Metabolism refers to the chemical processes within the body that keep it running smoothly, and the rate at which the body changes food into energy. Usually when we’re putting on more pounds than we’d like, we blame it on a ‘slow metabolism’. Everyone wants a fast metabolism, which makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Although genetics does play a role in how it works, excess weight doesn’t necessarily correlate to a slower metabolism. There are other reasons why it might be slowing, and you might unknowingly be aiding it.
1) You’re skimping on the water
Water is important for so many things, we obviously can’t live without it. If you’re dehydrated, your cellular processes won’t move along as quickly as they should, since they rely on water to function. You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep your metabolism moving at its normal pace and to provide you with enough energy to go about your day.
2) You spend too much time sitting around
We spend a lot of time sitting. Most people have jobs that need them to do that:sitting in cars or buses, doing our work in front of computers, watching TV when we get home, and so on. Such sedentary habits can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. Your body doesn’t use up all the energy it has, so your metabolism slows down. Try to move around more, maybe walk to work if possible, or spend some evenings going to the gym.
3) You don’t consume dairy
A lot of people don’t opt for dairy for dietary reasons or intolerance issues, but muscle mass is very important for the smooth functioning of your metabolism. Consuming a significant amount of dairy per day helps you lose fat (dairy contains nutrients to burn fat) and build muscle mass. So try working a glass or two of milk back into your regular diet, or pour yourself some morning cereal or whip up a fruit smoothie. Cheese and yogurt too. You should find it moving quicker.
4) You’re a night owl
If you tend to sleep during the day and stay up till the early hours, you could be slowing down your metabolism significantly. Irregular sleep patterns disrupt your body’s internal clock, so you feel tired and you have a much slower metabolism. A lack of sleep can also lead to hormonal imbalances which cause us to eat more fatty foods. It can increase the risk of developing serious problems like diabetes, heart diseases, and depression. So don’t keep putting off your bed time for another hour of TV or mindless scrolling through your phone; it all adds up!
5) You’re not getting enough protein
You feel satisfied when you consume protein-heavy foods, and it can also help your body burn calories. It pushes your metabolism to work. Some research indicates that diets which have more protein might help to preserve leaner body mass. So try adding protein to at least two meals out of three.
6) You’ve cut out carbs
Low-carb diets are quite the trend these days, but they can be dangerous for your metabolism. You’ll feel tired and won’t have the energy to work, and without exerting your muscles, you won’t burn any calories. If you totally cut out calorific foods, your body will think you really need them, and will slow down the pace at which they burn. Eat balanced, healthy meals to keep your metabolism running as it should.
7) Don’t skip the coffee
Coffee in moderation is a good thing. Even a cup in the morning can have a good effect on your metabolism, although it might be temporary. Caffeine in your bloodstream is absorbed very quickly and gives your metabolism a boost. It’s also good for lowering risks to certain cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Don’t add too much sugar and cream and keep your coffee simple, it should give you the necessary benefits. In case you don’t drink coffee, green tea might work also.
8) You only do cardio
If your only form is exercise is cardio-based, you might want to change it up. Building muscle helps to speed up the metabolism, so try exercises with dumbbells or resistance bands. Strength training exercises really help your metabolism.
If you’re particularly weight-conscious, it’s natural to worry about metabolism. However, you should also take care to not stress too much about it (that can also affect your metabolism). Control what you can, and accept the rest.