We all know that metabolism slows with age, and giving it a boost can help promote weight loss. There are diet plans, magic pills, special shakes and just about everything else on the market claiming to help get your metabolism into gear and kick-start weight loss.

If you’re wanting to get your metabolism moving a little faster, here are five common practices you need to avoid:

1. Over-exercising

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The more you exercise, the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose, right? Not exactly. There is such a thing as spending too much time on the eliptical, and it could be the reason you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for. Your body needs energy to fuel an intense workout, which comes in the form of the food you eat. If you’re exercising too much for the amount of calories you’re eating, your body starts to scramble and ends up metabolizing fat tissue. Too much exercise and not enough energy for fuel puts your body into starvation mode. Instead of burning calories, your metabolism shuts down to protect itself, and your body stores fat

2. Not Eating Enough

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Restricting calories is a common practice for those who are trying to lose weight, but the truth is, it can severely damage your metabolism. While a slight caloric deficit can undoubtedly help you lose a few pounds pretty quickly, you’re sure to hit a plateau. Eating too little can induce changes in your metabolism, as well as your thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones, which can lead to fat retention.

3. Restricting Sodium Excessively

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Contrary to what many diet plans suggest, there is evidence that a low-salt diet can have serious health consequences. A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that for those following a low-salt diet, stroke, heart attack and death are more likely. Another study found that salt restriction may adversely affect lipid and glucose metabolism. Your body needs sodium to maintain blood pressure and to support nerve and muscle function. Sodium is a necessary part of ensuring that your body works properly.

4. Shying Away From the Weights in the Gym

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You may be most comfortable on the treadmill or a spinning bike, but if you want to give your metabolism a boost, it’s time to pick up a few weights. Studies show that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can stay revvedĀ for up to 36 hours post-workout! With cardio training only, you may get an extra 40-80 calories burned after your session, but it stops there. Don’t eliminate cardio from your workout routine, but try mixing it up with some weight training to help keep your metabolism up.

5. Skipping Breakfast

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You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, it’s true! After a long night’s sleep,when your body hasn’t gotten any nutrients in about eight hours, breakfast provides the energy you need to start your day. Your metabolism slows down while you sleep, so eating a healthy breakfast upon waking increases your metabolism and gets everything up and running for the day ahead. You aren’t “saving calories” or doing yourself any good by skipping breakfast, so give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning to eat something healthy and delicious!

Check out the video below for a few more tips on how to increase your metabolism:

h/t: simple organic life