Behaviors that Lower Your Metabolic Rate
You’re probably switching to a low-glycemic diet in an effort to lose weight, and congratulations, you’ve made a smart and healthy choice. But along with the food you eat, the activity you do or don’t do affects your metabolism and the rate at which you burn calories. You want to boost your metabolism and increase your lean muscle mass, but several behaviors can set you back.
If you want to boost your metabolic rate, don’t do these at home — or anywhere:
Skip meals: The problem with skipping meals is that your body begins to compensate for this bad behavior. Without you even realizing it, your body is decreasing your overall metabolic rate to match the down times when it’s not getting the energy it needs. (Ever wonder why you sometimes feel less hungry when you skip breakfast? Now you know.) You’re also losing out on the little peaks in metabolism that come with digestion.
If you’re a notorious meal-skipper, you may need more than that knowledge to motivate you to eat regular meals. Following are the benefits of not skipping meals:
Increased metabolic rate
Improved energy levels
Easier weight loss
A better mood
Eat too few calories: Eating a very-low-calorie diet can be extremely harmful to your body’s metabolism. If you dip too low in your calorie intake, your body simply compensates by decreasing your overall metabolic rate, which can ultimately hinder your weight-loss goals.
Many weight-loss programs prescribe very-low-calorie diets (1,000 calories or less) to help you lose excess pounds. Although your body decreases its metabolic rate to compensate for this lower calorie level, your body may turn to lean body tissue, or muscle, for energy. This decrease in overall lean body mass lowers your metabolic rate even further.
The other issue with getting too few calories is that the minute you go off the low-calorie diet, your body celebrates by putting the pounds right back on.
To avoid falling into the trap of eating too few calories, remember this: You still have to eat in order to lose weight. Yes, this statement may go against all other dieting concepts you’ve encountered, but you’re seeking a long-term weight-loss solution, not a short-term fad diet.