When you’re working long hours, running neverending errands, trying to cook healthy meals, squeezing in exercise, and a million other things on your to-do list, your diet and fitness goals usually get derailed in ways you probably aren’t even realizing.
So, if we avoid these behaviors that most-obviously contribute to weight gain, then maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight should be easier than wasting an entire hour on Buzzfeed quizzes, right? If only it were that simple.
By neglecting your health and body you may be unintentionally harming your metabolism and packing on the extra pounds. Here are 9 habits slowing down your metabolism:
Metabolism Slowing Habit #1: A Smoothie for Breakfast
Smoothies for breakfast would be an obvious choice for someone wanting to eat healthier. Unfortunately, not all smoothies are healthy and even the ones that are, aren’t necessarily right for you. The main problem with the majority of smoothies are the macronutrient (proteins, carbs, and fats) ratios are usually way off. If you look at most “healthy smoothies” it’s usually 2/3 or more carbs in the form of sugar (even “natural” sugar).
The other problem with smoothies is the lack of protein. Most people think if they toss in a ton of fruits and vegetables, it’s healthy. Think again, without adequate protein and even fat, your smoothie is basically sugar water.
Smoothies for breakfast will raise insulin, lower growth hormone, and interrupt leptin signals later in the day. These 3 hormones are your most important fat loss hormones. If you are going to make a smoothie, make sure it has a high-quality protein, fats, and plenty of awesome carbs.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #2: Not Tracking Your Progress
One of early mentors told me “If you’re assessing you’re guessing.” In other words, if you aren’t tracking your progress or lack of progress, you don’t when to fine-tune. This doesn’t mean you should weigh (torture?) yourself everyday.
I suggest every Sunday you “check-in” with yourself. This includes weighing and measuring yourself, BUT it also includes reviewing how you did the week before. Did you plan and prepare meals that give you problems? Did you set a workout schedule and stick to it? Did you read instead of watch tv?
Tracking your progress for health goes beyond eating and exercise. Maintaining a healthy body and fat-burning metabolism involves every aspect of life. Track your progress. Fine-tune if you need to. Most importantly, keep going.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #3: Skipping Meals
One of the fastest ways to slow your metabolic rate down to a caterpillar crawl is to skip meals. Skipping meals usually means you’re cutting calories OR you’ve dieted so much that you’re body has stopped giving you hunger signals. Because, what does it matter, you’re not going to listen anyway!
It’s time to start listening to your body, becuase you gain weight just as easily by restricting calories as you can by eating too many. It’s OK to skip a meal every now and then, whether on purpose or because you’re busy. Metabolic problems arise when it’s a normal part of your routine.
If you skip breakfast, for example, you’re not setting your insulin up for fat-burning success. If you skip a mid-afternoon snack you won’t have enough energy to do your workout.
Skipping meals is trying to starve your fat cells and your fat cells can’t be starved. They must be outsmarted, using simple nutritional principles.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #4: Daily Drinking
Having that drink with dinner (or two, or three…) can quickly become a fast and steady habit. It’s easy to justify the drinks because you had a long, hard day and you deserve it. The alcohol takes your mind off of your troubles and loosens you up for a good time. However, all those alcohol calories are basically sugar, and all that sugar is going straight to your belly. (Beer belly, anyone?)
Breaking your daily alcohol habit is tough, I’ll give you that, however it may motivate you to know that it’s nearly impossible to lose fat on a day when you’re drinking alcohol. Alcohol = fat storage mode. Also it’s great to know that once you’ve allocated alcohol to cheat days and special occasions, you’ll lose fat quicker and easier than ever before.
It’s OK to have the occassional cocktail, but if you are suffering any thyroid/metabolism problems it’s best to avoid alcohol for a few weeks or even months.
The other good news is, when you protect your liver by eating high-quality foods and avoiding sugars, artifical sweeteners, and the like, you’ll be able to detox alcohol and it’s harmful effects more efficiently.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #5: Eating Low Fat Foods
Foods that are labeled low-fat or fat free can save you a few calories, but they do this by replacing fat with sugar and other chemicals which are WORSE than fat. They digest more quickly, leave you with a sugar crash and leave you feeling hungry faster. The best approach is to eat with nutrition in mind. Remember: A low-fat donut is still a donut!
Fat doesn’t make you fat. Well certain fats make you fat and it’s probably not the ones you think. Believe it or not, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat are the healthiest fats and should make up the majority of your diet.
The fats you should avoid (i.e. the ones making you fat) are polyunsaturated fats like canola, soybean, flax, and peanut oils. Even too many nuts and seeds can contribute to inflammation.
Consume more coconut oil, organic animal products, olive oil, and avocado.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #6: Mindless Snacking
In recent years snacking has been named one of the best ways to maintain your metabolism, in order to burn fat all day long; and while there is some truth to eating small, high protein-high fiber meals frequently, for the most part all of this snacking has done nothing better than make us fat.
Most snack items are crunchy and salty, 2 qualities that you’ll rarely find in a healthy snack, and contain loads of simple carbohydrates and, you guessed it, more sugar. In order to avoid belly fat you’re better off avoiding all traditional snack foods, and to fall out of the habit of ‘snacking’ entirely.
If you’re hungry between meals then eat a small amount of protein and fiber, such as a hard boiled egg with cucumber, or a packet of tuna with celery.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #7: Too Many (Wrong) Carbs
There is a strong connection between sugar consumption, insulin resistance, and the increase of belly fat. Since high blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance it’s important to limit too much sugar in the diet. A 12 ounce soda may only have 140 calories but approximately 8 teaspoons of sugar. Cutting back on soda and processed foods high in sugar is a good start when it comes to losing weight around your middle section. Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are naturally sweet like fruit.
Try to eliminate fruit juices, however, since many of these are high in sugar and often have fewer nutrients than the natural fruit. If possible, get rid of your bowl of table sugar. Many foods have sugar naturally, making it unnecessary to put added sugar in our diets. Just cutting out sodas and replacing them with a glass of water could potentially add up to weight loss over the course of several months. Any serious weight loss plan should include cutting back on sugar intake.
Going completely no-carb is not the way to boost metabolism either. You need to know which carbs are causing you problems and which ones to keep in your diet. Believe it or not, carbs (i.e. glucose) is our cell’s preferred/primary source of fuel/energy, which helps you burn fat and build lean muscle.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #8: Drinking Artificial Sweeteners
Although we now know the dangers of excessive sugar and insulin resistance, Americans are drinking less sweet soda than ever – but replacing it with artificial versions of the same thing.
The problem here is twofold.
When you taste diet soda, your body still thinks it’s getting sugar, so it gears up appropriately to use the fuel – and then doesn’t get it.
Keep in mind: This leads to problems with metabolism and more sugar cravings. The other problem is that you’re still priming yourself to crave sweet snacks all the time, which is a habit that can and should be broken.
That’s not the worst part about diet sodas (and artificial sweeteners).
You think you’re helping your body lose weight, but actually, you’re assisting your body in GAINING weight. Research proves people who drink diet soft drinks, had a greater risk of obesity.
Diet drinks also tend to lead to overeating, because of biochemical disruptions due to the neurotoxic effect of artificial sweeteners and because people think that because they are drinking “diet” they can eat more food.
Replace your diet drinks with stevia sweetened drinks, organic teas, lemon water, coconut water, or plain water.
Metabolism Slowing Habit #9: Not Asking For Help
By you reading this article you’re going in the right direction. Learning about exercise and diet makes you more likely to improve your exercise and diet. Researchers in Canada sent diet and exercise advice to more than 1,000 people. Those that read the advice began eating better and working more exercise into their daily life.
It’s a no-brainer, coaching and guidance gives you the edge on everyone else trying to do what they aren’t experts at. If you’re car is not running, you see a mechanic. If you’re AC goes out, you call an HVAC specialist. Well what do you do if you’re nutrition and exercise is not up to par? You call a Certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Nutritionist.
That’s where I come in.
I have the perfect metabolism-focused program called The 3-Week Metabolism Diet that can reverse years of yo-yo dieting, fix your broken metabolism, and help you lose fat in 21 days.
Most women who start this program have 3-6 pounds of weight loss in the first week. And that’s not the best part, since most of the women who implement the 3-week diet principles lose stubborn fat months after the first 21 days.
Your friend and coach,