Do you know those people with a fast metabolism who can down five Big Macs and a large chocolate shake from McDonalds a day, seem to need little exercise, and still be a thinner than a Barbie doll? Come on, you secretly hate those people, admit it. Either that or you admire that blessed genetic feature, and then look at your own body in despair.
SELF magazine asked experts about habits that slow down metabolism. Unfortunately, as college students, we are often guilty and susceptible to these no-no’s. You might be thinking, “Great, thanks for being Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer, Rachel.” Wait! Wait! These habits are totally fixable. SELF lays out seven ways to do just that. Take heart, pay attention, and read on.
Seven techniques to speed up metabolism
1) Catching more Zzzzzzzzzz’s may help you stay slim.
So quit with the all-nighters for days in a row, already! According to scientists, lack of sleep, “slows your metabolism, impairing your body’s ability to utilize food and nutrients as energy so they get stored as fat instead.” Plan out your time better and yes, you may have to sacrifice some social activities. Research presented at the annual American Thoracic Society in San Diego showed that “in a study of 68,000 women, those who slept seven hours weighed 5.5 pounds less than women who slept five hours or less.”
2) Freaking out!
When anxious you’re more likely to emotionally eat and toss and turn at night, causing you to lose more sleep. This in turn affects your thyroid, which helps regulate metabolism, heart rate, etc.
3) Skipping breakfast
“I can’t be a ‘Rachael Ray’ this morning, I have to get to class!” might be going through your mind and you give up on breakfast all together. Try to grab a muffin or a bottle of orange juice (Vitamin C is great for your skin, boosting your metabolism, and reducing cellulite) and a breakfast bar to get your body’s metabolism off to a kick start.
4) Get off of your backside!
Yes, I know we all have classes that last for an hour and 20 minutes – and some teachers will count you as absent if you dare leave your seat. In between classes walk around, take lunch with you on a stroll and find excuses to be up and about more often – even while on the phone or texting. According to the author of the SELF article, “Sitting for hours switches off enzymes that capture fat in the bloodstream, but standing up and getting active reignites them.”
5) Stop with the doughnuts!
“Doughnut Nazi,” you might grumble as Sandra Bullock did in her role as Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. Hey, I possess as great a sweet tooth as the next person, but let me tell you that junk food is only trouble with a capital “T” for your metabolism. A study from The FASEB Journal reveals that there is a gene stimulated by junk food that can cause the body to store excess fat. Resist the urge and grab a sweet piece of fruit or better yet, sprinkle fruit over a small cup of yogurt – yummy!
6) Stuck in a workout rut!
“Ugh! These last few pounds just refuse to come off!” Heard that one before? Well, change up your workout routine and trick your body’s metabolism. Also keep in mind that as you lose more and more weight, your body requires less and less calories.
7) Weights are for men!
Oh really? Says who? So, don’t spend your whole workout with the frat jocks with their uncomfortably thick, swollen-looking arms. Just because you lift some weights won’t make you look like a “manly” woman. According to Jeffrey Garber, M.D., author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems, lifting weights helps you build calorie-burning lean muscle. Add weight-bearing exercises like planks, lunges, squats and tricep dips to your workouts three times a week, and you’ll see toning results like you’ve never experienced before!
Good luck! As Nike’s motto says, “Just do it!”