You may have tweaked your diet a lot in hopes of getting the best out of your self-made weight-loss program. However, there could be an underlying rule behind the weight-loss methods you’ve heard of. A healthy diet is not all about cutting back on the food you eat. You should also be aware of what slows down and what speeds up your metabolism. Here are some diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism.
1. Avoiding Dairy Products and Lack in Protein
You should know by now that you need protein in order build muscle. When you avoid dairy products, you’re also avoiding the whey and casein found in dairy. Whey is responsible for boosting protein synthesis thereby aiding in muscle formation, while casein stops protein breakdown while maintaining your lean mass. Muscle is responsible for keeping your metabolism working and calcium deficiency can slow down your metabolism. Research suggests that women who consume 3-7 servings of dairy per day lost more fat and gained more muscle compared to those who consume less.
2. Snacking on the Wrong Food
Even the snacks you eat can have a tremendous effect on the state of your metabolism. Instead of opting for a low-calorie snack, try snacking on some nuts. Nuts, especially walnuts, were found to enhance the activity of certain genes that control fat burning due to the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in them. So if you want to continue burning calories throughout the day, reach for a handful of walnuts per day.
3. Using Sea Salt Instead of Iodized Salt
Sea salt definitely tastes better than iodized salt but it lacks a key element for controlling metabolism: iodine. If your thyroid gland does not get enough iodine, it cannot produce thyroid hormones efficiently, thereby slowing down your metabolism. So opt for iodized salt instead, and include iodine-rich foods such as eggs, shrimp, or seaweed in your diet.
4. Drinking Room Temperature Water
If you want to boost your metabolism, drink cold water. Doing so would get your body to work more in order to heat up the cold water to body temperature. The extra work would raise your resting metabolism by up to 50 calories per day if you drink six cups of cold water daily.
While it is true that you need to cut calories in order to lose weight, overdoing it would be more harmful than not to your health and metabolism especially later on when you eat. When your body is not getting enough calories for basic biological function, your body slows down your metabolism in order to conserve energy. Your body will also use up calorie-burning muscle tissues instead to make up for the energy that was not gained through calories. So later on when you eat, your metabolism would be extremely sluggish. This is especially unbeneficial for those who don’t eat that much but overeat later in the day.
6. Eating “Bad” Carbs
Choose the carbs you eat. Opt for fibers instead of white carbs for fibers can boost your metabolism by up to 30%. You can get the fibers you need from whole wheat bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables.
7. You Don’t Eat Organic
Non-organic fruits and vegetables are contaminated with high levels of pesticides which slow down your metabolism and interfere with your body’s energy-burning process. Although it requires more investment, choose organic when buying your fruits and vegetables. It’s both healthier and safer.
8. Avoiding Caffeine
Caffeine is a known stimulant and that means it boosts your energy as well as your metabolism. There are different sources of caffeine, not just coffee. Caffeine is also found in tea, cocoa or chocolate, and carbonated drinks. For a healthier option, stick with tea. Coffee’s health benefits are still open for debate, after all. Research shows that a cup of tea can boost your metabolism by up to 12% due to the antioxidant catechins found in tea.
9. You lack vitamin D
Vitamin D is responsible for preserving your calorie-burning muscle tissues. Thus, a lack in vitamin D will slow down your metabolism. You can get your vitamin D from tuna, shrimp, fortified milk and cereal, eggs, and more.