In the 21st century, everything is slimmer and humans are following that thread. I am not much for ‘slimmer’ but I always say “If you are adding weight you can’t explain, ask the right questions”.
In this article, I am going to be looking at 5 mistakes we make when it comes to our eating habits and lifestyle and how these habits slow down our metabolism and as such lead to weight gain. I don’t intend to bore us all (not that I could if I tried) so let’s get into it.
EATING TOO FEW CALORIES
This is a bummer because it creeps up when we do not take note. All our lives we have been told that reducing your caloric intake will reduce your weight but here is the rub; when your caloric intake drops too low, your body sees that there is not much coming in the way of food so it actually slows down the rate at which it burns calories – ergo, you are starving and yet unable to lose weight. This explains a lot because I have seen people who say they are adding weight and yet do not eat.
This mistake can be avoided by knowing your target weight and aiming to take in calories that support that. Even if you want to lose some of them pounds, know your target weight and reduce calories accordingly – starvation is not healthy and it barely works.
EATING LITTLE PROTEINS
Proteins are called building blocks for a reason and they are extremely important if you are to maintain a healthy metabolic rate. In Nigeria however, we load up on the rice and take a small piece of protein as accompaniment and this is not how it should be. When you do not eat enough proteins, metabolism slows down significantly and that does you more harm than good.
Yes we are told to reduce on the red meats and if you are vegan like me, how do you get your proteins? The answer is this; Beans, Seeds (Chia, Hemp, Flax), Nuts! These are pocket friendly things you can buy and boost your protein intake without filling up your stomach. Foods high in proteins also tend to keep you fuller for longer so cravings are greatly reduced.
Sadly, that is the case with many of us today. We sit in the office all day and we barely get any physical activities done (we call this enjoyment…smh). Your body doesn’t see it like that because the less calories your burn, the slower the rate at which your body metabolizes.
What is suggested here is to pack more activities into your life. Join a dance class, start working out, go for a jog, climb the stairs even if you find yourself on an escalator, park your car a few blocks from your office and walk (mind the neighbourhood though). The more activities you do, the higher your metabolic rate.
NOT ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep is extremely important for good health. Apart from the fact that getting less sleep than you need can lead to a number of diseases, it can also screw with your metabolism. Experts say that most of the weight we lose when we begin an exercise program will be lost in the time we spend sleeping – how about that?
The recommended daily allowance for sleep is 6 – 8 hours and consistently going below this poses all round risks to your body functions.
CONSUMING PROCESSED SUGARS
If you want to enjoy sweet tastes on your tongue, go for sugar canes and Dates. There are other natural sweeteners such as honey which are actually beneficial to the body. Sodas and fizzy drinks – if you do not understand what I mean by that, I mean ‘Mineral’ and all these juice packs are not good for us; they do more harm to our bodies in the short and long run that if we were paying attention, we would quit them in an instant.
Processed sugars such as are found in fizzy drinks account for a percentage of obesity cases we have in the world today. These substances reduce metabolic rate and increase fat storage in the belly in liver.
Yes we all want to look good by keeping our weight right. This is all well and good but most times we use our hand to block our own road.
Using the information above, we can better understand how our lifestyle affects our metabolism and we can adjust accordingly. So here is to making better life choices… Cheers.