Are you feeling tired, cold or gained weight recently? Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”.
Do you feel that maybe it could be that you metabolism has slowed down?
Why does this happen? Why do metabolic rates slow down?
Lets look at What can slow it down first.
What can slow my metabolism?
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” (which is measured in calories).
But don't worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”! In fact it's so complicated I'm only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.
Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down:
● low thyroid hormone
● your history of dieting
● your size and body composition
● your activity level
● lack of sleep
We'll briefly touch on each one below and I am going to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”. :)
-Low thyroid hormones
Your thyroid is the master 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 metabolically 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. Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.
Talk with your doctor about having your thyroid hormones tested.
-Your history of dieting
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. This is why I don't believe in starving yourself, you must eat enough food to fuel your body, so make sure you're eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it.
-Your size and body composition
In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates. This is because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than a smaller one.
However, you know that gaining weight is rarely the best strategy for increasing your metabolism.
Muscles that actively move and do work need energy. Even 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. This is why incorporating weight training to your fitness routine is so important. It helps increase your muscle mass.
Which leads us to...
-Your activity level
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.
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.
Incorporate movement into your day and exercise regularly.
-Lack of sleep
There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate. The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
If you go to my home page, download my Free 7 Tips to Start feeling better. I offer several ideas to help you get a better nights sleep.
Questions? Please ask in the comments below.
Try this yummy recipe: (Selenium-rich): Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
½ cup Brazil nuts
2 cups water
nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth (optional)
½ cup chia seeds
¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Blend Brazil nuts in water in a high-speed blender until you get smooth, creamy milk. If desired, strain it with a nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth.
Add Brazil nut milk and other ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined. Let sit several minutes (or overnight) until desired thickness is reached.
Serve & Enjoy!
Makes a simple delicious breakfast or dessert topped with berries.