Do you remember how easy it was to lose five pounds when you were a teenager? Maybe not. Maybe you didn’t even have five pounds to lose because your metabolism worked so well.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for most of us any longer.
Did you know that if you’re like the average person, you lose about 10% of your metabolism with every passing decade? Say, what??
Yeah, it’s due to skipping meals, lack of activity and decreasing muscle mass. Ouch.
Skipping meals is the worst culprit, and it’s the one I did for years. I’d get up early, drink coffee and not eat until lunch. By that time, my body was starving, so I would overeat. By starving my body, I had triggered the mechanism that caused my body to store the majority of its calories as fat.
That’s how sumo wrestlers pack on so many pounds. Yeah, I was eating like a sumo wrestler.
Okay, so I think we’ve established that skipping meals is bad. Let’s figure out how to avoid this terrible habit.
1. Set a timer. This may seem unnecessary, but trust me, it helps to have a reminder. Make a commitment to yourself to eat something, even if it’s just half a banana or a handful of almonds, when the timer goes off. Set it to go off every three hours and after a week or two, eating more frequently will seem like second nature.
2. Pack snacks. You may feel a bit like Billy Madison bringing a “snack pack” to work, but hey, why not? I always have a protein bar, an apple, and an ounce of nuts or seeds in my briefcase. Studies show that people who eat 3-4 times a day are the leanest.
3. Eat foods you enjoy. Okay, don’t go all hog wild with this one, but it’s okay to indulge a little bit to get the ball rolling. Try to keep your meals and snacks as healthy as possible at the start, but if you’re eating pancakes for breakfast, make a goal to switch that to oatmeal as soon as you’re feeling comfortable with eating a meal in the morning.
Look forward to more metabolism-fixing tips next week!