If you find yourself with 10, 20, even 50 or more pounds to lose, that means your body isn't burning calories at the right rate. And chances are, there's a good reason for it. So let me share with you the 10 most common mistakes we all make which slow our metabolism--so AVOID them at all costs and you'll see the pounds start to melt away!

Read more ¿Qué más?: 7 Ways to avoid overeating during the holidays

This post was originally published on August 22, 2013.

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Skipping meals 1

Skipping meals

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You would think that skipping meals would help you get skinny. After all, if you aren't taking any calories in, how can you not lose weight? Well, your body is a complex system and when you don't feed it the nutrients it needs, it slows your metabolism down. To avoid these, eat small meals every few hours throughout the day. This way your metabolism stays at full-speed and you burn more calories during the time you aren't eating.

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Not eating enough calories 2

Not eating enough calories

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And just because you're going to eat more often, doesn't mean you should be eating like a bird. If you eat too few calories, your body starts to panic. It gets the signal that food is scarce, so it slows down your metabolism to conserve energy. This is called "starvation mode." And while it was great to keeping you alive during a bare hunting season back in the cavewoman days, it isn't so good for getting you that beach body. To prevent starvation mode, make sure you eat balanced meals filled with protein, healthy fats, and nutritious carbs.

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Not getting enough sleep 3

Not getting enough sleep

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It's been shown that when you skimp out on your sleep, you tend to move less the next day, which means you burn less calories. Also, being sleep deprived slows down the amount of energy your body uses at rest. So if you want to be a fat-burning machine, make sure to get enough sleep. Aim for eight hours.

Consuming too many toxins 4

Consuming too many toxins

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Did you know that even fruit and vegetables can make you fat? According to a Canadian study, the chemical pesticides used to grow these foods can be toxic to your body. They interfere with your body's ability to burn energy… and can bring your metabolism to a screeching halt. So if you're trying to lose weight, try to eat organic food as often as possible.

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Sitting too much 5

Sitting too much

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Whether it's at our office desk or the living room couch, we as a culture sit too much. Sitting is one of the worst things you can do for your body. According to researcher Carrie Schlitz, sitting for as little as 20 minutes at a time can dramatically slow your metabolism. To prevent this, make sure to move around (even for just a few seconds) every 15 minutes.

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Not getting enough calcium 6

Not getting enough calcium

Calcium plays a very important role in regulating your body's ability to burn fat. Being deficient in this key mineral can slow your metabolism and cause you to store those extra pounds. So remember to get enough calcium. You can get it from rich foods like yogurt, spinach or sardines.

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Not drinking enough water 7

Not drinking enough water

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When we're dehydrated, our bodies can't run efficiently and this causes our metabolism to shut down. So make sure you're drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. (Cold water actually burns calories just by drinking it. Studies have shown that drinking eight glasses of water cold per day can lead to an extra 7.3 pounds of fat being burned each year.)

Thinking coffee is not good 8

Thinking coffee is not good

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Yes, you've heard all the evils of our cafecito, but did you know your body needs it to keep its metabolism working? Yup, a cup of coffee can help you actually burn calories--what's not to love about that?

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Fogetting about protein 9

Fogetting about protein

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Protein can help you maintain lean muscle, so be sure to include proteins (like meats, firijoles or yogurt) every day and hopefully during each meal.

Not letting go of the alcohol 10

Not letting go of the alcohol

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While a drink here and there is never anything bad (we're not killjoys!), not regulating its consumption can lead to problems with your metabolism. Drinking alcohol makes you burn less fat and more slowly than usual. So be careful!