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10 Mistakes That Make Your Metabolism Sluggish

effects of slow metabolism

    Do you gain weight even though you are physically active?

    Are you unable to reach your ideal weight despite working out for hours and maintaining a low-calorie diet?

    If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you might have a slower metabolism.

    Metabolism is the ability of our body to burn calories from the consumed food and convert them into energy. If your metabolism is slow, you can’t lose those extra pounds no matter how hard you try. Apart from weight issues, a slower metabolism has a negative impact on health too. It is really important to maintain a good metabolic rate to stay healthy.

    Though base metabolism differs from person to person and slows down with aging, there are few mistakes which negatively affect metabolism.

    Below are the 10 mistakes that can actually slow down your metabolism

    You don’t eat Enough

    To lose weight it is important to cut calories, but this shouldn’t be overdone. When calories are cut down drastically in a short period of time, people may feel lighter and thinner initially. But in reality, they are losing good weight and key nutrients but not fat. Eating too few calories forces the body to go into starvation mode and uses muscle mass as fuel which slows down metabolism. This even leads to nutritional deficiencies and can have a negative impact on health.

    You don’t Drink Enough Water

    Metabolism depends on the amount of water you intake. When the body lacks adequate amounts of water, metabolism slows down and decreases the number of calories burnt. So, make sure to drink 8 glasses of water per day to boost up your metabolism.

    You binge on processed Foods

    Processed foods are packed with preservatives and chemicals that make food last longer. But these offer nothing good to our body except the toxins which slow down metabolism.  Besides slowing down the metabolism, consuming a lot of processed foods leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes.

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    Your food is coated with Pesticides

    The chemicals present in the pesticides that cover your food has adverse effects on metabolism. Exposure to pesticides has been linked to thyroid problems. This leads to slow down the metabolism, as thyroid is responsible for regulating it.  So try to get as much organic food as possible to make keep the metabolism going.

    Your diet lacks Protein

    The amount of protein in the diet changes the way the body stores the calories. Protein has a huge impact on body-fat percentage. Muscle mass increases the metabolism while fat slows down it. So, watch the amount of protein in the diet that helps build muscles, which in turn increases the metabolism.

    You completely cut out Carbs

    One should take a low-carb diet in order to lose weight. But this doesn’t mean that you completely eliminate carbohydrates from the diet. Carbohydrates are that source of energy which builds muscle by using protein from the diet. They are essential to absorb the protein present in the consumed diet and grow muscle. Without carbohydrates, metabolism slows down and protein cannot be absorbed. People who exercise regularly require enough carbs as muscles demand glycogen from carbohydrate stores in the body during exercise. If they don’t consume enough carbohydrates, the glycogen levels drop which decreases the energy levels required for exercise.

    You don’t include Dairy Products

    Calcium deficiency has been linked to slowed metabolism. Calcium present in the dairy products may reduce the absorption of fat from other foods. Dairy products are a rich source of quality proteins that help to build muscle mass which is essential to boost metabolism and maintain the lean muscle.

    You lack Quality Sleep

    Deprived sleep leads to many health issues and slows down the metabolism. This can burn fewer calories and increase the appetite which in turn increases the cortisol levels, the hormone that stores fat. One should take at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night for good metabolism. Staying up late at night and using electronics an hour before going to sleep disrupts the sleep patterns and slows down the metabolism.

    You lead a Sedentary Lifestyle

    Being physically active is really important to boost metabolism. People who are inactive at work and sitting down at the desk all day have a slower metabolism. Though a balanced diet and a daily workout can keep the metabolism functioning, it is important to get some time to take a walk every hour to keep it going. Besides regular cardio workout, a strength training workout helps build muscle mass and can actually boost the metabolism.

    You are Vitamin D deficient

    Vitamin D is important to maintain metabolic health. People who get the most sunlight early in the day have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to those who get it later in the day. Vitamin D helps to preserve the muscle tissue that speeds up the metabolism. Hence one with vitamin D deficiency has a slower metabolism.


    Dr.Moka Praneeth

    • MD Medicine (AIIMS), DM Gastroenterology (AIIMS)
    • Consultant Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist
    • 7 Years of Experience
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