Almost countless factors can slow down your metabolism. For instance, your gut biome can be a major player. But, some hurdles are easier to overcome than others.
That’s my goal in this article. We’ll go through the most common causes of a slow metabolism. Moreover, I’ll give you a few tips to offset it.
- 1 Can your metabolism slow down?
- 2 6 mistakes that can make metabolism slow down
- 3 How can metabolism slow down? What slows metabolism? 15 hidden enemies
- 4 The holistic takeaway
Can your metabolism slow down?
By now, you should know that it’s completely possible. However, there are many possible reasons. Your metabolism is a complex topic. It varies depending on our energy expenditure and nutrition.
Yet, it goes beyond that. It can also adopt multiple forms, depending on what you’re doing. For example, your resting metabolism is different from when you’re exercising. Digestion and regular activity also shift your metabolism.
Age, activity, and what slows metabolism
The main issue with age and metabolism is physical activity. Regardless of whether it’s exercise, older people move less. It makes up to 30% of daily calorie consumption on average.
Your non-exercise activity accounts for a majority of your caloric consumption. That includes household chores, walking, and even standing. As we grow older, we tend to move less. Even if you don’t exercise, your metabolism can slow down considerably.
Muscle loss and your metabolism
We also lose muscle mass with age after we’re 30. That’s why older people tend to be frailer. That’s naturally a health issue. But, it goes beyond that when we consider our metabolism.
Maintaining muscle mass requires more energy than fat. Muscular people tend to have a faster metabolism. Building muscle can improve your resting metabolism. Consuming less protein also decreases crucial hormones, like testosterone.
Your metabolism slows down naturally
These chemical reactions are primary factors in our resting metabolism. Even without working out, they boost our metabolic rate. As they slow down, we burn fewer calories to use for their activity. The result is less stress on our metabolism.
Preventing metabolic slow-down with age
Naturally, we can deduct plenty of solutions from that information. As we age, our main goal should be to keep up our physical activity. Thus, we can develop a simple strategy to keep a fast metabolism.
Of course, our main goal would be to offset aging’s metabolic effects. So, let’s see what to do to prevent a slow metabolism.
- Resistance training is crucial to optimize our metabolism. We burn more calories while exercising. Moreover, we can increase our resting metabolism via muscle mass.
- High-intensity interval workouts, primarily anaerobic, also boost our metabolism. That’s because the intensity burns more calories. Likewise, our muscles keep using energy after we’re done.
- Sleeping well is crucial for our metabolism. As I’ve already covered, sleep is as important as working out. If you’ve slept little this week, try a 12-hour sleep to catch up.
- Consuming protein can also offset a slowing metabolism. Merely consuming and digesting protein can help you burn calories. This nutrient is also critical to offset age-related muscle loss.
- Proper nutrition is the bottom line, then. Firstly, you should aim to consume more calories. As they make up our energy reserve, you can’t skimp on them. Make sure to get all the energy you need for the day.
6 mistakes that can make metabolism slow down
Again, we’ll go back to Healthline for these six common mistakes. Basically, our metabolism can change considerably with tiny alterations. Seemingly, eating more or less can have a huge impact.
Typically, that’s not a problem for most people. Your average Joe isn’t concerned with optimizing their metabolism. But, these factors can be game-changers if you wish to lose weight.
So, let’s dive into stuff that we do every day and what we can improve.
Too few calories
Calories are fundamental for our energy reserves and metabolism. A caloric deficit is crucial for losing weight. Yet, we can’t neglect them entirely. That’s because our body believes food is scarce.
As a result, our metabolism slows down to make up for fewer calories. As such, always be careful about how much you cut on calories.
Not enough protein
Protein is fundamental for a healthy weight and metabolism. For instance, it makes you feel satiated. But, it also burns more calories while resting. That’s because you need the energy to digest protein.
Moreover, it aids muscle growth. As we already discussed, muscle burns more calories than fat when resting. They require more energy to maintain. So, make sure you’re eating enough calories.
Of course, moving requires energy. That’s why exercise boosts your metabolism temporarily. Yet, doing chores and walking also burn calories. A sedentary lifestyle ensures you’re rarely burning calories.
You burn more calories typing while sitting or standing than watching TV. That way, you can develop simple guidelines to keep your metabolism running. Just take a walk outside or around your house now and then.
Naturally, activity keeps your metabolism up. Thus, sleep is counterproductive, right? Wouldn’t it be better to exercise or work instead of sleep? Well, that’s also far from ideal. As I mentioned, sleep is critical for your metabolism.
Firstly, poor sleep contributes to depression and several illnesses. These conditions make it harder to work out. Moreover, poor sleep lowers your metabolic rate. You’re more likely to eat better if you’re sleeping correctly.
Too much sugar
Avoiding artificial sweeteners is always a goal. The first cuts in fitness programs include sodas and sweets. But, did you know that might not be enough? When thinking of what slows metabolism, we miss the full picture.
For instance, juices are often high sugar sources. Fruits like pineapple and strawberries are high in fructose. So, keep an eye on fruit smoothies and juices. They can hinder your nutrition in secret.
No strength training
By now, you should understand that muscles are vital. Thus, hitting the weights must be your main focus for optimizing your metabolism. Still, many people mistakenly neglect strength training.
That’s because cardio is the primary weight loss workout. It makes you move, sweat, and burn calories. However, strength training shifts your fat mass to muscle mass. That way, your metabolism stays up after you’ve stopped.
Finally, let’s go through many issues that keep your metabolism down. Luckily, WebMD has an extensive article on them. Curiously, many are things we do while thinking it’s healthy. Even I was guilty of several!
As usual, we break down what the article has to say. Moreover, we’ll analyze the scientific research supporting these claims.
But, there’s no need to panic. We can correct most of these mistakes immediately. You’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve with minor efforts.
Unfortunately, we can’t change our inherited genes. Some families have a naturally slow metabolism. Typically, this affects our resting metabolic rate.
Indeed, there are several inherited metabolic disorders. Genes can hinder certain nutrients’ metabolism, including lipids. Thus, the answer lies in habits instead of genetics.
Hormonal swings also affect how our body uses energy. For instance, thyroid anomalies can boost our weight gain. In these cases, medical treatment is the best answer.
This study dives into the thyroid hormone’s metabolic effects. This hormone impacts our lipid and glucose metabolism. Thus, it can hinder or benefits carb and fat burning.
- Lacking sleep
As we’ve discussed, sleep is crucial for steadying energy use. Poor sleep disrupts our body’s energy consumption and metabolism.
This study indicates that sleep affects appetite, insulin efficiency, and cravings. Poor sleep contributes to desiring junk food and even type 2 diabetes.
Diets are primary weight-loss strategies. But, people often try strict diets that only hinder nutrition. Restricting calories too much can make them harder to burn.
For instance, keto diets don’t have any advantages over similar diets. Instead, they can contribute to metabolic and emotional disruption. The best diet is always a balanced one.
- Sea salt
Sea salt has gained lots of love from professional and amateur chefs. People consider it superior to regular salt. However, it lacks iodine, which is crucial for the thyroid.
This study indicates iodine deficiency among vegetarians and vegans. One of the main factors is the low iodine content of sea salt. We can offset this by using sea salt on iodine-rich meals.
- Bad hydration
Water is vital for everything. Our metabolism isn’t the exception. Water helps us feel fuller and keep our metabolism active. As such, always keep a glass of water nearby.
This study found that dehydration changes our metabolism. Likewise, it contributes to multiple health conditions. As such, don’t neglect your daily water intake.
- Decaffeinated coffee
Drinking decaf is great if you want to go to bed. However, it can be a disadvantage in any other scenario.
Caffeine also excels at boosting your metabolism. It also provides plenty of energy for working out and completing tasks.
- Lacking calcium
Calcium isn’t only for the bones. For instance, calcium is crucial for an active metabolism. Besides dairy, you can find it in salmon, tofu, and fortified foods.
For example, calcium is crucial for key cellular systems. That includes muscle contraction and glycogen metabolism.
- High temperatures
If you like heat, you might want to turn it down in the bedroom. Your body needs lower temperatures to fall asleep. That also goes for your metabolism.
That’s because our bodies always look to balance temperature. When we’re cold, we need more energy to keep warm.
Drugs can make you lose or gain weight. Unfortunately, there’s little we can do in these cases. Psychiatric medication seems to be the main culprit.
This study suggests that psychiatric patients tend to suffer from metabolic syndrome. Psychotropic medication contributes to it.
- Reducing carbs
Yes, we need to eat fewer carbs for losing weight. That’s because we must burn more calories than we consume. But, overdoing it isn’t ideal.
This study suggests that carb restriction shifts our metabolism. It could hinder our fatty acid metabolism.
- Being a night owl
It doesn’t matter if we sleep during the day, as long as we get our 7 hours, right? That’s not really the case.
This study ties night shifts to metabolic syndrome. Primarily, working at night reduces our daily energy expenditure.
- Inconsistent meal times
There’s a reason why most people eat at the same times during the day. Disrupting this routine can mess with your metabolism.
This study suggests that eating late can hinder your resting metabolism. So, make sure you eat at the same time every day.
- Chronic stress
Constant stress makes your body produce more cortisol. This hormone can disrupt your metabolism considerably.
This study suggests that cortisol could aid in developing metabolic syndrome. Thus, make sure to take a break now and then!
- Too much fat
Finally, eating too many fatty meals is always bad. For your metabolism, that’s pretty much the same story.
This study shows that poor lipid metabolism causes metabolic syndrome. The same holds for other conditions.
The holistic takeaway
Our metabolism is a tricky subject. Our metabolism can slow down without us realizing it. Thus, you might be missing weight-loss opportunities. Luckily, that also works both ways. We can boost it with minor changes.
Now, you already know what can slow down metabolism. But, how can you speed things up? I already gave you plenty of tips. Feel free to read again and form a weight-loss plan from them.
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