You’ve heard it before – a faster metabolism is good for weight loss, enhances body circulation, improves mood, nourishes your skin, enhances your immunity, and improves your energy level among various other benefits.
So, with that info, you work out, avoid sitting too much, sleep well, eat breakfast, and basically follow everything in the rule book. But somehow your metabolism still isn’t picking up the pace like you know it should be doing.
Come on metabolism. Get with the program. More likely than not, all your effort is going to waste because you’re unknowingly sabotaging yourself. Let’s get to the bottom of what’s going on, so you can reap all the benefits of a healthy metabolism and get your body back into prime shape.
Here is a list of the top 8 ways you’re slowing down your metabolism unknowingly.
You don’t drink enough fluids
Your body will burn 2% fewer calories when you are dehydrated. That means you’ve got to keep your cells as hydrated as possible. That shouldn’t be hard, simply drink a lot of fluids, preferably water. If you don’t fancy water, then try caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. They enhance your body’s ability to burn calories for up to 3 hours.
For an extra bonus, green tea is especially good for metabolism and a whole lot more. (link to article top reason why you should be drinking green tea right now)
Your meal schedule is erratic
Your body is designed to burn calories whenever it expects food. A regular meal plan enables it to release energy burning signals in a timely fashion. A random or erratic schedule will confuse your body and automatically set it on conversation mode, since it won’t know when the next meal will come. When your body does finally get food, even if it hasn’t been that long, it will just convert that to fat storage immediately, resulting in weight gain.
Apart from correcting your erratic schedule, try eating every 3 or 4 hours to keep your metabolism running steadily. Get a good idea of just how many times you should be eating a day for optimal benefits. ( link to article how many times should we eat a day-optimal meal frequency)
You use sea salt in food
While sea salt might be tastier than common table salt, it lacks iodine – a chemical that gets your thyroid glands to work. Your thyroid gland plays a primary role in controlling your body’s metabolism and without iodine, it might fail to produce the necessary hormones that are required to stimulate fast metabolism.
Salt moderately, but try to use table salt when you can.
You’re doing your workouts wrong
As far as working out goes, two main things can slow down your metabolism. The first is a failure to do weight training and the second is the timing of your workouts. When you do weight training, your metabolism will be boosted for up to 48 hours. In addition to that, you will get lean muscles, and that increases your resting metabolism rate. Meaning you’ll still be burning calories while not at the gym.
What about timing? I’m not a morning person myself, but it seems I really should put in some effort to make this a thing. Your body responds to daylight by increasing your metabolism just by being in the sun. Additionally, morning sunlight is shown to improve your body mass index (BMI) and thus your metabolism. The best scenario would be to try working out in the morning sunlight and outdoors.
You’re s poor snacker
You’re probably hurting your metabolism with your snacking habits. Snacks that are rich in carbs will slow it down while those that have polyunsaturated fatty acids (like nuts) will do the opposite. The fatty acids regulate caloric burning and thus metabolism), and that it is why it is recommended that you eat at least one ounce of nuts per day.
If you’re not a fan or allergic, don’t worry, there are plenty of other snacks out there that are filling and good for you to choose from. (link to article 15 most weight loss friendly food)
You don’t do dairy
If dairy is not a part of your meal plan, then you are definitely slowing down your metabolism. It contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), nutrients that are known to burn fat and build muscles. That increased muscle tone is what will keep your metabolism running for long. To top that off, the calcium found in dairy has been found to regulate your metabolism.
This won’t be difficult for those cheese lovers out there. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, like I am, try other calcium-rich foods to get some of the benefits without the bloated feeling.
And carbs too
Consumption of carbs has for a long time been associated with gaining weight; that’s why it’s a bit ironic that cutting them completely from your diet slows down your metabolism. But that’s actually true because they contain glycogen, a polysaccharide that provides you with the energy that you need to work out.
Without that energy, you won’t be able to work out efficiently, and that means your body will lack the necessary capacity to burn calories as it should during workouts. It’s all about eating the right types of carbs, (link to article make a huge different with these 11 low carb veggies), and filling your body with the stuff it needs.
You dial up the thermostat while you sleep
We’ve all heard that saying that being cold helps you burn fat for warmth right? Well, it seems like there is some truth behind that after all.
To burn calories, you need to dial down your thermostat to 64-66°F. Anything above that will reduce the amount of brown adipose tissue – a unique type of fat that burns calories instead of storing them. Of course, if this temperature makes you uncomfortable, always opt for a good night’s sleep over specific temperature settings. But if you can do it, you’ll notice a difference in your metabolism and your heating bill!