Metabolism-Boosting Foods

dr. oz
Promises, promises. Why do I believe?

Yeah, they're lyrics from a bad '80s song. But they also sum up diet fads oh-so-perfectly.

Diet Lies

When you hear or see the phrase "metabolism booster" you're not wrong to be a Cynical Susie. In terms of foods, beverages and supplements that promise to boost your metabolism, many don't even begin to deliver healthy, long-term results. However, there are certain foods and nutrients that do play a key role in enabling the body to burn a little faster.

Rev Your Engine

Now before you get all giddy, read the next sentence. The following foods (as presented to Dr. Oz last month) will only be effective when combined with a quality diet and active lifestyle. If you're doing the work and not being a lazy, these ingredients may help get your cellular engines humming along at a faster clip. I call these dietary winners "metabolism optimizers." Drum roll, please:

organic raw cocae
1. Organic Raw Cacao

What it is: At first glance, "cacao" looks a lot like "cocoa." That's because it's actually the starter ingredient for processed cocoa that becomes our chocolate. But cacao is actually a fruit - inside there is white flesh and pods full of cacao "nibs." These nibs contain metabolism-optimizing nutrients, such as theobromine (a non-caffeine stimulant), anandamide (an actual endorphin - think "runner's high") and magnesium (nature's muscle relaxant that keeps us from getting so worked up we stress the body out).

How it works: Together, these nutrients stimulate the body internally to get your engines revving for more metabolic burn. You can consume raw cacao nibs (try Navitas), bars or powders. Just read the label and look for "organic raw cacao." Cacao is super user-friendly; you can add it to smoothies, trail mixes or salads. But beware that it can also keep you awake when you don't want to be, so consume it earlier in the day.

Related: Ask Kim: Why Did I Stop Losing Weight?

oolong tea
2. Organic Oolong Tea

What it is: Wonder Twin powers, activate! It's a metabolic op-tea-mizer. (Yeah, I went there.) This blend of black and green tea gives you the potent powers of both, including caffeine and antioxidants. Oolong tea has been shown to increase post-drinking (the tea, not a night of cocktails) caloric burn by about 5 percent for approximately an hour. Quick metabolic math: If you consume 2,000 calories daily, that's about 100 extra calories burned.

How it works: Oolong tea inhibits absorption of some fat consumed at meals. It's not a "fat blocker," so you don't have to worry about healthy nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins not making it into your system. However, less fat absorbed means less triglycerides made, which means a healthier waistline and healthier cholesterol levels. We'll drink to that.

3. GTF Chromium

What it is: Dr. Oz and I agree that most supplements marketed as metabolism-boosters can be quite expensive and ineffective. That said, chromium, particularly GTF chromium, can be an effective tool for enabling optimal metabolism.

How it works: GTF chromium enables your system to run as efficiently as possible, making certain that cells receive sugar from the blood (with the help of insulin) efficiently. This delivery of sugar to the cells results in optimal cellular energy as well as reducing your risk of elevated blood sugar and diabetes. Suggested use for this supplement is 200 mcg daily, ideally with food. As with all dietary supplements, look for better-quality brands that are organic and non-GMO. If you need help, visit my website for more info.

Have you tried any of these metabolism boosters? Leave us a comment below!