By Francesca Nichols – Nutritionist, food-lover, Health Coach at we:bo

By eating metabolism-boosting foods, you’ll sleep better, have more energy, feel firmer, and notice your clothes are looser in as little as 2 weeks.


Quick Tip: 1-Minute Metabolism Booster

The easiest 350 calories you’ll ever burn… daily activity known as “NEAT” (nonexercise activity thermogenesis) is essential for a healthy metabolism. Small movements such as stretching your legs, taking the stairs, even just standing to talk on the phone can add up to an extra 350 calories burned a day!


What is ‘metabolism’?

Simply put, metabolism refers to the chemical processes that continuously go on inside your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. These chemical processes require energy. The minimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Your BMR accounts for anything between 40% and 70% of your body’s daily energy requirements depending on your age and lifestyle. A ‘slow metabolism’ may be described as a low BMR.

Do some people have a faster metabolism than others?

Body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in determining your metabolic rate. Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with a higher muscle to fat ratio tend to have a higher BMR.

As we get older, we tend to gain fat and lose muscle. This explains why the BMR tends to decrease with age. In general, men tend to have a faster metabolism as they have more muscle mass, heavier bones and less body fat than women, which is why their daily calorie allowance is higher.

Eat enough!

A calorie deficit of only 100kcal is all you need if you are focusing on weight loss. Too much of a calorie restriction will end up showing the opposite. Quick weight loss is due to an extreme loss of muscle and water weight not body fat.

Boosting your metabolism is another way of ‘burning’ body fat naturally throughout the day and helping you reach your goals. This is achieved through the natural foods you eat not cutting calories. By restricting calories, to even as low as 1500kcal per day, your metabolism will slow down and lead to a weight gain over a period of time. This is to ensure your basic biological function is given enough energy.

Eat in the morning

Skipping breakfast makes you lose weight. NO! Eating breakfast jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. Those who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to become obese later on in life. This is because your body has no energy reserves to act on and therefore will use muscle as a fuel, conserving your body fat for insulation. Your metabolism slows and your basal metabolic rate gets lower. You always have time for something quick i.e. Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit, nuts or porridge.

Drink coffee or tea

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so this can boost your metabolism 5 to 8%—about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of tea can raise your metabolism by 12%. This is because research has found that the antioxidant catechins in tea provide the boost. But try to limit intake to 4 cups a day, to avoid caffeine overload which affects your cardiovascular system.

Fight fat with fibre

Research shows that certain fibre can boost your fat burn by 30%. Studies find that women who eat the most fibre in foods gain the least weight over time. Aim for about 25 g a day—the amount in about three servings each of fruits and vegetables. A serving is the size of your fist (remember we are all different).

Cold water

German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that’s 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism (basal metabolic rate) by 50 calories daily—enough to shed 5 pounds in a year. The increase comes from you reducing your body’s core temperature (37C). Your body then uses a great amount of energy to reach your body’s temperature set point again, thus burning off body fat.

Organic food

Although slightly more expensive, Canadian researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight. The suggestion here is that perhaps the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. Other research shows that pesticides can trigger weight gain. I would suggest buying your main fruits and vegetables as organic, not your entire food shop. This will make it cheaper.


Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Research shows protein can up post meal calorie burn by as much as 35%.


Iron is an essential vitamin for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Until menopause, women lose iron each month through menstruation. Unless you restock your stores, you run the risk of low energy and reducing your metabolism. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and spinach are excellent sources.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Get 90% of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, shrimp, tofu, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs.


Alcohol burns less body fat. This is because when alcohol enters the body and goes to the liver for processing, the body’s entire focus is on removing the toxin that is alcohol. Therefore all other processes have to wait. It can take up to a couple hours to process 1 unit of alcohol, so your body can be on standby for a long time! Drinking the equivalent of about two martinis can reduce your body’s fat-burning ability by up to 73%.


There’s some evidence that calcium deficiency, which is very common especially in women, may slow metabolism. Research shows that consuming calcium through dairy foods such as fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other foods.

Eat the right food combos

Try this metabolic boosting formula to maximise energy potential: fruit or veggie + a whole grain + lean protein + plant-based fat + herb/spice.


Whilst these rules have been based on research and experience, everyone is different. For truly personalised advice that’s relevant for your body and lifestyle on both exercise and nutrition, get in touch via the in-app chat. We’re here to help. Simply download the app from the app store and book in for a free consultation. Why do it alone. Let us help you navigate the masses of (often conflicting) information out there and get you on track to feeling and performing better, physically and mentally.


By Francesca Nichols – Nutritionist, food-lover, Health Coach at we:bo













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