7 Habits that Can Affect Your Metabolism


If you are having difficulty losing weight or notice that lately you have been gradually gaining pounds, there may a reason for this. Many of our lifestyle choices – sometimes ones we barely even think about because they are so much a part of our routine – can negatively impact our metabolisms and make weight gain easier. Below are seven common habits that might be slowing your metabolic rate.

Drinking Soda
Whether we are talking regular sodas with loads of sugar or “diet” soda with harmful sweeteners like aspartame, sodas simply are not good for your metabolism or overall health. The good news is that after eliminating this toxin, you can eliminate bloating and starting to feel better almost right away.

Getting Too Little Sleep
It’s simple: with anything less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night, you are increasing the hormone cortisol in your body and making it much easier to pack on the weight. Making sure to take some wind-down time in the evening and eliminating caffeine late in the day can help you get the sleep you need.

Skipping Meals
If you skip a meal, chances are your hunger will rebound on you and you will overeat at the next meal. This also sends a signal to your body that it needs to slow down your metabolism and go into “starvation mode” since meals are irregular. Getting three solid meals a day – with healthy snacks if needed – will actually stimulate your body to burn the calories it receives.

Eating Processed Foods
In food you have to remove from a box, carton or can should be treated with suspicion, as these processed products are notorious for unhealthy additives and ingredients that can cause weight gain and slow the metabolism. Try eating a “whole foods” diet instead, one which requires fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fresh meats, eggs and dairy.

Eating High Fat Foods
Eating high fat foods in great quantities can also impact your metabolism. This is because fat is more difficult to break down and slows the entire digestive process, resulting in a slower metabolic rate as well.

Drinking Too Little Water
If you are not drinking around 8-10 glasses of water a day, chances are you are dehydrated. Dehydration slows down all bodily systems, including metabolism, so make sure you are drinking enough. Having a glass of water before meals can also help you feel fuller and prevent overeating.

Stressing Out
Stress will often bring out a lot of bad habits like overeating or getting into unhealthy “comfort foods” which you normally avoid. Stress also increases your cortisol levels, which can make you pack on the pounds, especially in the abdominal area. Keeping your stress levels under control with walking or yoga for instance is a good way to avoid this.

So weight gain is not always simply a matter of what/how much we eat and how often we exercise. It is subtler and more complicated than that and involves our lifestyle and behaviors. Keeping an eye out for these common habits and making sure you do not get into them will help you avoid weight gain in the future or achieve your weight loss goals now.

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Samriti has written a number of articles and blog posts for websites and print in the health industry. The majority of this writing was related to cancer information, blood pressure and healthy living.