Diet and Nutrition Q&A by Betty Kovacs

Which foods (if any) increase metabolism?

Author: Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
Medical Editor: Ruchi Mathur, MD

Answer:

If you are looking for ways to increase your metabolism, you will need to focus on your exercise, not your food. There are a lot of people making claims about ways that you can change your diet to increase your metabolism without any proof to back their claims. One of the most common suggestions being made is to eat more often in order to burn more calories, but studies have failed to show that this will work. In fact, there are many people who end up gaining weight when told to eat more often because their caloric intake increases. What has been shown is that prolonged fasting can lead to deterioration in metabolism, so eating regularly is to be encouraged.

The proven way to increase your metabolism is to build muscle. We lose muscle as we age and with weight loss, and as a result, our metabolism slows down. The good news is that it's never too late to build muscle, so regardless of how old you are or how much muscle you have lost you can still speed up your metabolism. The best way to begin is to work with a qualified trainer to help you design a plan that meets your needs. Be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning.

Thank you for your question.


Last Editorial Review: 11/17/2006