Metabolic rate is affected by several factors including age, weight, and genetics. Although there's not a whole lot you can do about those things, there are still choices that can cause metabolism to fire up or fizzle. If losing weight is your goal, avoid these metabolism-slowing mistakes in the morning.
- Eating too late: Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss since it causes your metabolism to slow down. When you don't eat, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to conserve energy, signaling it to hold onto the stored fat that you're trying to get rid of. Eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermogenesis that turns the food you eat into energy. And no — a cup of coffee does not count as breakfast! Instead choose one of these high-protein breakfast ideas under 350 calories. Make sure to eat throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels since any drops can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.
- Not exercising: Research shows you continue burning calories up to 24 hours after working out, and studies also show that morning exercises burn more calories than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. If you're planning on exercising anyway, for maximum calorie burn, your best bet is to get it done in the a.m. Include high intensity cardio intervals since challenging yourself is proven to activate fat-burning genes, which translates to an increased post-workout calorie burn — 100 to 200 more.
- Not pumping iron: Lean muscle mass burns calories, and just adding five to 10 pounds of lean muscle to your frame will increase your daily calorie burn by 100 calories. Include strength training in your morning routine such as this 10-minute metabolism-boosting workout.