9 Unhealthy Habits That Are Slowing Your Metabolism

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Be it staying at home for months at a stretch (due to lockdown) or working from home, our metabolism does take a hit. The reason being we think that this is the perfect time for us to relax, spend time with family and enjoy special flavors at home. Also, your fitness schedule takes a backseat which further adds to the oodles of weight and a slower metabolism. However hard we may try, it seems difficult to resist the temptations around us and before we know, we fall prey to some holiday weight gain. 

In the world we live today, our lifestyles can actually slow down our metabolism. And what is surprising is the fact that these are some of the daily activities. Knowing about your so-called unhealthy habits can get things on the right track and boost your metabolism. . Here are some surprising ways you could be slowing down yours:

1. Skipping Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Never skip breakfast. Having breakfast regularly helps to jump start your internal metabolic engines. 

Also remember that a healthy day starts with a healthy decision. Though easier said than done, if you resolve to start your day on a healthy note and avoid binge eating throughout the day, chances are that you will stick to your diet plan and take in less calories than you would have if you skipped your breakfast.

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2. Not Eating Enough

Yes you heard that right, crazy diets or starving yourself actually slows down metabolism. As the body is deprived of food, it reduces the rate at which calories are used up and instead starts storing extra calories as a back-up for food scarcity. Fat deposits in the belly and hip area is a common result of crash diets or reduced food intake.

3. Sitting For Too Long

Desk jobs mean that we spend most of our waking hours in front of a computer with very little reason to move around. Increase your daily number of steps to at-least 10000 to enjoy a healthy metabolism. Walk up stairs, or take a short walk after lunch or consider a standing desk if your job involves spending hours in front of a computer.

4. Not Sleeping Enough

Burning the midnight oil doesn’t just make you cranky and groggy the next day, it also reduces your resting metabolic rate (calories burnt by the body during resting) by up to 8%. It also increases the chances of weight gain along with adverse effects on cognitive processing.

5. Having Sugary Drinks

If you enjoy colas, chilled coffee drinks and others ready to consume high in sugar drinks, then be prepared for the very real consequence of a drop in metabolic rate. Consumption of High in Fructose drinks and foods can significantly reduce metabolic rates and increase accumulation of fat in the belly. Watch out before drinking that glass of chocolate flavored coffee or cashew topped lassi. If you treat yourself with these sugary drinks, then make sure you drink in moderation.

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6. Not Drinking Water in the Morning

The body can be severely dehydrated after a full night’s sleep. The body’s metabolic rate slows down when we sleep, as vital functions such as repair and restoration are carried out at night. Not drinking water first thing in the morning means the body hasn’t received any fluids for hours. A cup of coffee or tea only dehydrates the body further. Kick-start your metabolism with 2-3 glasses of water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

The idea is to stay hydrated so the habit of drinking more water can keep you from gaining weight. Drinking water 45 mins before food will help you cut down on gulping extra calories. Water can also help to deal with your sudden food cravings, increase metabolism and suppress your appetite.

7. Ditching The Sun

Most office spaces today rely on artificial light all day every day. And when you are working from home, you are further confined to the inner corners of your room rather than sitting in a balcony or living room. 

This is not a good idea, because our body cycle or circadian rhythm is dependent on Sunlight. Most of us don’t get enough sunlight. Due to absence of sunlight the levels of Vitamin D in our body reduce, thus slowing down our metabolism. Spend 30 minutes in the sun every day to increase levels of Vitamin D. The ideal time for the body to synthesize Vitamin D is early morning.

8. Too Much Alcohol

Drinking an alcoholic drink can cause the body to burn less fat. The sugar in alcohol is easier for the body to burn and so the fat in your body is burned much slowly. 2-3 drinks can reduce metabolism by up to 70%, until the alcohol is used by and out of the system. So drink in moderation.

9. Having Late Dinner

Eating close to bedtime means the body does not have adequate time to digest the food and when you sleep metabolism slows down leading to accumulation of fat. Try eating meals at fixed hours and eat dinner at 2-2.5 hours before sleeping.

**Consult India’s best doctors and nutritionists here**

Good metabolism means fewer diseases due to better immunity, efficient usage of calories therefore no unnecessary weight gain. It also means high levels of energy and a body that is functioning optimally, which in turn can help to stay energized and healthy.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)

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