These Are The Best Proteins To Eat To Speed Up Your Metabolism

Without moving at all, your body needs a significant amount of calories just to function. This is your basal metabolic rate, and it accounts for 60% of your daily energy needs. Exercise factors into this number, accounting for up to 10% of how much energy you burn. How much you walk around, perform chores, or just fidget can make up 20% of the total energy you burn each day.

Your body also needs energy to process the food you eat. This is called the thermic effect of food, and it will account for 10% of your daily energy, according to a 2019 article in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Carbohydrates require up to 10% of the calories for metabolism, but fat needs the least amount of energy–just 3%. Protein tends to have a higher thermic effect, needing between 20 to 30% of its energy for your body to digest this macronutrient, as Healthline reported. Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, and eggs are the best proteins to help speed up your metabolism (per Performance Lab).

Lean proteins improve body composition and health

A boost in metabolism through the protein in eggs could result in a leaner body. A 2022 article in Clinical Nutrition looked at the diets of more than 300 college students and found that those who ate more than five eggs a week had lower BMI, waist circumference/height, and body fat percentage. They also had a higher percentage of lean body mass. It wasn't simply eating eggs that led to healthier body composition. Instead, eating more eggs per week can lead to a metabolism boost because it helps boost your overall protein consumption.

A diet focused on vegetables and lean proteins such as chicken and turkey can lead to more weight loss than a low-fat diet, according to a 2021 study in Obesity Science and Practice. After three months, people who followed a diet consuming four servings of protein every day lost on average 21 pounds compared to the 3.5 pounds lost on the low-fat diet. The high protein group also saw more significant changes in their waist and hip circumference, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Other foods that boost your metabolism

Flaxseed oil might also work to burn fat in your body because it is rich in alpha linolenic acid, according to a 2024 article in Nutrition Research. This study conducted on mice found that flaxseed oil broke down the white adipose tissue (the "bad" fat) while increasing the fat-burning power of the brown adipose tissue (the "good" fat).

If you like hot, spicy food, the capsaicin in hot peppers also stimulates your metabolism. A 2020 systematic review in Phytotherapy Research looked at 13 studies and found that capsaicin can increase your resting metabolism, energy expenditure, and fat burning. If you don't like spicy food, a capsaicin supplement capsule can work to increase your resting metabolic rate.

The 2019 article in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition also found that foods high in fiber and unsaturated fats also have a high thermic effect that can boost your metabolism. Processed grains that have been stripped of fiber have a lower thermic effect than unprocessed, high-fiber foods. Your body will have a different thermic effect compared to others. People who are overweight or insulin resistant could have a lower thermic effect of food than leaner people. The thermic effect of food decreases as you get older, but exercise can increase the thermic effect of food.