So many people ask if their slow metabolism is responsible for being overweight, over 60, or over 30…
There’s also a misconception about not being able to control your metabolism because it is genetic.
Contrary to popular belief that we are either born with a slow or fast metabolism, metabolism reflects our hormonal health.
This means that you may have more control (in the way of influence) over your metabolism than you are led to believe.
This post is about how metabolism changes at varying points in our lives and what you can do to optimize it.
I will also tell you what most significantly influences how we burn energy.
Is Metabolism Responsible for Our Weight?
Metabolism is linked with weight gain and loss because of its biological process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
Your metabolism is not the reason for weight gain or loss, though.
Metabolism, in medical terms, is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the minimum number of calories your body needs to form basic functions like breathing, digesting, cell repair, body temperature, and hormone level management.
Your metabolism naturally changes at different stages throughout your life.
It is the thyroid gland and the thyroid function that have the most significant influence on how we burn energy.
The thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck, makes the hormones that control how your body uses energy, controlling essential functions and affecting nearly every organ.
These hormones affect your weight, digestion, muscles, heart rate, moods, brain, and breathing.
How Do You Know If You Have a Slow Metabolism?
People with a slow thyroid function experience a ‘slow metabolism.’
Symptoms of a low thyroid function (slow metabolism) include:
- Weight gain
- Slow digestive functions
- Brain fog
- Feeling cold
- Low mood
How Do You Know If You Have a Fast Metabolism?
Having a fast metabolism is indicated with:
- Good energy levels
- Good hormonal balance
- Regular bowel movements
- Not gaining weight easily
- Clear mind and focus
What Slows Down Your Metabolism?
Many factors could be slowing down your metabolism, and a sedentary lifestyle is one of them.
So often, people associate a slow metabolism with getting older, but as people age, they are not as active as they were, so this is why this fallacy is believed.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a toxic liver.
This impedes regular healthy liver functions like performing hormonal homeostasis (hormone balancing), which leads to a slower metabolism.
There are many other factors, like medication, processed foods, alcohol, and toxins, that also influence your metabolism.
Can Exercise Boost Metabolism?
Exercise can boost metabolism, but probably not the type of exercise that you think will boost it.
High-intensity workouts are often associated with boosting your metabolism, are counterproductive, and raise your cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress).
Then, consequently, this leads to a hormone cascade, unbalancing hormones.
High-intensity workouts increase inflammation in the body and lead to water retention and further weight gain for people with a slow metabolism.
The biggest mistakes I see are people who go on extreme crash diets and grueling workout programs to get ‘quick results.’
Inevitably, they don’t lose weight and slow their metabolism even further because it increases stress, inflammation, and hormone imbalances. More on that below!
You see, the body perceives pain as inflammatory.
Eating very little food can backfire because the body will think there is a shortage of food, so when you eat, your body will store it.
Regular anti-inflammatory and low-impact movement (alongside anti-inflammatory food and neuroplasticity exercises) boosts metabolism and improves body composition.
What Food Boosts Metabolism?
Foods that focus on thyroid health and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle boost gut health, liver health, and metabolism.
This is why this anti-inflammatory lifestyle successfully boosts metabolism while lowering inflammation.
Members: access the thyroid healing advice in the specialized advice section here.
What Can Kick-start Your Metabolism?
A liver detox that focuses on real foods rather than juicing boosts your metabolism.
Members: access the liver detox advice in the Lifestyle Guide.
This reboots the liver and gastrointestinal tract, rebalances hormones, boosts weight loss, and speeds up the metabolism.
Does Drinking Water Aid Metabolism?
Good hydration is fundamental to keeping a well-functioning metabolism.
Dehydration leads to water retention, as the body tends to hold water when it isn’t getting enough and is linked to weight gain and sugar cravings.
Also, when the body is dehydrated, kidney function isn’t optimal.
So, what happens then is that the liver takes over some of the kidney functions, and then lipolysis (fat burning) is halted since it isn’t a vital function.
Constipation occurs with dehydration, which further lowers the metabolism by keeping toxins in the body longer. This ultimately taxes the liver even further.
This, in turn, leads to further hormonal imbalance and low thyroid function.
So, drink plenty of water daily. Your liver, skin, and digestion will thank you for it!
Does Sleep Affect Your Metabolism?
Sleep deprivation is a chronic stressor, so yes, sleep affects metabolism and many mind and body functions.
Regular good sleep each night, going through all the sleep cycle stages, is essential for maintaining metabolic homeostasis.
Sleeping less impacts the hunger hormones, blood sugar level regulation, hormonal balance, and fat burning.
Also, 75% of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced during sleep.
HGH induces growth in almost every tissue and organ in the body and is especially renowned for its effect on bone and cartilage in the adolescent years. It’s also associated with fat burning!
You need your beauty sleep!
The Human Growth Hormone also accelerates skin repair and keeps you looking younger.
So, sleep deprivation causes metabolic dysregulation through various pathways like sympathetic overstimulation, subclinical inflammation, and hormone imbalance.
You can aid sleep through good day and nighttime habits and satisfy your body nutritionally.
It’s a huge focus on this lifestyle, re-programming even long-standing insomniacs, shift workers, and circadian misalignment.
Read this article for good sleep tips: Weight Loss and The Link To Sleep.
Does Stress Affect Metabolism?
Low stress levels are also essential for metabolism.
High levels of stress cause cortisol to be released, sending the body into fight or flight mode.
This temporarily pauses regular body functions, like the metabolism – slowing it down – unbalancing hormones, and increasing chronic inflammation levels.
Do Metabolism-boosting Extreme Diets and Supplements Work?
As mentioned, metabolism is not to be blamed for weight conditions.
I had to include this because there are so many suggestions for boosting your metabolism to lose weight on the internet, and you must be very careful.
An extreme ‘metabolism boosting’ starvation diet will damage your metabolism.
Some very low-fat, high-carb diets with excessive cardiovascular exercise will increase your inflammation.
If inflammation runs high in your body for a while (which can go undetected if you do not know the signs of inflammation), you are increasing your risk of disease.
Likewise, long fasts, the ketogenic diet, and chronic undereating are not suitable for optimum health.
Yes, you hear about initial weight loss. I got excited when I tried a diet similar to the ketogenic diet while exploring what would help my body heal (before I created this anti-inflammatory lifestyle).
I experienced weight loss, but I also soon experienced the downside.
Seriously, your health will be jeopardized! It is temporary and causes harm to the body. Extreme diets cause extreme issues. It’s a recipe for ill health.
I wouldn’t advise following a ‘metabolism-boosting weight-loss diet’ that a qualified nutritionist or doctor hasn’t prescribed.
Also, taking a ‘metabolism-boosting slimming pill’ could be dangerous.
Supplement producers are not regulated!
You could be consuming a load of bulking agents that could cause nausea and abdominal pain (as well as inflammation) or a substance that could seriously affect your health.
Extreme eating and deprivation disrupt metabolic functions, digestion, liver health, and mental health, increasing inflammation in the long run.
What starts as an intention to lose weight and get fit quickly opens your body up to disease and health problems.
If you seek extreme measures because of weight concerns, I suggest you approach them from a different angle.
Approach weight concerns from an angle that is nurturing, kind to the body and mind, and fosters self-awareness.
Get to Know Your Body
Follow an anti-inflammatory lifestyle that teaches you to connect more to your body to understand how to change it for better health.
Learn what has a positive and negative impact on your body and to lose weight in the long term.
I would advise following a lifestyle (i.e., this one!) that includes stress management, meditation, self-care tips, and nutritional education to aid longevity.
Members can access specialized advice: emotional eating, depression, weight loss tips, water retention, unusual eating times, and overindulgence recovery.
Don’t forget to check out the guided meditations, like the one for emotional eating.
A successful weight loss lifestyle will be one that nurtures every part of your mind and body to function optimally, looking after your digestion, liver, and thyroid.
Can You Change Your Metabolism?
Yes, you can change your metabolism to function more efficiently by taking on all of the above, as well as liver health.
Not only does good liver health support healthy hormones and a healthy thyroid, but it also supports lipolysis (fat-burning).
Regular anti-inflammatory movement can also support metabolism and good organ functions.
What is Recommended for a Healthy Metabolism?
I would advise optimizing the whole body, not just focusing on the metabolism.
A gentle, nutrient-packed, anti-inflammatory lifestyle is recommended for optimal health because the focus is on de-stressing, keeping the body and mind calm, and allowing the organs to heal and reboot.
You may be interested in reading: What Is the Best Diet for Everyone?
Or scroll through the videos and hear what happens to the body with veganism, for instance.
I recommend you listen to the podcast where I talk with my wonderful friend, Flavia Morellato. She is one of London’s top lymphatic drainage therapists (and she helps me when I have water retention).
Also, listen to the podcast ‘Unstressable’ with my other wonderful guest, Alice Law, a top Stress Management Consultant.
We talk about how to manage stress and live a happy, un-stressful life.
Of course, to assist with mind and body health, I always recommend getting good sleep and going to bed before 10 p.m. to read an actual book for ten minutes or so without a digital device close by.
Then, do a two-minute gratitude prayer for everything good in your life.
Believe in the power of this optimum health ritual as you drift off to sleep.
Whatever time you read this, I hope that your day or evening is wonderful!