To stay alive and energetic, the human body has to carry out millions of chemical processes, which are collectively known as metabolism.
Your metabolism plays a significant role in weight gain by affecting the amount of energy your body needs at any given point. Excess energy is then stored as fat.
Don’t jump the gun for blaming a ‘slow metabolism’ for weight gain as better food choices and exercise have the biggest role in it.
Still, there are some other common lifestyle factors too that can quickly alter the metabolic rate of your body. Let us look at those factors one by one,
Eating Too Little
When you are not eating enough, you put your body into starvation mode. It is a state where your body conserves energy by burning very few calories, and this is the reason for the slow metabolism. Note that your body may also drop muscle mass for preserving your energy.
Starving yourself can only make you more hungry and tired. You will also develop a tendency to eat any junk that might come your way. So, if you are thinking of losing weight, eating less should be the last thing on your mind.
Erratic Meal Time
If you are not consistent with your meal times, your body gets easily confused and goes into conservation mode until the next meal. Calorie burn is reduced, and the food you eat goes into glycogen stores. This causes a great fluctuation in your blood glucose levels leading to obesity and high blood pressure.
Eating regularly is as important as eating healthy. Though there isn’t any fixed time to eat a meal, it is always advised to leave a gap of 4-5 hours between major meals.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Depriving yourself of quality sleep every day can hamper your metabolic process. The hormones that control your hunger and fullness also go haywire. People who have trouble going to sleep also make food choices that are loaded with fats and sugars, leading to obesity.
Aim for at least 7.5 – 9 hours of sleep each night. It may be a little difficult for someone who has been consistently losing sleep, but it will be surely worth it. Try to shut all of the light sources for dozing off quickly.
Low Calcium Intake
Calcium, the mineral that makes your bones and teeth strong, also plays a crucial role in fat metabolism. The rate of metabolism of fat will decide whether your body is burning calories or storing it as fat.
Some of the rich sources of calcium include milk, cottage, cheese and yoghurt. If you have adequate calcium levels, you will also avert the risk of muscle breakdown. It is always suggested to get your calcium naturally through foods rather than the supplements.
Lack of Strength Training
It turns out doing mere aerobic exercises is not enough to maintain a healthy metabolism. When you are done with your cardio, you may have burned a lot of calories. But after that, the rate of calorie burning goes to resting levels.
At the same time, if you are lifting weights, you create micro-tears in your muscle that need repairing after the workout. The calories you consume later go in for repairing these tissues. Bodyweight squats, push-ups and planks are some of the strength training exercises you can do at home without any equipment.
Studies have shown that excessive use of substances including alcohol, tobacco and drugs leads to a dramatic loss of academic, professional and social skills in a person. Addictions can wreck your metabolism too.
For example, alcohol intake of all levels causes a disruption in the digestive mechanism and the absorption of nutrients. It greatly impacts the metabolism of organs that play a key role in weight management. Cigarette smoking is another vice where the chief ingredient in it being tobacco. Tobacco is a harmful chemical that increases a person’s metabolic rate by forcing the heart to beat faster. This causes extra stress in the heart, paving the way for many heart diseases.
For those addicted to alcohol can try cutting down their drinking quota in gradual phases. It is a highly better option than going cold-turkey, as the chances of relapses are quite high. Smokers can consider switching to alternatives like vaping, which effectively avoids the harmful tobacco and helps you to adjust the nicotine levels too.
Nothing harms your body’s metabolism more than stress and anxiety. If you are putting yourself under constant stress, there is an increased production of Cortisol, a hormone that increases your appetite and reaches out for comfort foods. A higher level of cortisol also significantly decreases the desire for a workout, exposing you to the risk of obesity.
It is essential to know that no one can avoid stressful situations. But what is in our absolute control is our power to manage the thoughts which are going on in our mind. Try meditating daily as it tremendously helps you to watch your thoughts and emotions. By managing stress and anxiety, you will see how your physical and mental health flourish.
To Sum Up,
Having a steady metabolism ensures that all our body cells are healthy and are working fine. If our body can burn calories fully, it will also help us in maintaining ideal body weight. The above points shall definitely make you aware of the things you need to do for having a healthy and steady metabolism.