There you are working so hard to drop pounds: busting your butt at the gym, cutting back calories, eating more vegetables, maybe even trying a cleanse. And although you can find experts to recommend all of these efforts, your plan may actually be foiling your weight-loss goals.
As contradictory and exasperating as it seems, some common diet mistakes can hamper your metabolism, your internal furnace that incinerates calories 24/7, whether you’re sprinting in spin class or sitting on your derriere in front of the TV. That doesn’t mean you should quit your gym membership and go buy a pint of chocolate chocolate chip. Keep up the work and keep losing with these easy fixes.
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Metabolism Mistake: Skimping
All day your body is going through a process called protein turnover, basically breaking down its own muscle tissues. Totally normal, but many women don’t eat enough protein (which contains amino acids, the main “food” for muscles), to counteract this effect and properly maintain lean mass. Not good since the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn no matter what you’re doing.
The solution: The RDA for protein for women is 45 to 50 grams, but Dr. Cederquist says that leaves women deficient and unable to keep their metabolisms optimally revved and burn body fat. Make sure to get 30 grams (about 4 ounces of chicken) at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and 10 to 15 grams in snacks.