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All calories are created equal where the numbers game of weight loss is concerned, right? Wrong, according to a new eating plan, The Active Calorie Diet. Based on new research, this plan works off the premise that certain types of food can affect metabolism and appetite. Eat the right ones, and you’ll be able to boost your body’s weight-loss abilities.
What makes those foods stronger for getting slim? Certain foods take more work to eat and digest, making your body work harder to process. This means your body burns more calories in the digestive process. Even something as simple as chewing fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains can up your calorie burn by as much as 30 percent.
Here’s a look at the diet’s four “active calorie” groups and how each gets your body burning calories:
- Chewy – These foods make your body work from the moment they cross your lips, chewing items like lean meats, nuts, and whole produce. The foods with the greatest impact are those in a whole state, like apples instead of applesauce, or peanuts instead of peanut butter. The higher the protein, the better the effect – high-protein foods take more effort to chew and more time to leave your stomach, which means you’ll eat more slowly and feel full sooner than with empty carbohydrates.
- Hearty – Fiber is your friend in the quest for weight loss. While that’s nothing new, categorizing it in this way is a fresh take. Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, and cereal take up more space in the stomach, leaving less room for seconds. They also tend to take more effort to chew and to burn, increasing the food’s thermic effect.
- Energizing – Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and this boost carries over to your metabolism. Coffee and black tea include enough of this energizer to ramp up your metabolism by 5-8 percent. Green tea has less caffeine, but it offers the benefit of catechins, an antioxidant that ups your resting metabolism by about 4 percent. Dark chocolate boasts of both caffeine and catechins, making it a sweet addition to any diet – but in moderation, of course, since it also has plenty of sugar and fat.
- Warming – Spice up your diet with peppers, cinnamon, vinegar, bay leaves, mustard, cloves, garlic, and ginger. Not only do these add tons of flavor, but they also include chemicals that boost the body’s calorie-burning ability. For instance, capsaicin, the chemical that provides peppers’ heat, has been found to double dieters’ energy expenditure for several hours after eating. Adding these spices will fully activate the calories from all of the chewy, hearty, and energizing foods you’re consuming.
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