The idea of using an increase in Basal (resting) metabolism to aid in weight loss
isn’t a new one, in fact the basic idea has been around for almost 150 years now.
Early on it was postulated that some foods would require more energy to digest
than can be absorbed from them by the body. Celery, lettuce and cabbage fall
into this category, being so low in calories that they help the body burn calories
instead of adding them.
This effect has been confirmed scientifically, and is related to the amount of fiber
a food has, as well as the total calories. But this doesn’t mean simply loading up
on fiber will make you lose weight. There are limits.
Also, in the last thirty years or so, it has been suspected that certain spices, like
hot peppers and ginger would also tend to speed up the metabolism. This has
been confirmed for several spices now (listed below) with several others that are
“likely suspects” that have not been proven to have such warming qualities but
only because science has not done the needed studies yet.
Exercise is important
You still need to watch how many calories you are getting in a day and exercise is
the best single metabolic booster you can incorporate into your routine, so make
time for a metabolic revving up session at least once per day. You may as well
do enough aerobic activity to aid your heart while you are at it! About an hour a
day is a good goal. Doing less than that tends to cause many people to give up
on exercise before they get the full benefits from it for some reason. (Probably
due to the fact that once we invest time and effort in something, we value it more.
The more time and effort used, the higher the value.)
So, if you do all of this exercise, eat foods that warm you up, load up on the celery
and so on, how many calories extra can you burn during a day? (NOT including
the calories burned directly by exercise?) Well, that will vary, depending on what
exactly you eat, how much of it and factors like current body mass, gender and
how hard you exercise when you do it…
But somewhere between 1,200 and 2,500 calories per day!. Remember, this is
just in RESTING metabolic rate increases!
- The more active you are, the greater the amount of calories you will burn off per
- The more spicy foods you eat, the greater the metabolic increase as well!
The keys are not overeating and generating heat. To check and see how many
calories you burn off during a day, here is a link to a good calculator to help you
figure that amount out: Hiking Upward
Once you know the amount of calories you regularly burn off at rest, you will
know how much you should be eating. In general, you will want a deficit of at least
500 calories per day, which will allow you to lose one pound per week.
By adding in thermogenic foods and spices, and adding regular high intensity
exercise to your day, you can boost the level of weight loss up to four times,
without starving yourself!
- Fiber: Increase your fiber intake from what it is to about 50 grams per day.
Do this slowly over the course of a few weeks to prevent abdominal pain. It is work
to process fiber, which is why this effect is so powerful, but you will want to get
used to it over time.
This will cause your body to expend extra energy to process fiber, and also cause
you to make healthier food choices. (Oddly enough, both Cheeseburgers and
Twinkies contain almost no fiber! Who knew?)
This will also help to keep you regular digestively, so that you will be able to see
more direct results of weight loss faster. Because undigested bulk won’t stay in
your body for as long.
- Protein: Some people believe that protein is processed faster and uses more energy in doing so than carbohydrates and fats.
While not recommending people go overboard eating red meat, about 20-25
percent of your calories coming from high protein foods can’t hurt your metabolic
*I personally eat a lower protein diet and have had good health benefits, but this
will vary from person to person.
- Hot Peppers: These have been shown to increase basal metabolism for several
hours after eating. One teaspoon full seems to kick the metabolic rate up by
about 20-25% for about four hours after eating it. This is about the amount of
peppers you would find in a table spoon of Tabasco sauce.
- Ginger: One teaspoon boosts the metabolism for about four hours by about 20%.
Fresh ginger should be finely chopped or crushed first. Powdered, dried ginger
works well though. Crystallized ginger works, but has too many calories. Save as a
treat for when you reach your weight goal.
- Mustard: One teaspoon of the dried powdered kind will kick your metabolism into
gear! Again by about 20% for four hours. This tends not to be too spicy and for
people than have only had it in it’s vinegar sauce state, the taste is very different.
A little bit nutty, and not sharp at all.
- Cinnamon: Regulates blood sugar levels well, meaning you won’t become as
hungry as soon after eating or drinking it. No scientific findings on a metabolic
boost, but I am going to hazard a guess, based on personal perception, that it
boosts basal metabolism by about 15-20% for four hours after eating. Again,
about one teaspoon full.
- Clove: Another obvious warmer, it is scientifically unclear as to what it does. It
seems to have analgesic properties when used topically and possibly when taken
internally and adds to significant warming, without a burning sensation internally.
Possibly as high as 20% for about four hours for a teaspoons worth.
- Cumin: Good pain killer, anti-inflammatory and warming. Seems to pack a little
less heat than some of the others above. Call it 10% increase over four hours?
Use a teaspoon of this instead of over the counter pain medications.
- Wasabi/Horseradish: Powerful and obvious warming effects. Easy to eat enough
for full thermogenic effects, as a tablespoon can be cut with other foods,
particularly fats, to lower the “heat” from it. Again with a jump of about 20% for
four hours after eating it.
Now, many of these spices work on slightly different principles, so combining them
will allow a cumulative effect! That is, by having several of them in one meal, you
could increase your metabolic rate by up to 70 percent. You can also use fewer of
them and have more of some, to increase the effects that way. (I have seen
reports of one individual, a man, who was particularly motivated and used a lot of
Tabasco to raise his basal metabolic rate by 73% and kept it there for most of his
waking hours. He only ate it on food, during his three daily meals. So this is
possible, even doable by regular people.)
- Exercise: I’m not here to hold your hand and tell you that a gentle stroll is the
same thing as running a marathon. Get your heart rate up, do it safely, but push
yourself. Check with a doctor first if you have health concerns or a history of heart
Whatever you decide to do needs to be intense enough to get your metabolism
going strong. So heart rate at about 80% of maximum recommended for at least a
bit and a long enough period of exercise to feel warm.
Don’t stint here. If you “hate” exercise, then try to move past your dislike. It is
counter survival, so your attitudes need to change.. You are biologically designed
to need a certain amount and should get it daily. If it is hard, hang in there, but
don’t let flashbacks to 8th grade gym class prevent your from exercise as an
adult. No one ever will pick you for a team last, not if you are working out on your
own! Most gyms for adults don’t even offer dodge ball, so you should be safe.
The common idea in the press has been to give the least amount of exercise
possible as a recommendation, fearing that too high an amount will scare people
off. My take is different. As an adult you can decide, knowing that you need about
an hours worth of exercise per day and knowing that you get more from hard work
than from barely working at all, for yourself how much you should have. This isn’t
outside of the recommended amounts, even! It just isn’t coated in sugar for you.
Do it or not, but know that the benefits are worth it in the long run, if you have a
weight loss goal.
SHORTCUT: If you follow this guide and listen to Sapienmed’s super metabolism audio two to three times daily, you will experience immediate results!