If you are one that often runs into problems when trying to lose weight, you would probably wonder if your sluggish metabolism is to blame and whether there is any way to improve it. Well, you’d be glad to know that your metabolism is not set in stone and that a few simple tweaks to your body’s natural composition, eating habits and sleeping pattern can provide a positive boost to your metabolism.
It is normal for those who are looking to lose weight to become obsessed with the digits on the weighing scale and thus, do whatever it takes to see the numbers plummet. This includes going on a crazy, sometimes extreme diet, trying out every new fancy slimming product to hit the shelves or just focusing on cardio exercises in order to achieve their ideal weight. However, if you have been zapping those fats and shedding those extra kilos without gaining for yourself any muscles, we regret to inform you that you are not doing your metabolism any favours. Rather, you are actually presenting them with more harm than good.
Why so? You see, science has proven that weight loss may cause your metabolism to slow down. Does that mean you should stop exercising and put to halt any attempts to lose weight? Absolutely not! Several studies have reported that people who put on weight before going on to lose them burn fewer calories as compared to those who do not experience any weight gain in the first place. Thus, these findings dictate that you should be striving to gain muscle as you slim down to trick your body into thinking that no weight fluctuation is actually taking place. Additionally, as you continue to improve your body composition, your metabolism naturally improves together with it.
As such, you should look to incorporate some strength training workouts into your fitness regime at least twice or thrice a week to work on that muscle mass of yours. At the same time, do not skip your meals and make sure that you are constantly supplying yourself with a healthy dose of lean protein at every meal to successfully build better quality muscles. Additionally, you should steer away from the fancy diets or any exclusive fast-fix weight loss programs for that matter. More often than not, these contemporary methods and techniques cause your weight to fluctuate wildly and do your metabolism more harm than any long-term good.
Take Smaller but More Frequent Meals
Who says you have to eat less when aiming to lose weight? On the contrary, studies have shown that not consuming enough may result in a slower metabolism. As we are all aware by now, a slower metabolism is one of the main triggers for weight gain. Having said that, however, this metabolic issue can be a tricky problem to fix as, throughout the course of the studies, researchers are also aware that an increased number of eating episodes in a day can ultimately lead to a sudden spike in calorie intake during the course of the day.
Lucky for us, these researchers have found a workaround solution to tackle this sneaky metabolic problem — eat more frequently during the day but in smaller portions. By increasing your meals over the course of the day, you are more likely to suppress your appetite and prevent yourself from feeling famished, thereby circumventing the temptation to snack or binge. In fact, many fitness personalities, as well as the average dieters alike, have found the technique of eating small meals every two to three hours to be effective in curbing their appetite and aiding them in their weight loss goals. However, it is also equally important for you to be mindful of your food portion to ensure that you are eating too much in a single sitting, else it will just hand you with the direct opposite result of what you were originally aiming for. Additionally, if losing weight is your ultimate goal, it will be helpful if you were to keep track of your calorie intake and ensure that you reach a calorie deficit daily despite the number of meals that you plan to take each day.
Get Enough Sleep
Tucking yourself in early and getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is an important habit that cannot be stressed upon enough. Having an irregular sleep-wake cycle and not getting enough sleep can lead to a sluggish metabolism, not to mention the havoc it does to your hormones and before long, you’d likely to notice those pesky red spots popping up uncontrollably on your face.
While you may come across some articles claiming that your body may burn an additional five per cent more calories in a day when you force yourself to remain awake after a poor night’s rest, we tend to overeat and consume extra calories for the day to compensate for the energy slump. In addition, your hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, gets in the play and triggers your body to crave for salty or sweet savoury food just to maintain a steady source of energy throughout the day. This is why it is ever so important to clock in at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Switching off your smart devices or charging them away from your bed can also help you obtain better quality shut-eye.