6 errors that slow down your metabolism

Keeping your metabolism high is crucial to losing weight and maintaining it.

Unfortunately, there are several common mistakes in lifestyle that may be slowing down your metabolism.

Doing this on a regular basis could hamper weight loss and make you more prone to weight gain in the future.

Here are 6 lifestyle mistakes that can slow down your metabolism.

1. Eat very few calories

Eating too few calories can cause a significant decrease in metabolism.

Although you need a calorie deficit to lose weight, it can be counterproductive for your calorie intake to go too low.

When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body feels that food is scarce and decreases the rate at which it burns calories.

Controlled studies in thin and overweight people have confirmed that consuming less than 1,000 calories per day can have a significant impact on your metabolic rate (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Most studies measure the resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories burned during rest. However, some also measure the calories burned during rest and activity for 24 hours, which is known as total daily energy expenditure.

In one study, when obese women consumed 420 calories per day for four to six months, their resting metabolic rates decreased significantly.

In addition, even after they increased their caloric intake over the next five weeks, their resting metabolic rates remained much lower than before the diet (3).

In another study, overweight people were asked to consume 890 calories per day. After three months, the total number of calories burned per day was reduced by an average of 633 calories (4).

It seems that even when the calorie restriction is more moderate, it may slow down the metabolism a bit.

In a four-day study of 32 people, the resting metabolic rate of people who consumed 1,114 calories per day decreased more than twice that of those who consumed 1,462 calories per day. However, the weight loss was similar for both groups (5).

If you are going to lose weight by restricting calories, then do not restrict your calorie intake for a long time.

Bottom line: To reduce the calories too much and during a long time it reduces the metabolic rate, which can make difficult the loss of weight and the maintenance of the same one.

2. Skimpy on proteins

Eating enough protein is extremely important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Studies have shown that, in addition to helping you feel satisfied, a high intake of protein can significantly increase the rate at which your body burns calories (6, 7, 8).

The increase in metabolism that occurs after digestion is called the thermal effect of food (TEF).

The thermal effect of the protein is much greater than the thermal effects of carbohydrates or fat. In fact, it has been observed that protein consumption temporarily increases metabolism by around 20 to 30%, compared with 5 to 10% for carbohydrates and 3% or less for fats (9).

Although the metabolic rate inevitably decreases during weight loss and continues to be slower during weight maintenance, there is evidence that a higher protein intake can minimize this effect.

In one study, participants followed one of the three diets in an effort to maintain a weight loss of 10 to 15%.

The highest protein diet reduced participants' total daily energy expenditure by only 97 calories, compared with a decrease of 297-423 calories in people who consumed less protein (10).

Another study found that people needed to eat at least 0.5 grams of protein per pound (1.2 grams / kg) of their body weight to prevent their metabolism from decreasing during and after weight loss (11).

Bottom line: The protein increases the metabolic rate more than carbohydrates or fat. Increased protein intake helps preserve the metabolic rate during weight loss and maintenance.

3. Leading a sedentary lifestyle

Being sedentary can lead to a significant decrease in the amount of calories you burn every day.

Unfortunately, many people have lifestyles that involve mainly sitting at work, which can have negative effects on the metabolic rate and overall health (12).

Although exercising or practicing sports can have a great impact on the amount of calories you burn, even basic physical activity such as getting up, cleaning, and climbing stairs can help you burn calories.

This type of activity is known as activity-free thermogenesis (NEAT).

One study found that performing a large amount of NEAT regularly could burn up to 2,000 additional calories per day. However, such a dramatic increase is not realistic for most people (13).

Another study found that watching television while sitting down burns an average of 8% fewer calories than writing while sitting and an average of 16% fewer calories than standing (14).

Working on a standing desk or simply getting up to walk several times a day can help increase your NEAT and prevent your metabolism from falling.

Bottom line: Being inactive reduces the amount of calories you burn during the day. Try to minimize sitting and increase your overall activity levels.

4. Not having enough high quality sleep

Sleeping is extremely important for good health.

Sleeping fewer hours than you need can increase your risk of a number of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and depression (15).

Several studies have found that inadequate sleep can also lower your metabolic rate and increase your chance of weight gain (16, 17, 18).

One study found that healthy adults who slept four hours a night for five nights in a row experienced a 2.6% decrease in resting metabolic rate, on average.

The resting metabolic rate of the participants returned to normal after 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep (17).

The lack of sleep is worse when sleeping during the day and not during the night. This sleep pattern interrupts the circadian rhythms of your body, the biological changes in your body that occur in response to light and darkness during a 24-hour cycle.

A five-week study found that prolonged sleep restriction combined with interruption of the circadian rhythm significantly decreased the resting metabolic rate of participants by an average of 8% (18).

Bottom line: Sleeping adequately and of high quality and sleeping at night instead of during the day can help preserve your metabolic rate.

5. Drink sugary drinks

Drinks sweetened with sugar are the worst beverages for health.

A high consumption of soft drinks and other sugary drinks has been linked to all kinds of health problems, including insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity (19, 20).

Most of the negative effects of sugary drinks can be attributed to fructose. Table sugar contains 50% fructose, while high fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose.

The results of a 2012 study suggest that frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lower your metabolism.

In this 12-week controlled study, overweight and obese people who consumed 25% of their calories as fructose-sweetened beverages on a diet to maintain weight experienced a significant drop in metabolic rate (21).

Unfortunately, there are not many studies that have measured how the metabolic rate is affected by a high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

However, research in animals and humans has shown that excessive fructose consumption promotes greater storage of fat in the belly and liver (22, 23, 24, 25, 26).

Bottom line: It has been found that a high consumption of beverages containing fructose reduces the metabolic rate and promotes the storage of fat in the abdomen and liver.

6. A lack of resistance training

Exercising with weights is a great strategy to keep your metabolism from slowing down.

It has been shown that strength training increases the metabolic rate in healthy people, as well as in those who have heart disease or are overweight or obese (27, 28, 29, 30).

Resistance training increases muscle mass, which makes up a large part of the fat-free mass in your body. Having a greater amount of fat-free mass significantly increases the amount of calories you burn at rest (31, 32, 33).

Fortunately, doing even minimal amounts of strength training seems to increase energy expenditure.

In a six-month study, people who performed resistance training for 11 minutes per day for three days a week experienced a 7.4% increase in resting metabolic rate and burned an additional 125 calories per day, on average ( 3. 4).

Conversely, not doing any strength training can cause your metabolic rate to decrease, especially during weight loss and as you get older (31, 35, 36).

Bottom line: Resistance training increases muscle mass and helps preserve the metabolic rate during weight loss and aging.

Bring the message home

Engaging in lifestyle behaviors that slow down your metabolism can lead to weight gain over time. It is better to avoid them or minimize them as much as possible.

Fortunately, there are also many things that can increase your metabolism to help you lose weight and not recover it.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-mistakes-that-slow-metabolism


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