1. Forgetting To Eat
While we are likely to get busy, forgetting to eat and skipping meals can cause our bodies to go into starvation mode. Plus, it’s likely that we will later experience cravings or unruly hunger and reach for something sugary and caloric. It’s also not okay to eat one giant meal, as that will slow metabolism too.
2. Being Stressed
When we are stressed out, our bodies produce cortisol, the stress hormone, which is directly known for promoting fat storage within the body. When we store fat, our metabolism is less efficient and fewer calories will be burned throughout the day. To help reduce stress, try meditation or yoga, as these have been shown to lower cortisol and make us feel calmer.
3. Trying Fad Diets
Trying fad diets can wreck the metabolism, and it will likely cause your body to go into starvation mode, lose muscle and store fat. Also stop eating processed foods (anything that comes in a sealed box or bag – with the exception of nuts/seeds, as these foods lack nutrition and can trigger cravings for more unhealthy foods.
4. Not Ending A Meal With A Walk
Eating lunch at your desk or dinner on a couch to pair with a movie can upset digestion and prevent your body from burning your meal as effectively as it could with a little extra movement. After eating a big meal, take a light walk to ease digestion, as the activity will also regulate blood sugar levels and prevent a spike from occurring post-meal.
5. Not Eating Enough Table Salt
While eating too much sodium is bad for your health and cholesterol, not having enough table salt can throw your hormones off and prevent you from getting adequate iodine, a mineral that is needed for a fully-functioning and efficient metabolism. Another note: if you have hypothyroidism, where you are under-producing thyroid hormone and benefit from iodine, you will also experience a sluggish metabolism.
6. Sitting for Most of The Day
If you have an office job and find yourself sitting around all day, that sedentary lifestyle, even if you are a regular exerciser when outside of work, can slow your metabolism and make the body more inactive over time. Instead of quitting your job, make time for short breaks throughout the day. Set an alarm to get moving every hour or so, and opt for the bathroom that is furthest away from your desk for some extra steps.
7. You Don’t Eat Dairy
While not everyone can eat dairy (lactose-intolerant and sensitive people must be careful), whey and casein proteins, found in dairy, as well as calcium, a key mineral abundant in dairy products, all play a major role in promoting a fast and efficient metabolism. If you are unable to eat dairy, look for other ways to get adequate calcium, such as in almond milk, macadamia milk, leafy greens and soy products.
8. Not Sleeping Enough
If you skimp on sleep, you might experience a hormonal imbalance, as well as mood disturbances and food cravings that can lead you to make poorer choices that will further slow your metabolism. Getting enough sleep is so important for a faster metabolism, as not getting enough hours can lead to fat storage and fewer calories burned. Aim to get between seven and nine hours nightly.
9. Not Eating Protein
Simply eating carbohydrates all day, even from healthy sources, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, will not be as effective as eating protein with these other foods, regarding metabolic rate. Protein elevates the metabolism and fights craving, and you burn more calories through digestion when you are eating a protein source, as opposed to a carbohydrate or fat source. Include protein with each meal for best results.
10. Cranking The Heat
If you crank up the thermostat to a toasty temperature, you might feel comfortable and snuggly, but your metabolism could slow down and not burn calories as efficiently. Studies show that cooler temperatures result in a greater burn, and that’s why if we shift our eating and exercise habits in the winter, our bodies are actually at a major advantage, as opposed to warmer seasons/climates.