About 20% of women are iron deficient, which is bad news for your waistline -- your body can't work as efficiently to burn calories when it's missing what it needs to work properly. One cup of lentils provides 35% of your daily iron needs.
|Lean meat |
Lean meat is full of iron; deficiencies in the mineral can slow metabolism. Eat three to four daily servings of iron-rich foods, such as chicken or fortified cereal.
|Egg whites |
Egg whites are rich in branched-chain amino acids, which keep your metabolism stoked, says Chicago nutritionist David Grotto. Eggs are also loaded with protein and vitamin D.
A study published in Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16% higher than that of those who drank decaf.
|Green tea |
The brew contains a plant compound called EGCG, which promotes fat-burning, research suggests.
Studies conducted by Michael Zemel, former director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee, suggest that consuming calcium may help your body metabolize fat more efficiently.
|Whole grains |
Whole grains help your body burn more fat because they take extra effort to break down than processed grains, like white bread and pasta. Whole foods that are rich in fiber, like brown rice and oatmeal are your best bets.