Advertisement

Daily habits that can slow metabolism

Daily habits that can slow metabolism
Getty Images

You may find comfort gorging on pizza and drinking a couple of glasses of wine while binge-watching your favourite TV show or movie every weekend. While you probably think satisfying these vices are fine, because you can always go back on your diet during the week, these habits can actually affect your metabolism and your weight. Your body’s metabolism rate, which is how fast or slow you’re able to burn kilojoules, can dictate how much weight you put on or not.

To effectively boost your metabolism, it’s important to identify the everyday habits that can actually slow down your metabolism. To do this, we spoke with health experts who break down these bad vices and offer tips for how to deal with them throughout the day.

You eat breakfast closer to brunch time

You eat breakfast closer to brunch time
Getty Images

Mornings at your house may be bananas. Between getting the kids to school on time and yourself to work on time – and the 3,000 things required to make those two feats happen – you’re lucky if you can sneak in a sip of orange juice before your first meeting. But when you’re sleeping, you’re not eating, and after all those hours with no nutrients, your metabolism – the process by which your body converts food and drinks into energy – needs a little jump-start. To get your kilojoule-burning engine going, have breakfast within an hour of waking up – or even better, within 15 minutes, says registered dietitian and nutritionist Joanne Rinker.

You have cereal instead of an omelette

You have cereal instead of an omelette
Getty Images

It takes your body more time to digest protein, so eggs will keep you feeling fuller longer than if you pour yourself a bowl of carbs in the morning. Opting for the omelette (or Greek yoghurt parfait or overnight oats) may also give your metabolism a little boost. To digest, absorb, transport and store the food you eat, your body uses kilojoules, and protein needs more energy to metabolise than fat or carbs, says registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames, certified fitness trainer and co-author of Fire Up Your Metabolism. Your best bet: Have a serving of protein with every meal.

Try one of these high-protein foods that will help you lose weight.

You stopped drinking coffee

You stopped drinking coffee
Shutterstock

Drinking caffeinated coffee can cause a temporary – but significant – increase in metabolism, says registered dietitian and nutritionist Kristen Gradney. The caffeine gets absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly, speeding up heart rate and providing that metabolic boost. So if you want a cuppa in the morning, and even in the afternoon, enjoy it. The catch: Keep your coffee as simple as your taste buds can take. Too many added kilojoules from sugar, sugary syrups and fatty cream can outweigh the health benefits.

And you don’t drink enough water

And you don’t drink enough water
Shutterstock

Every cellular process in your body relies on water, so not hydrating properly can decrease metabolism, says Gradney. And when you’re dehydrated, you have less energy to walk, bike, or do what you need to do to burn kilojoules, adds Shames.

Discover 10 ways your body changes when you start drinking enough water.

You won’t curl a dumbbell

You won’t curl a dumbbell
Shutterstock

And you have no interest in lifting, pressing, or pumping any other form of iron. Fine. But if you won’t touch a resistance band either, or do a push-up or squat, you’re pretty much pumping the brakes on your metabolism. Here’s why: Muscle tissue is the source of your resting metabolic rate, says Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, clinical professor of medicine and director of metabolic support in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This refers to the number of kilojoules your body uses to keep your heart beating, lungs pumping, and all the other necessary functions that keep our body healthy. So it stands to reason: the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate, and the more kilojoules you burn. As we age, we lose muscle and gain fat. To counteract those sad-but-true effects, include strength training in your regimen.

Discover 14 things that happen when you start a beginners weightlifting workout.

Advertisement

Or you curl your dumbbell too fast

Or you curl your dumbbell too fast
Getty Images

You get an “A” for strength training effort, but take it slow when you lower the weight for maximum metabolism-boosting benefits. Eccentric (or lowering) movements cause muscle tissue to break down more than the act of lifting; and that’s good because your body will need to burn more kilojoules in order to repair the damage, hence the metabolism boost.

You’re crash dieting

You’re crash dieting
Getty Images

Cut kilojoules like crazy in an effort to shed kilojoules fast, and your body will hold on to them even tighter. It’s not being spiteful; it just thinks you’re starving, so it compensates by slowing down the rate at which you burn kilojoules to conserve fuel. “Your body will start to do more with fewer kilojoules, ultimately cutting down the amount of kilojoules it uses,” says Gradney. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day – every three to four hours – can keep you satisfied and your metabolism humming.

Discover 50 simple ways to boost your metabolism.

You sit too much

You sit too much
Getty Images

Before you think this one doesn’t apply to you because you work out, keep reading: More than half of our waking hours are spent sitting – at your desk at work, in the car while driving, on the couch watching TV. All that sedentary behaviour was linked to significantly higher odds of heart disease, diabetes and other serious health risks – even if you exercise regularly, according to an analysis of 47 studies published in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. When we’re sitting, our metabolism is not as functional, according to the study. But leisurely movements – like walking to your colleague’s office instead of calling – requires muscle activity that seems to trigger processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. Even simply standing burns more kilojoules than sitting, so every half hour, take a few minutes to at least get up.

You stay for two drinks

You stay for two drinks
Getty Images

Your body can’t store alcohol. So, when you sip a martini, your liver focuses on metabolising your cocktail instead of breaking down fat from the food you’ve eaten. “Excessive alcohol intake will disrupt the lipid metabolism process,” says Gradney.

When you need to unwind, here are 10 healthy alternatives to booze.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: