5 Mistakes That Are Slowing Your Metabolism
Your metabolism is the energy factory for your body. If you are experiencing a low metabolism then you might feel sleepy during the day, experience a lack of weight loss even though you are working hard at the gym and have an increase in mood swings. Not good!
We want to crank up that metabolism so your body is better at processing the food you eat and energy you burn. Who doesn't want to have more energy even on those tough, stressful Wednesday workdays?
Check out our list of 5 top mistakes people make that slow down their metabolism...and then stop making them. *guilty* And if you have a buddy you know who follows the same habits then make sure you share this with them and save them from the metabolic train wreck!
You lack protein in your breakfast or you even skip breakfast altogether.
Why This Will Slow Your Metabolism: The benefits of eating a healthy breakfast is already vastly documented. Think about how your body has been “turned off” for the last 6-8 hours and, like a computer, needs to be rebooted. This is where breakfast comes in! Your body has spent a long period of time in a fasting state and needs the right amount of energy to gear up for the coming day. However, a key principle here is your metabolism needs more than carbohydrates from a bagel or from oatmeal (the usual go to breakfast).
The Fix: Try swapping out that carb rich breakfast for a container of low-fat Greek yogurt which contains about 20 grams of protein each. This is the ideal amount of protein you need to kick start your metabolism in the morning. And of course, if you are skipping breakfast altogether....stop that.
You wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
Why This Will Slow Your Metabolism: Your metabolism is responsible for producing the energy needed to process most of your body’s systems such as digestion, muscle contraction, elimination of bodily waste, etc. What else plays a huge role in all of these areas? Hydration. If you are waiting until you actually feel thirsty to drink water (which is usually hours into your day) then you are depriving your body of the key ingredient needed to function. If you are constantly in a state of slight dehydration, those systems will slow down and cause your energy levels to drop too.
The Fix: Drink a certain amount of water at fixed times per day. For example, while your coffee is brewing in the morning, drink a glass of cold water. You can also try setting a reusable water bottle on your desk to sip from while you work throughout the day.
Overloading on cardio and skipping out on strength training.
Why This Will Slow Your Metabolism: While any exercise is good exercise, sometimes good is not enough. There’s a reason you have been hearing about HIIT (high-intensity interval training) a lot. Because it works. Exercising at a higher level of intensity for shorter amounts of time will cause your body to react more effectively, operating at a greater post-exercise oxygen consumption than exercising at a sustained pace. This means your body will continue to burn calories long after the exercise is over rather than simply jogging or using an elliptical. How does your metabolism come into play here? The benefits of an effective workout and the hormones produced during and after it will effectively create a workout “high” or energy boost that is better than any kind of caffeine fix.
The Fix: Skip the light 40-minute jog around the neighborhood and try turning on an at home HIIT workout video. There are thousands of certified personal trainers who have free training videos on Youtube that are fun and easy to follow that you can do right in your living room!
Waiting too long between meals or eating too little.
Why This Will Slow Your Metabolism: When trying to lose weight to gain a more healthy lifestyle, the obvious reaction is to eat less. However, we often fall into the hole of eating less but not enough and definitely not enough of the good stuff. By skipping meals and waiting until you are starving you are effectively causing your body to go into survival mode. Your energy level will drop and your body doesn’t want to give up the fat it has (because it thinks doesn't know when the next meal will be). Instead of shredding the fat, it wants to store the fat. Instead, you should be eating smaller portioned meals throughout the day so you don’t have that roller coaster effect with your blood sugar levels.
The Fix: Plan your snacks and meals ahead of time. Make your morning meals easy to grab on the go and splurge a little on the fruits and nut snacks throughout the day. Try keeping a drawer at your desk where you can store your healthy nuts or a protein bar and don’t wait until you have that shaky feeling before you eat it!
Compensating your energy lows with too much caffeine
Why This Will Slow Your Metabolism: The chlorogenic acid present in caffeine has been claimed to slow down the body’s absorption of carbohydrates. However, if you are using caffeine to compensate for a drop in energy levels (perhaps because you have made one of the other above mistakes) then the effects of drinking coffee will be negative rather than positive. For example, let's say you decide to have a cup of coffee instead of a real meal at lunchtime when you’re at the office. You might feel that sudden energy spike from the caffeine but your body is still lacking the nutrients it needs from a healthy meal. As soon as the coffee wears off your blood sugar levels will drop and you might feel worse than you did before. Incoming those caffeine shakes! Furthermore, you skipped lunch, so by the time dinner comes you will be extra hungry and prone to overeat. Also bad for your metabolism.
The Fix: Enjoy your coffee with your breakfast but don’t rely on it for the extra energy kick that you might need at noon. Or, if you still like that afternoon cup, then grab some snacks to go with it so that you aren’t skipping out on nutrients from other foods and your body has something to work with after the caffeine wears off.