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    How to Speed Up Your Metabolism: What Causes a Slow Metabolism

    By Nick Hall

    You metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Your metabolism is also process of storing excess energy as fat and in the right circumstances the burning of fat as fuel.

    People often blame weight gain or their inability to lose weight on a slow metabolism. In rare circumstances, illness such as hypothyroidism or thyroiditis slow you metabolism and cause weight gain. Certain medication such as hormone replacement can also cause a slow your metabolism. Apart from illness and medication you can completely control your metabolism.

    What slows your metabolism?

    Poor nutritional choices definitely effect how well your metabolism functions. Processed or energy dense foods with little nutritional value will result in a slow down of your metabolism, rapid blood sugar and insulin spikes. The higher your blood sugar and insulin, the more fat will be stored and the less fat your body needs to use for energy.

    Foods or drinks containing gluten, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol or caffiene can cause stress on your liver and digestive system which can lead to poor nutrient absorption, cravings and further fat storage.

    Dieting or restricting calories to low levels will force your body into starvation mode. Your body will conserve energy and you’ll crave sweet and fatty foods which will result in further fat storage.

    Poor sleeping habits will also affect your metabolism. Fatigue will cause you body to want to conserve energy and can also result in cravings for sweet food in an attempt to raise your energy levels.

    While you sleep, your metabolism slows as your body is in a fasted state. While you may not feel hungry first thing in the morning, skipping breakfast can result in your body conserving more energy as you start your day on an empty stomach. Skipping breakfast can also result in craving for sweet or fatty foods and a huge appetite at your next meal which will then lead to fat storage. As your body also utilises fat during the digestion process. Skipping breakfast means a missed opportunity to burn fat. Your body then shifts from conserving energy to burning energy.

    A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise can lead to insulin resistance and greater fat storage after meals. Over time, a lack of exercise can lead to a loss of muscle tissue which will also cause a slow down in your metabolism. If the energy stored in lean muscle tissue isn’t utilised, this can result in high blood sugar levels and fat storage after meals.

    What will speed up your metabolism?

    Choosing from a wide range of natural, live unprocessed and uncorrupted foods that we were designed to eat will help increase your metabolic rate. Foods such as good sources of protein, fruit and vegetables and sources of good fat are all foods that will provide slow release energy which will keep blood sugar and insulin levels more stable. This will result in less fat storage and better fat utilisation. The high natural fibre content of these foods will also help aid digestion which will lead to a more efficient metabolism. Due to the slow digestion of these foods, your body will also burn fat during the digestion process.

     

    Getting 6-8 hours of good quality sleep will ensure you have adequate energy levels throughout the day. Having more energy will mean less cravings for foods that will likely lead to fat storage.

    Surprisingly, only small amounts of the right type of exercise can make a significant improvements to your metabolism. Resistance training and high intense interval training has been shown to have the best impact on increasing your metabolic rate. Moving at regular intervals during the day such as walking will help reduce blood sugar and blood fat levels.

    I have put together a 2 minute questionnaire which covers the many areas that affect your metabolism, your ability to lose weight and what can cause you to gain weight. Once completed, you’ll receive an email highlighting your responses and how they may relate to you. To complete the questionnaire click here.