Ever since menopause hit, I’ve cringed every time I stepped on the scale and am horrified to see my weight creeping up a notch or sticking like glue no matter how many calories I burn. When I was young, I ate anything I wanted and never gained a pound. After 50, my muffin top expanded to pregnant proportions. I’ve been asked, “When are you due?” In a way, it’s flattering since I’m way beyond my childbearing years. I now wear Empire dresses or pants with elastic waistbands. In other words, I’ve become my mother. It isn’t easy to boost your metabolism once you’re past the 1/2 century mark, but it’s possible.
A tasty way to get your engine running
Forget about “energy” drinks or herbs with names you can’t pronounce that are marketed to boost your metabolism. Some will give you a heart attack. One tasty way to do it is to put a little spice into your life.
Photo courtesy of Cooking Planit
Spices that will boost your metabolism
Cayenne pepper, red chili flakes, and other hot peppers (Capsaicin) have thermogenic properties and will boost your metabolism by about 24%. Their heat will warm up your body and make it easier to burn calories. Put a pinch of hot peppers into your homemade salad dressing or sprinkle it on chicken, fish or shellfish while it’s cooking. If you have hot flashes, go easy on the hot stuff or you’ll feel like a Disco Inferno.
Cumin, popular in chili recipes, is another spice that will boost your metabolism that’s fairly mild. Throw some in your guacamole. It will give you a kick start and you’ll enjoy the health benefits of eating avocado.
Sprinkle a little cinnamon on your oatmeal, toast or in your coffee. It’s especially effective just before you exercise because it increases your energy level. Cinnamon also helps lower bad cholesterol and regulates blood glucose that contributes to belly fat.
Turmeric not only helps with digestion but also increases the production of bile, which is the acid that breaks down fats. Add it to curry sauces or rice dishes. It reduces inflammation and prevents blood clots.
Ginger, often used in Asian cooking, gives your muscle cells more oxygen. This makes it easier for you to burn calories and fat. Try this Indonesian chicken soup recipe made with the goodness of ginger. Yummy!
One of my favorite spices is mustard. It contains a variety of healthy minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. The spicier the mustard, the more it will raise your internal body temperature. If you want to lose weight, substitute mustard for mayonnaise. Mustard tastes sublime when rubbed into roasted meat and adds zing to your salad dressings.
What’s your favorite spice to boost your metabolism? Please leave a comment below.