Nutrition Research

Metabolism Boosters….Do They or Don’t They

January 12, 2017

Myth or Fact?!  Do the following trends actually boost your metabolism and help you lose weight?

Hot Lemon Water 

You have seen this on social media.  Gorgeous yogis sipping their mugs of hot lemon water boosting all sorts of health claims like weight loss, detoxifying and more.  You must drink it first thing in the morning they say!  Well, here’s the truth: hot lemon water does not speed up your metabolism.  The water will help you meet you hydration needs and the lemon is loaded with vitamin C which we knows boots immunity.  That is about it.  Sorry yoga girls.

Bottom line: helps meet hydration needs.  No effect on weight loss.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Touted for weight loss and detox, this drink apparently does it all.  But when you dig into the research, there isn’t any proof in the pudding.  There was one notable study in 2004 that showed apple cider vinegar increased insulin sensitivity.  Vinegar might affect the way you digest starch.  This means lower blood sugar levels!  One note here, this study was done on folks consuming high carb meals.  So if you are already watching your starch intake and or eating foods high in fiber, the vinegar doesn’t really have an effect.  Remember, this is an acid, so never drink it straight!  Because it is so acidic, there are some lovely side effects like tooth erosion, aspiration, tenderness to esophagus and more.  Awesome.  Let us not forget, too much acid can technically poison you….

Bottom line:  minimal effect on blood sugar.  No effect on weight loss.

Turmeric combined with a milk alternative – “Golden Milk”

Sorry whole 30 folks.  But, good news, this one isn’t a total loss!  While turmeric does nothing for your metabolism, it does have an anti-inflammatory effect.  When the body experiences illness, injury, stress, irritation or infection, an acute inflammatory response occurs to heal the affected tissue.  When the acute response is not affective, the body goes to plan b: chronic inflammation.  Acute inflammation is therapeutic, but chronic inflammation even at a low level is problematic.  Inflammation is associated with obesity, diabetes, IBS and cardiovascular disease.  Researchers have found that phytochemicals from NATURAL foods, including herbs and spices, can help reduce inflammation.

There are only a handful of studies on weight loss and turmeric resulting in minimal results.

One fact: in India, the average consumption is 2-2.5 grams per day.

Bottom line: curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that has the health benefits.  Evidence continues to support its role in the anti-inflammatory process but the jury is still out on turmeric’s effect on weight loss, cancer prevention, Alzheimer’s disease prevention and more.

Low Carb Diet

While this diet doesn’t not boost your metabolism, it will result in weight loss.  The current guidelines recommend that 45-55% of total calories come from carbohydrates.  The American Diabetes Association recommends 45-60 grams carbohydrates per meal.  A low carb diet is technically defined as less than 45% total calories per day (30-100 grams carbs per day) with 15-30% protein per day.  The meal usually looks like an animal protein, non-starchy vegetable and some sort of fat.   We have multiple studies that show a low carb diet can be an effective means of weight loss, but this diet is not recommend long term.

Bottom line:  you will lose weight when you restrict anything…let’s be honest.  A 2014 meta-analysis showed that the benefits of a low carb diets are not very large and only offer a slight advantage in terms of weight loss and fat mass compared to a normal protein diet.  However, cutting back on simple carbs is a great idea for all of us!   Don’t cut back too much of you will have some fun side effects like headache, bad breathe, weakness, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea…lovely.  Many experts agree that eating large amount of fat and protein from animals increases your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Want to boost your metabolism?

  • strength train to build lean body mass
  • move constantly throughout your day
  • eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • watch your waistline

Remember friends, follow science, not trends!

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  • Lauren Renlund January 12, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Already commented on instagram but just wanted to say again how great this is! I have gotten so many questions about if people need to drink lemon/acv water to “detox”. So much misinformation!