Metabolism featImage: shutterstock.com

We all know our metabolism slows as we age. But did you know that a lot of the decisions you make throughout the day may actually be helping to slow it down? In fact, you are likely messing with your metabolism and not even know it. These mistakes will slow down your metabolism when you need to be revving it up. But we are here to help. Below are a list of common mistakes many of us make as we age and look to lose weight. If you can avoid these, chances are you can keep your fat-burning engine in tact.

 

Not Eating Enough

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While you need to cut calories to lose weight it's important to not go too far. When you eat less than you need – about 1,200 calories for women – your metabolism will be affected. Your body will begin to break down the calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy. You should eat three meals and two snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism going at a healthy rate. By eating just enough to fulfil your hungry you will feel full enough to not overeat at night.

 

Caffeine

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You do not have to avoid caffeine. Because it is a stimulant, it can rev up your metabolism five to eight percent, or about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of tea can raise your metabolism by about 12 percent.

 

Carbs

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Skip the white carbs and switch to whole wheat bread and pasta and throw in more fruits and vegetables to boost your fibre intake. Some fibre can up your fat burn by 30 per cent. In fact, studies have found that women who eat the most fibre gain the least weight over time. Carbs are also necessary to give you energy so you can exercise and burn off calories.

 

Water

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Opt for cold water instead of room temperature water. Researchers have found that drinking six cups of cold water a day can raise your resting metabolism by about 50 calories. That's enough to lose five pounds a year. Researchers believe that the increase comes from the work it takes to heat the water to your body's temperature.

 

Pesticides

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People who choose food covered with pesticides can experience a decline in metabolism as they lose weight. Research has also shown that pesticides can, in fact, make you gain weight. So choose organic when buying some of your food.

 

Protein

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You need to make sure protein is in every meal because your body needs it to keep lean muscle. Try eating lean meat, nuts and low-fat yogurt for meals and snacks.

 

Iron

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Food that contains iron are necessary to carry the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. When women menstruate they lose iron so unless you add that back into your diet you will have low energy and a slow metabolism. Iron-rich foods include shellfish, lean meats, beans and spinach.

 

Vitamin D

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Vitamin D preserves metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, shrimp, tofu and eggs.

 

Alcohol

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This is a simple one but maybe not a popular one. Research shows when you drink alcohol you burn less fat because the alcohol is used as fuel instead. In fact, drinking about two martinis could reduce your body's fat-burning ability by up to 73 per cent.

 

Dairy

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Some evidence suggests that not getting enough calcium can slow your metabolism. It also suggests that when you get enough calcium you can reduce fat abosrption from other foods. Some research has shown that women who consumed three to seven servings of dairy per day lost more fat and gained more muscle mass than women who skipped their dairy intake. So drink your milk and stock up on low-fat yogurt.