If you’ve ever attempted to lose weight via dieting, you’ve definitely heard the term “metabolism” before. Metabolism is defined as the process by which the body converts the food and drink you’ve consumed into energy. It is a set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in the body and in this process, calories from the food are combined with oxygen in order to create the energy the body needs to function. If that sounds a little too science-y for you, let’s get to the main question we all want to ask: what role does it play in weight loss? Since the body’s energy is measured in calories, when you burn more calories than you consume, there is a tendency to lose weight. In simple terms, weight loss occurs when you eat less or exercise more.
However, there are certain habits that we might not be aware of that hinder the weight loss process by slowing our metabolism down. If you aren’t mindful enough of these habits, they can snowball and eventually lead to weight gain. Find out if you’ve been doing these three habits that slow down metabolism and hinder weight loss.
1. Not Eating Enough Calories when Trying to Lose Weight
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This might sound like a shock to many since the common notion regarding weight loss is to eat as few calories as you can. In essence, weight loss occurs if the amount of calories burned is greater than the amount consumed. So why is this? When you consume too few calories, say in a crash diet, the body senses that there isn’t enough food to come by so it drops the metabolic rate at which calories are burned.
According to research, consuming fewer than 1,000 calories can significantly impact one’s metabolic rate. It even shows that as the caloric intake returns to a more sensible one, the metabolism rate remains the same, slowed one. This is the main explanation for why not eating enough calories can impact metabolism and slow down weight loss. When losing weight, one should have a caloric deficit but still consume the right amount of calories to sustain body functions, metabolism included. Consult a nutritionist dietitian and a weight loss doctor for sound advice and better, lasting results.
2. Not Doing Enough Strength Training
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If you’ve ever worked out before, you’ve probably only stuck to cardiovascular exercises since it is often touted as great for burning fat and you’ve probably been guilty of running on the treadmill and totally ignoring the weights section out of fear of “bulking up” or “getting larger” which can defeat the purpose of losing weight. To set the facts straight, strength training has been known to increase the metabolic rate and muscle mass in an individual. An increase in muscle mass or fat-free mass in the body keeps the metabolism high even at rest.
Strength training can come in various forms from using bodyweight to using free weights, there’s always something suited for everyone. Perform strength training exercises 2-3 times a week for 40-60 minutes. Coupled with a nutritionist-dietitian and weight loss doctor-approved program, you’re sure to find yourself reaching your goal!
3. Stressing It Out
We all know that stress isn’t good for mental well-being, but did you know that stressing out is counterproductive to weight loss. The adrenal glands in the kidneys create cortisol, a hormone that is released in times of stress. During this time, the body is sent to fight or flight mode which puts a halt to the body’s normal functions, including metabolism. Cortisol is responsible for stimulating the fat and carbohydrate metabolism that creates a surge in energy that also makes you hungrier.
Don’t sweat the big and small stuff. Whenever you feel stressed, practice meditation for at least 20 minutes to slow the heart rate and feel more relaxed. To avoid getting overloaded at work, try the Pomodoro Technique or the method of breaking your workload into 25-minute chunks and 5-minute breaks.
One may think factors such as stress and doing the bare minimum when it comes to working out are just minuscule details in the bigger picture, but they play a major role in your weight loss journey. These seemingly innocent activities can set you back big time, making you feel frustrated and hopeless. Remember that changing habits bit by bit along with mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to weight loss.
Are you currently facing weight loss hurdles? Is gaining weight a huge challenge for you? If so, get in touch with a registered nutritionist dietitian and a weight loss and obesity doctor who can help you out in your journey. Experts in this field can perform a thorough evaluation of your health and lifestyle habits and help you towards making reasonable, attainable changes to help you achieve lasting results. Schedule an appointment with a weight loss doctor and a registered nutritionist dietitian now.