Daylong believes our diets contain too many omega-6 fatty acids—think vegetable oils, chicken, cereal grains—and without the balance of healthy omega-3 fats, the result can lead to inflammation, which interferes with your metabolism. “Omega-6s are necessary to balance omega-3s, but most of us are out of balance due to all the processed foods we eat,” she says. She recommends eating fatty fish like salmon or sardines a few times each week. “Walnuts and flaxseeds are also higher in omega-3s. Quality sourced omega-3 supplements can also be of benefit. All of this will work to naturally fight inflammation.”
Some people don’t process high levels of dairy protein (casein) or sugar (lactose) very well, which is why they find that dairy can lead to inflammation and bloating. If you’re worried that dairy is interfering with your calorie burn, try experimenting with calcium-fortified nut milks like unsweetened almond milk. Just remember that you don’t want to miss out on the calcium: Some research suggests that calcium deficiency can also slow metabolism. You could also check out the many surprising calcium sources that aren’t dairy-based.