You may already suspect your metabolism slows as you age, according to research published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, it is indeed true. In a review of data on energy expenditure, researchers found simply getting older is associated with progressive declines in basal metabolic rate. On top of that, there are many daily habits that can drain your metabolism even further.
Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body. These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning. However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn. The higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Having a high metabolism can also give you energy and make you feel better.
Let’s tackle the main habits that kill your metabolism below and watch your metabolism and energy levels improve.
- While you can’t always control your stress levels, managing stress can go a long way toward protecting your body’s internal fire. With high-stress levels, the body produces a hormone called cortisol which leads to increased appetite which makes us crave comfort foods, decreases our desire to exercise and reduces sleep quality which all negatively impact metabolism.
-In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers found drinking 0.5ltrs of water increases metabolic rate by 30%, and that spike lasts for more than an hour. So, drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, and you’ll get the added benefit of a boosted metabolism.
-A bad night’s sleep, apart from making you feel sluggish, a routine or lifetime of inadequate sleep will decrease your metabolism and imbalance your hormones.
-Avoiding strength training. Cardio can burn calories quickly but once finished, the rate at which you burn calories returns to normal. With High-Intensity-Interval-Training and resistance-based workouts, the rate at which you burn calories stays elevated for longer as your muscles repair themselves. Metabolism is directly related to muscle mass, therefore the more active your muscle tissue is, the higher the metabolic rate.
-It is very easy to not consume enough protein unconsciously. As already mentioned, muscle mass is important to the rate of metabolism. Protein feeds our muscles and is important to sustain a healthy weight. Not eating enough protein may cause trouble in building and maintaining muscle, thus leaving also a mark on the rate of metabolism. Protein requires more energy to break down than carbs or fat so you’ll actually be burning more calories during digestion. Protein causes the largest rise in TEF (thermic effect of food, caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal). It increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats. Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating.
-You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. Going from your office chair to your car, back to your couch and back to bed can lead to an immobile routine causing your body to turn into a body-conservation mode. Metabolism can suffer from this as it also affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. Start incorporating 30mins of physical activity in your daily routine.
-Not eating enough calories. Some people skip meals as a way to lose weight. However, this can negatively impact metabolism. Eating meals that are not filling can have the same effect. Eating too few calories can cause a person's metabolism to slow down so the body can conserve energy.
-Green tea can be a good alternative to sugary drinks, and drinking it can help ensure that a person is getting enough water during the day.
Body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in the speed of your metabolism. Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle than fat tend to have a faster metabolism. People who struggle to lose weight often blame a slow metabolism. But there's little evidence to support this claim. Research actually shows that overweight people have faster metabolisms than thinner people. Larger bodies require more energy to carry out basic bodily functions. Putting a "slow metabolism" to one side, something else may be at play here. Research suggests people tend to eat more than they think they do. When asked to write down everything they've consumed in a day, many people tend to report eating far less than they actually do. More often than not, the reason you're putting on weight isn't because of slow metabolism, it's because you're eating and drinking more calories than you're burning. Seek professional help.
Let’s keep moving forward!
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