By Aashima Talwar Last Updated:
Your everyday habits, which at first might seem unrelated to metabolic activity, do have an effect on your body weight. Whether it is binging on junk food because you skipped your dinner, staying up late for work, sitting in one place for long hours, or just letting stress take a toll on you- all of it can mess with your metabolism.
Here is how it happens and what you can do in order to keep your fat-burning furnace from rusting.
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Yes, your stressful work life, is messing up with your metabolism in more than one way. If you are sitting at a desk in front of your laptop or on your couch in front of that TV or laptop for long hours at a stretch, you are just adding numbers to your waistline. And, here is another bad news; sitting still for three or more hours in a day, cannot be compensated with that half an hour of the gym session. Yes, when you are sitting for long hours, you end up losing metabolism-boosting muscle mass. This means that your muscles don’t work hard at burning fat.
Your corporate life demands that, but you can compensate this as well. Just make sure that you move a little after every half an hour, think of it as a mini-break to lose weight.
If you are keeping awake till wee hours in the morning then you are without a doubt sabotaging your waistline! Sleep deprived individuals have a decreased ability to manage their blood sugar levels (READ: 10 Easy Ways To Curb Your Sugar Cravings).The level of leptin, a hormone that is known to reduce appetite, reduces when you are sleep deprived. And, this increases the chance of obesity as the craving for heavy carbs elevate.
To avoid midnight craving that keeps you up, try having dinner at least three hours before bedtime and avoid caffeine intake.
You think skipping meals and starving yourself can get you an hourglass figure? Think again! When you skip meals your body automatically slows down the metabolism process, to conserve energy. Your body will start to store fat instead of burning it. What’s more? Whenever you have your next meal, chances will be that you might end up over-eating as your body tries to replenish its resources.
So, if you are looking at maintaining a healthy weight and manage your waistline, it is better to have small meals every few hours. Besides, it will keep you away from junk cravings.
Stress abounds our lives and there is no escaping it. But how much toll it can take on our bodies is entirely up to us. When you are stressed, your brain receives a message that triggers the release of cortisol. This hormone’s function is to raise blood sugar level and enhances the proper burning of protein, carbs and fat. In response to this increased sugar level, pancreas release extra insulin to lower the blood sugar level. This, in turn, causes the craving for comfort foods that are high in caloric value.
An effective way to keep stress at bay and metabolism in check is through exercise. Exercise has stress-reducing effects and also helps burn calories and maintains muscle mass. Also, try keeping away from junk food, when stressed instead eat fruits and meditate if you can.
Is your diet lacking in calcium, or proteins, or iron? If the answer is yes, then you are messing up with your metabolism. Your body needs all essential nutrients to boost the metabolic system. Calcium deficiency, especially in women, may slow down the metabolism. Protein should be another essential part of your diet as it would help to maintain lean muscles.
Add dairy to your daily diet. If you are on a weight loss journey, go for fat-free or low-fat milk, yoghurt or cheese. Go for green leafy vegetables and lean meat as well.
Fat-rich and processed foods easily upset your metabolic rate by slowing down the digestive process. If you are binging on excessively fatty food, there is a surge of fat in the body and the body fails to understand what to do with it. So, it starts saving it for future use. Also, processed foods are high in sugar, which is not good for the fat-burning enzymes that are present in your body, lipase. Apart from sugar, they have high sodium content as well. If you have started eating fatty food, then you better watch out.
Try avoiding fast foods and sugar-rich desserts instead have baked chips and low-fat desserts, if you must.
Dehydration can compromise many biological functions, including metabolism. If you are trying to lose weight, but depriving yourself of water, then your metabolic rate will slow down dramatically and affects the number of calories burnt.
To combat slowdown of cellular function, drink enough water and maintain an optimum metabolic rate. But, how much water then should you drink? A report published by the University of Utah College of Medicine revealed that those who drank about 8-12 glasses of water per day burned more calories than those who drank less. So, keep a bottle handy and keep yourself hydrated and metabolic rate under check.
So, it is time to get rid yourself of these bad habits, to stay on track of leading a healthy life and losing weight. After all, compromising on health has never done good to anyone!
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