A healthy metabolism makes for a happy body—fast metabolism means you’re burning more body fat throughout the day and have a better chance at achieving the body and results you want to see. However, there are many things we do, drink and eat everyday that can throw it for a loop, potentially causing damage to your weight loss or maintenance efforts. Don’t waste all the work you put into your healthy lifestyle by wrecking your metabolism. Here’s what you may be doing and some easy ways to make it better.

Drinking Diet Soda

cola compositionEven if it’s your “cheat,” don’t drink it. Diet soda is filled with artificial sweeteners, which trick your body into thinking sugar is coming. When this happens your body starts to pump out insulin—which causes fat storage. Instead of diet soda, reach for soda water or an all-natural fizzy drink made with agave or real sugar. As always, still enjoy only in moderation.

Eating Too Few Calories

You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by eating less to lose weight, but instead you’re actually throwing your metabolism for a loop. “… When you consume fewer than 1,000 calories per day, your body goes into starvation mode and depresses your metabolism in order to hold onto its energy stores,” according to Can You Ruin Your Metabolism? Determine your ideal caloric intake—use the chart on ChooseMyPlate.gov—and then stick with that, making sure you’re getting the right balance of protein, healthy fat, carbohydrates and vegetables.

Ignoring Strength Training

While this won’t wreck your metabolism, it certainly won’t help it. The benefit of strength training is that you build muscle all over. Muscle burns more calories than fat; this helps your metabolism work most efficiently, providing you with the results you want to see. Incorporate strength training into your routine at least twice a week to keep your metabolism humming along happily.

Not Drinking Enough Water

MP900321111Your body needs water—yet too many people guzzle coffee, soda, sugary juices and other liquids that provide everything but the proper hydration you need. Water is critical for a healthy metabolism. If you know you don’t drink at least 3 to 6 cups a day, grab a large water bottle, fill it up and gulp it down at least three times a day.

Don’t ruin your efforts to eat healthy and workout with these metabolism blunders. With enough water, strength training and less diet soda, you’ll look and feel better both inside and out.