7 Lifestyle Mistakes That Seriously Slow Down Your Metabolism
Many people trying to lose weight blame their slow metabolism for their lack of success in losing pounds. But it is really the only culprit?
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Metabolism is a complex and elaborate process that can be easily stimulated in a good direction but also in a wrong direction. You might think you’re doing the right thing and make the right lifestyle choices, but unsuspectedly end up being your own saboteur.
We’re here to shed some light on some of the metabolism-sabotaging mistakes you do and help you make the necessary adjustments. Read and learn!
You consume too little protein
It’s no secret that in the world of micronutrients, protein has one of the most powerful effects. A protein-based diet, even a temporary one, can increase metabolism by 20-30%, in contrast to 5-10% for carbs and 3% for fat.
The main reason for that is that protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbs and fat. In addition, protein can help you maintain your metabolic rate and lean body mass while trying to lose weight. So, don’t skimp on protein no matter what others might say!
You eat too few calories
When most people try to lose weight, the first thing they do is cut down on calories. While this is a required move for weight loss, dramatically reducing the calorie intake can prove to be counterproductive to your weight loss efforts.
According to specialized studies, consuming under 1000 calories per day can cause a significant decrease in your metabolism and metabolic rate. Firstly, because your body enters the “starvation mode” and starts storing calories it would have otherwise burned. Secondly, it reduces the calorie burning rate.
You sit too much
Most people nowadays are stuck in an office, sitting in front of the computer for more than 8 hours every day. While this may bring financial benefits, this type of sedentary life will surely have negative effects on your health.
Like your metabolism. Being sedentary can drastically reduce the number of calories you burn over the course of a day, compared to more active people.
Luckily, you can easily change this. The simplest of things is to start performing certain activities while standing. This may help you burn 532 extra calories. Or try walking. At a 100 calories per mile, you can boost your metabolism and burn around 200 calories per day.
You don’t get enough quality ZZZs
Sleep is important in many aspects of our lives. Its lack thereof affects how we perform at work, how and what we eat and what happens in our body in terms of hormones and metabolic health.
First of all, sleeping less than 7-9 hours a night can mess with your hunger hormones which in turn can determine you to make poor food choices and overeat. Cortisol levels rise, fat storage increases while muscle tissue decreases.
What’s more, people who sleep around 5 hours per night suffer a 2.6% metabolic rate decrease and lose 55% less body fat than those with 8 hours per night. So, don’t neglect it!
You skip strength training
All types of exercise increase metabolism, but strength training has been demonstrated to be the single most effective in terms of speeding it up. That’s because this type of exercise works your muscles and the more muscles you have, the higher the metabolic rate.
In fact, a single weightlifting session can influence your metabolic rate by an average of 5% and the number of calories you burn for up to 72 hours. This is not only valid for healthy individuals, but also for overweight and obese people.
You don’t drink enough water
Our bodies are made of 60% water, so, it’s no wonder we need it for virtually every cellular process inside it and to maintain an optimum health. Being hydrated is crucial but many people unknowingly disregard this aspect, drinking around 32 ounces of water per day. Including those who want to boost their metabolism and lose weight.
FYI, when you’re dehydrated, your metabolic rate drops, and your body ends up burning up to 2% fewer calories. To avoid this, drink water as often as possible and even better, cold water. It can boost your metabolism by 10-30% throughout an hour. Quite efficient, right?
You stress too much
Last but not least, stress is probably one of the most important factors affecting our metabolism in negative ways.
When we’re under a lot of stress, the cortisol levels increase and consequently, our appetite gets bigger. For comfort foods such as cakes, chips, ice-cream and the like. Studies suggest this comfort eating behavior can lead to weight gains of around 10 pounds in one single year. Talk about icing on the cake!
More than that, stress affects digestion in that it slows it down to the point your body metabolizes calories with the speed of a sleepy snail.