Are You Eating Foods that Increase Metabolic Rate?

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Foods increasing metabolic rate

Foods increasing metabolic rate

According to Dr. Kristine Clark (Ph.D., R.D. & FACSM), who is the Director of Sports Nutrition for Penn State University’s Athletics Department, one pound of stored fat in the body is equivalent to 3500 calories (which means that every kilo of stored fat is 7700 cal.).

It does not matter a great deal what kind of foodstuffs or drinks are being taken in to accumulate these extra pounds or kilos – for every excess pound of weight you are dragging around, you must take in 3500 calories less than you need to drop that pound.

However, there is one other thing to take into account, which does lend some credence to the people who suggest that taking in energy in ‘form A’ (e.g. fats) rather than in ‘form B’ (e.g. carbohydrates) makes you less fat.

This is the fact that our bodies have the ability to process some calories in one way while dealing with others in a completely different manner.

For example, almost despite what we are generally led to believe, our bodies do not necessarily extract all the goodness (vitamins, nutrients etc) or all of the calories from every single item of food we consume.

This happens because your body has its own metabolic rate, a speed at which it processes the food that you take in. At the same time, while any foodstuff is still within your body, your body will keep extracting as many calories of energy from that food as possible.

Consequently, it follows that anyone whose system passes the food through very quickly is going to draw less calories from their food than would someone whose system is more lethargic.

Foods slow metabolic rate

Foods slow metabolic rate

It is probably no great secret that the modern Western diet is far too rich in processed, refined foods and far too light on raw, nutrient packed foodstuffs. We probably all understand that processed foods (burgers, hot dogs, pizzas etc) are likely to make you fatter than raw unprocessed foods, but one of the reasons why this happens is probably not widely understood.

  • Partially because these foodstuffs are very rich in fats and sugar, our system is simply not very good at processing them.
  • Consequently, they can hang around in your body for two or three days, and while they are still being slowly digested in this way, your body is still leeching every available calorie from them.

Raw foodstuffs on the other hand tend to ‘hang around’ for only a few hours and therefore, even if they were ‘calorie rich’ (which most raw foods are not), your body simply does not get the chance to extract those calories.

When you think about it in these terms, it probably makes a great deal of sense. After all, you have spent years listening to people who have told you how good raw and unprocessed foods were for your digestive system.

Plus, there have probably been times when the speed at which you have had to visit the bathroom has provided ample testament to the fact that raw foods ‘keep you going’!

Now you understand why, and you can probably understand why processed or refined foods are likely to help pile the weight on as well.

You’ll learn more about this concept later in the next post.