21 Mar Wonder why your metabolism is slow?
Perhaps you’re feeling cold or tired. Or maybe you’ve noticed that you’ve gained weight. Your digestion could feel a bit more “sluggish”.
You may be convinced that you have a slow metabolism.
Why did this happen? Why would your metabolic rate slow down?
What can cause your metabolism to slow down?
Your metabolism encompasses all of your body’s biochemical reactions that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy. And there are many factors that contribute to how fast or slow your metabolism is. This is what we call your “metabolic rate” (and we measure it in calories).
While metabolic rate is a calorie measurement, there is much more to it than the popular “calories in calories out” concept. In fact, it’s so complicated I’m only going to list a few of the common ways that a metabolic rate can slow down.
Examples of reasons for metabolic slow down:
- lack of sleep
- low thyroid hormone
- your history of dieting
- your size and body composition
- your level of physical activity
We’ll briefly review each of these below and then let’s go beyond the commonly heard advice to “eat less and exercise more.”
Lack of sleep
There so much research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate. The general consensus is a recommendation of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Here’s a tip: Try to create a routine that gives you at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night.
Low thyroid hormones
Your thyroid is the “chief operating officer” of your metabolism. When the thyroid’s hormone production decreases, your metabolism slows down. The thyroid hormones (those are T3 & T4) tell your body’s cells when it’s time to use more energy and become more metabolically active.
In a normal situation, your thyroid functions to maintain your metabolism at just the right level. But there are several things that can throw it off course. Autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) are examples of affecting factors. Check out the recipe below for a selenium-rich treat that you can enjoy for breakfast or even dessert!
Here’s A Tip: Talk to your doctor about testing your thyroid hormones.
Your history of dieting
When people lose weight sometimes their metabolic rate slows down. This can occur because the body interprets that as a scarcity of food, so it adapts by trying to maintain all of life’s necessary functions while using less food.
Furthermore, while dieting can reduce your amount of body fat, you may also experience a reduction in the amount of your lean muscle. As you may already know, more muscle generally means a faster resting metabolic rate.
Here’s a tip: Be sure to consume enough food to fuel your body without crossing the line of overeating.
Your size and body composition
In general, people with larger body frames have faster metabolic rates. It makes sense that it would take more energy to fuel a larger body compared to a smaller one.
However, you can readily surmise that gaining weight is not likely to be a great strategy to boost your metabolism.
Muscles that are moving and working need energy. Even resting muscles burn more calories than fat, generally speaking. So the amount of energy your body uses, at least in part, depends on the amount of your lean muscle mass.
Here’s a tip: Have a balanced exercise regimen. Do some weight training to help increase your muscle mass, in addition to aerobic fat-burning workouts.
And that leads us too…
Your level of physical activity
Aerobic exercise causes a temporary increase in your metabolic rate. Your muscles burn fuel to move and work. You can note physical evidence of this because you will also feel warmer.
Every little thing you do adds up to make a difference. Walking more steps than you usually do, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or incorporating periods of standing at an ergonomic workstation instead of sitting at a desk all day can all contribute to increasing your daily activity.
Here’s a tip: Add more movement into your day and exercise regularly.
For more guidance on implementing these tips, try my FREE 7-Day SIMPLY STUNNING Lifestyle Program by filling out the form below. Meal plan and workout plan included!
Recipe (Selenium-rich): Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
½ cup Brazil nuts
2 cups water
Several layers of cheesecloth (optional)
½ cup chia seeds
¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
1. Blend Brazil nuts in the water in a high-speed blender until you get a smooth, creamy milk. If you wish, strain it through several layers of cheesecloth.
2. Whisk this nut milk and the other ingredients in a bowl until combined. Let the mixture sit several minutes (or overnight) until the desired thickness is reached.
3. Serve & Enjoy!
Note: This makes an easy and yummy breakfast or dessert when topped with berries.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. Information provided on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is not intended to replace a complete consultation with a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient
relationship. Dr. Venus Ramos is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this web site.
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