5 Metabolism-Boosting Foods


Spicy Food

Serrano peppers

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

If you’re one of those people who pours hot sauce on everything, you may unknowingly be helping your body burn fat. Research has shown that eating spicy foods can increase your heart rate and, in turn, give your metabolism a boost.

Plus, capsaicin, which gives chili peppers (like serrano peppers) their spiciness, is known as an appetite suppressant. In fact, one study found that capsaicin might help convert white cells (which store fat) into brown cells (which burn fat). So, go out and buy yourself a bottle of sriracha sauce!


Green Tea


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

If you’re looking for something to sip on, green tea is a great choice (as long as you don’t drown it with cream and sugar). Not only is it calorie-free, but it can also help you burn extra calories.

Green tea contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which may boost metabolism. With traditional green tea, you’d have to drink about 5 cups to get enough EGCG to impact your metabolism.

Better Yet: Matcha

Research shows that matcha, a finely ground form of Japanese green tea, has at least three times as much EGCG as regular green tea brewed from leaves. So if you’re sipping on green tea in hopes of boosting your metabolism, matcha is your best bet.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

You've probably heard that fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, but you may not know exactly what that means or why they’re good for you. Well, aside from being great for your hair, skin, and nails, omega-3s can help regulate appetite and boost metabolism. They help stimulate the production of leptin, a protein hormone that helps your body recognize when it’s full.



Cream cheese

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Dairy products are known as metabolism boosters mostly because they contain both protein and calcium. Put those two nutrients together and they help keep your muscle mass intact while promoting weight loss.

Studies have found that among people on lower-calorie diets, those who ate dairy lost more weight than those who didn’t eat dairy. Be careful, though. Dairy products like cheese and milk can be high in fat and calories, which could cancel out their metabolism-boosting benefits. Always read labels! Fat-free Greek yogurt is a smart choice.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Grapefruits have gone through cycles of being the “it” weight loss food, and it turns out there’s a reason for that. A compound in grapefruit called naringin may help manage blood sugar and lead to weight loss. One study found that obese people who ate half a grapefruit before meals lost more weight than their non-grapefruit-eating counterparts.

A medium grapefruit has just 80 calories plus 3 grams of filling fiber. Eat one when you’re feeling snacky and it’ll help you resist eating higher-calorie foods. If it’s too tart for you, try adding a bit of natural no-calorie sweetener.

By Lisa Lillien
Lisa Lillien is a New York Times bestselling author and the creator of Hungry Girl, where she shares healthy recipes and realistic tips and tricks.