If your metabolism is slow, you may feel tired and cold and you may have gained weight, your digestion may even feel a bit ‘sluggish’ as well.
There are a number of reasons why your metabolic rate is slow.
Lets have a look at why…
We know that metabolic rate (which is measured in calories) is much more complicated than the old “calories in calories out”! In fact it’s really complicated (!) so I’ve decided to just list 5 of the most common things that can slow the metabolism down.
- Hypo Thyroidism (under active/slow thyroid)
- Your history of dieting
- Your size and body composition
- Your activity level
- Lack of sleep
Lets have a quick look at each one below…
Hypo Thyroidism (under active thyroid)
Your Thyroid is the major controller of your metabolism.
When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.
The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more active. Ideally it should work to keep your metabolism just right but there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course. Some auto immune diseases and mineral deficiencies can effect the Thyroid. Plus some of the symptoms you may be experiencing could be related to Peri menopause and menopause.
If you’re concerned about having an under or over active thyroid, speak to your GP about having your thyroid hormones tested.
Your history of dieting
When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down too. The body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue doing all the necessary life functions on a lot less food.
While dieting can reduce fat, it can, unfortunately, reduce the amount of muscle you have also and as you may know, more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate, there for you will burn more calories when at rest.
So…make sure you’re eating enough of the correct food to fuel your self plus introducing weight lifting into your exercise program will help to keep muscle mass on your body.
Your size and body composition
In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than it does a smaller one.
BUT gaining weight is probably not the best strategy for increasing your metabolism!
Muscles need energy to move and again, muscles at rest burn more calories than fat does. So, the amount of energy your body uses depends some what on the amount of lean muscle mass you have. So there’s another thumbs up for weight training to help increase your muscle mass.
Your activity level
Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move and work and you know this because you get hot and sweaty!
Every little bit of exercise helps and remember it all adds up! . Walking a little bit farther than normal, standing at your desk instead of sitting all day, or using the stairs instead of the lift can all contribute to more activity in your day. Can you honestly say you do the Government Recommended Daily amount of steps – which is 10,000!!
Although there has been a lot of controversy about activity trackers being accurate, they are a great motivational tool and keep you focused on how much you are doing every day.
Lack of sleep
There’s a lot of research that shows how sleep can effect the metabolic rate. The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
See if you can create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
I hope that’s been helpful to you…please feel free to get in touch or comment. x