You’re cutting your calories, upping your exercise, and steering clear of sugary snacks – all signs point to weight loss, right? But what if the pounds just refuse to come off? You could be making some common mistakes that keep you from losing weight.
It all comes down to your metabolism. We tend to think of metabolism in simple terms – how fast we burn calories – but it’s a little more complex than that. Your metabolism is all the things your body does to turn food into energy, and it requires a ton of nutrients and other factors to run smoothly. While our bodies are pretty good at regulating metabolic rate naturally, many of us make key errors every day that slow our metabolism. As a result, our bodies run less efficiently (read, burn calories less efficiently), which is trouble when it comes to weight loss.
Where are you going wrong?
- You don’t eat – or drink – enough. Yes, reducing calories is key to weight loss. But too much calorie restriction (eating less than your body needs to function, or about 1200 calories for most women) can actually slow down your metabolism. Hydration is important, too – your body needs H20 to burn calories. To keep your metabolism on track, eat smaller meals and snack on protein-rich foods like nuts.
- You’re not sleeping enough. Skipping ZZZs can make it harder for your body to metabolize carbs, which can affect blood sugar and insulin, resulting in your body storing energy as fat. Lack of sleep also makes you more susceptible to stress, which has a negative effect on your metabolism. For best results, be sure to clock eight quality hours of pillow time a night.
- You’re not building muscle. A higher muscle mass means you’ll burn calories at a faster rate. Besides, building lean muscle mass by eating protein and strength training won’t just boost your metabolism, it’ll have you feeling like you can take on the world.
Some people are blessed with a speedy metabolism (lucky them!). For everyone else, stoke that inner fire and take the steps to boost your metabolism: eat a nutritious diet, stay hydrated, rest easy, and think protein. Let us know how it pays off!
Looking to learn more about your health? Check out the PGX blog for a wealth of tips and info.