Your sluggish metabolism might not be down to genetics – it could be your diet. Yep, that’s right. Everyone is super keen to understand what their metabolism is and how they can speed it up, which means metabolism myths spread at the speed of light. After all, everyone wants to believe that there is a really easy way to rev up their digestion! Check out these ways that you could be encouraging your sluggish metabolism.
Have you ever tried to boost your sluggish metabolism by refusing to eat after 7pm? Most people have tried limiting their calorie intake before 6 or 7pm, but it rarely works. Why? Well, it’s obvious really. Calories that you eat after it’s gone dark don’t affect you any more than ones that you eat in the morning. There’s a very valid reason why this rumour took off – it’s really easy to over-eat at night, when we are less busy. Exhaustion, hunger and boredom can have us reaching for the snack cupboard, and banning eating altogether can be easier than trying to avoid this. It will give you a sluggish metabolism, though – your body wants calories to burn, and if you routinely stop eating early in the evening, your metabolism will slow down to account for it.
We want this to be true, but it just doesn’t seem to be the case. Numerous studies on people losing various amounts of weight have found that people who lose weight faster were more likely to lose more weight, although the speed that you drop the pounds has no affect on how likely you are to keep it off. So don’t focus on speed – focus on quality.
Nope. Doing more reps with lighter weights won’t speed up your metabolism, and it could hinder your toning, too. The best way to build muscle, and therefore boost your metabolism, is to work out to fatigue. Use a light weight that you can pick up at least eight times, but choose one that you couldn’t do more than 12 reps with. If you can easily carry on, it’s too light. A gym trainer is a great way to work out what weight you need without injuring yourself!
Okay, so you’ll be burning calories faster if you’ve just been working out, but walk away from the fat-heavy takeaway. Whether you’ve been exercising or not, a pile of unhealthy food or something really naughty from the bakery is going to make your metabolism slow down! If you really want a treat, work out how many calories you’ve burnt, and see what you can ‘afford.’ A 40-minute high-effort spin class will buy you a double chocolate brownie, for example.
You don’t need to keep up the weights to avoid your muscles turning into fat. If you stop exercising, you probably will gain fat. You’ll also probably notice your muscles shrink and atrophy. Your muscles cannot physically turn from muscle to fat, though – they are two entirely different tissue types. If you’re feeling half-hearted about weights, do something that gets you excited, instead. It’s the only way to keep your metabolism high.
Yes, skipping meals is bad, even if you’re going on an extreme cleanse. Missing out on nutrients such as protein will slow your metabolism down faster than a speeding ticket, and you’ll only be a few steps away from starvation mode. Not only will you store calories that you want to burn, but your muscles will be broken down too, which will slow your metabolism right down.
Ever noticed how much worse your sluggish metabolism is at that time of the month? When you bleed, you lose iron, which is the nutrient that delivers oxygen to the muscles. When you’re iron deficient, your metabolism slows right down. To ward off the problem, make sure you eat plenty of iron-rich foods. Spinach, beans, shellfish, beef, raisins, artichokes…anything that is packed with iron.
The other ways you are encouraging your sluggish metabolism? Not sleeping enough and drinking too much alcohol. Yep, that’s right. Stop a few drinks earlier and go to bed instead. You’ll feel much better for it! Do you try to speed up your metabolism? What tricks do you have?
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