- 13 Things Sure To Slow Down Your Metabolism
- 11 Worst Foods for Your Metabolism
- Refined Grains
- Conventional Produce
- Traditional Yogurt
- Fruit Juice
- Restaurant Fried Food
- Farmed Beef
- Frozen Meals
- Regular Sea Salt
- Granola Bars
- These 25 Things Are Slowing Down Your Metabolism
- 6 Reasons for a Slow Metabolism
- 15 Signs You Have a Slow Metabolism
- You’ve Gained Weight
- You Have Difficulty Losing Weight
- You’re Always Tired
- You Have Dry Skin
- Your Nails Are Brittle
- You’re Losing Your Hair
- You Get Frequent Headaches
- You Keep Forgetting Things
- You’re Always Cold
- You’ve Lost Your Sex Drive
- You’re Feeling Depressed
- You Have a Decreased Pulse Rate
- You Crave Sugar and Other Carbs
- You Have Menstrual Problems
- You Are Constipated
- What vitamins can I take to boost my metabolism?
13 Things Sure To Slow Down Your Metabolism
Every cell in your body plays a role in energy metabolism — the process of turning the food you eat into energy that keeps your heart beating, lungs pumping, and muscles moving. The faster your basal metabolic rate, the more calories you burn. And just like there are ways to speed it up — by increasing muscle mass and exercising — certain habits can hit the brakes on your natural calorie-churning engine. Here are 13 things sure to slow you down.
1. Eating Inconsistently At Odd Times From Day To Day
In a 2012 Hebrew University study, mice fed high fat foods sporadically gained more weight than mice that ate a similar diet on a regular schedule. Researchers suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals. Eat frequent, consistently sized meals to avoid binges and feel happier. Research from Liverpool John Moores University found that women who fluctuated between low- and high-calorie meals were less happy with their bodies than those whose plates packed a similar number of calories from meal to meal.
Organochlorines (chemicals in pesticides) can interfere with your body’s energy-burning process and make it harder to lose weight, according to a Canadian study. Researchers found that dieters who ate the most toxins experienced a greater-than-normal dip in metabolism and had a harder time losing weight. Problems with the thyroid gland are more common among women than men, Dr. Whitney S. Goldner of the University of Nebraska Medical Center said. There is growing evidence for a link between exposure to pesticides and thyroid problems he noted. Opt for organic fruits and veggies as often as you can.
3. Dietary Toxins in Processed Foods
MSG, harmful fatty acids and toxic preservatives and emulsifers weaken the thyroid reducing metabolism up to 70% in the long-term. Mice with sustained exposure to the chemical preservatives develop significant abdominal weight gain, early insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Reducing exposure to dietary toxins, sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods will keep your metabolism sharp.
4. Drinking Water Containing Fluoride and Chlorine
Both chemicals in treated water supplies also interfere with normal thyroid function. If your thyroid is sluggish, your metabolism slows down and even becomes dysfunctional. Drinking fluoridated and chlorinated water supplies will guarantee at least some dysfunction in metabolic processes. Drink filtered water whenever possible.
5. Not Getting Your Zzzz’s
A 2012 study found that people who sleep less move less the next day, which means they burn fewer calories. But it gets worse: Sleep deprivation actually reduces the amount of energy your body uses at rest, according to the German and Swedish researchers. Stay away from alcohol, fatty foods, coffee and chocolate at least 2 hours before bedtime.
– Esimate Your Body Fat Percentage
– Calculate Your Daily Energy Requirement (DER)
The most popular medications in the world including antacids and drugs for diabetes, cholesterols and high blood pressure, all interfere with critical metabolic processes which dramatically reduce energy expenditure.
7. Eating Too Little
When you skimp on calories, your body switches into starvation mode, slowing your metabolic rate to conserve the fuel it’s got. You will never increase your metabolism by dramatically curbing your calorie intake. Always eat often and sensibly to match your energy requirements.
8. Lacking Protein
Make sure protein is a component in every meal. It assists your body in maintaining lean muscle. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of fish, 2 tablespoons of nuts daily. Research shows protein can up post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35%.
9. You’re Missing this Crucial Vitamin
Vitamin D is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Unfortunately, researchers estimate that 96% of Americans over age 50 don’t take in enough through their diet. You can get 90% of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Better yet, exposing your full torso to the sun for at least 30 minutes is equivalent to approximately 10,000 IU.
10. Sitting Too Long
It takes only 20 minutes in any fixed position to inhibit your metabolism, according to Carrie Schmitz, an ergonomic research manager for Ergotron. A new study led by the University of Leicester, in association with colleagues at Loughborough University, has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death regardless of physical activity.
11. Disrupting Circadian Rhythms
Your internal clock directly controls the part of your cells that keeps your metabolism chugging along. But when you disrupt your so-called circadian rhythm — by crossing time zones, for instance — your cells don’t function the way they should and your metabolism suffers, according to researchers at the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism at University of California – Irvine. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies,showed that two cellular switches found on the nucleus of mouse cell are essential for maintaining normal sleeping and eating cycles and for metabolism of nutrients from food.
All of your body’s cellular processes, including metabolism, depend on water. If you’re dehydrated, you could burn up to 2 percent fewer calories, according to researchers at the University of Utah.
13. Skipping Breakfast
When you miss breakfast, you don’t just set yourself up to overeat at lunch. You actually tell your body to conserve energy — which means it burns calories more slowly. That’s one reason a study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who skip a morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese.
April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.
As seen on: http://preventdisease.com/news/13/080913_13-Things-Sure-To-Slow-Down-Your-Metabolism.shtml
11 Worst Foods for Your Metabolism
There’s no doubt about it: figuring out how to lose belly fat is hard. If you’re hitting the gym, eating right, and getting those Zzz’s what else could you possibly do to reach those weight-loss goals? One answer: ditch these foods that slow down your metabolism.
Metabolism, a naturally-occurring biochemical process whereby your body converts food and drinks into energy, is a key factor when it comes to achieving that number on the scale. The more efficient your body is at burning calories and transforming them into energy, the less likely you’ll put on extra pounds in the first place. But when this natural ability isn’t working in its most effective state, your body isn’t able to shred as much fat as you’d like. And one of the reasons why this slowdown happens is because you’re consuming these metabolism-wrecking foods. With each bite of these choices, you move the weight-loss finish line that much farther away.
RELATED: We found the best smoothie recipes for weight loss.
It’s no secret that pasta, bread, and pizzas shouldn’t be on your list of go-tos when you’re trying to keep that belly flat. But when you do want to treat yourself, do it the right way. Large quantities of gluten, starch, and phytic acid may hurt your metabolism. In fact, when comparing the human body’s ability to digest grains, researchers agreed that choosing refined grains was a lot more damaging to our insides. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that explained that when choosing whole grains instead of refined ones, your body will have an increased calorie loss because there are fewer calories saved during digestion and your metabolism becomes more active. The more simple a carb is (think: white bread, white pasta, and white rice) the easier it is for your body to break it down. This means your metabolism doesn’t have to work as hard to break these foods down. When you eat more refined grains, your metabolism revs up as your body works harder to break these nutrients down. Plus, these simple carbs end up spiking your blood sugar leading to extra fat storage.
Sure, a nice cup of vino may be great to end the day. But drinking too much alcohol in one sitting, which is more than one drink per day for women and two for men, can take a major toll on your metabolic rate. It may surprise you, the reason alcohol is linked to weight gain is not just about the calories. According to research, drinking alcohol decreases the body’s fat-burning ability by 73%. When drinking at an excessive rate, acetaldehyde is formed. This highly toxic substance waves many internal red flags to your body’s digestive system. Instead of your metabolism burning the calories you consume, your body has to work to detoxify these chemicals.
Eating food contaminated with pesticides can lead to a slower metabolism — and the more of these foods you have in your diet, the worse off you are. A study in Obesity Review discovered that people whose bodies show high levels of organochlorines, a type of pesticide, tend to have a slower metabolism and have a more difficult time losing weight. Another study in Spain found that those with the highest concentrations of these pesticides were born at a low birth rate than those without the chemical in their bloodstream.
Greek yogurt offers many metabolism-boosting benefits thanks to its high protein concentration and probiotics. But when you venture into the world of traditional yogurt, you’re not dishing yourself a dairy product that’s well worth it. These alternatives have little to no protein when compared to Greek yogurt, and “If you aren’t consuming enough protein to keep your muscles and cells healthy, the body ends up breaking down muscle to access the nutrients it needs—and this spells trouble. Less muscle mass means a slower metabolism, which over time, can cause weight gain,” explains Alissa Rumsey, RD and former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Plus, be wary of yogurts with too much added sugar and fruit puree. These simple carbs are quickly digested, causing a spike in blood sugar and an inevitable crash, leaving you feeling hungry and craving more simple carbs. Stick to plain 2% Greek yogurt or a low-sugar, high-protein Icelandic yogurt such as Siggi’s.
Drinks like fruit juice put a major damper on your diet. Just one glass of the classic no-pulp OJ in the morning serves you a whopping 22 grams of sugar, and a bowl of sweetened cereal can set you back more than 20 grams of sugar per bowl. When you consume such high quantities of the sweet stuff, your levels of blood glucose soar into the stratosphere. This tells your metabolism to slow down, meaning you’ll burn fewer calories and add to your fat stores.
You probably know soda isn’t doing your body any favors, but did you know it could actually be slowing down your metabolism? Many sodas are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup: a sweetener that contains high levels of a sugar called fructose. Your metabolism is your body’s ability to turn food into energy. Because fructose isn’t metabolized into direct energy like glucose is, consuming high levels of this sweetener can slow down your metabolism. In fact, a 2010 review published in the journal Current Hypertension Reports, found a connection between high fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages and metabolic disorders.
Restaurant Fried Food
Fried foods from restaurants might be your guilty pleasure, but you should be aware of the repercussions of eating the stuff. These fatty foods can be fried in partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, which can gum up your metabolism until it’s hit a virtual standstill. In fact, researchers at Wake Forest University found that animals given a diet high in trans fats gained more weight than those consuming a diet full of monounsaturated fat, even with no difference in total caloric intake. Plus, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has positively linked the consumption of fried foods with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain in adults, putting your health at risk with every bite.
Indulging in a burger from time to time may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re eating farmed beef, you could be setting yourself up for a serious metabolic slowdown. Non-organically farmed cattle are often treated with antibiotics, which can have a profoundly damaging effect on our gut bacteria. Researchers at Harvard found that long-term consumption of diets high in animal proteins can also irreparably alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, slowing your metabolism along the way.
What those frozen dinners lack in calories and fat, they more than make up for in metabolism-slowing ingredients. To make up for their lack of flavor, many frozen meals load their recipes with sugar, sodium, and trans fat in the form of hydrogenated oils. The packaging of these foods is just as suspect: many frozen food trays are loaded with BPA, a chemical used in the production of plastic that has been linked to metabolic disturbances and weight gain.
Regular Sea Salt
Opt for iodized salt instead. Iodized salt has a positive effect on your thyroid and, in turn, your metabolism. “Without sufficient levels of iodine, your thyroid function becomes impaired and it’s harder for your body to burn fat,” says nutritionist Dana James of Food Coach NYC, who suggests sneaking sea vegetables into your diet at least three times a week.
Often thought of as a health food, granola and granola bars are one of the sneakiest causes of metabolic meltdowns out there. While their oat base can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, the shocking amount of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives in most recipes can make even the most efficient metabolisms slow to a snail’s pace. Think your preferred brand is exempt from those unhealthy ingredients? Just a single Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar is loaded with sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup solids, artificial colors, and harmful preservative BHT. If you’re looking for a healthier snack bar, check out our list of 25 best & worst low-sugar protein bars.
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These 25 Things Are Slowing Down Your Metabolism
We know why you’re here: You’re terrified of your slowing metabolism. Honestly, we don’t blame you. It makes sense that we’re so scared when we hear such negative messages about what happens once it slows: If I have a slow metabolism, I’ll be gross. Tired. Lazy. Depressed. Acne-covered. The list goes on.
Metabolism is just the process of the body using food and nutrients to carry out its usual biological processes. As we age, our metabolism naturally starts to slow down. We get more sluggish, our skin sags, and we put on a few pounds.
This is all completely natural.
However, there are lifestyle choices and changes that could accelerate this process. People have gone to great lengths to speed up their metabolism. In popularized health discussions, metabolism has been inextricably tied to weight and weight loss. Slow metabolism equals fat. Fast metabolism equals thin, lean, and healthy. As a result, with a lean body in mind, many people set their minds to revving their metabolisms up and start on an attempt to diet, full speed ahead.
However, this could backfire: Many of the traditional dieting methods and foods we think are making us thinner are actually slowing our metabolism way, way down.
Is your workout slowing your metabolism? Maybe, if you’re doing it wrong. What about eating low-carb?
The truth is, having a fast metabolism may or may not result in a smaller body. However, we do know that a fast metabolism will make you more energized, vivacious, clear-headed, clear-skinned, and hormonally balanced.
You don’t want to sabotage that. If you avoid these 25 things, you won’t have to.
6 Reasons for a Slow Metabolism
Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy–how fast your motor runs. When your metabolism is slow, all the processes in your body slow down. You might feel tired, depressed, cold, sluggish. You’ll find it hard to lose weight because your body will be more likely to store calories as fat, not burn calories for energy.
Here are some common causes of slow metabolism:
Too little sleep. While the occasional all-nighter forces your metabolism into high gear, chronic partial sleep loss (less then seven hours a night) has a profound effect on your metabolism. It affects glucose regulation, causing insulin resistance and elevated glucose levels. It leads to excessive food intake, storage of calories as fat, and obesity. It leads to decreased energy expenditure. You end up moving around less, as your body tries to conserve energy. Not getting enough sleep–or poor sleep quality– affects many of the hormones that control metabolism and energy intake, including cortisol, thyrotropin, leptin and ghrelin.
Too few calories. It’s well-known that drastic calorie restriction slows metabolism. But new research shows that even modest calorie restriction also slows metabolism, although less so. It may do so by impairing your body’s ability to convert T4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone, to T3, the active form that drives metabolism in your body. Exercise can counterbalance the metabolism-slowing effects of calorie-cutting.
Nutrient deficiencies. Many nutrient deficiencies will impair the body’s ability to generate energy. These include magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, and most of the B vitamins. Too little protein, too, can slow metabolism and impair the body’s ability to make metabolism-boosting muscle. A good multi-vitamin and adequate protein can help make up for nutritional deficiencies.
Too little exercise. Exercise literally fans the flames, boosting energy metabolism while you’re active and for a few hours afterwards. Muscle-building, such as weight-lifting, has an added benefit. The more muscle you have, the higher your body’s resting metabolic rate. That helps you burn more calories 24/7.
Dehydration. Water is an important component of most of the chemical reactions that go on in your body, including energy metabolism. When you’re short on water, metabolism slows down dramatically, and you will soon feel the effects with sluggishness and fuzzy thinking. Make sure you drink enough every day. Carry water with you when exercising and for strenuous outdoors activities.
Low thyroid hormone function. Hypothyroidism is a well-known cause of slow metabolism. It can be detected by a test that checks blood level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. (TSH) However, you can still have inadequate thyroid hormone function even though you have normal levels of TSH. Your body may not be converting T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active form.) Or your cells may be resistant to T4. This condition is known as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WTS.) The best way to find out if you have WTS is to take your body temperature. If it is consistently low, typically below 97.8 F. (36.56 C.) chances are good you have slow metabolism. People can recover from WTS with proper thyroid support, which often includes a trial of T3. You can discuss T3 therapy with your doctor and we will be happy to discuss your case with your doctor. Your doctor can call 800.420.5801. The object of T3 therapy is to normalize your oral body temperatures to average 98.6 (37 C.) during treatment. (See “How are body temperatures measured” for complete instructions.) When your temperature improves, you metabolism will return to normal. People whose metabolism is “reset” with T3 therapy often find that they can stop the T3 after a few months and their symptoms do not return because their temperatures stay normal!
Agnihothri RV, Courville AB, Linderman JD, et al. Moderate weight loss is sufficient to affect thyroid hormone homeostasis and inhibit its peripheral conversion. Thyroid. 2013 Jul 31.
Knutson KL, Spiegel K, Penev P. The metabolic consequences of sleep deprivation. Sleep Med Rev. 2007 Jun;11(3):163-78.
Vij VA1, Joshi AS. Effect of ‘water induced thermogenesis’ on body weight, body mass index and body composition of overweight subjects. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Sep;7(9):1894-6.
“No matter what I do, I can’t seem to lose weight,” writes this week’s house call, who is also an Eat Fat, Get Thin challenge participant. “I think I’m cursed with a slow metabolism.”
I hear this often among patients, and the good news is that no, you’re not cursed and yes, you can fix your metabolism.
It’s important to remember that you are unique: Everyone was born with a different biochemical make-up. You have trillions of little energy factories called mitochondria that provide the fuel to run everything in your body. If you can remember high school biochemistry class, you know mitochondria convert the oxygen you breathe and the food you eat into energy for your body to use.
Think of mitochondria as little combustion engines. When scientists talk about metabolism, they often refer to mitochondria. Effective mitochondria mean your body efficiently burns calories and you have a fast metabolism. Ineffective mitochondria don’t burn calories and slow down your metabolism.
The Causes of a Slow Metabolism
Some of this is genetically determined. Research shows if you have a parent or sibling who has type 2 diabetes, your mitochondria are likely to be 50 percent less effective at burning calories than the average person, even if you are thin.
This predisposition means you’re more likely to gain weight and eventually develop diabetes, or what I collectively call diabesity, further adversely impacting your mitochondria.
Likewise, aging itself and other chronic diseases like heart disease and dementia create mitochondrial dysfunction.
However, the biggest hit comes from your diet. More than flavors and calories, food becomes information that tells your cells and mitochondria what to do. When you eat lots of sugar and processed, inflammatory foods including refined oils, or simply consume too much food period, you overload your energy factories and damage production.
Likewise, starvation mode means your body clings to fat. After all, your body’s number one priority is keeping you alive, not necessarily fitting into that bathing suit when summer arrives. In fact, your body is extremely well adapted at holding on to fat.
Yo-yo dieting, under-eating, calorie-restrictive dieting or other extreme measures force your body’s metabolism to slow way down and store fat for that “rainy day” that never comes.
To optimize mitochondria, then, you want to eat the right kinds of foods and eat enough of those foods.
Lifestyle factors can also impact your mitochondria. Environmental toxins like pesticides, mercury and radiation, as well as hidden infections and stress can harm your energy system.
Your gut microbiome can even be a problem if unhealthy, inflammatory bugs outnumber the good bugs. These bad bugs release toxins called lipopolysaccharides. You absorb these toxins, creating inflammation and damaging your mitochondria. Anything that causes inflammation and oxidative stress damages your mitochondria.
Fortunately, you have the power to increase the number and function of your mitochondria. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can take these seven steps to keep your mitochondria healthy and optimize your metabolism.
- Eat plenty of healthy fats. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds, along with wild, fatty fish are your mitochondria’s preferred fuel. My favorite “gasoline” for your mitochondria is medium-chain triglycerides or MCT oil, which is found in coconut oil. I provide an extensive plan to utilize these and other healthy fats in my new book Eat Fat, Get Thin.
- Go for color. While nutritionists often disagree, one thing nearly everyone concurs with is that we need to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and other plant foods. Colorful, antioxidant-rich plant foods become essential for healthy mitochondria and reducing oxidative stress.
- Avoid sugar and flour. High-glycemic, high-carb foods put tremendous stress on your mitochondria. In fact, quick absorbed carbs are the biggest driver that damages your entire system. My 10-Day Detox Diet Program includes low-sugar, delicious foods that kick-start weight loss and overall health.
- Stop obsessing over numbers. Quality over quantity becomes key for optimizing mitochondria. That said, if you’d like to know how much you should be eating, calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR) or the total number of calories your body needs to survive at complete rest. If you eat fewer calories than your RMR, your body thinks it is starving. Calculating your RMR is easy. If you are average size, take your weight in pounds and multiply by 10. If you are very muscular and lean, multiply your weight by 13. If you are very overweight, multiply it by 8. Eating less than your RMR means your body goes into starvation mode.
- Move more and faster. Research shows high intensity interval training (where you go all out for 30 to 60 seconds, slowing down for a couple of minutes, and repeating) coupled with strength training is an excellent way to make new, improved mitochondria. Strength training builds muscle and creates more mitochondria, while interval training improves mitochondrial function and how quickly they burn oxygen and calories. You can learn more about an effective exercise plan here.
- Take energy-boosting nutrients. These include coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl-cysteine, carnitine, B-complex vitamins, and omega-3 fats. You can find these and other supplements that help speed up your metabolism and lower inflammation in my store.
- Get great sleep Studies show insufficient sleep exacerbates inflammation, increases heart disease risk and hinders our immune, brain and cellular performance. To remedy that, get eight hours of solid, consistent sleep nightly. You can improve sleep with these eight simple hacks for a better night’s sleep.
Simply put, you have tremendous power over your metabolism and your health. Mind your mitochondria, and you’ll increase your metabolism to become fit and healthy. Even if you’re predisposed to certain genes, you can control them with healthy eating and lifestyle choices You are never stuck.
15 Signs You Have a Slow Metabolism
Have you been counting calories meticulously, hitting the gym, getting plenty of sleep, and still not seeing the scale budge? It may not be your fault; your inability to shed those stubborn pounds could be because of a slow metabolism.
Your metabolism is the process by which your body burns energy for basic bodily functions such as your heartbeat, brain function, and breathing. Since your metabolism burns food for fuel, those with a fast metabolism can seemingly eat whatever they want and not gain weight, while those with a sluggish metabolism have to work that much harder to lose or maintain their weight.
Here are some of the biggest symptoms of a slow metabolism. If you experience any of these, be sure to visit your doctor to get your thyroid tested—you could have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, which is ultimately responsible for your metabolism.
You’ve Gained Weight
The biggest sign of a slow metabolism is unexplained weight gain. If you’ve been eating well and exercising and still packing on the pounds, it could be your metabolism.
” very frequently goes unnoticed and is blamed on a presumed sense of increased appetite particularly among women,” explains Mashfika N. Alam, MBBS, general practitioner at Icliniq. “This is commonly associated with hypothyroidism, which slows down the basal metabolic rate because of a lack of thyroid hormones which are essential to body’s metabolic activities.”
You Have Difficulty Losing Weight
Not only can a slow metabolism make you gain weight, but it can also make it super difficult to lose weight even if you’ve been counting calories and exercising extremely diligently. Dr. Alam says you may have an inability to lose weight “despite eating a balanced or restricted diet.”
You’re Always Tired
With your body burning energy at a slower rate, this will cause you to feel fatigued more frequently. Aside from weight troubles, fatigue is the most common sign of a slow metabolism says Heather L. Hofflich, DO, endocrinologist and professor of medicine at UC San Diego.
You Have Dry Skin
When your metabolism is slow, your cells aren’t as active as they should be, which means they aren’t getting the proper blood supply. “As the skin fails to gain vital nutrients… the skin loses its luster,” Dr. Alam says. Also as your body tries to conserve heat, you don’t sweat as much. This can impact your skin, leaving it feeling dry and cracked.
Your Nails Are Brittle
Similarly to how a slow metabolism affects your skin, you may also notice changes in your nails due to lack of nutrients being absorbed by your body. Some common changes include more brittle nails and increased ridges to your nails, says Susan Besser, MD.
You’re Losing Your Hair
The same processes that impact your skin and nails also affect your hair. A slow metabolism can impact your hair’s ability to grow and regenerate. Dr. Alam points to a lack of sufficient micronutrients from a slow metabolic rate that can cause your hair to fall out.
You Get Frequent Headaches
When your thyroid hormones are out of whack, which happens with an underactive thyroid, this can trigger headaches or even migraines.
You Keep Forgetting Things
Too little thyroid hormone, which regulates your metabolism, can cause a poor memory and make you forgetful.
You’re Always Cold
Being cold all the time is a symptom of hypothyroidism, which also slows down your metabolism. If you’re cold all the time, odds are your thyroid isn’t as active as it should be—and neither is your metabolism. “Heat is generated with body’s metabolic activity,” Dr. Alam says. A slow metabolism can lead to a decreased core body temperature, she says, which is another sign of hypothyroidism.
You’ve Lost Your Sex Drive
Low levels of thyroid hormone could mean low levels of sex hormones like testosterone, which may impact your ability to get in the mood.
You’re Feeling Depressed
Since hypothyroidism slows down processes in your body, it’s no surprise your mood can take a hit, too. Depression has been linked to a slow thyroid, and therefore a slow metabolism.
You Have a Decreased Pulse Rate
If you’ve noticed your heartbeat slowing down, it could be because of a slower metabolism. “Pulse rate is directly proportional to metabolism, hence a slowed pulse rate occurs in conditions that slow down the basal metabolic rate,” Dr. Alam says.
You Crave Sugar and Other Carbs
A slow metabolism is often linked to insulin resistance says Caroline Cederquist, MD, practicing bariatric physician in Naples, Florida and author of The MD Factor Diet. ” is a common metabolic condition that means your cells are resistant to the action of insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas that regulates how your cells metabolize energy,” she explains. “If your body is resistant to insulin that causes chronically slow metabolism.”
One sign of insulin resistance is a constant craving for sugar and carbohydrates. Since your body isn’t properly utilizing insulin, your cells can’t absorb the glucose in your body, leading to sugar and other carb cravings, she explains. The problem is, the more sugar and refined carbs you eat, the more your body can’t process them, and the more likely you are to pack on excess fat, experience energy slumps, and feel fatigued.
You Have Menstrual Problems
“The most common cause of slow metabolism is a thyroid disorder (hypothyroid). The thyroid gland is the ‘master control gland,'” explains Dr. Besser. “It helps to regulate other hormonal functions including reproductive hormonal functions. If the reproductive hormones aren’t being produced normally, menstrual problems can occur.” If your cycle is irregular or you are experiencing more cramping than usual, be sure to visit your doctor.
You Are Constipated
Having trouble going to the bathroom? A slow metabolism can impact other processes of the body, including how often you hit the restroom. “With slower metabolism, the bowel transit time is slower too,” Dr. Besser explains. “It takes longer for food to travel through the GI tract and be properly digested, thus constipation occurs.”
Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
What vitamins can I take to boost my metabolism?
There’s a long and a short answer to this question, and you probably want both! First, the short, the foods and supplements we ingest do not DIRECTLY influence our metabolism. In other words, all those “fat burners” that are sold will either do nothing, or, if they contain stimulants, they may accelerate your heart rate, but that’s not the same as metabolism.
The longer answer is that vitamins, especially the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, biotin, and folic acid) do contribute to energy metabolism, by helping your body turn carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into utilizable energy. That said, “More does not mean faster.” In other words, if you are eating well, you will have plenty of vitamins to accommodate metabolism. Many people asking this question are actually asking, “Can I do anything that will speed up my metabolism?” The scientific truth is that metabolism is VERY resistant. One way to modestly increase metabolism is to change your body composition. Lean skeletal tissue (muscle mass) requires more calories to do its job than fat does.
So, if through regular cardiovascular and strength training exercise you are able to gain lean mass and lose fat, that may have a small impact on metabolism. The short, SHORT answer — eat well and move more, and you will optimize the metabolism that genetics has assigned to you.