Have you ever wondered why some people eat whatever they want yet they’re not overweight or morbidly obese?
Well, a fast metabolism may be their secret weapon. Sadly, most of us are not blessed with a fast metabolism.
Before you start blaming your genes realize that you may not have been born with a slow metabolism. However, you may be making deadly mistakes that are killing your metabolism.
Metabolism refers to the rate at which someone expends energy. In the human body, we expend energy through bodily functions like digestion, cell maintenance or pumping blood. This is the basal metabolic rate (BMR) or energy consumed when the body is resting. Energy is also used in exercise and daily activities.
Even though genetics play a role, many of us have slow metabolism because of our habits. Here are 12 habits you need to know and stop doing.
Habits That Surprisingly Kill Your Metabolism
1. Exercising at the same pace
Congratulations! You’ve finally been able to follow a workout plan without skipping workouts. Unfortunately, your workouts may be barely boosting your metabolism, especially if you exercise at the same pace every day.
When you run at the same pace all the time, your body gets used to the workouts, and as a result, they have little to no effect on your metabolism.
Therefore, change the pace of your workouts by doing high-intensity interval training. And combine different types exercises such a running, bodyweight exercises, lifting weights, and indoor rowing.
2. Omega 3 nutrient deficiency
This research shows there’s a link between inflammation and metabolism. If you have high inflammation, your metabolism is likely to reduce.
Omega 3 is one of the nutrients that fight inflammation and thus increase metabolism. By not taking the daily recommended 2g of omega 3 a day, you could be hitting the death nail on your metabolism’s coffin.
Here are the best fish oil (omega 3) supplements.
3. Calorie shortage
Contrary to popular opinion, calories are not your enemy. If calorie-reduction is taken to the extreme, it can have an undesirable effect on your body.
When you eat fewer calories than your basal metabolic rate, your brain is tricked into thinking that you are starving. It thus slows down its metabolism to conserve energy.
To avoid this common metabolism killer, maintain a moderate calorie deficit of 500 to 800 calories.
4. Irregular Meal Skipping
In close association with (3) above is the habit of skipping meals. Your brain reacts in the same way when you avoid meals; that is, it goes into starvation mode. It assumes that times are hard, so it reduces the metabolic rate and stores the rest of the energy from the food you irregularly eat as fat.
With that said, regular meal skipping may not slow your metabolism. For instance, those who practice intermittent fasting keep their metabolism elevated despite skipping meals.
Maintain a regular eating schedule to keep your metabolism fast.
5. Not building muscle
Your body needs muscles to expend energy when you are resting. If you always hit the gym and do nothing but aerobic exercises, you will not build muscle. Your body will only burn calories during the workout.
However, if you do strength training, your basal metabolism rate will increase. This will cause you to keep burning calories even when you are exercising. If you do not strength train, you are stunting your metabolism.
6. You feast on trans fats
We should probably have started with this one. Trans-fats are partially hydrogenated oils that are colloquially called bad cholesterol. They are mostly found in processed foods.
When you feel like taking a bath in chocolate filling or inhaling a box of pepperoni pizza, just breathe. Indulging in these convenience foods ruins your biochemistry. It minimizes your liver’s ability to metabolize fat too.
Junk food increases insulin resistance, slowing down your metabolism. Given the dilapidating effects of trans-fats on metabolism, you may need to relinquish your citizenship from the fast-food republic.
7. You don’t eat protein
When choosing what to consume, think of your body like a car. You want it to operate at top gear by doing a lot of work even when engaging in menial tasks. If a car just sits there, it degrades. The brakes stop working, the petrol goes stale and the battery dies.
Likewise, if your body eats only carbs or low-nutrient foods, it would almost just be ‘sitting there’. The energy needed to digest carbs or processed food is quite low because the body needs a short time to burn it. Conversely, proteins need more time to burn and thus push the body more. Your metabolism would thus degenerate if you do not eat proteins regularly.
8. You don’t take water
If you have a bad relationship with water, you could be doing your basal metabolic rate a disservice.
Research shows that drinking water increased the BMR of the participants by up to 30%. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water a day to keep your metabolism elevated.
9. You only eat inorganic food
The adage “you are what you eat” captures the dangers of excess inorganic food intake. These types of produce have pesticide residue and additives, which stay in your system when you eat them.
They become toxins that interfere with your thyroid. As you may know, the thyroid gland produces hormones that crank up your basal metabolic rate. If your thyroid is compromised, your metabolism may slow down.
10. You are sleep-deprived
No discussion about healthy habits would be complete without mentioning sleep. Your body needs quality sleep to rejuvenate and restore its normal functions.
In addition to many health complications, sleep deprivation can deregulate your metabolic system as it causes hormonal imbalances and inflammation.
Get at least 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep every night to avoid killing your metabolism.
11. You are vitamin deficient
Our body’s metabolism is regulated by Vitamin B. Sources of this vital nutrient include eggs, bananas, whole grains and spinach. If you skip these nutrients, you could be destroying your metabolism.
12. Being Stressed All the Time
Are you grappling with a chronic illness? Are debts weighing you down? These sources of stress could raise levels of the hormone cortisol. As a result, you may start to eat irregularly and hence throw your metabolism out of whack.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be a source of constant frustration. Since your metabolism determines how effectively you lose weight, you can avoid habits that are slowing it down. Eliminating these practices could help you reach your weight goals sooner.
Remember that increasing muscle mass is the most effective way to boost your metabolism. Therefore, take advantage of this short workouts sequence that has been shown to build muscle amazingly fast.