When it comes to healthy weight loss, there are several factors to consider, and one of the most important is metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which food is converted into energy in the body’s cells. Those with faster metabolism tend to burn more fat, making it easier to maintain a healthy calorie deficit and lose weight.
However, there are still some common mistakes that can slow your metabolism and hinder your weight loss success, particularly if you’re a woman over 40. To help you avoid these mistakes, here are the four most common diet and exercise mistakes that can make your metabolism less effective.
1. Not exercising enough
One of the worst things you can do for your metabolism is not to exercise enough. This is because you run the risk of losing muscle mass which stokes your metabolism, and burns more calories than fat.
You should work out at least 250 minutes per week, or roughly 25 minutes per day if you want to boost your metabolism.
Getting enough exercise helps you maintain your muscle mass, burns calories, and keeps your metabolism running at full speed.
Exercising helps burn energy and makes you take in more oxygen which is all good for keeping your metabolism strong.
2. Not lifting weights
One exercise you should specifically add to your workout regime moving forward is weight lifting. While you may be afraid of bulking up after you lift weights, which is not likely to happen, weight lifting is crucial for strengthening your metabolism.
Muscle burns 10 times as many calories per pound as fat. So you’re better off lifting weights and creating more muscle, [to] burn more calories.
3. Eating too many processed foods
When it comes to what you eat, removing processed foods from your diet is crucial. Processed foods are inflammatory, and easily digested and absorbed, which means your body doesn’t have to work at all to break it down. This means you’re more likely to add more fat cells to your body and slow down your metabolism.
Instead, eat more unprocessed foods. We know this might be tricky so even just eating less processed food can be a metabolism game changer.
Unprocessed and less processed foods tend to be lower in calories, which means you don’t have to worry as much about the excess calories you might be taking in.
4. Not staying hydrated enough
One of the best things you can do for your gut, skin, and metabolism is to drink water. And lots of it.
Hydration helps keep your metabolism going as it helps move oxygenated blood throughout your body and into your cells, including your muscle cells. This keeps your metabolism strong. If you are dehydrated, even by 1% or 2%, you’ll feel more tired and lethargic and less likely to move which also slows down your metabolism.
By drinking enough water, you keep blood and oxygen moving throughout your body. This allows your body to work more effectively and burn energy as best it can [keep] your metabolism revved up.
When it comes to losing weight, you want to make sure you’re doing it the right way. Don’t fall for toxic diet fads and don’t deprive your body of the nutrients that are essential for your body to function. If you’re worried about your metabolism, talk to your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. But, a great first step towards boosting your metabolism is to avoid these everyday mistakes listed above.