Metabolism is a term used to describe all the chemical processes that continually occur within the body to keep it functioning and sustain your life. It’s simply the rate at which your body burns calories for energy. Learn How to Boost Metabolism Naturally!

You’ll often hear people talk about metabolism when discussing weight loss, nutrition, and health. This is because your metabolism controls how your body creates and uses the energy it gets from the food you eat.

A high metabolism may facilitate high energy expenditure and promote weight loss, while a slow metabolism may lower your energy needs and cause weight gain. You will also love How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally.

metabolism chart

What Causes Slow Metabolism?

1. Genes

Whether your body is quick or slow to change the food you eat into energy depends on your genes. And although some people don’t have an issue burning calories even at rest, some may find it extremely difficult. Unfortunately, you can’t change your genes; however, you can incorporate other lifestyle changes to facilitate your metabolism. We’ll be covering more on this within the article.

2. Hormones

Hormonal imbalances may slow down your energy expenditure, especially in women.

Conditions such as overactive or underactive thyroid and diabetes may put havoc on your metabolism.

Stress may also contribute to the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that temporarily puts on hold all the normal body processes causing a slow metabolism.

3. Inadequate sleep

A lack of sleep throws your hormones off balance and dictates the dietary choices people make. This may, as a result, cause metabolic dysregulation, making it difficult for the body to regulate different processes.

4. Strict diets

When on strict diets, the body deliberately slows down the metabolism to preserve available energy stores and prevent weight loss.

5. Lack of iodized salt

Sea salt is not only a trend but a great addition to your diet.

It’s salt in its natural form, meaning you get to enjoy the 75 minerals and trace minerals, plus no aluminum bleaching like in table salt.

However, most sea salt is not iodized, and iodine is important to keep your thyroid working, including regulating your metabolism.

6. Inadequate consumption of water

Proper hydration increases your metabolic rate and causes your body to burn energy even at rest. This may therefore facilitate weight loss.

7. Medications

Some medications such as antidepressants and some antipsychotics may slow down metabolism.

Ways to Boost Metabolism Naturally

1.   Ensure proper hydration

According to research, drinking half a liter of water will increase your resting metabolic rate by 30% in the next 60 minutes. This means that drinking water frequently throughout the day may help keep your metabolism high.

Research further suggests that drinking cold water may be ideal since the body has to heat it to body temperature, which calls for energy expenditure.

2.   Engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is an anaerobic form of exercise that involves short periods of intense workouts followed by equal or longer periods of rest repeated in a cycle of 3 or until you are exhausted to continue.

For instance, you can sprint for 30 seconds followed by a minute or two of slow jogging or walk, repeated in three cycles.

Research says HIIT can increase your metabolic rate even at rest, thus inducing fat loss. This makes HIIT a great strategy for a weight loss journey.

In one study, 12 weeks of HIIT reduced belly fat by 17 percent and total fat mass by 4.4 pounds in young obese men.

3. Engage in resistance training

Performing resistance training 2-3 times a week can increase your muscle mass or lean body mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate. This is because muscles are actively metabolic. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. See 8 Life-Changing Benefits Of Exercise.

4. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for different reasons; it sharpens the brain, keeps the heart healthy, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, improves skin, boosts fertility, and of course, increases your metabolic rate, which prevents weight gain.

On the other hand, a lack of sleep contributes to obesity and slow metabolism, among other problems.

A study conducted at Harvard Medical School shows that getting less than 7 hours of sleep increases 3 times your chances of gaining weight each year than if you slept for at least 7 hours. See 10 Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep.

5. Manage stress

Stress management is very important in restoring your metabolism.

As stated earlier, it’s a major culprit for slow metabolism in most individuals. This is because it produces hormones that trigger a slowdown in body processes.

Whether you’ll have to talk to a friend, a family member, a professional, or manage your thoughts, make sure your stress is getting better each day.

Final Thoughts

Metabolism is the rate at which the body uses the energy from the food you eat to perform different functions in the body.

A high metabolism promotes optimal bodily functions, health, and wellbeing, while a slow metabolism may be catastrophic.

Some things that contribute to a sluggish metabolism include hormonal imbalance, stress, sleep deprivation, dehydration, dieting, iodine deficiency, and genetics.

The best thing is that a slow metabolism is completely reversible, and of course, you can’t change your genes, but your lifestyle can modify their expression for the better or worse.

Some steps towards achieving a higher metabolism naturally include getting enough sleep, hydrating, incorporating high-intensity interval training and strength training in your routine, managing stress, having at least one cup of green tea daily, and using iodized salt in your meals.

And in case your cause of slow metabolism is an underlying medical condition, your doctor may help you come up with a good regime. Nonetheless, the steps in this article are harmless and can come a long way in improving your overall metabolism.

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