Losing weight means you always have to keep your metabolism going. If it slows down too much, you’ll be storing fat instead of burning it. While you can’t stop it from becoming more sluggish as you age, you can avoid the mistakes that grind it to a halt in the short run.

You’ll be more successful in your attempts at shedding the extra pounds if you know to avoid the diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism. Find out more about which bad habits can negative influence your weight loss efforts.

1. Skipping Breakfast (or Any Meal)

While it’s bad idea to skip a meal and eat less than three times every day, delaying breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When you eat within an hour of waking up, you’re setting a good pace for your metabolism for the entire day. Start with a glass of water, and eat breakfast before you drink any coffee in order to get ready for a day of optimal weight loss.

2. Restricting Calories Too Much

You can’t make any progress if you don’t burn more calories than you eat, but overdoing the restrictions is also one of the diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism. Dipping under 1,200 calories per day is bad for your metabolism, since you’re pushing it in starvation mode. Juice cleanses can also force your metabolism to focus on conserving instead of burning in as little as 3 days.

3. Taking Low-Carb Diets Too Far

A good way to lose weight is to restrict your carb intake, but you shouldn’t get rid of it completely. Your body needs carbs, especially if you’re also working out to lose weight faster. Focus on the right kind of carbs, from whole grains to sweet potatoes, and try to eat a small portion with every meal. Brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and quinoa are among your best options.

4. Missing Important Nutrients

Starving yourself in order to lose weight can also backfire because your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to burn calories and preserve muscle tissue. Iron, calcium and vitamin D are among the most important, and if you’re facing a deficiency, that can be one of the diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism.

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5. Poisoning Yourself with Pesticides

Eating organic is recommended when you’re trying to lose weight, because pesticides found in fruits and vegetables can also reduce your metabolic rate. If that’s not an option, the least you can do is wash all your produce carefully. Submerge it in water for 2-3 minutes, then rinse it well under running water. Washing everything from salad mixes to fruit with thick rind, even if you’re not eating it, can make a big difference.

6. Working Out Ineffectively

Even if you manage to avoid all the diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism, you can still face trouble when you don’t work out the right way. Strength-training and high-intensity interval training are very important to building muscle tissue, which helps increase your metabolic rate.

7. Allowing Yourself to Get Dehydrated

Just like in the case of severe calorie restrictions, your body won’t be able to burn fat at top speed if you’re not drinking enough water. Thirst is already a sign of dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. For extra calorie burning power, drink it cold, not at room temperature.

8. Chugging Diet Soda

You might think that you can indulge in low-calorie, sugar-free diet soda without jeopardizing your weight loss program, but that’s simply not true. Multiple studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can have the same effect on your metabolism as actual sugar, and raise your insulin levels. Avoid one of the biggest diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism and lose the soda.

9. Sitting for Extended Periods of Time

Even if you work out regularly, sitting down for too long keeps your muscles relaxed. Stand when you don’t absolutely have to sit, and stretch regularly to avoid a slow metabolism.

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10. Banishing Caffeine

While coffee can end up with a lot of calories when you add sugar and creamers, black coffee is good for your weight loss efforts, and green tea is even better. One of the diet mistakes that slow down your metabolism is restricting all caffeine, so don’t go that far.