A healthy metabolism is key to a healthy body and also weight management, loss and gain. Everyone has a base metabolic rate. When your base rate changes for the worse – i.e. it slows down - it affects all your digestive processes and can contribute to weight gain (or a stall in the weight loss process). And it doesn’t just affect your digestion. A slow metabolism manifests in other ways too, but what can cause it to be slower and more sluggish?
1. Do You Have Any Kind of Thyroid Problem?
Your metabolism will definitely be slower than it should be if you suffer from hypothyroidism, which is an autoimmune problem that affects the functionality of the thyroid gland. One of the biggest indicators of this is weight gain and feelings of depression and lethargy, and until treated it can be something of a vicious cycle where you comfort eat as a result of your undiagnosed medical issues.
2. Perhaps You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you are getting fewer than seven hours sleep a night on a regular basis, then this could be a contributing factor for your slower than normal metabolism. Our bodies need restorative sleep to help them reset and remain at their healthiest, and not enough sleep can lead to your metabolism becoming slower (or faster!)
3. Maybe You do Not Stay Hydrated Enough
Drinking liquids like water and juices are essential for staying hydrated throughout the day, but they are also essential for helping your metabolism run along at the desired rate. Not drinking enough water will force your metabolism to slow down to accommodate the physical state of near dehydration that your body is in, so drink plenty to keep it ticking along.
4. Does Your Diet Mainly Consist of Carbs?
Whilst carbs are great for providing some immediate energy, they are also very easy to digest and therefore your metabolism is not required to do as much work as it would with a more varied diet. Make sure to eat plenty of foods that will require your metabolism to work hard (protein, fiber, fruit, veggies) to break down for your body along with the simple carbs.
5. Are You Eating Enough Protein?
Chief among these foods is protein, which is probably the best thing for making a positive impact on the speed of your metabolism. Protein keeps you full for longer periods and helps to prevent cravings later on, while also putting your metabolism to work and therefore burning more calories than with a more carb-heavy diet.
6. Do You Only do Cardio for Exercise?
For the best workout regime, you should be mixing cardio with things like strength training and body weight exercises to really get your metabolism working in overdrive. Doing too much cardio can burn off important muscle, and muscles help a healthy metabolism. Find the perfect balance.
7. Do You Tend to Skip Some Meals?
Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism. Your metabolism will work better if you stick to a regular routine of healthy eating instead of skipping lunch or dinner in order to try to lose weight. If you go too long without food, your body will treat you as you if you are starving and your metabolism will slow dramatically.
8. Do You Tend to Be Inactive for Most of the Day?
It’s not good if you sit around all day but then just go for one 30-minute jog in the evening. Your metabolism will react much better if you make the effort to be more active through the day. This can be as small as taking short five minute laps of the office every hour to aid digestion!
9. Do You Mainly Easy Processed Foods?
No matter what the packaging says, processed foods are still worse for your body than natural goods. They can be filled with all types of hidden salts, sugars and fats that might make the food taste good but will not do your metabolism any favors when it comes to the digestion part of the process.
It’s important to have a basic understanding of your metabolism if you want to be successful in weight management.