Your metabolism is a finicky thing. It is primarily influenced by what you eat and how often you exercise BUT there are also many, seemingly unrelated habits, that could be slowing you down!

Your metabolism is your calorie and fat burning machine so you want to keep it running high. When it isn’t, you burn fewer calories in your day and are at risk for weight gain. And let’s be honest, no one wants that!

So what are these habits and how do you keep yourself, and your metabolism, humming along toward your fat burning goals?

Here’s a list of a few sneaky habits and what you can do to correct them:

Your foods aren’t spicy enough

We know that spicy foods aren’t for everyone but adding a little kick to your dishes can go a long way. Studies have found that when people added red chili peppers to their dinner, they ate up to 30% less compared to those who ate a more mild meal. One reason for this is that peppers contain capsaicin which can speed up your metabolism by controlling appetite-regulating hormones while increasing stress hormones that can reduce your body’s desire to keep eating! Don’t be afraid to add a little hot sauce or pepper flakes to your meals! It could make a huge difference! Metabolism aside, adding a little heat is a great way to avoid overeating. It’s nearly impossible to eat “too much” of something when your mouth is on fire!

You sit too long

This is probably not a real shocker for you but lack of activity is a metabolism killer. Our bodies were meant to move and when they don’t, everything just starts to slow to a crawl. When your muscles aren’t moving, they don’t have to work as hard so that means fewer calories burned and a decrease in your fat burning potential. Get up and move your body for at least 10 minutes every hour. Whether that means taking a walk around the office building or doing some stretches at your desk, is for you to decide but moving is the key. Moving activates your muscles and within 2 minutes, your metabolism will get going again. You should also be sure to include regular exercise in your routine. And you don’t have to hit the gym for a solid hour to start to see benefits. In as little as 12 minutes, you can get a workout that will set your metabolism ablaze! By doing HIIT style workouts, that means alternating between intervals of max effort and shorter intervals of less intense work or rest, you create an “afterburn effect.” Simply put, this means your body will continue to burn calories long after the workout is complete in an effort to return to its natural resting state. Why not put this to the test and sign up for one of our BodyRock Bootcamps, offered at the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels or check out Season 4 of the popular DailyHIIT Show? These real time workouts can really help you take things to the next level!

You don’t wash your produce

Think about it: if you don’t wash your fruits and vegetables, how can you be sure you aren’t eating a mouthful of toxins? Over the last few years, several studies have linked the pesticides on produce to obesity and metabolic syndrome. These harmful pollutants get stored in fat cells where they cause inflammation and inhibit the regulation of the metabolism. The answer here is to buy organic whenever possible, especially when buying peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, pears and grapes, as these tend to have the highest levels of pesticide contamination. When it comes to cleaning your produce, be sure to cut away any damaged or bruised parts before washing thoroughly under running water.

You don’t eat enough protein

When you don’t eat enough protein, your body’s ability to burn fat is slowed down significantly. Protein is required to build muscle and the more muscle your have, the faster your metabolism will be. And as a bonus, your body has to work harder to digest proteins which means it burns more calories than it would if you ate carbohydrates, for example! For some really get nutrient dense, protein packed, meal options, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan!

Nip these habits in the bud and you’ll be well on your way to making your metabolism work for you! Learn more about boosting your metabolism, here!

Are you guilty of any of these habits? Don’t be shy, tell us your story in a comment!

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