• Mariza Villarreal

5 Common Mistakes That Are Killing Your Metabolism

You’ve probably heard many people blame weight gain on their metabolism over the years, but is it really something that you have no control over? And what is it exactly anyway?

It’s actually fairly simple, and the good news, is that you do have the power to change it. It’s simply a measure of how quickly you convert the calories you take in into energy, and it’s made up of numerous chemical reactions in the body. For example, if your liver is clogged up, it will be less efficient, and sluggish, which means it won’t help you burn fat.

The metabolism can vary from one person to the next, and it’s such a big concept, that many believe they’re at the mercy of it, but that’s simply not true. A fast metabolism can be achieved by following a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and low in unhealthy fats and unnecessary junk like toxins found in processed foods, as well as getting regular aerobic and weight-bearing exercise. If you want to slow your metabolism and find yourself low on energy as well as struggling to lose weight, well, that’s probably a whole lot easier. 

All you have to do is make these mistakes that are killing your metabolism.

1. You don’t get enough sleep

Getting quality sleep each night – experts advise 7 to 9 hours a night – is essential for a healthy, fast metabolism as it has a direct effect on a number of hormones that regulate both the appetite and stress: leptin, ghrelin, and cortisol. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll have a higher level of ghrelin and cortisol in your bloodstream, and a lower level of leptin, which is known to suppress appetite and moderate energy levels too. It can cause you to burn fewer calories and experience an inability to control your appetite. Just about everyone has the occasional night without much sleep, but if it becomes a regular habit, you’d actually be better off increasing your sleep hours than exercising, if maintaining your weight or losing weight is your goal.

2. You’re dehydrated

If you don’t drink enough water and let your body become dehydrated, you’re setting yourself up for a slower metabolism. When you wake up in the morning, you’re already dehydrated as you haven’t had any fluids for hours, and your metabolic function slows during sleep. One of the best ways to combat this is to drink water soon after waking. It will help you have more energy, and your appetite won’t be as big either. Many experts recommend adding a squeeze of lemon to that water to boost the process.

3. You consume artificial sweeteners

Many people think they’re doing something good by consuming diet beverages and other products that contain artificial sweeteners, simply because they have few or no calories. But the reality is, they’re one of the worst things you can put into your body – and a sure way to slow that metabolism. That’s because artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can actually trigger your appetite as well as cravings for simple carbs. You might think you’re “saving” calories by consuming drinks or foods with artificial sweeteners, but in the long run, you end up consuming more calories than you would have in the first place.

Don’t believe it? Research that analyzed the effect of consuming diet sodas on rates of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and diabetes in more than 6,000 volunteers found that consuming even just one of these drinks dramatically increased both weight gain and waist circumference.

4. You’re drinking too much alcohol

Either avoid alcohol or limit yourself to one drink. When you have an alcoholic beverage, you burn less fat as that alcohol is used for fuel instead. The equivalent of just two martinis can reduce your body’s ability to burn fat by as much as 73 percent.

5. You skip meals

Skipping meals, or restricting your calories too much, is a bad idea. While you do have to cut calories to lose weight, overdoing it doesn’t work. That’s because you’re sending a message to your body that you’re starving, and it will slow your metabolism to conserve energy. Your body will want to make up those lost calories at the next meal, making your more likely to overeat and counteract your earlier efforts. Plus, you may become dizzy, tired, irritable, or all three, which leaves you less likely to eat something healthy than you normally would.

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