5 Mistakes slowing metabolism and how to boost metabolism fast

5 Mistakes Slowing Your Metabolism & Easy Fixes to Boost Metabolism for Good

5 Mistakes slowing metabolism and how to boost metabolism fast

If you feel like your metabolism is more sluggish than it should be, you are not alone. After age 30, metabolism begins to decline by about three to five percent every decade, mostly due to a loss of lean body mass. But you don’t have to just accept a slow metabolism. You also don’t have to kill yourself with diet and exercise to raise in.

Many of us are making simple mistakes every day that slow our metabolism. By understand what these metabolism mistakes are, you can easily correct them to boost your metabolism naturally practically overnight.

Raising metabolism isn’t always about what you are eating or how much you exercise. Here are the top five mistakes slowing your metabolism and easy fixes for each to boost your metabolism naturally for good.

Metabolism Mistake #1: You aren’t drinking enough water

How much water should you drink a day?
How much water should you drink a day?

If you are even just slightly dehydrated, your metabolism can start to slow. Not to mention, when you are dehydrated, energy drops, appetite increases, and food cravings can start to be out of control – all things that are a recipe for overeating & potential weight gain. So you need to make sure you are drinking enough water every day. One study found just drinking 17 ounces of water can increase metabolism directly after by as much as 30%.

So how much water do you truly need to ensure you are well-hydrated? It can vary on your individual needs, but a good Rule of Thumb is a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily plus an extra 8 ounces of every 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity. To determine your exact water needs, check out my blog post How Much Water Should You Really Drink a Day?

Need a reminder to drink more? Try leaving a water bottle out where you see it all day long. Here’s the water bottle I love to carry with me.

Metabolism Mistake #2: You’re Too Focused on Cardio

woman jogging how too much cardio can slow metabolism and how to boost metabolism fast

Don’t get me wrong, cardiovascular exercise has many benefits including helping to promote a healthy heart. But it doesn’t help you to build much muscle mass. And since the number one reason your metabolism slows with age is due to loss of muscle, you need to make sure you focus on building muscle back every day.

When comparing muscle vs fat, at rest a pound of fat burns two calories per day. while a pound of muscle burns six calories, or three times as much as fat. Sure neither burn a huge amount of calories at rest. But when you multiple this by 365 days in a year, it can really add up:

3 pounds of fat x 2 calories per pound = 6 calories per day

6 calories/day x 365 days in a year = 2190 calories

3 pounds of muscle x 6 calories per pound = 18 calories per day

18 calories/day x 365 days in a year = 6570 calories

That equals 4380 extra calories burned per year, or about 1.25 pounds.

Now these numbers aren’t going to make or break your weight loss efforts, but if you consider that focusing only on cardio can lead to muscle loss year after year it’s possible over time you can be eating the exact same foods and exercising just as much while your weight slowly starts to increase.

To prevent this, aim to include resistance training at least two to three times per week. This can be lifting free weights, using your own body weight to do exercises like push-ups and pull ups, or even incorporating light arm and ankle weights when you walk. You can pick up a set of resistance bands to keep with you at home and at work to help you fit in weight training no matter how busy your day gets.

Do you want to know an extra trick to really fire up your metabolism? When you lift weights, focus on slowing down the lowering action of the weight (eccentric motion). This tiny adjustment was found to increase resting metabolism by five to nine percent in just 8 weeks!

Want even MORE easy ways to boost metabolism naturally overnight? Then make sure to grab my free cheat sheet here

Metabolism Mistake #3: You are too focused on how long you exercise versus how you exercise

Runner using smartwatch jogging in snow trail in forest. winter weather closeup. Female athlete checking her cardio with a heart rate monitor during workout outside in running park.

Hey I get it. We have all been conditioned to aim for that 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day. And while that is important, your goal when exercising shouldn’t just be about how long you move. The intensity of your workout matters much more when it comes to increasing metabolism.

The best exercise to boost metabolism is HIIT training: High Intensity Interval Training. This is a form of exercise where you alternate between periods of high intensity exercise followed by periods of low intensity exercise or rest.

One study found that when compared to people who were exercising at a moderate intensity for 40 minutes three times per week, those who performed HIIT training for just 20 minutes three times per week lost six additional pounds while experiencing a greater increase in post-exercise metabolism.

So I can work out less AND burn more calorie? YES! When you do it right, HIIT training can save you time while giving you faster results. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you walk on a treadmill for 40 minutes every day at 3.5 mph. Instead, you would walk for 20 minutes using this pattern: 1 minute walk at 3 mph, 1 minute jog at 6 mph, 1 minute walk at 3 mph, 1 minute jog at 6 mph, etc repeating the pattern for the full duration. To help start a HIIT routine, use a good stop watch or the timer on your phone to keep track of your intervals.

And speed isn’t the only way to vary exercise intensity. You can alternate between walking on a flat surface and walking at an incline. Or you can jump rope for one minute, rest for a minute, and repeat. Just keep in mind, HIIT isn’t for everyone. Always discuss your exercise plans and goals with your medical doctor first before starting or changing any exercise routine to make sure it is appropriate for you.

Metabolism Mistake #4: You aren’t eating enough protein

Food high in protein on table, close-up

OK, I am not advocating for an all protein diet here. Or a diet with no carbs at all (actually cutting all carbs can slow metabolism too- but that’s a topic for another day). But protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient, which means it burns more calories in digestion than carbs or fat. So if you don’t eat enough, you can be missing out on the metabolism boosting benefits.

Digestion makes up part of your basal metabolic rate – the calories you burn at rest each day. The amount of calories you burn during digestion can vary widely – from as little as 100 to as much as 800. This of course depends on many things – like how many calories you eat each day. But it also depends on how easy or hard it is to breakdown the food you eat.

For instance, simple sugars digest rapidly, so few calories are burned in the process. High fiber foods make your body work harder in digestion, so you burn more calories. The same is true with protein.

The recommendations for protein are to eat between 15 to 30 percent of your calories from protein. So let’s say you eat 2000 calories per day, that would be between 300- 600 calories from protein per day.

Now about 30 percent of the calories from protein are burned up in digestion. So if you are eating 300 protein calories per day, you probably burn 90 calories digesting it. If you are eating 600 calories from protein, you are burning 180 calories in digestion. Using these numbers, you can see how even if you keep your total calorie intake consistent, increasing from 15% of calories from protein to 30% can help you to burn about 90 additional calories per day- without doing anything else.

A food scale can be a great way to help you track your protein intake to make sure you are getting enough.

Bonus tip: Make sure to eat a good source of protein within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise (especially after resistance exercise). This is the window when muscle uptakes protein the best, which can help to promote faster muscle growth.

Metabolism Mistake #5: You are consuming too much OR too little caffeine

Coffee cup and beans on a white background.

Ok coffee lovers, this one is for you! Before you panic, I am not telling you to give up caffeine. Trust me- being six months pregnant with a preschooler and toddler running around I completely understand the need for caffeine. In small amounts, caffeine offers many benefits. It can make you more alert, give you more energy, and it can boost metabolism.

Some research suggests that moderate caffeine intake can increase metabolism by five to eight percent. So having no caffeine at all can be holding you back from boosting your metabolism. But here’s where it get’s tricky. Too much caffeine can have a negative impact on metabolism.

When you have too much caffeine (the threshold here is between 300mg to 400mg per day which is what you find in roughly 16-20 ounces of coffee) it becomes a stressor to the body. When this happens, the body produces excess stress hormones like cortisol which store fat- specifically belly fat! On top of this, too much caffeine suppressed serotonin production in the brain, the feel good chemical that elevates mood.

Not only can this cause a decline in mood, but it can also increase the risk of insomnia. And I am sure you know how you feel after a sleepless night. Poor sleep leads fatigue, an increased appetite, and increased food cravings. One study found poor sleep can cause you to eat as many as 385 extra calories a day! Plus less sleep increases the rate in which you breakdown muscle tissue, accelerating the slowing of metabolism.

So what’s the bottom line on caffeine? Don’t give it up, just don’t overdo it. One to two cups of coffee per day (I’m talking 8 ounce cups here) gives you the benefits without the down side.

Want even MORE easy ways to boost metabolism naturally overnight? Then make sure to grab my free cheat sheet here

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