It’s no secret that eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism. But did you know that certain foods can pack an extra calorie-burning punch? With our pea coats and bulky sweaters making their way to the back of the closet, the few pounds we packed on this winter won’t be so easily hidden. So we spoke to dietitian Willow Jarosh from C&J Nutrition and Lole brand ambassador who told us which foods we should be consuming in the A.M. for a little metabolism makeover.
Eating enough protein will ensure you both maintain and build muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn—even when your body is at rest. “Breakfast is oftentimes lacking in protein if you’re a ‘grab a bagel or muffin and go’ type of person,” Willow says.
Breakfast idea: “Aim for at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast, which you’d get from a six ounce container of nonfat Greek yogurt topped with two tablespoons chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup berries. Nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt, eggs or egg whites, nuts and seeds, and protein powder are all helpful ways to boost A.M. protein intake.”
“Capsaicin (the natural chemical in hot peppers that makes them hot) can give you a small metabolism boost,” Willow explains. Capsaicin increases your metabolism and body temperature by making your muscles burn energy as heat.
Breakfast idea: “Have an egg and egg white on whole wheat toast with 1/4 avocado and a hearty drizzle (as much as you can handle) of hot sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.”
“Both the caffeine in green tea and the natural plant chemicals will give you a small metabolism boost…just be sure not to go overboard with milk, sugar and other additions.” Aside from boosting your calorie burn, the drink is packed full of antioxidants that protect against disease and, of course, provide a natural glow to skin.
“Some research indicates that people who are calcium deficient may have slower metabolisms. Aim for 1000mg each day from food or food plus supplements,” Willow advises.
Breakfast idea: “Nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are all good sources, as are calcium-fortified dairy alternatives (almond milk, hemp milk, etc.) Whip up a smoothie using 1 1/2 cups milk or fortified milk alternative and you’re already almost a a quarter of the way to your daily needs.” Try Willow’s favorite recipe: 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, one giant handful of kale, one carrot, one banana, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, a dash of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon nuts/seeds of choice, such as chia.