The rules of metabolism and the habits to avoid

Councillor Luke Stubbs

Portsmouth care home to change provider following ‘inadequate’ CQC report

Have your say

Your metabolism is the amazing thing that works hard to burn fat while you are just relaxing, and it can be boosted by exercising regularly, drinking water and green tea, and even sleeping. Your metabolism will also increase as you build more muscle.

But there are many things we all do that can actually slow your metabolism and ruin your hard work:

n Eating at irregular times
It’s difficult to always eat at the exact same time every day, but by eating your meals at roughly the same time, your body learns when to burn calories as it knows when to expect food.

If you have a completely irregular eating pattern, then your body is unsure when it can burn food for energy, and when it should store it, as it never knows when the next meal is coming.

Also if you are a snacker you are more likely to consume too much food, therefore too many calories.

Not getting enough sleep
Just as sleeping helps to boost your metabolism, sleep deprivation can lower it. Published studies have found that chronic partial sleep loss could actually increase the risk of obesity, because sleep deprivation reduces the amount of energy your body burns while resting.

Aim to get to bed before 10.30pm every night especially through the summer as your natural rhythm will mean that you wake when it is light.

Not eating enough
This is actually the opposite of what you might think but not eating enough could be one of the reasons you are struggling to lose weight

It’s basically because when you cut your calorie intake, your body goes into what is commonly known as starvation mode, because it doesn’t know why you have reduced your food intake.

It’s your body’s way of surviving as it doesn’t know when it will receive a full meal again. If you are restricting calories over a long period then you will actually get fatter instead of losing weight.

This slows your metabolism as your body wants to keep hold of the food, rather than burning it for energy.

Sitting for long periods
We all know that it’s important to stay active, but sitting for long periods can actually slow your metabolism!

There have been various journals published on this topic, and it has even been found that sitting for a long period can make it harder for your metabolism to return to its full working order once you begin to be active again.

If your job involves sitting for long periods then try to get up and move about regularly; even if it’s just to get a glass of water.

Not drinking enough water
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your body hydrated. Your body relies on water for its cellular functions to work properly, and being dehydrated has a direct effect on your metabolism.

Seventy per cent of your muscle consists of water, so if your body is not fully hydrated, your muscles will struggle to work to their full potential.

Dehydration also affects your body’s ability to utilise fat as fuel. 

Skipping breakfast 
Many people believe that opting to skip breakfast will aid their weight loss, but it actually does the complete opposite.

When your body has been without food throughout the night, it needs fuel to keep it going, and by skipping breakfast, you are effectively telling your body to conserve energy, meaning that it will burn calories at a slower rate; slowing your metabolism. 

If you would like some free fat burning recipes that will keep you full up for longer then visit

Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps in Fareham where she trains groups.

Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer.

She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core.

Visit Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifit mum1