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Thermogenic Foods

These are natural foods that kick-start your metabolism.

Not the artificial thermogenic fat-burning pills and energy drinks!


Contains an enzyme that increases metabolism.  The old wives’ tale turned out to be true!

Eat half a grapefruit before breakfast and half before dinner.  Note: too much may cause sensitive teeth as the juice is strong on our tooth enamel.  Always check with your GP first if you are taking any medication.

 Green Tea

Rich in flavonoids (antioxidants) and a small amount of caffeine that elevate metabolic rate and increase fat oxidation.  The caffeine content is not a concern as green tea also contains a relaxing phytonutrient called theanine that mitigates most of the effects of caffeine.

Drink 2-3 cups per day, preferably before lunch time.

 Cayenne Pepper

Remember the Lemon Detox Diet!  Cayenne pepper increases metabolism, body temperature, stimulates digestion and helps to balance blood sugar levels.

Add a sprinkle of this spice to your meals and hot lemon water in the morning.


A seaweed and is the most potent source of iodineIodine is required for thyroid hormone production.  Our mighty thyroid determines our metabolic rate, energy levels and body temperature.  Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism.

Sprinkle kelp into your savoury meals and even in your smoothies, you won’t taste it.  But don’t eat more than the recommended amount because iodine overdose can also cause thyroid issues (hyperthyroidism).

 Apple Cider Vinegar

Plus even white vinegar, contains acetic acid which promotes the production of fat-burning enzymes in the liver.  Vinegar slows the rate at which the stomach empties and it suppresses the activity of enzymes which break down carbs.  To receive the benefits you need to take vinegar before a high-carb meal.

This is not permission to go and eat an enormous bowl of macaroni cheese!  But if there is a situation where you can’t avoid it, you’re going out or it is a special occasion, vinegar is your secret weapon.

Take 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon 10-15 minutes before a high-carb meal/snack.  Vinegar can be diluted in water.   Don’t overdose because it can wear out your tooth enamel.

 High-Protein Foods

20-35% of the calories from protein do not count due to the thermic effect.  High quality protein sources include chicken, fish, meat, eggs and whey/pea protein powder.  Plant sources are legumes/beans, nuts and seeds.  Dairy sources are milk, yoghurt and cheese.


Include one protein source in all your meals and snacks, to curb your appetite and reduce your cravings.


Are not only beneficial for the gut, but your waistline too.

There is a well-known research study that involved two groups of rats.  One group was kept lean and the other group fattened up.  Then the scientists switched the gut bacteria of the rats so the lean ones had the obese gut flora and the obese ones had the lean gut flora.  Interestingly, despite being fed exactly the same diet, the lean rats became obese and the obese rats became lean.  This was due to the strains of gut bacteria, resulting from the healthy or unhealthy foods.  The quality and variety of the plants we eat, determines the strains of probiotics in our gut.  Which in-turn, has a direct influence on our weight and how calories are processed in our body.

Every day take a probiotic supplement and/or eat a variety of fermented foods.

Ignite Your Metabolic Fire!

  • Fibre increases thermogenesis because it is harder to digest than white foods. It forces your body to work out during digestion
  • Leave the skin on your fruit and vegetables – as long as they are organic
  • Always choose the wholegrain version if you eat grains, or only eat unprocessed grains
  • Include legumes/beans in your meals, if you have no digestive issues
  • Snack on mixed nuts, and incorporate them into breakfasts and salads
  • Add soaked chia or flaxseeds (soak one teaspoon of each overnight in water or almond/coconut milk) into smoothies and sprinkle pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds on to meals
  • Raw foods require more energy to breakdown than cooked foods. Eat a combination of raw and cooked vegetables, there are benefits of having both

*Extract from MY NUTRITION MENTOR by Liv Kennedy

Your Nutrition Mentor,