As we mentally age, we physically age – inside and out. There’s no denying that aging can be a beautiful process, but there’s one aspect of aging in particular that we all can’t defy – and we all hate – and that’s the slowing of our metabolism.
It’s said that once you’ve hit the age of 25, your metabolism starts, and continues to plummet tremendously. Some people are born with slow metabolisms – it’s a genetic thing – but regardless, it will continue to slow more and more as each day goes by. It’s a sad truth, but as we change our diets need to as well. However, there are other factors that could be weighing into the decline of your metabolism, and I’m here to explain them to you.
Stress is known to cause overeating, overeating causes weight gain, and weight gain causes the metabolism to slow. The reason stress does this is because it increases cortisol levels, and cortisol levels cause overeating, and the rest just follows suit. To defend this, take part in stress-relieving exercises. This is beneficial to your overall health!
Bad Sleeping Habits
Missing out on sleep causes the metabolism to slow due to a chain reaction, and therefore “tells your body to store unused energy as fat.” (EveryDayHealth). Get into a healthy sleeping pattern where you get at least eight hours, and try to go to sleep and wake at the same time each day.
This is a no brainer. Eating too much fatty food is almost overwhelming to the metabolism and can’t be handled all at once, so it slows down and therefore stores the rest to burn later (aka, stores as fat).
Certain prescription medications could be slowing down your metabolism. If you start gaining weight while taking a certain medication, talk to your doctor about potentially changing it.
Cutting too many calories from your diet slows the metabolism. Your body will stop burning fats in order to save energy and could even start burning through muscle in your workouts! Avoid this by having a balanced diet with the correct amount of calories your body needs. You can find that out by calculating how many calories you burn while doing nothing (AKA your resting metabolic rate).
5 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism
- Snack throughout the day.
Nuts in particular are a good snack. Nuts contain specific fatty acids that are actually beneficial to your diet and can even “enhance the activity of certain genes that control fat burning, so you torch more calories throughout the day.” (Prevention) How you snack throughout the day is important. Not only should you be snacking consistently, but having healthy snacks around takes away the bad and tempting trips to fast food stops.
Pump up the Protein
Another way to eat healthy that is a great way to increase the metabolism is to eat proteins, as they keep the body full for longer. That way, your body is taking in less calories because you’re eating less while your metabolism is still burning calories. This also helps maintain muslces, and the more muscle the more calories are being burned throughout the day.
It’s not about the amount of time you spend in the gym, it’s about how hard you go while you’re there. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) specifically helps to fasten your metabolism because it “stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout… [and] slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!” (Shape). This also means that you’re continually burning calories even after your workouts finished.
Workout outside in the mornings.
This sounds kind of crazy, but studies show that those who workout and soak up the sun first thing in the morning have lower Body Mass Index’s (BMI). It also helps your overall function; sleep, hunger, and energy all being factors. Weight training can fasten the metabolism, because the more muscle your body obtains the more calories it burns consistently throughout the day, even at rest.
You don’t need to just wake up in the morning, but your metabolism does, too, and eating breakfast will do that. Get yourself ready for the day on a healthy note.