Food & Nutrition

10 Common Foods That Are Completely Messing with Your Metabolism

Your metabolism—the internal furnace that burns calories to keep you running—slows as you get older. Don’t make things worse by eating stuff that reduces metabolism to a flickering flame.

Diet soda


The news is grim: With each passing year, your natural calorie burn slows further. It’s a big reason many people find that as they age, they gain weight even though they’re eating the same.  Artificial sweeteners are a problem because they can change gut bacteria, causing blood sugar to spike and thereby raise your risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to research published in the respected journal, Nature. Instead, opt for water. Not drinking enough water is a major metabolism mistake. “When you feel thirsty, you’re likely already one to two percent dehydrated,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN. “Water may help you feel fuller and help you eat less at meals. It might even help temporarily boost pre-meal metabolism.” Gorin goes on to cite one study in which obese British adults were asked to drink about two cups of water before eating each of their daily meals. They lost more than nine pounds in about three months, which is a lot more than the people who didn’t drink water before meals. Make sure you don’t have one of the 9 medical causes of slow metabolism.

Low-calorie frozen meals

Foods-That-Are-Messing-With-Your-Metabolism Alina Yudina/shutterstock

“Some of my clients think it’s a good idea to eat frozen meals with just 150 to 200 calories, but instead of helping you lose weight, this type of meal when eaten regularly may actually slow metabolism because you need to eat enough calories throughout the day to help keep your metabolism revving,” says Gorin. Frozen foods also tend to be loaded in sodium and lacking in fiber. If you’re going to eat a frozen meal, Gorin suggests pairing it with some pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, or dried peas). “They offer satiating fiber and protein—and eating just ¾ cup of them daily could amp up your weight loss (in one study, close to a pound in a six-week period). Also, add some veggies to your meal—they’re full of water, which is hydrating and filling!” See here for more way to get a metabolism of a 25-year-old.

Low protein diets

Foods-That-Are-Messing-With-Your-Metabolism Lesterman/shutterstock

“Your body expends a good amount of energy to break down and store protein, so make sure you’re getting some protein (about 20 to 30 grams) at each meal and spreading this throughout the day,” says Gorin who recommends starting your day with a high-protein smoothie with vanilla bean, which boasts 21 grams of protein.

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