Increasing your metabolism – thermogenic foods for weight loss


Narelle came to see me because she was sick of herself again and needed to do something about it!  She’d been on the weight loss roller coaster ride for years, done all the “right” things …any yet…here she was, 20kg overweight, miserable, hating herself and feeling like she was trapped in quicksand, sinking fast and unable to get out!

While taking her case history I discovered what she ate: low fat cereal and skim milk for breakfast, skim milk cappuccino for morning tea, cheese and salad sandwich with margarine or leftovers for lunch, whatever she could get her hands on when she came home from work (carb foods like biscuits, kids leftovers, bread) then meat and 3 veg for dinner, couple glasses of wine and a bit of flavoured low-fat gingerbread cookie after dinner.

This diet has very little thermogenic potential at all!

Foods that are thermogenic generate heat in the body and raise your metabolic rate.  Thermogenic foods include:

  • Coconut oil – inhibits fat deposition and increases fat burning
  • Green tea
  • Pepper, ginger and chilli – we’ve all felt the heat producing effects of these!
  • Whole grains – they require more energy to digest
  • Protein foods like quinoa, beef, eggs or chicken – require more energy to digest
  • Iron containing foods and herbs (eg parsley, spinach, lentils, red meat, nettle) – because low iron causes fatigue

Now, if the truth be told, any one of these foods on it’s own is unlikely to increase your metabolism to any noticeable extent. A half hour of exercise will do more.

But when you combine these foods and make them the basis of your diet, you not only have an increased metabolic rate but many other benefits as well.  Eating these whole, clean, fibre-rich, healthy foods will reduce bingeing, lower or regulate your appetite, improve bowel movements and bowel flora, reduce or eliminate sugar cravings, increase energy levels, improve detoxification and it’s likely that you will lose weight!  Wow – everything you’ve wished for.

Janelle and I worked one step at a time.  After I’d done her body composition and live blood analysis, we started with swapping all her “bad” fats for natural, healthy fats.  She added a tablespoon of coconut oil to breakfast, avoided margarine and foods containing vegetable oils, added half an avocado to her sandwich at lunch, used homemade beef broth in her main meals and even ate the chicken WITH the skin.

Within a week, Janelle reported her sugar cravings had dramatically reduced and her appetite had regulated.  No more binges in the afternoon.  She felt so much better about herself.   Her optimism that something could be done about her weight soared.



Brenda Rogers

With over 25 years experience as a corporate trainer, naturopath, yoga teacher and wise woman educator, Brenda is the head clinician and coach at Quintessence Health.

"A healthy mind and body simply ensures you have the time and energy to fully express and manifest your life’s purpose – it facilitates the unfolding of joy."

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