8 Ways Your Diet Is Sabotaging Your Metabolism
“Metabolism” and “metabolic rate” are terms frequently thrown around to justify why one friend can stay skinny eating a diet of hamburgers, French fries, and Diet Coke. Though it’s true that our individual metabolic rates do impact our weight, it is rarely the sole cause of weight gain.
The metabolic rate manages the pace at which the body transforms the foods and beverages we consume into energy. This biochemical process is complex, but it essentially involves combining calories with oxygen in order to release the energy required for the body to operate.
The body needs a lot of energy in order to function, but most of the calories burned throughout the day are not related to any sort of physical activity. “Hidden functions” such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and repairing cells require the majority of the body’s energy expenditures. The number of calories burned through these hidden functions is known as our basal metabolic rate.
It’s true that not everyone’s basal metabolic rate is the same; factors like body size, sex, and age all affect it. On average, these functions account for around 70 percent of calories burned throughout the day, while digesting, absorbing, transporting, and storing recently consumed foods (also known as thermogenesis), as well as extra physical activity and exercise, account for the remaining 30 percent.
The body curtails its basal metabolic rate to its own unique needs, and this rate is difficult to change. However, you can accelerate calorie loss through different forms of physical activity. Weight lifting and strength training builds muscle tissue, which burns more calories than fat tissue. When comparing two people of equal weight, the one with more muscle mass will have a faster basal metabolic rate, and, therefore, burn more calories while at rest. Diets lacking sufficient amounts of protein, iron, and calcium may inhibit muscle growth and slow weight loss, but there are a number of dietary no-no’s that may be adversely affecting your metabolic rate.
Here are 8 ways your diet is sabotaging your metabolism.