pumpernickle bread

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Reach for the 'good' carbs

Instead of: Higher-glycemic foods (white rice, rice cakes, raisins)
Try: Low-glycemic foods (couscous, pumpernickel bread, apples)

If you're trying to amp your metabolism in hopes of shedding a few pounds, your best bet may be to eat a low-glycemic diet. Research shows that sticking to those foods, which are less likely to send your bood sugar soaring, can help keep your metabolism fast and avoids the natural slowdown in your calorie-burning engine that comes with losing weight, says Barbara Gower, PhD, professor in the department of nutrition sciences, division of physiology and metabolism at the University of Alabama. One of Gower's studies in 2013 also shows this nice perk: "When you cut the glycemic load of your diet back, you selectively lose fat from your abdominal area," she says. You'll preserve muscle mass that keeps your metabolism humming while burning belly fat.