix these up with pine, cashews and walnuts as they also contain a very healthy amount of good fats and antioxidants.

Natural Yogurt 

Natural yogurt contains pro-biotic cultures that are necessary for a healthy digestive tract. Yogurt also contains a lot of good fats and some protein. Yogurt can be eaten as a mid-morning snack with a whole apple.

Green Tea

Green Tea is perhaps one of the best morning metabolism boosters you can drink. Not only does it help with cancer risk, weight loss and metabolism; it also contains caffeine which helps you focus during the morning. Green tea is also found in many fat burning products because of the catechins and it's effects of weight loss.


Spinach is loaded with antioxidants which help repair damaged muscles and prevent free radicals from doing their damaging effects to your health. Spinach is known for it's iron, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. wouldn't suggest ingesting this everyday but every few days would be beneficial.



Eggs are one of the highest quality protein sources available. Eggs should be part of everyones diet and is perhaps the best food at speeding up the metabolism.


Turkey is one of those lean meats that you should have once or twice a week to switch up your sources of protein. It is a great source of complete protein which helps rev your BMR (basal metabolic rate)

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast should be a staple in anyones diet. It's lean, easy to make and you can find it cheap at the local supermarket. I prefer the bonless, skinless kind because it takes extra time to skin/debone it.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter is one of those hidden health foods. People give it a bad rap due to it's high caloric content but it contains great essential fatty acids, lots of fibre and some incomplete protein. Instead of putting it on toast, try it on celery as a snack.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Oil

Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil should be used at ALL TIMES when cooking. Since extra virgin olive oil has a lower flash point (it burns at a lower temperature than most oils) it is sometimes pretty messy to use. These oils contain lots of omega 3's which keep your heart and brain healthy.

Whole Wheat

Whole wheat products provide energy that you need throughout the day. Most of the advertised whole grains aren't actually made with Whole Wheat (and with the germ). Make sure that the product that you buy is not enriched either. Remember that the more that you increase your insulin levels the better chance you're slowing down your metabolism.


Most people love berries and they're not such a hidden secret anymore. They are jam packed FULL of antioxidants and is probably one of the most important health foods to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your metabolism going strong. Frozen raw raspberries are usually the easiest to purchase from the frozen section of your local supermarket.

Cayenne Pepper

In the past five years cayenne pepper has been used in fat burners. Why you ask? Well, cayenne has thermogenic (heats up your body) properties. When your body has to cool itself down it requires calories to do so. Thus, creating a fire for your metabolism.


Coffee is one of those foods that have been loved and hated by many nutrionists and dieticieans. The most recent research about caffeine and coffee suggest manypositive benefits which include: Speeding up your metabolism, heart health, increased concentration and many more. 


A recent study by germany researchers suggest that 90 minutes after drinking cold water (H20) will boost your metabolism by 24% over their average metabolism rate. Make sure to drink your water cold. Not only does water keep your body lean it also helps with keeping the flow of nutrients and helps get rid of free radicals. Make sure you're keeping the water cooler near by. More research on water and weight loss


Lean red meat has also been through a love and hate relationship with many health professionals; but recent research suggests that lean red meat should be ingested once per week. Red meat contains creatine monohydrate which helps your body use more creatine phosphate (ATP) to help you build muscle. Obviously with the more muscle mass the greater your metabolism.


Vegetables are one of those completely needed foods that we NEED to eat to maintain an elevated metabolism. Vegetables contain fibre, vitamins and many essential nutrients which we can't get anywhere else. Make sure to ingest 10-12 servings of fruits and vegetables daily (yes, that's more than the current food pyramid says.


Apples have a low glycemic index which is should be ingested almost daily as a fruit to maintain a  healthy diet. Apples contain fibre which helps you feeling full longer, not to mention the slogan "An apple a day keeps the doctor away".


Probably one of the most important foods you should be eating twice weekly. Right now, the wild pacific salmon is the healthiest fish you can buy. This fish contains loads of omega 3's and other cancer prevention benefits.


So, with all this information how do we put this together into a meal plan? Well, we have done all the leg work for you in a boost your metabolism meal plan.

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