One of the most important factors when it comes to losing weight is your metabolism. A faster metabolism will naturally help your body burn more fat and increase your calorie deficit. Meanwhile, a slower metabolism will store more calories as fat, leading to weight gain. While your metabolism is determined by a number of things, from genetics to physical activity to age, the foods and drinks you have also play a huge role. To learn more about foods that slow metabolism, we spoke with registered dietitians Jesse Feder, CPT at Strength Warehouse and Trista Best, MPH at Balance One. They said there are four main foods that are the worst for your metabolism: sugary cereals, fast to eat, muffinsand frozen dinners. Read on for more information!
While cereals are one of the easiest breakfast options to start your day, they are generally low in valuable nutrients. Most cereals are also loaded with sugar, which can be detrimental to your metabolism. Feder says sugary grains are “one of the unhealthiest processed foods you can have.” The added sugars have no nutritional value and result in empty calories that screw up your metabolism.
“They’re loaded with sugar, sodium, and refined carbs,” he continues. “These things, when eaten in large amounts and consistently, can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. The highly processed and refined ingredients usually give you a jolt of energy, as they can be digested very quickly. then a crash of our blood sugar and can slow down your metabolism.” So while dietitians like Feder warn against sugary breakfast cereals, you don’t have to forego a sweet treat in the morning. Overnight oats instead. with maple syrup or peanut butter for a sweet, natural taste, make a great breakfast that won’t affect your blood sugar and will keep you feeling full for hours.
Fast food, such as fries, burgers, pizza and much more, is super convenient. Unsurprisingly, these types of foods pose a significant threat to your metabolism when consumed regularly. This is due to the unhealthy ingredients often found in fast food (which happens to be the reason why it tastes so good!).
Feder warns against eating fast food meals on a regular basis. “Fast food meals are made with high amounts of fat, sodium, and unhealthy oils. This can also lead to weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and stroke, just to name a few,” he says. “The ingredients in fast food meals are also highly processed and refined, which allows them to be digested quickly and gives you a reduced metabolic rate.” One of the easiest ways to give in to fast food temptation is meal prep. That way you have already planned your food for the day. However, Feder emphasizes that it’s still fine to enjoy a McDonald’s burger or fries once in a while, but don’t make it a habit!
While it might be appealing to just grab a muffin and run out the door, this tasty treat actually does very little to satiate your appetite and can wreak havoc on your metabolism. “Not all muffins are created equal, and most are packed with refined carbs, sugar, and fat. While there are some versions of muffins that can help you with your health goals, unfortunately this isn’t the case for the most popular ones,” Best says. As with breakfast cereals, you don’t want to start your day with a meal that will only give you a temporary energy boost.
While there are healthy muffins like oats or bran, the tasty chocolate chips and blueberries are (unfortunately) usually full of sugar and refined carbs. They don’t really nourish your body or offer any real benefit to your health. “The ingredient list for a muffin usually includes flour, water, eggs, butter, and sugar, along with chocolate chips and maybe blueberries. Eggs and blueberries are the two healthiest ingredients, but when combined with the other high-calorie foods on the list, their nutritional value essentially becomes undone,” explains Best.
Many frozen dinners are loaded with refined carbs, sugar, and trans fats that will do little to improve your health or keep you full for long. Feder says frozen dinners usually contain “large amounts of fat and salt to make them taste good and preserve them.” High amounts of fat and salt can lead to weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. So look for microwaveable meals with veggies and a solid source of protein. To lose weight, energize your body, and get a faster metabolism, you need to eat a diverse diet rich in macro and micronutrients. It’s important to include foods like Avoid sugary breakfast cereals, fast foods, muffins and frozen meals as they slow down your metabolism. Instead, try some of the healthy alternatives listed above. Your body will thank you!