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Are You Killing Your Metabolism?

You may already suspect your metabolism slows as you age. According to research published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, you’re right. A review of data on energy expenditure found simply getting older is associated with progressive declines in basal metabolic rate. On top of that, there are many daily habits that can drain your metabolism even further.

But you don’t have to slow down without a fight. The below habits are killing your metabolism. I recommend that you change these and watch your energy levels improve.

Skipping Breakfast

Eating a nutritious breakfast is always a good way to start your morning. Because your metabolism slows down during sleep, eating can fire it up and help you burn more calories throughout the day. According to Rush University Medical Center, “When you eat breakfast, you’re telling your body that there are plenty of calories to be had for the day. When you skip breakfast, the message your body gets is that it needs to conserve rather than burn any incoming calories.”

Eating the Wrong Foods for Breakfast

OK, so it’s about more than just eating something in the morning. If you grab a sugary doughnut or eat a muffin in the car, you’re setting yourself up to crash later. Instead, choose something with filling protein and fibre like eggs, yogurt and berries or whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter.

Sitting Too Much

Going from your office chair to your car to your couch can lead to a very sedentary routine. And sitting for extended periods puts your body into energy-conservation mode, which means your metabolism can suffer. According to the UK’s National Health Service, “Sitting for long periods is thought to slow metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.”

Neglecting Strength Training

Cardio workouts are a good start. And it can quickly burn calories, but once you’re done your run or cycle, your calorie burn returns to a near basic rate. When you do high-intense-interval-training (HIIT) and resistance-based (HIRT) workouts, however, your calorie burn stays elevated for longer as your muscles repair themselves. Per the American Council on Exercise (ACE): “Strength training is a key component of metabolism because it is directly linked to muscle mass. The more active muscle tissues you have, the higher your metabolic rate.” And, according to ACE, a pound of muscle burns an additional 4–6 calories each day compared to a pound of fat.

Not Getting Adequate Dietary Protein

Protein feeds your muscles, promotes satiety and is an important component to sustaining a healthy weight. Eat too little, and you may have trouble building or maintaining muscle mass. And we know muscle’s importance to metabolism. Also, protein requires more energy to break down than carbs or fat, so you’ll actually burn more calories during digestion.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

One bad night’s sleep is enough to leave you feeling sluggish and impair your cognitive processing. String together several nights in a row — or a lifetime of inadequate sleep — and science shows decreased metabolism and hormonal imbalances may follow.

Not Drinking Enough Water

In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers found drinking 500 millilitres of water (about 2 cups) increases metabolic rate by 30%, and that spike lasts for more than an hour. So, drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, and you’ll get the added benefit of a boosted metabolism.

Stressing Out

When stress levels increase, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to increased appetite. You'll find that you'll crave comfort foods more. This decreases the desire to exercise and in turn reduces sleep quality — all things that negatively impact metabolism. You can’t always control your stress levels. But, managing stress can go a long way toward protecting your body’s internal fire.

Are you guilty of any one of the above metabolic killers?

Perhaps Mindset Coaching with Discipline Fitness will help you get back on track.

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