Have you been dieting for months but still can’t lose weight? Are you spending long hours in the gym with no results? These signs may indicate a sluggish metabolism.
Certain lifestyle factors, such as poor sleep, overtraining, and prolonged dieting, can lead to metabolic slowdown. Not to mention stress, which has a direct impact on your body’s ability to burn calories.
Fortunately, it’s in your power to manage these issues. The first step is to determine why your metabolic rate has dropped. Check out these daily habits that are wrecking your metabolism:
If you’re like most dieters, you probably skip lunch or dinner to “save” calories. Big mistake! This habit wreaks havoc on your metabolism, reducing overall energy expenditure.
Weight loss isn’t all about calories in versus calories out. Nutritionists recommend consuming at least 1,200 calories per day for a reason. If you go below this number, your body adapts to a low calorie intake. As a result, it begins to use less energy for fuel.
That’s exactly why crash diets don’t work. Most weight loss plans that are below 1,200 calories a day will lead to metabolic damage.
First of all, you’ll lose lean mass. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn throughout the day. Secondly, your cortisol levels will go up, which further slows your metabolism. Thirdly, your body will enter into “survival mode” and store calories to sustain itself.
Skimping on Sleep
According to health experts, sleep deprivation affects glucose metabolism as well as the hormones that regulate metabolic rate. At the same time, it increases the hunger hormone ghrelin levels and decreases the levels of leptin, the so-called satiety hormone.
Poor sleep also boosts cortisol production, causing your body to store fat. Fatigue, low energy, drowsiness, and muscle loss are common side effects. Men can experience a reduction in testosterone levels, which lowers their metabolic rate. On top of that, you’ll feel hungrier than usual and crave unhealthy foods.
To prevent these issues, get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Create a bedtime routine and stick to it. This simple habit can rev up your metabolism, increase lifespan, and keep your immune system strong.
Eating Too Many Healthy Foods
It’s not uncommon to see dieters who only eat fruits and veggies, and yet, look chubby. Except for water, any food or beverage provides calories.
Let’s take almonds, for instance. One cup boasts 529 calories. It takes minutes to eat a cup of almonds, so the calories add up. The same goes for honey, which delivers 69 calories per tablespoon. Peanut butter, nuts, dried fruits, vegetable oils, and whole grains are packed with nutrition, but this doesn’t mean they support weight loss.