Kick These Habits to Jumpstart Your Metabolism

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Metabolism is described as the way our bodies process what we eat and drink into energy to keep the body functioning properly. Yours might be working slower and less efficiently than it can because of daily habits. Here are some things you might be doing wrong and how to correct them.

You’re not sleeping enough

It’s easy to get into a routine of going to bed a little too late each night, especially as the days get longer toward the summer. You may have noticed, the less sleep you get, the more you crave carbs. Not sleeping enough is correlated with obesity (1), blood sugar problems (2) and can increase the hormone that makes you hungry, ghrelin (3).

What you can do:

If you’re going to bed too late, try setting an alarm one hour before bedtime to remind you it’s time to start winding down to go to sleep. The simple acts of reading a book, brushing your teeth, and putting on your pajamas tell your body it’s almost time for sleep. Try to avoid electronics within an hour before bed if possible.

If you’re having trouble falling and staying asleep, it’s worth looking into adding supplements to your nightly routine.

Your gut microbiome is out of balance

Gut microbiota influences energy, metabolism, inflammation, and regulatory signals that affect weight, so it’s no surprise that research has linked obesity to an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria in the gut (4). It’s linked to how foods are digested and make chemicals that affect hunger and fullness. Probiotics, aka “good bacteria” help your body’s healthy gut microbiome get back in balance and improve metabolic function.

What you can do:

Make sure you are getting a decent amount of fermented foods in your diet like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh and miso. Or consider adding a probiotic supplement to your daily routine.

You keep dieting

Severely restricting calories impacts your metabolism negatively in the long run (5). Have you tried dieting multiple times and ended up gaining all the weight back you lost and sometimes even more? Scientific research has actually linked restrained eating as a predictor to weight gain (8).

What you can do:

Eating enough protein has been linked to a healthy metabolism, prevents overeating, and keeps you feeling full (7). Instead of having a diet mentality of cutting calories, focus more on healthy choices and mindful eating. Try nutrient-rich foods with plenty of protein at each meal. Sit down at meals, take a few deep breaths before taking your first bite and think about how your food tastes and smells. These simple acts will naturally allow you to metabolize and digest your food more efficiently.

This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.


  1. Beccuti G, Pannain S. Sleep and obesity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011;14(4):402-12.
  2. Knutson KL, Van cauter E. Associations between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008;1129:287-304.
  3. Spiegel K, Leproult R, L’hermite-balériaux M, Copinschi G, Penev PD, Van cauter E. Leptin levels are dependent on sleep duration: relationships with sympathovagal balance, carbohydrate regulation, cortisol, and thyrotropin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89(11):5762-71.
  4. Kobyliak N, Conte C, Cammarota G, et al. Probiotics in prevention and treatment of obesity: a critical view. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016;13:14.
  5. Weinsier RL, Nagy TR, Hunter GR, Darnell BE, Hensrud DD, Weiss HL. Do adaptive changes in metabolic rate favor weight regain in weight-reduced individuals? An examination of the set-point theory. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72(5):1088-94.
  6. Lowe MR, Doshi SD, Katterman SN, Feig EH. Dieting and restrained eating as prospective predictors of weight gain. Front Psychol. 2013;4:577.
  7. Mettler S, Mitchell N, Tipton KD. Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(2):326-37.
  8. Lowe MR, Doshi SD, Katterman SN, Feig EH. Dieting and restrained eating as prospective predictors of weight gain. Front Psychol. 2013;4:577.
  9. Kumar V, Bhandari U, Tripathi CD, Khanna G. Anti-obesity effect of Gymnema sylvestre extract on high fat diet-induced obesity in Wistar rats. Drug Res (Stuttg). 2013;63(12):625-32.

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