You may already suspect your metabolism slows as you age. According to research in the Public Health Nutrition journal, you’re right. In a review of data on energy expenditure, researchers found getting older is associated with progressive declines in basal metabolic rate.
On top of that, many daily habits can drain your metabolism even further.
But you don’t have to go down without a fight. Cut out the below habits and watch your metabolism and energy levels improve.
1: Sitting Too Much
Going from your office chair to your car to your couch can lead to a very sedentary routine. And sitting for extended periods puts your body into energy-conservation mode, which means your metabolism can suffer.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, “Sitting for long periods is thought to slow metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.”
2: Skipping Breakfast
Eating a nutritious breakfast is a great way to start your day. Because your metabolism slows during sleep, eating can fire it up and help you burn more calories throughout the day. According to Rush University Medical Center, “When you eat breakfast, you’re telling your body that there are plenty of calories to be had for the day.
When you skip breakfast, the message your body gets is that it needs to conserve rather than burn any incoming calories.”
3: Stressing Out
When stress levels increase, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to increased appetite, cravings for comfort foods, decreased desire to exercise, and reduced sleep quality . All these things have negative impact on metabolism.
So, while you can’t always control your stress levels, managing stress can go a long way toward protecting your body’s internal fire.
4: Eating the Wrong Breakfast
OK, so it’s about more than just eating something in the morning. If you grab a sugary donut or eat a muffin in the car, you’re setting yourself up to crash later.
Instead, choose something with filling protein and fiber like eggs, Greek yogurt, and berries or whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter.
5: Not Getting Enough Sleeping
One bad night’s sleep is enough to leave you feeling sluggish. It will impair your cognitive processing, and make you more likely to overeat.
String together several nights in a row — or a lifetime of inadequate sleep — and science shows decreased metabolism and hormonal imbalances may follow.