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  • Writer's pictureMark Edwards

8 Best Metabolism Boosting Foods for Men

Updated: Mar 4

If you're a guy over 40 looking to lose weight, it's critical to do a number of things to boost metabolism so that your body burns calories even when, or especially when, you're not exercising.

Unfortunately, as we age, metabolism tends to slow down, making weight loss that much harder. Keep in mind that metabolism refers to your body's energy expenditure. Your body uses energy even at rest (your basal metabolic rate), so it's important to include foods in your diet that can help boost resting metabolism and improve your weight management results.

As we age, our testosterone levels tank, affecting a number of body processes, particularly impacting lean muscle mass, thereby making it harder to lose weight.

Your body uses energy even at rest (your resting metabolic rate), so it’s important to include foods in your diet that can help boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.

A Caveat

A word of caution: don't get distracted by weight loss "solutions" that seem easy while neglecting the real work. There's no free lunch. 

These foods are meant to supplement a sensible diet and exercise regimen, not replace them. If you truly want to lose weight, you have to do the work. Changing your body composition is a long-term process that requires dedication and hard work.

In this post, I'll discuss 8 best metabolism boosting foods that can help you shed those extra pounds. Use this list as a supplementary resource to the real meat and potatoes of a weight loss program.

Why is Increased Metabolic Rate Important for Men Over 40?

Weight Gain and More Body Fat

Weight gain and more body fat are two of the bains of growing older. Accompanying those are cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

We know the look: that insidious abdominal fat that seems to appear out of nowhere once we hit middle age.

As men age, their metabolic rate naturally starts to slow down. This is due to a number of factors, including loss of lean muscle mass, changes in hormones (especially testosterone), and a decrease in physical activity. All of these factors can lead to weight gain and make it harder to lose body fat and manage your body weight more easily.

You can't control your age, but by getting more physical activity and increasing your energy expenditure, you can absolutely work on increasing muscle mass, which can slow down natural testosterone decrease and increase fat metabolism, making weight loss and improved metabolic health a reality.

By far the lowest friction action you can take is to add some metabolism-boosting foods to your diet. This can be the first step to improving your health, NOT the only step!

And if you're someone who is already physically active and mindful of your food, the foods on this list can be the icing on the cake.

What are the Best Metabolism-Boosting Foods?

Get Ready for EASY

First off, let's get one thing straight. Consuming healthy foods is a must. Absent healthy food, it won't matter what little tweaks you make. You simply won't be able to burn fat and reach or maintain a healthy weight.

However, there are a number of different foods that can help boost your metabolism. You might be surprised that the list includes some very common foods: water, coffee, green tea, chili peppers, protein-rich foods, ginger, legumes and pulses, cinnamon, and cacao.

Let's start with the lowest-friction of them all, the Big Daddy of fat loss, WATER.

1. Water - Drink more of it.

Drink More Water for the Win

Yes, believe it or not, good ol' water. You might be thinking, "I already drink enough water." Really? The fact is, most people overestimate how much water they consume. You might fall into that group too.

Water Induced Thermogenesis

Water is essential for our bodies to function properly. Not only does it help to regulate our body temperature and transport nutrients, but it also plays a role in metabolism. In fact, severaL studies have shown that drinking 500 ml of water can boost your metabolic rate by 24-30%!

The rate increase was seen 10 minutes after consumption and was maintained for about an hour.

This is known as "water induced thermogenesis."

Drinking more water is also an effective way to lower your energy intake. There are so many beneficial effects of consuming more water that I could write a whole post on JUST THAT.

So if you're looking for a simple way to increase your metabolism, make sure you're getting enough water each day.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

The general rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, this may vary depending on your individual needs. Factors that can affect how much water you need to drink include exercise, climate, and overall health.

Besides having an effect on metabolism, sufficient hydration is essential for general health, sports performance, proper digestion, and numerous other essential body functions. Just remember, most people underhydrate and don't know it.

2. Coffee

Boost Your Metabolism with the World's Favorite Drink

Coffee is another great metabolism-boosting food. In fact, studies have shown that coffee can increase your metabolic rate by up to 11%.

Coffee has also been shown to increase fat oxidation in overweight and obese subjects as well as people who are a healthy weight. This is heady stuff.

Additionally, coffee contains caffeine, which has been shown to increase thermogenesis (the production of heat in the body), resulting in weight loss. Studies show that not only does coffee increase resting metabolic rate but consuming it after a meal greatly increases the thermic effect of food.

That after-dinner coffee has health benefits that you didn't know it had!

Recent studies have also shown that decaf has a greater effect on appetite reduction than caffeinated coffee! So whether you drink caffeinated or decaf, you're going to enjoy health benefits from a cup of java.

How Much Coffee Should I Drink?

The amount of coffee you should drink depends on your individual tolerance for caffeine. However, most experts recommend limiting yourself to two or three cups per day, unless you're drinking decaf.

And no coffee after 6 pm. Poor sleep is an underlying, insidious influence on consuming extra calories, blood sugar spikes, and metabolic syndrome. Better sleep, fewer calories consumed daily.

As mentioned, decaf is a great alternative. It can reduce appetite more than caffeinated coffee, so why not give it a try?

What's the Best Way to Brew Coffee?

While there are many different ways to brew coffee largely dependent on personal tastes, cold brew coffee is one of the best methods for preserving its natural antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for boosting metabolism and preventing disease.

To make cold brew coffee, simply combine coffee grounds and water in a jar and let it sit overnight. In the morning, strain the coffee and enjoy!

Other methods largely depend on taste and how much time you want to put into making the coffee. Some people devote their entire existence to the pursuit of the perfectly made cup of java.

Also, be aware that darker roasts contain a little less caffeine, so for those who are very caffeine-sensitive but don't like decaf, stick with the darker roasts.

What's the Best Way to Drink Coffee?

The Devil is in the Details

In order to maximize the benefits of coffee, it's important to drink it black or with very little milk and sugar. Adding milk and sugar can decrease its antioxidant content and negate some health benefits.

But more importantly, adding cream and sugar adds more calories that will cancel out the metabolic boost of the coffee. There's no point in consuming twice as many calories as needed.

Don't like the bitterness of black coffee? Add some cinnamon. That'll take the bitter edge off and give your coffee a gentler taste. Still too bitter? Add some stevia or xylitol. You don't need much.

Little by little, make your coffee into the best no-nonsense drink possible. Be Reacher, not Al Bundy. Nobody needs the extra calories of cream and sugar.

3. Green Tea

Green tea is another great option for boosting metabolism. Like coffee, green tea contains caffeine, which has been shown to increase thermogenesis and burn fat. Studies show that it can increase fat oxidation and 24-hour energy expenditure. That's for real. It offers a metabolic boost with little to no downside. In addition, it's a rich source of antioxidants, which are important for overall health and preventing disease.

Green tea also contains l-theanine, which is great for cognitive support.

How Much Green Tea Should I Drink?

Once again, the amount of green tea you should drink depends on your tolerance for caffeine. However, most experts recommend drinking two to three cups per day. Keep in mind that it contains far less caffeine than regular coffee.

What's the Best Way to Brew Green Tea?

If you haven't had green tea and don't live in Japan like I do, green tea might be a bit of a mystery to you. Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature than black tea in order to preserve its antioxidants. The ideal brewing temperature is between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit.

What's the Best Way to Drink Green Tea?

Green tea is best without milk or sugar. This isn't just from a taste standpoint, but again, don't add more calories. Don't defeat the purpose of drinking it in the first place.

If you find it too bitter, try adding a splash of lemon juice or using a natural sweetener like stevia. Personally, I've never really liked hot green tea. I find it much better iced.

Apollo 11 breakfast
July 16, 1969. Apollo 11 Breakfast with Neil Armstrong and Crew. Steak and Eggs.

4. Protein-rich Foods

Steak - The Astronauts' Breakfast

Protein is the biggie. Protein-rich foods are a necessity to boost metabolic rate and improve weight management. Since the majority of people who can't seem to lose weight also under consume protein, consuming an appropriate amount of this metabolism-boosting food is critical for increasing resting metabolic rate and burning calories at rest.

Protein takes more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fat, so it helps increase your metabolic rate throughout the day. In addition, protein helps preserve lean muscle mass, which is critically important when losing weight and vital for older guys who will eventually have to deal with loss of lean muscle mass due to sarcopenia.

Some great sources of protein include beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs. I don't recommend legumes and nuts as a primary protein source since the total amount of protein in nuts by weight is insignificant compared to their carbohydrate and fat content. Of course, nuts are a good source of healthy fats, but be conservative and don't go overboard on nuts and nut butters.

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

The amount of protein you should eat depends on your weight, activity level, and muscle mass. However, most experts recommend eating a minimum of 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Adjust upwards according to activity levels, so athletes should consume at the upper end of the range, and less active people should consume at the lower end.

Make sure to do a macro calculation so that you maintain your energy intake below your energy expenditure to maintain consistent weight loss and increase fat metabolism. Body weight is an important factor when calculating macros.

CICO (Calories in, calories out) is real. Don't forget that.

Most people struggle to consume enough protein on a daily basis but don't even realize that they're not eating enough protein-rich foods. One great way to get more protein, especially when you're pressed for time, is to supplement your diet with protein shakes and smoothies. Best to use a high-quality grass-fed protein powder. You can view some detailed information about that HERE.

Book a consultation with me and let's talk about how much you should be eating!

5. Ginger

Ginger is a great metabolism-boosting food due to its high content of gingerol. Gingerol is a compound that has been shown to increase thermogenesis and promote weight loss.

Studies show that ginger increases the thermic effect of food AND satiety (the feeling of satisfaction or fullness).

It's also been shown in studies to decrease body mass index and improve insulin sensitivity. Ginger has a LOT of health benefits that most people don't realize.

How Much Ginger Should I Eat?

The amount of ginger you should eat depends on your tolerance for heat, much like peppers. Eating one to two ounces of ginger per day is a good baseline, and you can adjust up or down from there depending on your taste and tolerance.

What's the Best Way to Eat Ginger?

Ginger can be eaten raw, cooked, or in supplement form. If you're looking to get the most gingerol, it's best to eat it raw. If you're not a fan of the heat or simply don't care for the taste, you can cook it or take a ginger supplement. A supplement is definitely the lowest friction way to get some ginger on a daily basis.

Ginger can also make a really great tea!

6. Legumes and Pulses

Beans: Don't Consider Them a Protein Source

Legumes and pulses include beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas. These are great metabolism-boosting foods due to their high content of insoluble and soluble fiber. Fiber helps increase your metabolic rate and promote weight loss because it takes a lot of energy to digest. Beans can boost metabolism post-meal.

Many people believe that beans are a protein source. Well, they do contain protein but not a whole lot by weight compared to animal sources. Keep that in mind when calculating macros. The carbohydrate content of beans is far greater than their protein content.

Beans are a carb, not a protein.

Beans also have a wide range of other health benefits, including aiding digestion, lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and giving a greater feeling of satiation ("fullness") after a meal.

Pulses and Legumes: How Much Should I Eat?

The amount you should eat depends on your weight and activity level. However, the general recommendation is to eat 2 or 3 palmfuls of cooked legumes/pulses daily.

Keep in mind that legumes and pulses aren't the only foods that contain fiber. Green vegetables like broccoli also contain fibers, as do foods like oats.

What's the Best Way to Eat Legumes and Pulses?

Legumes and pulses can be eaten cooked or raw. If you're looking to get the most fiber, it's best to eat them cooked. Cooking makes them easier to eat, more palatable, and reduces substances that contribute to gas and bloat.

Who Doesn't Like a Good Chili?

My favorite way to consume beans is to make a HUGE chili con carne and freeze several containers of it. That way you're getting a combination of fat burning ingredients: protein, beans, and chili pepper. You'll get to experience the "meat sweats" after eating a well-made chili. That, my friend, is your resting metabolic rate shooting through the roof.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

A caveat: no studies attribute a direct increase in metabolic rate from apple cider vinegar consumption.

However! A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters indicated significant reductions in serum total cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, and HbA1C concentrations. This suggests that apple cider vinegar consumption can positively affect metabolic health factors that are indirectly related to energy metabolism and thermogenesis.

This is important, and that's why I included apple cider vinegar in the list.

How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Do I Need?

A study gave less than 15 ml per day to test subjects and achieved a measurable result. This amount can easily be used with a little olive oil to make a simple, tasty salad dressing, or simply swallow a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or mix two teaspoons into a glass of water.

8. Cacao

Mmmm. Chocolate.

Before we get carried away and start thinking that I'm going to give you a license to eat a chocolate bar every day, let's just dispel that idea right from the get-go. A little dark chocolate is fine. I'm talking 65-90% cacao, not an Aero bar or Snickers. You don't need more calories. The purpose is to increase thermogenesis and antioxidant intake.

Cacao is a great metabolism-boosting food due to its high content of caffeine. As noted regarding coffee, caffeine has been shown to increase thermogenesis and promote weight loss.

Some studies have shown that cacao can also improve insulin sensitivity.

Other studies show that regular dark chocolate intake was associated with reduced oxidative stress markers and increased mobilization of free fatty acids during exercise.

Cacao consumption can also improve cognitive performance. Cacao is great stuff.

Whether to use alkalized (Dutch process) or non-alkalized cacao is up for debate. Recent studies show that alkalized may in fact enhance cacao's antioxidant properties. Still, there is also a difference in flavor between the two types of cacao, alkalized being less bitter than non-alkalized.

How Much Cacao Should I Eat?

The amount of cacao you should eat depends on your tolerance for caffeine. However, most experts recommend eating one to two ounces of cacao per day.

What's the Best Way to Eat Cacao?

Cacao can be eaten raw, cooked, or in supplement form. Obviously, buying it in powdered form is the most convenient. It can be added to coffee (great!) or put into your blender to give some flavor to a protein shake when using unflavored protein powder.

In fact, this is far preferable to buying chocolate-flavored protein powder since you have some control over the quality of the cacao you're using.


Although this isn't an exhaustive list, the eight foods I've discussed are easy to find and easy to consume. Remember your end-goals: lose weight, reduce cardiovascular disease, increase fat oxidation, reduce blood sugar, and burn calories.

Every piece of low-hanging fruit that you can grab is going to give you an edge.

If you add these 8 foods to your diet, reduce calorie intake, get more exercise, and be mindful of the other foods you eat, you're sure to see some results. As always, please consult with your medical professional before making any drastic changes to your diet.


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Disclaimer: All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. No information provided is to be construed as medical advice. If you have medical issues, always consult your doctor..


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