Egg Whites1 of 10
Egg whites are rich in branched-chain amino acids, which keep your metabolism stoked, says Chicago nutritionist David Grotto, RDN. Eggs are also loaded with protein and vitamin D.
Lean Meat2 of 10
Lean meat is full of iron; deficiencies in the mineral can slow metabolism. Eat 3 to 4 daily servings of iron-rich foods, such as chicken or fortified cereal.
Water3 of 10
If you're even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down, says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. Tip: Drink water cold, which forces your body to use more calories to warm it up.
Chili Peppers4 of 10
Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that can kick metabolism into higher gear, Dr. Isaacs says. He suggests adding a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers to a meal once a day. Chili peppers are also an unexpected source of vitamin C.
Coffee5 of 10
A study published in Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16 percent higher than that of those who drank decaf.
Green Tea6 of 10
The brew contains a plant compound called EGCG, which promotes fat-burning, research suggests.
Milk7 of 10
Studies conducted by Michael Zemel, PhD, former director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee, suggest that consuming calcium may help your body metabolize fat more efficiently.
Whole Grains8 of 10
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.
Lentils9 of 10
About 20 percent 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 percent of your daily iron needs.