“Metabolism” is the name given to the energy-producing systems in the body. There’s not just one organ responsible for your metabolism, but many internal functions play a role in your metabolic rate. Ideally, you want to have a high metabolism, as that means your body is burning up a lot of calories every day. But there are a few mistakes that could slow your metabolism and prevent you from losing weight:
That’s right: not eating enough food can actually be almost as bad for you as overeating! When you don’t eat enough, your body goes into “starvation mode”. Think of it as a low-energy state, one where you feel fatigued all the time because your body can’t produce enough energy. The low-energy state is a sign of a slowed metabolism, as your energy output has significantly decreased. The problem is that it takes your body time to restore your proper metabolism when you start eating normally again. As it’s trying to return to normal power, you end up storing a lot more fat than you burn, leading to weight gain.
The less you move, the less energy your body produces. The body is designed to adapt to its environment and the energy demands placed upon it. If you spend more time sitting and lying down than moving around, it indicates that your body can conserve energy. Thus, your metabolism is slowed. Spending more than six hours per day sitting down can have a negative impact on your metabolic rate. The more you move, the more energy your body will produce throughout the day.
Overdosing on Sugar
Do you have any idea how terrible all that sugar is for your health? The soda, cookies, candies, and cakes you’re eating are contributing to obesity by both overdosing on calories and slowing down your metabolism. There is almost no energy required to digest and absorb sugar, so it has a much lower thermic effect than other high fiber and high protein foods. There is no metabolic spike in order to digest what you’ve eaten, meaning you burn fewer calories in your day. Plus, the spike in your blood sugar causes your body to produce insulin, which reduces your glucose levels excessively. This means less energy available for you to use for exercise or work.
Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein is required to build and repair your muscles. Muscle tissue is what uses the most calories throughout the day. Insufficient protein intake means your body has to tap into existing muscle mass to access amino acids for muscle repair, meaning the breakdown of your muscle tissue. Over time, this can lead to a reduced metabolic rate. In addition, protein has a much higher energy requirement in order to digest (also known as the thermic effect). Your body uses a lot of energy in order to break down, transport, and utilize amino acids, which means an increase in your metabolism.
Your body makes most of its repairs overnight while you sleep. It repairs the damaged muscles, replenishes depleted energy, and restores your organs and internal functions. But if you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t be able to make the repairs. Come the next day, it will be functioning at less than optimal efficiency. A lack of sleep can interrupt your normal metabolic rate, and it can interfere with your appetite as well. If you’re not getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, you could be causing a slow metabolism.