10 Foods you should Avoid that Slow Down Metabolism
Sugar creates a spike in blood glucose levels and is very quickly absorbed into your system. Both of these scenarios actually assist in the process to slow your metabolism, whether you realize it or not. Avoiding foods with excess sugar in them is the best idea, but consuming them once in awhile won’t hamper your weight loss journey in the long run. You might want to consider replacing some of your candy, chocolate and ice cream with fresh fruit, which will help to satisfy your sweet tooth without causing a spike in your glucose levels.
Too Much Caffeine
Plenty of studies indicate that caffeine can boost your metabolism in the AM. But nutritionist Amy Shapiro says that guzzling coffee and other caffeinated drinks all day could actually work against you. Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant. If you’re constantly consuming it, you may not eat much — or realize how hungry you really are — until you get home for dinner. “Not eating enough throughout the day can make your metabolism sluggish,” she says. “By the time you eat dinner, instead of immediately using that food for energy, your body is aggressively storing it as fat, just in case it will be deprived again.”
Farmed beef (vs. grass-fed)
“Conventionally farmed beef has more antibiotics than grass-fed beef,” says Zuckerbrot. “For years, we were unaware what deleterious effects the antibiotics would have on our health.” A 2013 study in the journal Frontiers in Public Health found that antibiotics in farm-raised beef can have a harmful effect on good gut bacteria. “This change in bacteria in the gut is correlated with an increase in weight gain, as it changes and negatively affects the way we process food,” explains Zuckerbrot. “Simply stated, consuming antibiotics from meat can make us gain weight. Choose grass-fed meat as often as possible.
Toss out that Wonder Bread. “Even though white bread and white pasta may taste better than whole wheat, that’s where the pros end for white flour foods,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CPT, and CEO of New York Nutrition Group in New York City. “White flour is processed wheat that has all of the wheat grains’ best attributes, like fiber and antioxidants, stripped away. As a result, you’re left with something that might have a better taste and texture, but is incredibly low in nutrient quality.” What’s worse, because white flour has little to no fiber, which actually slows down digestion, your body breaks it down more quickly than whole wheat goods. “The body does not have to burn any extra calories to try to break down these easy-to-digest-foods, leaving your metabolism operating at a slower level,” explains Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, CEO of F-Factor in New York City. “Foods that are high in fiber like whole wheat bread ramp up your metabolism due to the extra work required to try and break down the indigestible fiber.
Contamination with pesticides called organochlorines may cause decreases in metabolism, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2004. It’s normal for your metabolism to slow down during weight loss because of your new lower body weight, but exposure to pesticides can slow your metabolism more than expected.
Choose organic when buying the fruits and vegetables that tend to have the most pesticides, including apples, nectarines, pears, imported grapes, cherries, strawberries, peaches, celery, bell peppers and lettuce to help limit this contamination with pesticide residues.