Experts agree, there’s quite a few benefits to having a fast metabolism. As one of the key factors that keep people feeling healthy and energized, a speedy metabolism is oftentimes a top priority—regardless of fitness level or body type. However, many of us unknowingly slow down our metabolisms, which can leave us feeling lethargic and even be a major setback for those looking to shed pounds. So, we tapped nutritionist to the stars (Bella Hadid and Adriana Lima included!) Dr. Charles Passler for the hidden habits that can cause a sluggish metabolism. Read on!
Eating an “Extreme Breakfast”
Even though we’ve heard this time and time again, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, most of us don’t fuel ourselves correctly in the morning. “Many people come to me on the latest fad diet and their breakfasts may be high in protein and low in carbs or high in carbs and low protein, or they may not even eat until lunchtime,” explains Dr. Passler. “Unfortunately, if they don’t get enough carbs at breakfast, then they can’t fuel their metabolism. If they don’t get enough protein, they can’t maintain muscle mass and that’ll lower their metabolism.” As a rule of thumb, Dr. Passer says to find a balance of a 30/30/40 ratio when it comes to the percentage of calories from protein, fats and carbs each morning.
Not Getting Enough Shut-Eye
“Sleep deprivation impairs blood sugar metabolism and hormone balance essential to a healthy metabolism,” explains Dr. Passler. “If you’re concerned about shedding the pounds, get a solid eight hours sleep in a totally dark room to assure the best quality sleep and optimal metabolism.”
We’re all guilty of crash dieting every so often before big events or vacation, however, this habit could be doing more harm than good. “It would seem to make sense that eating less calories would make you lose weight, but doing it in an abrupt fashion may actually lower your metabolism and make you gain even more weight back after crash dieting,” warns Dr. Passler. So, before you commit to a fast or any sudden food restrictions, contact a nutritionist to ensure it’s a healthy choice for your body.
Forgetting to Hydrate
“Most people don’t even recognize they are dehydrated until they’re thirsty, and by that point they’re severely in need of rehydration,” explains Dr. Passler. “The biggest mistake is thinking that fruit juices, sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages are good sources of hydration. Many times, these beverages will promote excess urination and dehydrate you even more.” Long story short, drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated—after all, the benefits are endless.
Ignoring Stress Levels
According to Dr. Passler, there’s a biochemical price to pay if you stress out too much. “Approximately two minutes after you experience a stressful event, your body begins to produce a stress hormone known as cortisol. If you get too stressed out, you produce too much and it can inhibit thyroid function and metabolism,” Dr. Passler explains. “The next time you experience something stressful, immediately inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth for five breaths. This has been shown to blunt your production of cortisol and maintain your metabolism.”