Keeping the body metabolism high is important, especially for those that are trying to lose weight or trying to maintain their weight. However, there are lifestyle choices and conditions that tend to slow down our metabolism. Keeping this kind of lifestyle, as a habit or for a long time, can lead to people adding an excess amount of weight. This piece would focus on the various things that could slow down the metabolism, and how to increase them.
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the process of converting food into energy, which the body uses in functioning. People can either have a fast metabolism or slow metabolism. Individuals with fast metabolism process food and burn up calories more quickly, as compared to those with a slow metabolism. There are many ways of increasing one’s metabolism. One of the ways of doing this is by exercising.
Is There A Connection Between Metabolism and Weight Loss?
We often hear when people complain that the reason they’re not losing weight is that they have a slow metabolism. Although this could be true to an extent. There are more factors that contribute to weight loss than the metabolic rate of an individual. Other factors that play important roles in weight loss include how much one eats, and exercise. In fact, these two factors play more significant roles than eating and exercise.
What Factors Affect Metabolism?
There are some conditions that affect metabolism. Below are some of them:
- Medications: There are some medications that can rapidly increase and slow down the body metabolism.
- Early breakfast: Studies have shown that eating breakfast every day can shoot up body
- Weight loss: It has been shown that rapid weight loss slows down the metabolism. This is because it requires less energy for the body to function at a lower weight. People that lose weight, would need to consume more calories or engage themselves in more physical activity to burn more calories, in order to keep losing weight.
- Age: Studies have shown that people’s metabolism slows down as they age. In addition, people tend to gain more fat and lose muscle. One way of overcoming this is by getting more involved in physical activities, such as regular jogging, sports, gym and so on.
Factors That Could Slow Down Your Metabolism
- Consuming too few calories: Consuming a few calories can significantly reduce body People tend to consume less when trying to lose some weight. However, it can be counterproductive if your calorie intake is too low. A sudden reduction in the consumption of calories would send a signal to the brain, and it reacts by lowering the rate of metabolism. Studies carried out on lean and overweight people have confirmed that eating less than 1000 calories daily can significantly affect the metabolic rate. The result of the test showed that obese women that consume 420 calories per day for 4 to 6 months recorded a significant reduction in their resting metabolic rate. The resting metabolic rate is the number of calories burned during rest. The experiment also indicated that the resting metabolic rate of the obese women remained low, after increasing their calorie intake over five weeks.
In another study, overweight people were asked to consume 890 calories daily. The results also indicated that their metabolism reduced significantly after 3 months. A separate study was done, 32 people were made to consume 1114 calories per day, and the result showed that their metabolism slowed down twice as much as those who consumed 1462 calories per day. However, they had a similar loss of weight.
Overall, reducing your calorie intake significantly, and for a long time reduces the metabolic rate, which would make weight loss more difficult and weight maintenance more tedious.
- Not consuming sufficient protein: It’s important to consume sufficient protein to maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that protein is not just important for building muscles, but they can also help to increase body metabolism significantly. The rise in metabolism after digestion is known as the thermic effect of food. Studies have indicated that the thermic effect of protein, is higher than that of carbohydrate and fat. Protein is capable of increasing the body metabolism by an average of 20 to 30%, as against 5-10% for carbohydrates, and 3% for fat. Overall, it has been proven that protein increases the body metabolic rate, way more than carbohydrate and fat. This is essential for achieving weight loss, and also maintaining the body weight.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Living a sedentary lifestyle significantly reduces the number of calories one burns daily. This is the situation for a lot of people, especially in urban areas. Most people have jobs that would demand they sit behind the desk all day, and also get home, to binge watch movies in their leisure time. This sort of lifestyle has negative energy on the metabolic rate, and on the health in general. One of the ways of preventing this is by engaging in physical activities such as jogging for at least 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week, taking the stairs, taking an average of 10,000 steps per day and so on. Overall, being inactive reduces the number of calories that are burnt per day, there reducing the body metabolism. Endeavor to engage in physical activities, or better still, join a gym and commit yourself to it.
- Insufficient sleep: The effect of sleeping well cannot be overemphasized. Sleep is vital to have good It has been shown that it’s important to sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Studies have shown that people that don’t get adequate sleep have a high risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression. In addition, inadequate sleep also lowers the metabolic rate and increases the chances of gaining more weight. According to a study, it was revealed that healthy adults who sleep 4 hours per night for 5 days in a row, had a reduction of about 2.6% in their resting metabolic rate. Sleeping during the day disrupts the circadian rhythm and can make it difficult to sleep at night. Overall, getting adequate sleep and sleeping during the day, rather than sleeping at night helps to preserve the metabolic rate.
- High consumption of simple carbohydrates: The overconsumption of simple carbohydrates is not good for the body. Examples of simple carbohydrate include sugary drinks such as soda, table sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages and so on. Studies have shown that frequently consuming sugar-sweetened beverages may slow down metabolism. The 3 months-controlled studies, included overweight and obese people who consumed 25% of their calories as fructose-sweetened beverages on a weight-maintaining diet. The result of the study showed that the participants experienced a significant drop in their metabolic rate. This study was also replicated in animals, and the same outcome was recorded.
- Lack of resistance training: Working out with weights, and engaging in resistance training exercises is a good way of preventing body metabolism from slowing down. Studies have shown that resistance training helps to boost the metabolic rate in healthy people, and for individuals that are affected with heart disease, or that are overweight. Asides from increasing the metabolic rate, resistance training also helps to develop the body muscle mass. Building the muscle mass makes up much of the fat-free mass in the body, which also increases the number of calories burnt at rest. A six-month study conducted on 30 people, showed that engaging in resistance training for just 11 minutes per day, three times a week increased the metabolic rate of the participant by about 7.4%. In addition, the participants burnt an average of 125 extra calories per day. On the contrary, not carrying out any resistance training can reduce the metabolic rate over time, especially as people age, or during weight loss. Overall. Resistance training helps to increase the muscle mass, and also increases the metabolic rate of the body.
- Genetics: Studies have shown that some people have a high metabolic rate, while some people also naturally have a slow metabolic rate. However, people with slow metabolic rate can increase their metabolic rate through several physical activities. One of these is by engaging themselves in more physical activities, such as jogging daily, resistance training and so on. In addition, people with slow metabolic rate should endeavor to sleep sufficiently, eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and less of simple carbohydrates. Individuals with slow body metabolism are prone to gaining excess weight, and also have a high risk of developing a lot of diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes mellitus, and so on.
- Hormones: Hormones play a significant role in body metabolism. A change in the level of some hormones in the body can change the body metabolism. An example is the thyroid hormone. People with hyperthyroidism tend to develop a fast metabolism, while people affected with hypothyroidism do present with hypothyroidism. This is because of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland known as the thyroid hormone. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and maintenance of bones. However, it’s important for the thyroid hormone to be at a normal Other hormones that play a role in body metabolism is the stress hormone. The stress hormone, also known as cortisol reduces body metabolism, especially when it’s in large amounts in the body. Overall, it’s important to seek medical help if you have a hormonal problem.
- Trendy salt: Trendy salts are those that are used in top restaurants and gourmet kitchens. They are mostly used by chefs and foodies. However, these salts do not contain iodine, which is needed for the production of thyroid hormone in the body. Having a low amount of thyroid hormone in the body can lead to hypothyroidism, which would cause patients to develop a slow metabolism. This can be fixed by dumping your trendy salt for iodized salt. Another alternative is to consume foods that are rich in iodine such as shrimps. Overall, trendy salt doesn’t contain iodine, which the body needs for the production of thyroid hormone. Individuals that consume this type of salt have a high risk of developing hypothyroidism which would slow down the body metabolism.
- Consumption of water: Individuals that consume a low amount of water are prone to developing a slow body metabolism. Some studies have shown that water helps the body to burn energy and fuel, which would eventually lead to weight loss. It’s recommended that adults should consume at least 2 Liters of water per day. Water helps to fill up the stomach, thereby reducing the amount of food we’d have to eat. Another way of going about this is by consuming foods that are naturally rich in water. Examples include watermelon, cucumbers and so on. Overall, regular consumption of water helps to increase body metabolism, while individuals that don’t consume a sufficient amount of water may have slow body metabolism.
- Decaffeinated drinks: Decaffeination is the process of removing caffeine from drinks. Drinking decaffeinated drinks before bedtime can help to increase body,metabolism However, studies have shown that coffee can affect the blood sugar, so this might not be recommended for individuals that have heart conditions, or metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus. Individuals that can’t handle coffee would benefit from the other tips above.
- Insufficient calcium: Calcium is important for the development of bones. However, they also contribute to metabolism. Calcium can be gotten from various sources, such as from milk, cereals, kale, tofu, canned salmon and so on. Studies have shown that individuals that don’t have sufficient calcium in their body tend to have a slow metabolism, while those with sufficient calcium level, do have a fast metabolism. Overall, it’s best to maintain a normal level of calcium in the body. Overall, calcium helps to increase body metabolism and also helps to develop strong bones.
- Hot temperature: It’s not good to set the temperature of the room or house too high, especially during winter. Studies have shown that a room temperature of 75 degrees, keep the body from making brown fat. Brown fat has a lot of calorie-burning cells. This is why it’s important to set the temperature moderately, especially before bedtime to increase the brown fat levels in the body. Overall, high temperature reduces the body metabolism, while moderate temperature increases the body metabolism.
- Medications: There are some medications that can slow down the body metabolism. Some of these medications include antidepressants, some antipsychotics, that are used for the treatment of schizophrenia. Medications that slow down the body metabolism, also tend to reduce the heart rate. Overall, it’s essential to inform your physician if you notice that your metabolism has reduced. Your physician would take this into your consideration and would find it if it’s the medication or an underlying disease.
- Cut down on carbohydrate intake: Cutting down on the consumption of carbohydrates helps to lose more weight, and also helps to burn fat faster. However, the body needs carbohydrates to make insulin. This is why it’s important to consume a small amount of carbohydrate. The best way of consuming carbohydrate is from plant sources. Carbohydrates can be gotten from fruits, vegetables, grains, sweet potatoes, wheat flour and so on. This type of food would help to maintain body metabolism and also help to suppress the cravings for unhealthy carbohydrate food. Overall, the excess consumption of carbohydrates can slow down metabolism.
- Keeping awake at night: People stay up and active at night for various reasons. Some might like watching movies throughout the night, while some people have to work night shifts. Whatever the case may be, being nocturnal disrupts the sleep-wake cycle. These alterations of the circadian rhythm can cause a reduction in metabolism, and also cause other conditions such as diabetes and obesity. One of the ways of fixing this is by resetting the body clock is by talking to your physician on how best to go about it. Overall, a disrupted sleep-wake cycle affects the body metabolism. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to have a slow metabolism.
- Meal times: Although it’s good to eat well and healthily, however, it’s essential to eat at the right time. Studies have shown that skipping meals, or grabbing a bite on the go might disrupt the body metabolic balance. Asides from slowing down body metabolism, it can also increase the risk of developing various health disorders such as heart diseases. The way to fix this is by having a dedicated time you eat and sticking to it. It’s also best not to eat too late at night, except when you work late, and you don’t have a choice than to eat late. In such a situation, it’s advisable to eat light at night, and eat heavy during the day.
- Chronic stress: Studies have shown that stress slows the body metabolism. Stress causes an increase in the stress hormone, also known as cortisol in the body. This hormone is meant to give the body an energy boost. However, people that get stuck in a stressed-out zone keeps producing cortisol, because the brain still believes they still require a boost of energy to function. High amounts of cortisol in the body, makes it difficult for the body to utilize insulin. It’s important to find ways of de-stressing. One of the ways of easing stress is by working out, doing something you enjoy doing, and so on.
- High -fat diet: The consumption of huge amounts of fatty food such as burgers, pizza is not good for the body. Although, this food might be fast and delicious, they’re bad for the health, and also reduces the body metabolism. This type of foods alters how the body breaks down foods and nutrients. In addition, they also affect the body’s ability to make use of insulin. This condition is referred to as insulin resistance, and this has been associated with conditions such as diabetes mellitus and obesity. The ways of fixing this is by consuming more fruits and vegetables. There are restaurants that make healthy burgers, without the fat content. This could be a good alternative for high-fat burgers and pizza.
How To Tell If Your Metabolism Is Fast Or Slow?
A lot of people are confused and would like to know if they have a fast or slow metabolism. Some people think that having a fast metabolism is only down to genetics, and if you don’t have it, then you’re doomed to a lifetime of slow metabolism and weight gain. This can’t be further from the truth. As mentioned earlier, there are various ways of boosting body metabolism. The most effective way of doing this is by exercising regularly. Joining the gym and working out frequently is the best way of doing this. However, jogging and walking for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week also goes a long way in increasing the body metabolism.
Signs You Have A Fast Body Metabolism
Individuals with a fast metabolism have a mind and body that stays youthful and strong. In addition, they find it easy to lose fat and weight, while still retaining a healthy muscle mass. Other things you’d notice in an individual with a fast metabolism is that they’re capable of sustaining their energy all day long, without necessarily having to go grab a cup of coffee. As earlier mentioned, if this is not you, there are things you can do to ramp up your metabolism.
Signs You Have A Slow Body Metabolism
Below are some of the signs that you have a slow body metabolism:
- People with slow body metabolism find it difficult to lose weight, even after doing all the right things such as changing their diet, and their lifestyle.
- They are prone to digestive system problems such as bloating, heartburn and so on, especially after eating a meal. This can lead to other conditions in the body such as joint and muscle pain, chronic inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, and a slow metabolism
- Individuals with a slow metabolism usually have a hormonal imbalance. This might cause them to have cold intolerance, in their extremities, dry and scaly skin, thinned hair and slow metabolism.
- Blood sugar imbalance: People that are always hungry, and find it difficult to get their next meal without having to consume a snack mostly have a slow metabolism.
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