IF weight loss is important to you, you will know that metabolism can play a big role.
But there are habits that may be spoiling yours, making weight loss far tougher than it needs to be.
Lucy Gornall asks, are you guilty of these metabolism mistakes?
1. You’re not eating enough
YES, you can eat too little! A calorie-deficit diet – consuming less than you burn – is the foundation of weight loss.
But David Wiener, training and nutrition specialist at AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, says it can become counterproductive if you are not eating enough calories to begin with.
He adds: “Our bodies are incredibly clever and when we drastically lower our calorie intake, it knows we are not eating enough and reduces the rate at which we burn calories – and therefore slows our metabolism.
“This is what some people call ‘starvation mode’, and our body will begin storing the fat we already have because it predicts we won’t be getting any more food.”
“Rather than eating less, focus on what you are eating, and make sure it’s nutritious.”
2. You skip meals
FEWER meals, fewer calories, right? Not necessarily, according to Chelsea Labadini, personal trainer and founder of Chelsea Labadini’s Online Coaching.
She says: “You may think skipping meals means you’re not having as many calories. But all it makes us do is binge.
“Not having enough calories during the day will make us reach for the quickest fixes in the cupboard, which are also usually the most unhealthy, and we binge to satisfy our hunger.”
Food is fuel, she says, and should never be skipped.
Chelsea adds: “Focusing on having three protein-filled meals and nutritious snacks is a much healthier way of keeping you in calorie deficit and losing weight.”
3. You skimp on protein
“IT’S a total misconception that a high-protein diet is just for body builders,” reveals David.
“While protein is needed for muscle growth, it’s also needed for a lot of other reasons, including maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism.”
Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, cutting your risk of binge-eating.
David says: “Upping your intake can help your body burn more calories. This is because our resting energy expenditure is related to how much muscle mass we have, and the bigger the muscle mass, the more we’ll burn calories even when not exercising.”
So make sure you enjoy protein-rich foods, such as chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, tofu, eggs, beef, dairy, nuts and legumes, at every meal.
4. You sit down too long
DO you spend all day sitting at a desk and come the evening, flop on to the sofa to relax? Yep, we do it too.
But David says one of the best ways to boost your metabolism is to keep moving.
He adds: “It takes just 30 minutes of sitting for our metabolism to slow down by 90 per cent, which can affect the amount of fat your body is burning.
“If you sit down for long periods of time, you are not burning as many calories compared with if you were exercising, walking or even standing up.”
Set a timer every hour and move for five minutes, take the stairs instead of the lift, work at a standing desk or walk short journeys instead of driving.
5. You neglect sleep
Lack of kip and sleep disorders can have a huge impact on metabolism and, says David, we need eight hours a night.
He adds: “Taking steps to improve the quality of your sleep can help your metabolism to stay high, so do your best to switch off before bed, avoiding blue light emitted from your phone or digital devices.
“Try mindfulness or meditation before you drift off.”