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5 Foods That Speed Up Your Metabolism

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You've probably heard friends or family talk about the speed of their metabolism and how it affects their weight. A fast metabolism is thought to burn through food easier, meaning a person could eat more without gaining as much weight.

But is that really how it works? The answer is a little more complicated. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, weight is linked to metabolism, but not always to the extent that many people think. The most important factors are diet and physical activity, so keep your eyes on your nuyu™ Activity Tracker to see how many steps you've taken and the number of calories you've burned throughout the day.

But if you want to speed up your metabolism too, there's no harm in that. Here are five foods and drinks that can help you jumpstart your body's metabolic rate.

1. Water

Staying hydrated is incredibly important for runners and athletes, but it's important to the casual fitness enthusiast, too. In fact, your hydration can have a significant impact on your body's metabolic rate. Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day. 

An even better option is to replace your sugary beverages with water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, substituting just one 20-ounce sugary soda with water can save about 240 calories.

2. Lean Meat

According to the Department of Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, iron and metabolic rate are very closely connected. In fact, an iron deficiency can cause pretty significant fluctuations in your metabolism. Thus, it's important to enjoy a diet that includes iron-rich foods. 

Lean meat, like white meat chicken, is a great source of iron as well as beans, spinach or any cereals or pastas that have been iron fortified.

3. Coffee

If you're thinking about going on a diet, don't stop sipping on that morning brew. Not only is coffee incredibly low in calories - the drink contains just 1 calorie per cup if enjoyed without cream or sugar, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - it can also stimulate your metabolism. 

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted that the metabolic rate in test subjects significantly increased during a three-hour period after caffeine ingestion. 

4. Whole Grain Foods

Brown rice, oats and whole grain breads and pastas are a recommended part of your diet, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These fiber-packed foods contain many essential vitamins and minerals and even offer greater protection against chronic diseases than their refined grain counterparts, like white bread and rice.

What's more, the European Food Information Council noted that choosing whole grain foods over refined grains may also help in weight management.

5. Red Chili Pepper and Other Spicy Foods

You may have heard that spicy foods can also speed up your metabolism. This is true because hot peppers and the like tend to increase your body temperature, which helps burn calories. However, the change in metabolic rate is often small.

The real benefit may be in spicy food's ability to reduce feelings of hunger. Some studies show that people who eat spicy foods before a meal tend to eat less.