Everyone has a friend or family member born with a naturally high metabolism. They can eat what they like, do mild exercise, and stay fit and healthy. But for the rest of us, weight loss can be extremely hard, especially if we are suffering from a slow metabolism.
If you are doing exercise and dieting but still failing to lose weight, it could be down to a slow metabolism. Below, we discuss five telltale signs of slow metabolism and how to solve them.
1. Weight Gain
Unexplained weight gain does not necessarily come from overeating. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Eating too few calories can actually slow down your metabolism.
This is because the body senses that food is limited. As such, the rate it burns calories becomes lower. As such, excess calories take longer to get rid of and use as energy.
If you feel this may be the case, begin to increase your calorie intake gently over the next 6 weeks. Take your measurements and see if the increase has actually made you lose weight.
For anyone who is piling on the pounds but conducting a regime of healthy eating and exercises, there could be an underlying problem. This could be a sign of hyperthyroidism. This is a condition where a lack of hormones from the thyroid gland slows down the body’s metabolism.
Any surgery should be able to do a thyroid check. Al it takes is a simple blood test and the results will be back in a few days. It can be corrected with prescription hormone pills.
2. Slow Metabolism Fatigue
One sure way to tell if you have a slow metabolism is tiredness. Though it may also be attributed to a number of other factors, sorting out your sleep will undoubtedly help kick-start your metabolism.
As your body is burning energy at a much slower rate, you are lacking the vital products you need to keep going. This results in a constant feeling of fatigue.
To avoid this, make sure you are getting a full night’s sleep. That sleep should be good quality, deep, unbroken sleep. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep does decrease your metabolic rate.
There are a number of reasons why you may not be getting enough sleep, and you should address these or discuss them with a doctor. Try to avoid sleeping in the day if at all possible, so your body can establish a pattern for sleep. You should be aiming to establish a circadian rhythm.
A lack of sleep can also result in a higher risk of contracting illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. It can also impact your mental health, which may also cause problems with your metabolic rate.
3. Bad Skin and Hair
A slow metabolism inhibits the supply of nutrients to the cells in your body. As such, you may find that your cells are not repairing as much or are losing their healthy glow. This could manifest in dry skin and hair, or brittle nails.
Your body will also attempt to keep in the heat, meaning you do not sweat as much. Though this may sound like a benefit, a lack of sweat can stop oils and moisture applying themself topically to your skin. This results in the dryness of the area.
A high protein diet can increase the rate of metabolism. This increase is known as the thermic effect, and it is much higher in protein than it is in fats and carbohydrates.
To address the problem, try to increase the intake of nutrient-rich proteins in your diet. Dairy products and fish are excellent as they have the Omega 3 oils and calcium you need. If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, pulses and seeds, particularly chia seeds, can provide what you need.
4. Mental Health Issues
A lack of the thyroid hormone in the body, one of the main causes of slow metabolism, can also impact mental health and some cognitive abilities. For example, loss of memory can be one of the signs of slow metabolism.
It can also impact your sex drive, due to a lack of testosterone. Finally, it can cause depression. As your body slows down, your mood can slump drastically meaning you feel low and sad.
If you notice any of these symptoms and you lead a lifestyle that involves sitting or lack of movement, then you should try to get active. The movement will help burn calories and exercising can increase endorphins in the brain, lifting your mood. Even if you are working, make sure you have a regular break in which you leave the computer screen, walk around, and interact with other people.
5. You Crave Carbohydrate and Sugar
Occasionally, some bodies can be resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It regulates how your cells burn and metabolize calories and energy.
Insulin resistance can manifest in a craving for carbohydrates and sugar. As your body can not absorb glucose, it needs the quick-burning energy from these products to function. However, it is a vicious circle as the more of them you eat, the more likely your body is to convert them to excess fat.
Try to regulate your diet by cutting down on refined sugar and carbs. Sugary drinks are the main contributing factor, as the fructose in them can cause spikes and troughs in your energy levels.
Addressing the Problem
Once you think you have a slow metabolism and have started to address the problem, allow around 6 weeks to see if your change has made an impact. If this does not work, then seek the help of a medical professional.
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