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  • Dr. Brian McCarley

Are There Foods That Slow Metabolism?




A slow metabolism might not be the only reason you’re having a hard time losing weight. You read that right. Metabolism plays a role but isn’t the only determining factor.

Your metabolism is responsible for maintaining many of your body’s functions. Like most people, you probably associate it with your weight more than anything else.

According to the experts at Harvard Medical School, genetics plays the biggest role in your metabolism. However, there are some ways to jump-start it, which can be helpful if you’re trying to shed some pounds.

One of the best ways to reach your goal weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Clearly, the foods you eat play a role in the success of your weight loss program.

Choosing the right foods is a matter of calories in versus calories out, but there are some foods that slow metabolism at the same time. Avoiding these items may be what it takes to lose those pounds.

Refined Grains

If you’re wondering how to speed up metabolism, cutting refined grains is the ideal first step. While your body needs grains for their healthy carbohydrate content, refined ones should be avoided.

That’s because they have had most of their nutrients stripped away during processing. White bread, pasta, crackers, and rice are the biggest offenders.

These foods are easy for your body to break down, which means your metabolism doesn’t have to speed up as much to digest them.

Whole grains are a much better choice. Read food levels to determine if an item is made from whole or refined grains.

Soft Drinks

Soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup, which has many damaging effects on your metabolism. That includes slowing it down but also increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of diseases that can have devastating health consequences. They include diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

In addition to potentially slowing your metabolism, soft drinks are also high in calories, which can derail any healthy weight loss plan. It’s better to drink water and skip the soda.

Alcohol

Many kinds of alcohol, especially when used to make cocktails, contain large amounts of sugar and calories. But it’s also been linked to a slower rate of fat burning.

At the same time, alcohol contains toxins that your body must work to neutralize. While it’s doing that, it’s not burning fat. So drinking too much alcohol can slow your metabolism and lead to weight gain.

Fried Foods

You’re probably already aware that fried foods can hinder your weight loss goals. After all, they are packed with fat and calories. Too much of either will pack on the pounds, rather than support your goals.

However, fried foods may also slow your metabolism. This is especially true with restaurant meals, which are often fried in partially hydrogenated oils.

These oils, which contain huge amounts of trans fats, stop your metabolism from humming along as it should. Combined with the high amounts of fat and calories in fried foods, this is a sure-fire way to prevent weight loss.

Farmed Beef

Beef can be part of a healthy weight loss diet. However, farmed beef is often treated with antibiotics. This can alter the healthy balance of bacteria in your digestive system.

When that happens, it can make your metabolism sluggish. When it can’t keep up with what you’re eating, chances are you’re going to gain weight.

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite burger. Choose organically raised or grass-fed beef products instead of farmed ones.

Granola Bars

If you’ve always thought granola bars were a healthy food, it’s time to take another look. Many of them contain high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and other ingredients that can slow your metabolism.

If you’ll recall from our discussion about soft drinks, high fructose corn syrup can cause health problems but also slows metabolism. Combined with the other preservatives in granola bars, they could be hindering your goals.

When you buy granola bars, be sure you choose those that are made with oats, which can speed metabolism, but that are also free of preservatives and sugar.

You might also consider making your own granola bars. This gives you control over ingredients and allows you to enjoy a favorite snack without worrying that it will derail your weight loss.

Frozen Dinners

While they are certainly convenient, frozen dinners often contain the ingredients talked about on this list. That includes farmed beef and produce that has been treated with pesticides.

In addition to their high fat and calorie content, frozen dinners can slow your metabolism. Many also contain partially hydrogenated oils, which can make the situation even worse.

Foods That Slow Metabolism and Foods That Don’t

When it comes to figuring out how to speed up metabolism, the foods you eat play a role. This list gives you some specific examples, but in general, it’s best to choose whole foods over processed ones.

The bulk of your diet should contain a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. They are your best bet for learning how to boost metabolism.

Not only can these foods help speed metabolism, but they are high in nutrients that support good health.

At the same time, they also tend to be lower in fat and calories, another great way to support healthy weight loss. The best foods to help with metabolism should also be ones that you enjoy.

You’re more likely to stick with the plan if you eat foods that taste good to you. Experiment with healthy choices to find what you love best.

What’s Next?

Avoiding foods that slow metabolism in favor of those that speed it up can help with your weight loss goals. Marking the items here off of your grocery list is a great first step.

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