A slowing metabolism is a real burden. t only can it lead to unwanted weight gain, but it can also lead to a number of other unpleasant side effects. And what's interesting or more insightful is that our everyday bad habits can be the root cause of metabolic problems. From insufficient sun exposure to poor sleep habits, our daily lifestyle has a major impact on our metabolic health, well beyond a simple diet.
according to dr Rekha Kumar, director of medical affairs at weight-care platform Found and a New York City-based endocrinologist, "Some symptoms of delayed metabolism may present as fatigue, weight gain, body aches, stiffness, bad mood, and feeling cold or dry skin."
Here, Kumar sheds light on the common bad habits that make your metabolism sluggish and your body sore, and how you can break these bad habit cycles.
Here's what to do if you suspect a delayed metabolism
If you're feeling "knocked out" and suspect a slowed metabolism, Dr. Kumar for contacting your GP. From there, your GP will take the necessary steps to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
Remember, "What we need to do to maintain a healthy metabolism changes throughout our lives." kumar Simply put, “What works at 30 may not work at 60, and what works at 60 may not work at 90,” explains Kumar. We must change our routines throughout our lives to achieve thriving metabolic health.
The 6 most important bad habits for a healthier metabolism
1. t moving enough
Exercise is crucial to overall health, and not enough exercise can certainly slow down your metabolism. "A key way to wreck your metabolism is through simple, everyday activity-related choices that dictate how much energy you expend," says Kumar.
Some examples include traveling by car or bus when the distance is within walking distance. (Or a route you can cycle along). "You could have done it if you had planned more time," says Kumar. Taking an elevator instead of the stairs, especially when there aren't many steps, is another way to minimize movement.
"These seemingly minor, energy-conserving pathways to get from point A to point B not only negatively impact metabolism, but disable our bones, joints, and muscles," says Kumar. Therefore, the "use or lose it" idea applies here, not only in old age.
She adds that "lack of exercise leads to a loss of muscle mass and muscle tone, which slows metabolism." The consequences: fatigue, impaired carbohydrate metabolism and a susceptibility to injury. "When we injure ourselves due to lack of mobility, a vicious circle begins, destroying our metabolism because we can't move, and the cycle continues," says Kumar.
- Simple solution: Walk more and ride a bike wherever you can. If you work at home or have a desk job, set a timer every hour and get up and walk around or do a five-minute bodyweight workout every few hours. It adds up!
2. The 24-hour eating window
Fasting is an ongoing topic. "Although the role of intermittent fasting in weight loss is debated, circadian eating, or periods of cell rest, are metabolically beneficial," says Dr. kumar
Since modern society has made staying up, working, and fueling up around the clock a more common practice, “it means there are fewer periods of cellular rest, which means there isn't enough time for our cells to rest work and work repair,” explains Kumar.
Cellular rest is the key to healing the entire body, inside and out. "When we don't have time for recovery and repair and fuel up around the clock, we increase inflammation, leading to an increased risk of diabetes and other inflammatory diseases," says Kumar.
- Simple solution: Rest your metabolism at the cellular level by incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily routine. Let your doctor advise you on which fasting plan is best for you.
3. Bad sleep habits
Poor sleep habits lead to more than just nausea. "Our bodies need rest to function properly, have a healthy metabolism, and make hormones that are used for growth and repair," explains Kumar. "A lot of this happens in our sleep, but when your sleep patterns are erratic, unpredictable, or inadequate, our natural hormonal rhythms get thrown off balance and we may see spikes in things like cortisol and growth hormone at the wrong time of the day."
Unfortunately, this leads to increased appetite and weight gain, all of which increase our risk of obesity.
- Simple solution: Limit or eliminate screen time an hour before bed, create a relaxing environment in your bedroom, limit daily caffeine intake, and incorporate relaxing breathing exercises before bed; Aim for eight hours a night.
4. Expend empty calories
This may not come as a shock, but empty calories are everywhere these days. "Nutrient-poor foods that have a lot of calories with little nutritional value can wreck your metabolism," says Dr. kumar Examples include artificial sweeteners, candy, pastries, sugar-sweetened beverages, baked goods, and many salty snack foods. "All the empty calories that come with these foods leave our bodies in search of vitamins and minerals, so we end up overeating and damaging our metabolism," explains Dr. kumar
- Simple solution: Focus on eating organic, whole foods, limit processed snacks, and consult with a registered dietitian if necessary to set you on the right path.
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5. Alcohol consumption
While everyone's definition of moderation is different, "a lot of alcohol affects our metabolism because we have to use our metabolic machinery (liver enzymes) to detoxify and break down alcohol," says Kumar. This is where alcohol's negative side effects come in: "When our liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, it does less work metabolizing fat and breaking down hormones." She adds.
Simple solution: Skip alcohol altogether or treat yourself to special occasions or holidays.
SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock
6. t enough sunlight
Vitamin D from the sun is your metabolism's friend. "The metabolic benefits of sunlight are related to vitamin D metabolism," Kumar says, and is therefore very important for overall health. “Vitamin D is a hormone involved in gut health, bone health, kidney function and more; Just 15 minutes of sunlight gives us vitamin D for three months,” says Kumar.
And when you're feeling down, sunlight is the perfect way to boost your mood.
"The amount of direct sunlight people should get varies with other medical conditions, but a healthy balance of sunlight with SPF should also boost vitamin D metabolism," recommends Dr. kumar
- Simple solution: Aim for 15 minutes of sunlight per day and consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions or are taking medication before beginning a regular sun exposure routine.