We all want to be healthier and fit and as we may think we are making the right moves to get there, we could actually be sabotaging our metabolism in the process. This could be anything from not fueling our bodies after a strong workout or not hydrating our body throughout the day properly… Take a look at the tips below to make sure your fueling your metabolism properly to reach your fitness goals:
The Mistake—You eat breakfast…but it’s typically oatmeal or a bagel.
Why That’s a Problem — You’re doing the right thing by eating in the morning, as regularly scheduled meals keep your metabolism humming along, but a little protein would go a long way toward helping the cause. It takes more energy to digest than carbohydrates, and it promotes muscle mass.
The Fix— Add 20 grams of protein at breakfast, recommends Jessica Crandall, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, roughly the amount in one container of plain low-fat Greek yogurt.
The Mistake — You rely on your trusty fitness tracker to keep tabs on your strength training.
Why That’s a Problem — You know the more lean muscle you have, the more energy your body uses at rest, and that using weights is an efficient way to build that muscle. Recent research from Iowa State University reports that fitness trackers aren’t so great at measuring strength training, though—the four popular models tested were all off on their energy expenditure estimates by at least 25 percent when it came to resistance work. That means you may end up with an inflated sense of how hard you’re pushing yourself in the weight room.
The Fix—Listen to your body instead. A good guideline: For any given set of any given exercise, you should feel like you could do 2 more reps when you stop. So if you’re doing 12 reps of bicep curls, you’ll know you’re using the correct weight if you feel like you could make it to 14 reps but not more than that.
The Mistake — You don’t feel hungry after you exercise, so you don’t eat.
Why That’s a Problem — Workouts deplete muscle stores, and eating the right mix of nutrients within an hour after you finish helps them recover, which is essential for increasing lean muscle mass.
The Fix— Crandall recommends refueling with a snack made up of 10 to 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbs.
The Mistake — You get up at the same time every day, but you throw caution to the wind during the weekend.
Why That’s a Problem — Yes, we’re talking about sleep hygiene, and we know you’ve heard it a million (and one) times, but there’s new reason to get on board. Just one night of sleep loss can throw off the circadian rhythms of genes that help keep your metabolism moving at a quick pace, according to a recent small study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The Fix—Make bedtime the same across the board, or at least try to get close to that goal.