Diet Mistakes that Slow Your Metabolism
Whether it’s your heart beating, nerves communicating or muscles pumping – your metabolism works 24/7 and is the source of your energy. To carry out these bodily functions, we require energy that ultimately comes from our food. Metabolic rate is affected by many factors, including our age, weight and genetics.
While we can't really change these things, you can make sure to avoid foods and actions that may cause your metabolism to stop working altogether:
Not Eating Enough
Many people on a ‘diet’ drastically reduce the amount of food they eat. Problem is, when you decrease the amount you each drastically your body goes into starvation mode, this causes your metabolic rate to slow down in order to preserve energy. This can also cause muscle loss instead of fat loss and reduces your metabolic rate even further. If you want a faster metabolism, a high muscle to fat ratio is essential.
What to do: Eat regular, balanced meals to keep blood sugar levels on an even keel. and opt to include a balance of wholegrain carbohydrates, protein and good fats in each meal.
Missing breakfast, like not eating enough, causes your body to conserve energy and may cause you to eat more later on in the day. Studies also show that people who eat breakfast have more balanced diets, are less likely to be overweight or obese and have a reduced risk of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
What to do: Have a healthy breakfast to keep your metabolism working.
Calcium is critical for strong bones and regulates fat metabolism, this determines if you'll use energy efficiently or store it as fat. In addition, a low calcium diet may reduce the breaking down of fat which causes your metabolism to slow down, resulting in weight gain. Dairy is also rich in proteins, necessary in building up and repairing muscle.
What to do: Chooser 2 or 3 servings a day of good quality dairy or high calcium foods. Think natural yoghurt, cheese and milk or milk alternatives.
Abandoning Carbohydrates Completely
A low-carbohydrate diet can be good for weight loss in the short-term, but it’s not beneficial in the long-term, especially if you are exercising. During exercise your muscles are like sponges sucking up glycogen (a stored form of carbohydrate) as the preferred source of fuel, so if you are not eating enough carbohydrates, your glycogen stores will be low and you may tire out early.
What to do: Instead of not eating carbs at all, be more selective. Opt for low-GI carbs such as rolled oats, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato and avoid refined sources like high sugar cereals, white rice and processed, packaged foods.