One of the saddest truths about aging is it means you find yourself with a slowing metabolism. Genetics and gender also play a role, which is frustrating when you consider you don’t have any control over these things. That being said, you can boost your metabolism by increasing muscle mass. According to SFGate, a combination of exercise and adequate protein will get you there. You also need to make sure you’re steering clear of foods that do harm, and we’ve done the research for you in that department. These are the foods you should limit to keep your metabolism from slowing down.
1. Fried foods
Every time you dig into a plate of chicken fingers and fries, you’re eating a lot of empty calories and fat. This obviously doesn’t give you the nutrients you need and, as Livestrong points out, it can take a toll on your metabolism. Since adults should aim to consume less than 65 grams of fat per day, it’s important to recognize just how quickly you reach that number when opting for fried food.
Furthermore, a study published in Obesity found eating too much fat for just five days in a row can interrupt the way your body metabolizes food and may even lead to insulin resistance. It was a small study, but the results are still scary.
The next time your body craves something fried, opt for a healthier broiled, grilled, or steamed option. If you just can’t fight the desire for something golden and crispy, have a serving of the fried version, but keep your portion reasonable and the rest of your meals on the healthier side.
2. Full-fat dairy products
Your list of favorite foods probably includes some form of dairy like cheese, ice cream, or milkshakes. But you should be careful about how much you consume because, once again, the fat content matters.
A 1-cup serving of whole milk contains 5 grams of saturated fat, per the California Department of Public Health. So, if you’re used to having it with a bowl or two of cereal for breakfast, adding some to your coffee, plus treating yourself to ice cream or products made with whole milk (or cream) on a regular basis, know it can really add up. In the long run, so much dairy will lead to the same metabolism-slowing problem you run into with fried foods. You don’t have to eliminate it from your diet. Just make sure you aren’t going overboard.
3. Sugary foods
You constantly hear about the need to watch your sugar intake for good health, and here’s why. According to Greatist, eating too many simple carbs, particularly sugar, can eventually lead to insulin resistance. In turn, your body has to produce more insulin in order to bring your blood sugar back to normal. Livestrong says this high blood sugar will cause your metabolism to slow and make your body start holding on to fat, which obviously leads to weight gain.
To keep your metabolism in check and to minimize the risk of conditions like diabetes and thyroid problems, you’d be wise to cut back on how much sugar you eat.
4. White flour
Though white flour is a staple ingredient in many foods, it’s not doing your metabolism any favors. Harvard Health Publications says these refined carbs fall high on the glycemic index, which means your blood sugar will spike. Effectively, your body processes them in the same way it does sugar. Pass on the white flour and bring on the whole grains, which are packed with fiber, aid with digestion, and can help you control your weight, according to The Huffington Post. Oats, barley, whole wheat, and farro are great options.