How You’re Secretly Slowing Down Your Metabolism

Metabolism is a chemical reaction that occurs within our cells, in order to maintain life. While metabolism is often associated with weight loss, keeping it at a healthy rate can help to maintain general health in regards to sleep, mood and energy levels. However, lifestyle factors can affect our metabolic rates. For one, a diet rich in sugar has been linked to a host of metabolic disorders.

Read on for the other factors that can affect our metabolic rate, potentially putting our health at risk. 

Metabolism and resistance training 

Resistance training involves exercising with weights and this can help to prevent a metabolic decline.

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While cardio does help to burn calories during a session, resistance training can continue to burn calories after the said session. Resistance training is done to increase muscle mass and having muscle mass actually speeds up your metabolic rate.

Types of resistance training include lifting weights, using resistance bands as well as kettle-bells.

Living a sedentary life

Unfortunately, for a lot of us, our job description entails us sitting at a desk all day. As a result, our metabolism is affected and the number of daily calories that we are supposed to burn decreases.

If your offices do not have a gym, there are – thankfully – other ways to keep active and burn calories.

You could try working at a treadmill desk, taking a lunchtime stroll,  taking the stairs or getting up once an hour to stretch or chat to a colleague. While not by much, these actions do help to maintain metabolic levels.

Low calcium intake

As this bone-building mineral plays a role in the metabolizing of fats, a deficiency is likely to slow down your metabolism.

Spinach

Calcium helps the body determine which calories are burnt and which are stored as fats. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the women who consumed more dairy products not only gained more muscle mass but they also lost more fat as opposed to those that consumed less dairy.

However, in the case that you’re not a fan of dairy, there are other calcium-rich foods to enjoy like spinach, almonds, figs, and oranges.

Not eating enough calories

In terms of weight loss, many look to decrease their calorie intake. However, eating too few calories can actually affect your metabolic rate.

When your calorie intake is dramatically lowered, your body panics and goes into starvation mode. In this time, the body slows down the calorie burn rate in hopes of preserving energy. While you can decrease your calorie intake, it is important not to go overboard. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise that, from age 19 to 25 years, women should consume 2000 calories a day while men consume 2500. Once they hit 52, this number can fall to 1600 for women and 2000 for men (1).

Sleep deprivation

Sleep is important for overall health and a lack of it can impact your metabolic rate.

One study from the journal Obesity found that poor sleep quality affected metabolic rate and actually increased the risk for weight gain (2).  If you’re having trouble getting enough quality sleep, it would be advisable to ensure that your bedroom is set up in such a way that would better guarantee quality sleep (3).

Want To Know More?

A fast metabolism can help you in your weight management journey. However, what about your calorie intake? Although being mindful of your calorie intake can aid weight-loss, it can severely be detrimental to your health. Click here to read more about why you need to stop counting those calories.