Woman takes a break from her workout to eat an apple to support her metabolism
Healthy Living

Mythbusting: Do You Really Have a Slow Metabolism?

Jan 9 2019

People often blame weight gain on a slow metabolism…here’s how to know if you have one

Metabolism is the process of how your body converts the food you eat into energy. But you may know the term better as the number of calories you’re able to burn. You probably hear that the higher your metabolism is, the more calories you burn — and the lower your metabolism is, the fewer calories you burn. That’s all true. Fortunately, there may be ways to tweak your metabolism to get it running in a healthier way.

The myths of metabolism

Some of the things you think you might know about your metabolism might not be true. Here are just a few myths about what affects your metabolism (and the truth about each):

  • Age slows down your metabolism (only if you’re less active)
  • Eating breakfast speeds your metabolism (this temporarily boosts it)
  • Certain foods increase your metabolism (this also temporarily speeds it up)
  • Eating late at night slows your metabolism (you’re simply taking in more calories)
  • Eating small meals throughout the day revs your metabolism (this may make you gain weight)
  • High-intensity interval exercise boosts your metabolism (it burns calories, but there’s no effect on your metabolism)

Always keep in mind that everybody’s metabolisms differ. Your metabolism might not be the cause of any weight challenges you have, either.

Signs of a fast metabolism

You may have a naturally fast metabolism. You likely have a fast metabolism if people comment that they wish they could eat what you do but still stay slim. However, there are some shortcomings to having a highly charged metabolism. If you have a fast metabolism, your body has to work harder. That puts your body under more stress. There are signals you may have a fast metabolism, such as:

  • You’re moody
  • You’re underweight
  • You have little body fat
  • You’re always very hungry
  • You have irregular periods
  • You’re fidgety and nervous
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You’re frequently moving your bowels
  • Your basal body temperature is very high

You may also have an addictive personality if your metabolism is high. On the positive side, you most likely don’t worry much about gaining weight.

Signs of a slow metabolism

Do you think you might have a slow metabolism? Here’s how to tell:

  • You have gas
  • You crave sugar
  • You keep gaining weight
  • It’s tough to lose weight
  • You always feel bloated
  • You have hypothyroidism
  • You easily develop cellulite
  • Your blood sugar is too high
  • You wake up throughout the night
  • Your hormones seem out of balance

It’s important to have blood tests done if you think your metabolism might be slow. Your doctor can tell if your sugar is too high or if your hormones are out of balance. You might just have a feeling your metabolism is slow because of stubborn weight gain you can’t seem to lose. That’s because the extra calories that your body doesn’t turn into fat. On the positive side, having a slower metabolism might delay the aging process for you.

Speeding up your metabolism

Another myth is that you can’t change your metabolism. You can — with a few lifestyle changes. Once you start these new habits, it can be easier to maintain a healthy weight, burn fat and feel clear-headed and energetic. Here are important lifestyle modifications you can make to adjust your metabolism:

  • Move your body, even in small ways, throughout the day.
  • Stop snacking so your body uses your fat stores for energy.
  • Increase your muscle mass so your body uses fat for energy.
  • Avoid foods you’re allergic to, which affects metabolism rates.
  • Never starve yourself of your metabolism might slow down to save more fat.

Do you want to learn more about how to manage your metabolism? Visit Mercy.com or call 513-952-5000 to find a doctor who can help you learn more.

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