8 Habits that are Messing with Your
You Don't Drink Enough Water
"Your body needs fluids to perform all of the functions it needs to," says
Slayton. And when it's not performing those functions as well, it's not burning
as many calories. Something else to keep in mind: A lot of the calorie burn
from drinking water comes from your body working to bring cold water to
98.6 degrees—so drinking hot water with lemon or hot tea all the time won't
be as good at boosting your metabolism as cold water will.
You Aren't Taking Vitamin D Supplements
"When you're low in vitamin D, you lose weight slower and your levels of the
hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungry, are higher," says Slayton. Since it
can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from your diet, she recommends
taking a supplement from November through March—when you won't be
getting as much of the nutrient from sunlight—to help you drop pounds more
You're a Cardio Queen
You know that exercise is crucial for keeping your metabolism fired up, but if
you swear by running or indoor cycling—and only running or indoor cycling—
you're not building the lean muscle that'll really give your metabolism a boost,
says Slayton. Start incorporating strength training into your workouts to up
your calorie burn even more.
You Have a Midnight Snack Habit
There's a lot of emphasis on how important it is to eat regularly so as not to
slow your metabolism down, but there's also research that suggests going
several hours without eating could be better for you, metabolically speaking.
"What I usually suggest for clients is a period of 12 hours without food," says
Slayton. "You're hurting your metabolism if you're having a midnight snack
and a breakfast before your workout at 7 a.m.
You Cut Caffeine Out of Your Diet
Caffeine gets a bad rap, but it can actually give your calorie burn a slight boost,
says Slayton. No one's suggesting you start pounding the stuff, but if you're
already drinking green tea or coffee most days, keeping it a part of your
routine could help your metabolism run at top speed.
You Skimp on Sleep
People who are sleep-deprived on a regular basis tend to weigh more than
those who get a good night's rest most nights. Why? Research shows it can
throw the hormones that control appetite out of whack, making you hungrier
and causing you to eat more. Slayton recommends logging at least seven hours
You're Constantly Stressed
It's not just unpleasant to be anxiety-ridden—it's also bad for your metabolism:
"Cortisol's a big stress hormone, and when that's activated, your body's more
likely to be in fat-storage mode," says Slayton. On edge lately? Try one of
these 40 ways to relax in five minutes or less.
You're Consuming Too Many Pesticides—and Eating Off of Plastic
"If you really feel like you're doing everything right and not seeing progress,
it's worth looking at where you're getting your food from and what's being
sprayed on your food," says Slayton. Some of the chemicals in plastics and
pesticides are endocrine disruptors called obesogens, which can set you up for