You may have already noticed your metabolism slowing as you age. According to research in the Public Health Nutrition journal, you’re right. In a review of data on energy expenditure, researchers found getting older is associated with progressive declines in basal metabolic rate. On top of that, many daily habits can drain your metabolism even further.
But you don’t have to go down without a fight. Below are six habits to cut out, and notice your metabolism and your energy levels grow.
1. Eating The Wrong Breakfast
There’s more to it than just eating something in the morning. By grabbing a sugary muffin or croissant on the way to work, you’re setting yourself up for a crash later. Instead choose something containing filling, containing lean protein. Opt for eggs, Greek yogurt, or whole meal toast with peanut butter.
2. Sitting Too Much
Going from your office chair to your car daily can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, eventually slowing your metabolism down and lowering your energy levels. According to the UK’s National Health Service, “Sitting for long periods is thought to slow metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.”
3. Not Enough Strength Training
Cardio and body weight HIIT is great and can burn a quick amount of calories in a short space of time. But once you finish, the calories you burn quickly goes down. When you do resistance based workouts, your calorie burn when building lean muscle keep burning more calories – even when you’re resting. The more active muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE): a pound of muscle burns an additional 4–6 calories daily compared to a pound of fat.
4. Stressing Out
When we are in a stressful state, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. Excessive levels of cortisol lead to an increased appetite for cravings, sugary foods, and a decreased desire to exercise – all leading to a negative impact on your metabolism. So while we sometimes can’t control our stress levels all the time, managing your stress can go a long way.
5. Not Getting Sleep
One bad night’s sleep is enough to make you feel sluggish, can cause a rise in cortisol levels and cause us to make poor eating choices. String together several nights in a row — or a lifetime of inadequate sleep — and science shows decreased metabolism and hormonal imbalances may follow.
6. Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein feeds your muscles, increases satiety and is an overall important component to encourage a healthy weight balance. Eating too little would probably reduce recovery and growth for muscle mass – and we know how important muscles are when increasing our metabolism. Also, protein requires more energy to digest than carbs or fat, so you’ll burn more calories when your body breaks down protein.