Learn How to Use Foods to Increase Your Metabolism

by OptimalBody

When I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed I’m constantly seeing products, services and content claiming it will teach you how to increase your metabolism. 

It’s not just online, I hear from different clients about how they’re struggling with a slow metabolism and they want to figure out how to boost their metabolism. 

There are some serious misconceptions about increasing your metabolism that I feel need to be explained. 

In this post, I will not only clear up this misconception about metabolism but teach you how to use foods to increase your metabolism.

At the end of this article I’ll share a really important secret that the weight loss industry doesn’t want you to know about increasing metabolism.

If you prefer to watch a video on the topic you can find that at the bottom of this post.

Understanding Your Metabolism

How much energy or calories does your body use towards a different activities? 

A lot of people are surprised to learn that 60% to 75% of all the energy used throughout a day goes towards just your resting metabolism or in other words, keeping you alive and your normal day to day activities.

How about physical activity? 

Well, that is 15% to 30% of the calories you’ll burn throughout a day. This has such a large variance because some people are a lot more active than others. 

Finally, you have something called the thermic effect of food or TEF. 

When you eat, it takes energy to digest, metabolize and store that food into your body this is energy is represented by TEF. 

TEF is about 10% of your total calories used in a day. 

If you’re looking to figure out how to use food to boost your metabolism, it will be done through increasing the thermic effect of food.

Using Foods to Increase Your Metabolism​​​​​

Different types of food require different amounts of energy to digest and metabolize.

Obviously, if you want to increase your metabolism through the foods you’re eating you want the ones that require the most energy (have the highest TEF).

First, whole foods versus processed foods. 

Studies show that eating whole foods requires more energy to digest and store than processed foods. 

You want to get lots of whole foods in your diet. This increases your TEF or how many calories you’re burning from food.  Therefore eating a diet that is predominantly whole foods is one of the ways you can use foods to increase your metabolism. 

Next, the second way to use foods to increase your metabolism.

You need to understand the difference between eating protein, fats and carbs. 

Generally, it requires different amounts of energy to store each one. 

Fats, are the easiest to digest and store in general. It usually takes about 5-10% of the calories you consume, to digest and store dietary fats. 

Carbohydrates take between 5-15% of the calories you consume, to digest and store them. 

Finally, protein is the least efficient to store and require between 20-35% of the calories to digest and metabolize inside of your body

Impact of Food on Your Metabolism

Let’s put this into real world terms.

Let’s pretend for a second you consume 2000 calories from fats, obviously you would never do this. But for the sake of understanding how foods impact your metabolism we’ll pretend you did.

Now let’s pretend that you consume 2000 calories of carbohydrates. 

Finally, let’s pretend you consume 2000 calories of protein.

Thermic Effect of Food or TEF to Boost Metabolism

As you can see there’s a huge difference in the number of calories that will actually get stored from each of these different scenarios.

Steps to Boost Your Metabolism with Food

In terms of practical information, how do you boost up your metabolism with food? You take what I just shared with you, and try to get enough protein from whole food sources.

We recommend for females to get four to six palm sized serving of lean protein per day, you can see the different options on the image below. For males, they’re going to want to get two palm sized servings four to six times per day.


Ideally, you want to get these protein sources, fats and carbohydrates, from whole food sources as much as possible. That’s the way you will increase your metabolism with food. 

If you prefer to look at how much protein to get per day in grams of protein you can check out our video on the subject.

The Real Secret About Increasing Your Metabolism

Keep in mind that the thermic effect of food only represents about 10% of the amount of calories you’ll burn in a day. 

You can use foods to increase your metabolism, but don’t expect it to have a massive impact. 

Here’s a big secret that the weight loss industry doesn’t want you to know. 

Most of the time you’re being sold the idea that you’re going to boost up your metabolism and that will cause you to lose a lot of weight.

However, boosting up your metabolism is not the key to weight loss. 

The real key to losing weight is learning how to control how much food and calories you’re consuming. 

I know that’s not sexy, cool, or an exciting answer, but that’s the reality of losing weight. 

It’s not groundbreaking but the best part about all of this is you have far more control over controlling your food intake compared to controlling your metabolism.

Even better news, you don’t need to rely on a special product, supplement, diet or special food to boost your metabolism. 

Use these strategies I’ve outlined today to help boost up your metabolism. 

But, remember, it is far more important to find the right system that fits for you on how to regulate how many calories you’re consuming.

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