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You Plan on Weight Loss But Just Can’t Suppress Appetite, These Food Are Your Way Out.

You Plan on Weight Loss But Just Can’t Suppress Appetite, These Food Are Your Way Out.

The amount of people going to the gym on a regular basis has never been higher. The reasons why people go to a gym differ of course; some go to get better at their sport, others go for stress relief, but it’s obvious that most people go to keep on top of their body fat levels.

However, for most of us, the hard work we put in each week just doesn’t seem to be yielding the results we hoped for. Talk to 90% of people in your average local gym, and they’ll tell you that they are struggling to get to a body fat level they’ll be happy with.

After several months of running, squatting, benching and skipping, it is easy to give up.

The reason most people don’t see the results they’d like is because they haven’t paid enough attention to the most important aspect of any training regime: nutrition.

The Always Overlooked Importance of Nutrition

    Whether you’re looking to build muscle, get fitter, or lose fat, the training is the easy part; nutrition is where things get tricky.

    Going into the gym for 40 minutes, three times per week is not difficult if you are motivated enough. For most people, the gym is a fun, social place, and it’s obvious when you’ve worked hard enough.

    But your diet is different.

    Your diet is something which needs attention at every meal, every single day, for a very long time.

    Getting your nutrition right requires planning, commitment, discipline, and money.

    This is why so many people make basic mistakes when it comes to nutrition, which in turn is why so few people make the progress they thought they would.

    If you’ve got your training on-point and the scale has stopped moving, then it’s almost certain that the problem lies with your nutrition.

    Thankfully, there are some really easy ways that you can optimize your diet for burning fat. All you need to do is incorporate a few key foods into your diet.

    Contrary to what many people believe, there are a number of foods that burn fat in and of themselves.

    Sure, there are lots of foods out there that are over-hyped. The next “super-food” seems to come along every couple of months. But just because some people exaggerate the power of raspberry ketones, for example, doesn’t mean there aren’t foods which can genuinely help you lose body fat.

    Listed below are our top 10 recommended foods for burning fat. Not all of them work in the same way, and some are much more potent than others. But one thing they all share is that they have been scientifically proven to help with fat loss.

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    By adding some of these foods into your regular diet, or by consuming more of the ones you already eat on a regular basis, you might finally start to see the scale moving in the right direction.

    Top 10 Foods That Burn Fat

    Unlike other lists of this kind, we’re only going to list foods that have been proven to burn fat through rigorous, scientific study. If we can’t find a research paper proving its fat burning credentials, then it isn’t on the list.

    So let’s get started!

    White Tea

      The health benefits of drinking green tea on a regular basis are well-known nowadays, but few people know of the fat burning potential of white tea. A study [1] published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism in 2009 found that a concentrated white tea extract was able to both bring about lipolysis (fat burning to you and me).

      Astoundingly, researchers also found that the white tea extract was able to prevent the formation of new fat cells, called adipocytes.

      Tip: Bring some iced white tea to the gym with you to drink while you work-out.

      Recipe: Blueberry White Tea

      Spinach

        It shouldn’t come as a surprise that spinach is listed here as a food known to burn fat. But what might be surprising is just how comprehensive a fat burner spinach turns out to be.

        For instance, take a look at this study [2] which looked at thylakoid-rich spinach extract and its effect on appetite and dieting success.

        The results were fairly conclusive: “Compared to placebo, intake of thylakoids significantly reduced hunger (21% reduction), increased satiety (14% increase), reduced cravings for all snacks and sweets during the day (36% reduction), as well as cravings for salty (30%); sweet (38%); and sweet-and-fat (36%) snacks, respectively, and decreased subjective liking for sweet (28% reduction).”

        If you struggle with food cravings while trying to lose weight, spinach could be a cheap, healthy, effective solution.

        Tip: Try adding a few handfuls of spinach to your post workout smoothie.

        Recipe: Garlic Sauteed Spinach

        Coconut Oil

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          Coconut oil is a very popular product right now, and with very good reason. It is thought to help with everything from joint health to heart health. Most importantly for us, it is also known to enhance fat loss [3].

          Unlike other oils, coconut oil is composed predominantly of fatty acids called medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. And unlike other fatty acids, these MCTs can be used directly by cells for fuel. Any fat MCTs that aren’t used are converted into ketones in the liver and used by the brain for fuel. Available studies show that MCTs are not readily stored as fat.

          Tip: Swapping sunflower oil for coconut oil can be a good first step to accelerating your rate of fat loss.

          Recipe: Crispy Coconut Waffles

          Legumes

            We doubt you’ve heard beans recommended as a food that burns fat before, but hear us out. A recent study [4] found that eating just 3/4 of a cup of pulses (black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc) was linked to greater weight loss than control.

            While the results were modest, the trial lasted for only 6 weeks, and no effort was made to interfere in the diet of participants in any other way. Participants kept eating whatever else they wanted through the day, but the group eating 3/4 of a cup of legumes lost more weight on average.

            Tip: Replace fatty beef in your recipes with black beans and kidney beans. Fried or stewed, they’re delicious, filling, and they’ll help blast away body fat.

            Recipe: Black Bean Chili

            Green Coffee

              Green coffee beans aren’t as exotic as they sound. They are simply coffee beans in their raw, un-roasted form. The coffee beans we are all familiar with, the ones used to make our morning drinks, are green coffee beans which have been roasted.

              So why is green coffee bean thought to burn fat?

              Green coffee beans contain a high concentration of a compound called chlorogenic acid. Much of this stuff is denatured during the roasting process, so it is only found in regular coffee in tiny amounts.

              Well, chlorogenic acid turns out to be an incredibly effective, scientifically-proven fat burner [5]. This stuff has been shown time and again to help people lose body fat at a significant rate.

              More research is needed on how chlorogenic works exactly, but there is little doubt that it works primarily by affecting insulin secretion.

              Tip: Try having a cup of coffee made from un-roasted beans in the morning instead of your usual cup of Java.

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              Recipe: How To Fresh Brew Green Coffee Beans

              Garlic

                Of all of the foods that burn fat listed here, garlic is perhaps the most under-rated. Regular garlic consumption is linked to a wide range of health benefits, but a growing number of studies are finding that garlic’s most impressive property may be its ability to help with fat loss.

                This study [6] found that a compound found in abundance in garlic, allicin, was able to prevent weight gain in mice fed a high sugar diet. It seems that garlic is most useful in preventing weight gain at the end of a diet, when over-eating is most common. As the study authors noted: “The difficulty of preventing weight gain after reaching the nadir of weight loss underscores the practical value of allicin for weight control.”

                Tip: Buy some fresh garlic and cook some into your post-workout meal.

                Recipe: Easy Garlic Kale

                Grapefruit

                  Another food known to help prevent rapid weight gain after dieting is grapefruit. A study [7] published in 2014 found that mice fed a high fat diet and large quantities of grapefruit juice experienced an 18.4% drop in body weight compared to mice fed the same diet without the grapefruit juice.

                  The same study also found that grapefruit juice was able to induce weight loss and an improvement in insulin sensitivity after the mice had already reached obesity.

                  So grapefruit juice seems to be both a powerful and versatile weapon in your weight loss arsenal. Whether you’ve just finished dieting and worried about the ‘yo-yo’ effect, or you’re overweight and want to maximize your rate of fat loss, grapefruit juice might be able to help.

                  Tip: If you have an intense workout coming up, trying sipping grapefruit juice throughout. Or try squeezing some fresh grapefruit juice into your water bottle before heading to the gym.

                  Recipe: Grapefruit Green Smoothie

                  Pumpkin Seeds

                    Pumpkin seeds don’t have any direct fat burning properties of their own. Yet they are still a powerful tool for anyone looking to speed up their rate of fat loss.

                    That’s because pumpkin seeds can only be described as “nutritional goldmines [8] of benefits related to fat loss.

                    Perhaps the most profound of these is how dark chocolate can help beat food cravings.

                    Dark chocolate gives us one of the things which makes so many of us crave chocolate so strongly: phenylethylamine [9] . Yet it doesn’t have the same sugar content as milk chocolate.

                    Defeating cravings for our favorite foods can be the biggest obstacle to a successful diet. If you have a sweet tooth, indulging in some dark chocolate can help keep you on track.

                    Tip: Keep one bar of extra dark, low-sugar chocolate in the house. If you’re hit with a serious Hershey’s craving, just break off a small square and enjoy it slowly.

                    Recipe: Dark Chocolate Almond Bars

                    Chili

                      Whenever people hear that chili peppers can help you lose fat, they almost always understand why without needing it explained to them. It is intuitively obvious, assuming you’ve eaten spicy food before.

                      Chili peppers contain an oil called capsaicin. It is an irritant, which is why we get such a glorious (or horrendous, depending on perspective) burning sensation when we eat chili peppers.

                      Well, one thing that also happens when we consume capsaicin is that our body temperature increases. When our body temperature goes up, our body needs to work harder to keep us cool. It therefore expends more energy regulating our core temperature, and in expending more energy, it uses up more calories. Simple.

                      Don’t just take our word for it though. Check out this study [10], in which researchers examined capsaicin’s relationship with fat oxidation and energy expenditure.

                      Tip: There’s no need to go crazy here, but try introducing a few spicy meals per week. Whatever you make, make it with fresh chili to get all the capsaicin you can.

                      Recipe: Chili Shrimp

                      Reference

                      [1] BioMed Central: White Tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous (pre)-adipocytes
                      [2] The National Center of Biotechnology Information: Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women
                      [3] Authority Nutrition: How Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
                      [4] Science Daily: Eating beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils may help lose weight and keep it off
                      [5] Fat Burners Digest: Do Green Coffee Beans Help With Fat Loss
                      [6] The National Center of Biotechnology Information: The effects of allicin on weight in fructose-induced hyperinsulinemic, hyperlipidemic, hypertensive rats
                      [7] PLOS: Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice
                      [8] The World’s Healthiest Food: Pumpkin Seeds“.

                      Pumpkin seeds deliver sizable amounts of key minerals and vitamins with minimal calories. Just 100g of pumpkin seeds will give you over 100% of your RDI of zinc and magnesium, a big helping of omega-3 fatty acids, almost 20g of protein, lots of iron, and all for about 350 calories.

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                      Tip: Snack on pumpkin seeds if you struggle with grazing throughout the day. Not only will the fats and protein help fill you up, but you’ll be getting more nutrients than you will snacking on chips!

                      Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

                      Dark Chocolate

                        Dark chocolate has always been touted as a food that burns fat, but this isn’t just hype; there is a great deal of evidence to back this claim up.

                        It may surprise you to learn that dark chocolate is associated with a wide range ((Chron: The Effect of Dark Chocolate for Reducing Weight

                        [9] Science Focus: Why does chocolate make us happy?
                        [10] The National Center of Biotechnology Information: Acute Effects of Capsaicin on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Negative Energy Balance

                        More by this author

                        Eric Jackson

                        Self-employed

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                        Last Updated on November 15, 2019

                        Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                        Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                        Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

                        How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

                        Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

                        The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

                        Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

                        Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

                        When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

                        Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

                        Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

                        The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

                        Shocked? Well, I was too.

                        The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

                        When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

                        On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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                        Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

                        Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

                        Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

                        Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

                        Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

                        It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

                        Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

                        As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

                        In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

                        A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

                        Your metabolism is like your bank account.

                        To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

                        Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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                        What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

                        That’s exactly how your body reasons:

                        More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

                        Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

                        Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

                        For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

                        Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

                        Foods That Increase Metabolism

                        Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

                        Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

                        Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

                        • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
                          When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
                        • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
                        • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
                        • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

                        Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

                        To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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                        1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
                        2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
                        3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

                        Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

                        Sugars and Carbs

                        Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

                        Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

                        Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

                        Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
                        • Dried fruit
                        • Commercial and packaged corn
                        • High fructose corn syrup
                        • All sorts of candies and lookalike
                        • Packaged fruit juices and purees
                        • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
                        Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
                        • Bread and flour-based products
                        • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
                        • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
                        • Potatoes and potato starch products
                        • Oatmeals and other grains
                        Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
                        • All berries except strawberries
                        • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
                        • Sweet potatoes
                        • White rice
                        • All green vegetables

                        Fats

                        Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

                        Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
                        • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
                        • Lard
                        • Gmo oils
                        • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
                        Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
                        • Nuts
                        • Meat fat
                        • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
                        • Seeds
                        Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
                        • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
                        • Avocado
                        • Coconut oil
                        • Butter (organic)
                        • Egg yolks (free-range)
                        • Bone marrow

                        The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

                        Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

                        Proteins

                        Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

                        Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

                        Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

                        Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

                        For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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                        Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
                        • Cheap whey proteins
                        • Soy proteins
                        • GMO meat
                        • GMO eggs
                        • Packaged meat
                        Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
                        • Canned tuna
                        • Canned fish
                        • Canned meat
                        • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
                        • Farmed fish
                        Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
                        • Free-range meat
                        • Free-range eggs
                        • Wild meat and fish
                        • Whey protein isolate
                        • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

                        Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

                        Other Foods and Supplements

                        Cold water

                        Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

                        This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

                        MCT Oils or Powders

                        Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

                        You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

                        Caffeine

                        Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

                        Green Tea

                        Green tea

                        is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

                        Bottom Line

                        In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

                        For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

                        Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

                        And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

                        Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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