In order to keep your metabolism running efficiently and to keep your body from storing extra fat as energy, it is important to understand how your metabolism works and what factors contribute to weight gain. Although most diets are focused on caloric consumption and maintaining a deficit (consuming less calories than you burn), it is important to understand that if your metabolism is functioning at a slow rate and your diet is lacking proper nutrition, your body will continue to store fat as energy.
Several factors that determine your basal metabolic rate include: body size and composition, gender, and age. The more you weigh and the more muscle mass your body holds, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Typically people that weigh more and have more muscle also have faster metabolisms. Higher muscle mass is one reason why men have less body fat than women. As you become older, you typically begin to lose muscle mass over time which also contributes to your metabolism becoming slower.
Aside from gender, weight and age there are common mistakes that people make that slow down their metabolism. The most common mistake that people dieting make is eating too few calories. When you dramatically lower your caloric intake your body realizes that food has become scarce and lowers its metabolic rate to burn calories at a slower pace. Another common mistake is not including enough protein in your diet. Protein increases metabolic rate more than fat or carbohydrates so increasing your intake helps you preserve metabolic rate during weight loss and maintenance. Another common mistake is living an inactive lifestyle. Several people work office jobs and neglect to find time for exercise which often contributes to less calories burned an a slower metabolic rate. It is also very important to avoid frequently napping during the day or getting low quality sleep. High-quality sleep is essential to preserving your metabolic rate, which means it’s important to get around eight hours a night.
Keeping a healthy diet also plays a crucial role in preserving your metabolism. One of the most common causes of fat storage is the over-consumption of sugar. People that consume sugary/high-fructose drinks and snacks regularly are more prone to fat storage in the liver and the belly. Avoiding these foods is very important to lose weight and maintain a healthy metabolism. There are also foods that can be added to your diet to help strengthen your metabolism. Foods such as tea, coffee, chili peppers, ginger, cacao, coconut oil, seaweed, legumes, apple cider vinegar and foods rich in iron and zinc are all known for their ability to strengthen and maintain a healthy metabolism. It is important to eat these foods regularly to receive the metabolic benefits.