Metabolism Mistakes You’re Making

These sneaky daily habits could be the reason why your metabolic rate has dwindled to snail pace.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

When it comes to losing weight, we’re all aware that healthy eating and exercising regularly play a role in optimal weight loss. However, certain factors like genetics and metabolic rates are harder to predict and understand.

While we can’t pinpoint your metabolic rate, we can provide a list of general habits that have been proven to slow your metabolism down.

Stressing out

When you’re stressed, your body produces a chemical called cortisol. While a slight increase could be beneficial to spur you on when you’re trying to meet deadlines, overly elevated amounts of cortisol could potentially slow down your metabolism.

This is because cortisol reduces protein uptake which, in the long run, could lead to the reduction of lean muscle mass. High cortisol levels also encourage your body to store fat in your belly area in response to stressful situations.

You don’t drink enough water

We know, it’s been said countless times, but there are so many benefits to drinking water. According to a study by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking enough water increases the metabolic rate of men and women by about 30 per cent. The same study also suggests that mild dehydration could reduce the body’s metabolism by as much as three per cent.

You’re not consuming enough calories

Eating less is often associated with losing weight, but did you know that not eating enough calories could also mean the loss of muscle mass and a decrease in metabolic rate?

When you don’t eat enough, your body responds to the lack of energy given to it by going into what is known as “starvation mode”, which signals your body to store fat in order to protect itself. In a Journal of The American Dietetic Association study, not eating enough calories over a period of 12 weeks could cause your metabolism to slow down by as much as 24 per cent.

You’re lacking iron

This is especially important for women on their periods. Iron is a critical nutrient that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body. Without oxygen, your body works harder to function, making you feeling lethargic and fatigued. When this happens, your body enters “fight mode” and, again, stores fat to protect itself.

You skip strength training

The creation of lean muscles through strength training helps to boost metabolism. So, be sure to hit the weights zone at the gym or kickstart a bodyweight workout right in the comfort of your own home.