Metabolism is basically a fancy way to describe how the body burns calories from food and transforms them into energy. Metabolism is impacted by lots of things, such as level of activity, age, gender and family history.
It can be revved up by lifestyle choices and it can be slowed down by other lifestyle choices. Think of it as a thermometer that goes up or down depending on the heat.
When a body’s metabolism speeds up, weight loss often follows. When metabolism slows down, the result is generally weight gain. Here are a few things you may be doing without realizing that these actions are likely slowing down your metabolism.
Not getting an adequate amount of sleep. When we sleep, our leptin level resets. Leptin is the chemical that sends a message to the brain that we’re full after we’ve eaten. If leptin levels are too low due to a lack of sleep, overeating and slower metabolism can result.
Dealing with too much stress. Stress is also a metabolism reducer. Obviously, cutting stress out when possible is best. If you can’t avoid stress in part of your day, it’s important to build in healthy stress relief activities such as exercise or enforced relaxation or pleasurable activities such as listening to music or taking warm baths.
Eating too much processed food. Refined carbs, sugar and especially high fructose corn syrup, present in
many packaged food items, are all digested too quickly to improve metabolism. By contrast, whole grains, fruits and vegetables present more of a metabolic challenge for your body to digest, causing it to turn up the metabolic heat.
Skipping breakfast or not eating enough calories. You may think that the less food you take in, the better, but your body needs calories to function. Eating a healthy breakfast within an hour after waking helps restart the metabolism that slowed down naturally while you were asleep. Similarly, if you’re not eating enough, your metabolism will slow down in an attempt to preserve calories. It does this because it’s programmed to get you through famine-like conditions by slowing down.
Since your metabolism can be tweaked to become more efficient at burning calories, it’s important to avoid these and other lifestyle choices that are working to slow your metabolism down.
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Author: Rebeca Espinoza
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.