Do you go through your day wondering what you are doing to kill your metabolism? Probably not, right? Well, maybe you should. There are a number of things you could be doing that are causing your weight gain or lack of weight loss results. In this article, we are going to talk about six common things that could be causing you to kill your metabolism each day without you even realizing it.
1. Not getting enough sleep
Not getting a good night’s sleep is enough to kill your metabolism. Combine that with several days in a row (or more) due to a poor sleep routine and you royally put yourself in a gigantic hole. Lack of sleep can decrease your energy levels, causing you to feel sluggish the next day. In addition, a lack of quality sleep can cause hormonal imbalances and negatively affect your health.
If you want to combat this issue, I highly suggest you get seven hours of sleep (at a minimum) each night. If you don’t currently, look at your routine and make some changes. Going to bed each night at the same time and setting your alarm to wake you up at the same time is a great strategy to allow you to get enough sleep.
2. Not managing your stress levels
Not every day is full of sunny skies and pretty rainbows. Unfortunately, we live in a world plagued by bad news and negativity. We also are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of life and work. But you can’t let that stress you out. You need to find ways to manage your stress levels or it will eventually kill your metabolism as well as your mood.
When you are stressed, your body produced a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol levels in the body increase, it can cause many different reactions such as disrupting your sleep patterns (which goes back to #1), decreases your energy levels, and causes an increase in appetite which can lead you to end up in a caloric surplus each day. Over time, that can make you gain weight and create potential health issues.
Your best bet is to find something that helps you relax and manage your stress levels. This can be anything from exercise, to meditation, to going to a place that puts you in a good mood such as the beach or a relaxing room in your house where you can go to unwind, read a book, or focus on your breathing.
3. Not eating enough protein
Your body needs protein to help build and maintain lean muscle mass. Without it, you could be losing muscle which can kill your metabolism. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism since muscle needs fuel in order to function.
This also means that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn – even at rest. Protein will help provide your muscles with the amino acids necessary to recover from intense bouts of exercise and allow your muscle fibers to rebuild stronger and bigger (hypertrophy). Additionally, consuming a diet high in protein will help you feel satiated longer and help prevent you from overeating.
Try to get around 1g of protein per pound of body weight each day. This will supply your body with the quality protein needed to support your muscles and keep you feeling fuller. Whole foods are always your best option but if you are in need of more protein to meet your daily requirements, consider adding something like a protein powder into the fold where you can mix it with your favorite beverage (water is ideal) to increase your protein intake.
4. Skipping the weights
Not utilizing weight training in your workout routine can absolutely kill your metabolism. As mentioned in #3, protein helps build lean muscle mass and the more lean muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism is. In order to build muscle, you are going to need to include some sort of resistance training in your workouts to break down muscle fibers and allow them the opportunity to grow back bigger and stronger. Weight training is also a fantastic way to burn calories.
Each week you should include a minimum of two days where you exercise with weights. These should be full-body workouts if you only utilize a 2-day per week routine. Otherwise, additional days (3-5 days) of weight training can allow you to hit specific muscle groups rather than completing full-body workouts each time you step into the gym or complete a home workout.
5. Not drinking enough water
Our body is made up of primarily water. Drinking water not only allows for proper hydration which aids in every bodily function, but it also increases your metabolic rate by as much as 30%. Increase your water intake, increase your metabolism. Seems easy enough, right? Well, it is.
If you want to support and not kill your metabolism, make it an effort to sip water throughout the day. The easiest way to do this is to keep a water bottle on you at all times. Sip it throughout the day and when you finish the bottle, grab another one or refill the one you just finished. You can even consider other options such as green tea (without sugar) and even black coffee to help take in additional water.
6. Sitting too much during the day
If I were to guess, you probably sit most of your day. You sit in your car on your commute to and from work. You sit in your chair at your desk. You sit in meetings. You sit for meals. You sit in front of the television at night. That’s a lot of time with your butt in a seat. Unfortunately, that much time seated can kill your metabolism. All this time slows your metabolism which can wreak havoc on your blood pressure, blood sugar, and the body’s ability to break down and properly utilize body fat.
To combat this, take breaks throughout the day to stand and move around. Make it a point to schedule time to exercise each day, even if only for 30 minutes such as a walk during your lunch break. The bottom line is, you need to move MORE each and every day. Find an excuse to get off your butt and not sit.