Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy. And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate”
For people who feel they have a slow metabolism, the advice given is often “eat less and exercise more.” But factors affecting metabolic rate are much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!
So, how do you know if a slow metabolism may be affecting you? And is there anything you can do to change it?
Do you feel cold, tired, or feel your digestion is a bit more “sluggish”? Have you gained weight you are unable to shake?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, give some of these tips a try to see if they can help relieve some of your symptoms:
When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down. This is because the body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food.
While dieting can lead to a reduction in amount of fat it unfortunately can also lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have. As you know more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate.
Tip: Make sure you’re eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it.
Eat enough fat
Many of us have been raised on the premise that “eating fat makes us fat.” But that view is changing with the realization that it is the sugars and refined starches in our diet that are making us fat.
Having adequate fat in our diet is important not only for energy, protection for our organs, making up cell membranes and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins; but it also helps the body to feel satiated, displaces the refined carbs in the diet and actually helps us to burn fat. Check out this meal plan and recipes that incorporate plenty of healthy fats such as nuts/seeds, avocados, and oils.
Tip: Add more healthy fats to your diet, but don’t be reckless since they still contain calories.
Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because you’re also getting hotter.
Anaerobic exercise such as weight training will help to build muscle that increases your metabolic rate even when you’re not exercising! Muscles at rest burn more calories than fat. This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.
Even little things can add up. Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.
Tip: Incorporate movement into your day. Also, exercise regularly and include some weight training or high intensity interval training to help increase your muscle mass.
Many things can impact our ability to get adequate amounts such as stress, nighttime eating syndrome and blue light before bedtime.
Tip: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night. This article discusses 6 tips for a better sleep.
Looking for accountability, education, and support to help you get to the bottom of your symptoms? Book a 20-minute consult with me here to discuss some options.