Missing out on essential nutrients, especially protein, turns your metabolism sluggish, says registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
It’s okay for a few days, but after that, your body switches into “starvation mode,” thinking that it needs to store, not burn, fat to keep you alive.
That’s why fasting isn’t a smart idea. The same goes for any crazy diets that encourage you to consume nothing but liquids for more than three days.
“When you don’t get enough protein, your body breaks down lean muscle mass, which is what slows your metabolism.
5. Skimping on sleep
Not getting enough zzz’s can negatively impact your fat cells, according to a recent study from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.
Researchers found that sleeping for 4.5, rather than 8.5 hours, a night reduces the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin (a hormone that regulates energy) by 30 percent.
“While you’re probably getting more than 4.5 hours of sleep per night, you may not be getting 8 hours, and the further you drop below that, the more likely you’ll experience carb cravings, which can lead to weight gain,” says Matthew Brady, Ph.D., who coauthored the study.