Four Common Mistakes That Slow Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the process of converting calories from the food we eat into energy. It’s an essential biochemical process to sustain life.The metabolic process combines the energy obtained from the calories and oxygen to help regulate heart rate, blood circulation, hormones and breathing and also supports the body at rest as well as during exercise.

Weight loss is determined by your calorie intake and your metabolic rate. In this article, we’ll look at why having a high metabolic rate will make your job much easier when it comes to shedding the stubborn pounds.

You may wonder why people gain fat much more easily as they age. The answer lies in your metabolic rate. As you age, your metabolism slows down, and you become more predisposed to weight gain.

You’re probably thinking, “But wait! Why are some people fat even when they’re young?”

There could be two reasons for this. They’re either eating too much junk food, or they naturally have a slower metabolic rate. It’s true that some people genetically have a slower metabolic rate. This often makes them gain weight easier. They even have a term for people with this body type. They’re known as “endomorphs”.

Even though you may have been born with a slower metabolic rate, this is not a crutch to use for an overweight body. People with a slower metabolic rate can still lose fat and get in shape. It may take a little longer, but it is definitely attainable.

There are a few common mistakes that people make which slow down their metabolic rate and impedes their progress. Watch out for these mistakes and avoid them.

1. Doing long, slow cardio

This is the biggest mistake that most people make. You may have seen people pounding away on the treadmills every day at the gym and yet they look the same day in and day out.

The reason for this is that long bouts of cardio are stressful to the body, and when the body is under stress, it releases a hormone known as cortisol. This stress hormone indirectly leads to weight gain and prevents your body from burning fat.

You want to engage in short, high-intensity cardio training. 10 to 15 minutes of hard training will elevate your metabolic rate and keep you in fat burning mode for hours.It’s been proven that shorter aerobic sessions may increase testosterone levels that translate into more stimulus for muscle mass and all the benefits of being in an anabolic state.So one of your main goals here is to stay away from that catabolic state that it only robs your hard earned muscle.

2. Focusing on isolation movements and using gym machines

Ah hah! This is another biggie. How many times have you seen people doing bicep curls of endless reps at the gym and flexing in front of the mirror hoping to see arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rippling biceps?

Concentration Curls,  Triceps kickbacks, cable pull downs, etc. are isolation exercises.Unless done in supersets or circuit training they have minimal effect on fat loss or your metabolic rate.They are indeed very useful exercises that you should include in your workout routines, but too much of a good thing might turn against you.

Instead, you want to engage in exercises such as squats, deadlifts, planks, pull-ups, etc. These are compound exercises that recruit several muscle groups at the same time.

Your body works as a whole and not in parts. Train it as a whole and your metabolic rate will go up. Usually, working your legs will have huge benefits in your weight loss program because they are big muscles and will burn more calories.

Using gym machines is another common mistake. While these machines look modern and fancy, you will be much better off using the free weights. Working out with free weights is more difficult and burns more calories since you will need to have good form and control. There is no machine to compensate for a lack of control.

3. Doing ab exercises to reduce the belly

This is a misconception. Often people do sit-ups or crunches to lose fat on the stomach. This will never work because you cannot spot reduce your fat. Your body will burn fat from all over the body and as your body fat percentage drops, you will see your abs.

Then, you may work them to get them to ‘pop’ for that washboard look. You don’t do ab exercises to burn fat. You do them to sculpt the abs. However, you’ll first need to do the high-intensity workouts to burn the body fat first.

Ab exercises will not boost your metabolic rate. Your workouts will have to be much more high-intensity than that.

4.Too much rest between sets

One often overlooked mistake that people make is taking too long rests between sets of any given exercise.If you are performing an average Hypertrophy training, the rule of thumb is 90 seconds. Otherwise, you are not creating enough stimulus to the muscle to force it to grow.

Unfortunately too many people go to the gym, and they spend their time socializing and they simply don’t keep track of how long they rest between sets and often they spend like 3 to 5 minutes to perform another set.This is by far a waste of time and by doing so they won’t reach the threshold for muscle growth and boosting metabolism.

(Hypertrophy serves to maintain muscle mass, for an elevated basal metabolic rate, which has the potential to burn more calories in a given period compared to aerobics. This helps to maintain a higher metabolic rate that would otherwise diminish after metabolic adaption to dieting, or upon completion of an aerobic routine)“Strength training – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” N.p., n.d. Web.  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strength_training>.

Remember that the more muscle mass you have, the more fat you’ll burn in the long run.Keep these points in mind and you will be able to steer clear of the common pitfalls that trap most beginners. Remember… Train hard, train fast and train smart.