The Military Diet has a number of foods that boost your metabolic rate like coffee, grapefruit, eggs and peanut butter. The word ‘metabolism’ describes all the chemical reactions in your body that keep you alive and functioning, but it’s your metabolic rate that determines how many calories you burn.
Since burning calories is the key to weight loss, anything we can eat to boost that rate is a plus. With all the metabolism boosting foods in the Military Diet, it’s no wonder the diet has such a high success rate.
Here are some of the diet’s metabolism boosters explained:
Studies show that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11%. Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that boosts your metabolic rate. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, heart and muscles, helping you fight tiredness and kick your energy into high gear.
Coffee is a great part of any weight loss plan, but you need to skip the added sugar and highly processed creamers to get the maximum benefits of this weight loss hack. Most of the studies done on caffeine’s weight loss properties are done on plain coffee, not pumpkin spice lattes!
Eating grapefruit lowers your insulin levels which in turn leads to weight loss. Grapefruit effects your insulin because of the antioxidant naringenin which keeps your blood sugar in check. It also takes more energy to digest grapefruit, meaning you burn more calories. Foods rich in vitamin C also metabolize fat faster. Researchers at Scripps Clinic found that participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal in a 12-week period lost an average of 3.6 pounds.
Nuts are high calorie, but even on a calorie restricted diet like the Military Diet, nuts help with weight loss. Peanuts contain more protein than other nuts, in addition to their high fat and fiber content. Because of their high fat, protein and fiber content, nuts keep you feel satiated for longer. According to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, peanuts increase your metabolic rate and fat burning potential. Subjects in the study increased their metabolic rate by 11% when they ate about 500 calories of peanuts daily for 19 weeks. 500 calories of peanuts is far more than what you’re eating on the Military Diet, but it all adds up.
Tuna is low-calorie, high protein, and full of Omega 3 fatty acids that increase metabolic rate. The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. The omega three fatty acids in tuna play a crucial role in fat burning. One study found that when healthy young adults took 6 grams of fish oil per day for 12 weeks, their metabolic rates increased by around 3.8%. And you just can’t eat healthier meat than tuna and other fish. Omega-3 fats are essential for your cells to run properly,” says Mark Hyman, M.D. “They help balance your blood sugar and speed up your metabolism.” Omega 3s reduce hunger and appetite which is great for people on calorie restricted diets like the Military Diet.
Eggs are one of the most perfect whole foods you can eat, rich in high quality protein, healthy fat and all the essential amino acids. For their size, eggs are low calorie but pack a big punch. High protein foods like eggs reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness. A protein rich diet has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 100 calories a day through the thermic effect. Protein increases the metabolic rate because the body needs to use more energy to digest protein than with fat or carbs. This is what creates the thermic effect of food. Eggs are one of the easiest and most delicious additions to a diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Forget about bagels for breakfast. Another 8 week study showed that that eggs for breakfast instead of bagels increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet.
The Military Diet includes bread, but we recommend eating whole grain bread on the diet instead of refined grains. Whole grains affect the micro biome and help with the absorption of fiber which revs up metabolism and fat burning. Substituting whole grains for refined grains on the Military Diet speeds up your metabolism, suggested by this study.
It comes as no surprise that broccoli is part of a successful weight loss program. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, in the same family as Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. These veggies are high in fiber and really filling. And for veggies, they also have a high protein profile compared to other veggies. Broccoli’s high water and fiber content boosts the body’s ability to burn fat and helps you feel full. A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in a weight loss plan. Broccoli increases metabolism because of a substance called glucoraphanin, which also lowers blood fat levels.
Ice cream to lose weight, it’s true!
People always find it hard to believe the Military Diet is so effective because it includes ice cream. The secret of ice cream is calcium. Women who ate one scoop of ice cream a day lost 26 percent more body weight that those who didn’t according to an ABC news article. Other research shows that overweight people who take a calcium supplement lose 26 percent more body weight and 38 percent more fat than those who don’t take a supplement. Guess what, ice cream has calcium. When you don’t get enough calcium, your body stores fat. You could take a supplement to see similar results, but when a diet already includes ice cream and promotes weight loss, why not do both?