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How to slow down your metabolism. A step-by-step guide.

Did you read that twice? Yes we did just write how to slow down your metabolism! Of course, nobody ever wants to slow down their metabolism, but are you inadvertently doing things which could be doing just that? Take a look at the list below and see if you are guilty of any of these metabolism killers.

Skipping meals or restricting calories

Restricting calories slows down metabolism because the body interprets the reduced calorie intake as potential starvation. This triggers a decrease in resting metabolic rate, loss of muscle mass, lowered thermic effect of food and hormonal changes affecting hunger and energy expenditure. To keep your metabolism firing you need to be eating!

Not eating enough protein

Protein speeds up metabolism primarily through its high thermic effect of food, which means a significant portion of the calories consumed is used during digestion and metabolism. It also supports lean muscle mass, which is more metabolically active than fat tissue, thereby increasing resting metabolic rate. Protein's satiating effect helps regulate appetite and may reduce overall calorie intake, while also supporting essential metabolic functions like hormone production and enzyme activity.

Sleeping less than 7 hours sleep a night

Tiredness can slow metabolism due to the hormonal disruptions it creates. It increases ghrelin (hunger hormone) and decreases leptin (satiety hormone), leading to increased appetite and potential overeating. Sleep loss also elevates cortisol levels, which can promote insulin resistance and fat storage. Try to get at least 7 hours sleep a night!

Living with chronic stress

Stress increases cortisol production, which can lead to insulin resistance and higher blood sugar levels, promoting fat storage. Elevated cortisol levels can also suppress thyroid function, reducing the body's metabolic rate. Stress also often leads to emotional eating or unhealthy food choices. Addressing stress through relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Not strength training

Strength training increases metabolism by building lean muscle mass, which is more metabolically active than fat tissue. As you gain muscle through strength training, your body requires more energy to maintain and repair muscle fibres, leading to a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR). This increase in RMR means you burn more calories even at rest, supporting weight management and overall metabolic health.

Eating processed food

Processed foods often contain refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and additives, which can lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, promoting insulin resistance and fat storage. They also generally have a lower thermic effect of food (TEF) compared to whole foods, requiring less energy for digestion and metabolism. Their lack of essential nutrients and fiber can also disrupt hormonal balance and overall metabolic function, contributing to a slower metabolism over time.

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