What’s Slowing Your Metabolism – Nine things to consider

“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” 

Fran Lebowitz

What’s slowing your metabolism? What causes it to speed up? Listed below are several reasons your fuel burning ship had run aground and what you can do reverse the damage.

● Not eating enough. Whhhaaatttt? Seems contrary. Eat more to burn more. It’s true. By eating more whole foods, you’ll light the fire. Your body wants to produce and by supplying the right fuel in the right quantity, you’ll get it going.

● Eating too much junk. Yup. I just told you to eat more now I’m telling you not to. Well, kinda. The artificial flavors, colorings and other additives in heavily processed foods can add excessive fat to your cells. Full of fats, oils, and sugars, eaten with high carbs is a recipe for a stalled engine.

Artificial colors and flavors to reel you in and keep you

● Not eating enough protein. It’s actually pretty common if your not a regular training enthusiast and even if you are, to under eat your muscle building fuel. Studies are dispelling the myths of protein consumption. Turns out you don’t need 1 to 2 grams per pound. Based on you activity, even a slightly elevated amount will yield great results.

● Doing too much cardio. Seems weird, but go with me for a moment. These are arbitrary numbers for the sake of explanation. So your trying to get to a goal weight, you need to shed 15lbs or 20lbs. So you cut you calories by 1,000 from 2,500 to 1,500 and start to run, cycle or zumba you way to greatness. After a while you hit a plateau. So you cut calories by 500 more to get things moving and up the cardio. Now your original 1,000 cut which dropped your total intake to 2,500 is now your maintenance and 2,000 calories is cut level. Eventually you continue down this path until you no longer eat but photosynthesize for food and your up to 1.5 hours of cardio. What do you think happens if you don’t maintain this? What’s worse is that if you gain it back, studies show your body adds additional fat cells for survival purposes so now you gain back more weight and have a harder time taking it back off. So what’s a person to do? See below.

● Do more resistance training. Aside from breaking up the monotony of treadmill life, building muscle will kick your muscle-less metabolism into gear. Let’s look at the body like an economy. Building soft fat costs very little. It’s cheap, easily sourced materials and abundant. Strong muscle, on the other hand, is expensive. Materials and time can get pricey. Your body, if fed properly and not in a starvation mode, will pump into the muscle economy, dumping fat storage in lieu of this newfound resource. The trick is, you have to train heavy and often enough to send the muscle-building signal. Muscles at rest burn aprrox. 50 calories/day per pound of muscle, while fat cells only require about 3 calories per day per pound of fat. No gorging for gains either. Keep it clean and you’ll also keep it lean

● Not sleeping enough. Workouts don’t build a thing, only break stuff down. Gains are made in your sleep. Even if you are active, by not getting adequate sleep, you could be sabotaging your metabolism. Your body likes a schedule too. Try to get 7 to 8 hours a night and aim for the same times daily.

● Dehydration. Fun fact, if you want a serious pump in the gym before you go drink a boat ton of water. Not having enough water in a system made mostly of it causes your body to reallocate its efforts. Keep it hydrated to keep it focused.

● Avoid get-thin quick scams. Fat burners, diet fads, and bogus cheap supplements only slow your progress. There is no “body in a bottle.” It comes from discipline, wisdom and time. If you are taking a fat burner and still eating bagels and donuts daily, odds are you are not hitting your goals. I know it won’t get you runway ready in 2 weeks, but the effort will be worth it. The true goal is to fall in love with the process and make the change permanent, not just seasonal.

● Highly processed grains. The U.S. is one of the largest grain consuming nations. Commercially sold bread, pasta, cereals, crackers, muffins, desserts, flours, chips, and granola bars. To help combat obesity, the USDA now highly recommends limiting consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium. Not just a metabolism killer, eating mostly carb-based diets can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Best to choose natural fiber-rich foods as opposed to refined grains.

If you feel like you are the victim of a slowed metabolism, there are steps you can take to get it going. Above all know two things. One, it took a while to get it that way and two, it’s going to take some work to get it back. As someone who has done it, I can honestly say it is a lot of work but it is completely worth the effort.