Metabolism depends on a number of factors, including genetics, gender, body size and age. Although diet may have a small effect on your metabolism, being more active and participating in both aerobic activity and strength training is a more effective way to increase your metabolism. Limiting your consumption of some of the more unhealthy foods can help you minimize weight gain and may help to maintain your metabolism.
Eating a high-fat diet for just five days can change your metabolism, as well as increase your risk for insulin resistance and diabetes, according to a study published in Obesity in 2015. This is especially true if you experience stressful situations throughout your day, according to a study published in Biological Psychiatry in 2014, which found that people experiencing stressors one day before eating a high-fat meal burned fewer calories over the next six hours than those who hadn't experience stressors.
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.
Highly Processed Foods
A study published in Food & Nutrition Research in 2010 found that people who ate a meal consisting mainly of whole foods burned more calories throughout the day than those who ate a more highly processed version of this meal with the same amount of calories. Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables to limit this effect, as fiber can help increase the amount of fat you burn and help limit weight gain.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2003 found that meals containing alcohol decrease the amount of fat you burn at least temporarily. Consume no more than one drink per day to limit this effect and help maintain a healthy metabolism. Instead, focus on drinking water as well as tea and coffee in moderation.
- National Health Services: How Can I Speed Up My Metabolism?
- Biological Psychiatry: Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Meals With Similar Energy Densities but Rich in Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate, or Alcohol Have Different Effects on Energy Expenditure and Substrate Metabolism but Not on Appetite and Energy Intake
- Today Health: Diet Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism
- Food & Nutrition Research: Postprandial Energy Expenditure in Whole-Food and Processed-Food Meals: Implications for Daily Energy Expenditure
- Daily Mail: Holiday Binge Really Does Hit Your Health: Just Five Days of Extra Fatty Food 'Affects Metabolism'
- Obesity: Early Skeletal Muscle Adaptations to Short-Term High-Fat Diet in Humans Before Changes in Insulin Sensitivity
- International Journal of Obesity: Thermogenesis and Weight Loss in Obese Individuals: A Primary Association With Organochlorine Pollution