We have all been there. You are working out, doing your best, eating healthy, and still, you don’t see the results that you are expecting on the scale. On the other hand, we have that one friend who eats whatever he/she wants doesn’t work out as much and is still skinny.
The reason behind this; metabolism.
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism is a series of chemical processes that your body does to preserve life, burn calories, and fat. Individuals with a fast metabolic process have an easier way to stay in shape, toned, loose fat, and overall stay energized. In contrast, people with slow metabolisms might eat healthy, excersice, and do everything they can to stay in shape but notice really poor results.
Am I Slowing Down My Metabolism?
As I have shared before, I used to battle with overweight, and slow metabolism. It took me about 2 years to figure out ways to speed up my metabolic rate and lose all the extra weight. Unfortunately, I had to battle some bad habits (that many of us do) that were keeping me from reaching my goals.
1.- Cutting Calories: Most people are guilty of this one when going on a diet. We restrict ourselves and believe that by eating 800 calories per day we will lose those extra 20 pounds in 2 weeks. Reality is that when you restrict your body and cut off calories, your metabolism goes slower, stores more fat, and keeps you from losing weight. The reason behind this is that your body goes into a survival mode and thinks that it has to preserve energy and fat to endure famine. Best way to beat this is eating a small/healthy snack between meals to keep your metabolism going.
2.- You Are Not Sleeping Enough: Not sleeping enough or going to bed really late messes up with your health more than you can possibly imagine. Not only does it make you tired and restless, but it also increases your need to consume sugary meals to keep you energized and alert. According to recent studies, people that go to bed later have a 15% higher risk to become obese than people who sleep early. So if you want to lose those extra pounds, make an effort and go to bed earlier.
3.- You Skip Weight Training: For many years I was guilty of this. I thought that weight training would make me feel heavier, gain weight, and look manly. I spent hours on the treadmill and on the bike not noticing any results. The reason; I was not building any muscle that would help me burn calories while I was resting. Strength training is the way to a faster metabolism and muscle growth. Studies suggest that people that do strength/weights training a minimum of 3 times a week have a faster metabolism than those who don’t, enabling them to burn more fat and calories with less effort. An easy way to implement this to your routine can be to add leg weights to your power walk to do both things at the same time.
4.- You Skip Coffee: Another good reason to drink coffee is the fact that it boosts your metabolism and helps you lose extra pounds. Caffeine enhances your metabolism, gives you energy, and if consumed before working out, it can help you burn more fat. If you dislike caffeine you can switch to green tea and will have similar results. A good trick is to drink a cup of it 20 minutes before your workout to see maximum results.
5.- You Are Having A Lot Of Sugar: I have said this before but sugar was one of the biggest causes for my weight gain during my college years in California. I was sleeping little, waking up late, skipping breakfast, and packing on sugary lattes and muffins at school to survive and not fall asleep. It was like a vicious cycle. Then I moved back to Mexico and started slowly cutting off sugar. As I eliminated sugar from my diet, other bad habits were going away with it. My skin got clear, I dropped almost 50 pounds, slept better, got rid of brain fog, eased my cravings, and overall became a healthier version of myself.
Sugar is worse for you than you realize and you don’t realize it until you don’t consume it anymore. Sugary drinks go right into your blood system causing an increase in sugar in the blood. But it goes down after a couple of hours and requires more sugar to function. Hence, the cycle continues. Quitting sugar doesn’t happen overnight but once you do it, you won’t regret it. Replacing sugary drinks with stevia, and sweets with fruits is a great way to decrease your sugar intake and improve your health.
We understand that making healthy changes in your life can be way harder than it sounds. However, remember that building a healthy life is a marathon, not a sprint, so make steady changes one at the time to get better results. Remember, when it comes to taking care of yourself and improving your health, all efforts are worth it!
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