While it’s normal for your metabolism to slow during weight loss; the last thing you want is to make it even slower.
In this article, I’ll go over things you should stop doing if you have a slow metabolism and what to do instead.
Table of Contents
Stop Doing These Things
1. Making Drastic Cuts to Your Calories
If you’ve been dieting and losing weight for a while and notice that you aren’t losing weight at the same rate as before, don’t panic, this is completely normal.
Your metabolism slows during weight loss as a method of survival, it becomes more efficient at extracting calories from foods and also burns fewer calories from the same activities.
Basically, since you’re not eating as much as before, your body starts burning fewer calories to save energy.
In fact, if your metabolism didn’t slow during weight loss, it would mean that there’s something wrong with you.
However, making drastic cuts to your calories can slow your metabolism faster and increase cravings.
This is why FAD diets tend to fail.
Instead, focus on making a gentle decrease in calories.
This decrease in metabolism is commonly referred to as metabolic adaptations to weight loss.
2. Adding More Hours of MISS or LISS Cardio
If you have a slow metabolism, you may want to stop adding more hours of cardio.
While cardio is a good tool to lose weight, it’s not the most effective one.
As previously mentioned, your metabolism is adaptive, so the more cardio you do, the more used to it your body gets, and the more efficient it becomes, causing it to burn fewer calories for the same amount of cardio.
So instead of adding more cardio, focus on adding some resistance training.
This will help you build muscle, which will boost your metabolism.
The type of cardio you do can also affect how you lose weight and build muscle.
In my article comparing HIIT, LISS, and MISS for fat loss, you can explore more about the different types of cardio.
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3. Packing on Fat Burners
Contrary to what the name implies, fat burners won’t magically burn your belly fat.
Most ingredients in fat burners are there to simply give you more energy (caffeine is a very common ingredient) and maybe reduce cravings, which can ultimately help you lose weight by preventing you from constantly snacking.
Not surprisingly, this study (1) showed that fad diets, liquid diets, and over-the-counter pills were not linked to weight loss.
You’re better off adding some natural appetite suppressants to help with weight loss.
Can You Actually Boost Your Metabolism?
It is, in fact, possible to speed up your metabolism, however, doing it via supplements might not be very effective.
Not surprisingly, studies (1) have shown that over-the-counter pills, liquid diets, and fad diets, are not linked to weight loss.
Luckily, there are natural, cheaper, and more effective ways to speed up your metabolism.
Focus on These Things
1. Building Muscle Through Resistance Training
Not only does resistance training burns more calories than cardio, but it also helps you build more muscle mass, which is essential for keeping a fast metabolism.
You’re constantly burning calories during the day, not just while doing activities, this is called your resting metabolic rate.
Since it takes more energy for the body to support muscle mass, you boost your resting metabolic rate when building muscle.
Some women dislike the idea of lifting weights due to the belief that it will make them bulky.
However, there are a few reasons why this will not likely be the case. You can explore more about it in my article about why lifting weights won’t make women bulky.
2. Follow a High Protein Diet
Protein is an essential nutrient needed to maintain healthy tissues, bones, and building muscle.
Eating the right amount of protein for you is important to build and maintain muscle mass, which, as mentioned above, will increase your resting metabolic rate.
A high protein diet also gives you a temporary metabolism boost.
It takes more energy (calories) for the body to break down protein than it does for carbs and fats, this is called the thermic effect of food. (2)
3. Slowly Increase Your Activity Levels
Earlier, I talked about making a small decrease in calories whenever your metabolism slows and weight loss stalls.
In addition to making a small decrease in calories, you can also make a slight increase in activity levels.
The key here is that you are avoiding drastic decreases in calories and drastic increases in cardio.
Find a hobby that you enjoy and can help you stay a little more active.
Here are a few small habits that could help you lose more weight.
4. Add Some HIIT Cardio
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is different from other types of cardio as it stimulates the muscle the same way weight lifting does.
HIIT is basically doing short bouts of high-intensity exercise, usually for 10 to 30 seconds, and bringing your heart rate up to about 90% of your max heart rate followed by a few seconds of rest and then repeat.
Since HIIT produces the same stimulus as a weight lifting, it would be better for recovery if you did HIIT on days you didn’t do weight lifting.
Other options are to do upper body-focused HIIT when working out legs, or doing a lower body-focused HIIT when working out upper body.
HIIT will typically help you burn more calories and in less time than other forms of cardio as it will take more energy for the body to recover.
Metabolism is most often referred to as the process of converting food into the energy that allows your body to function.
Another common term is “metabolic rate,” this term is used to describe how fast your body uses calories (energy).
People with a slow metabolism tend to use up calories more slowly than those with a faster metabolism.
What Affects Your Metabolism?
Plenty of factors, such as genetics, age, sleep, exercise, diet, and stress influence your metabolism.
It’s also important to know that your metabolism is dynamic, which means that you can actually improve it.
How fast you can improve it depends on each person’s diet history. For some, it might take a few months, for others, it can take a few years.
I hope you loved this article about things you must stop doing if you have a slow metabolism!
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This plan helps men and women lose 10-21 pounds in just 21 days and can be repeated as many times as you want.