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Causes of slow metabolism and what can you do about it?

By Mark Slansky
Food Pyramid -

The basic and primary aim of food and dietary nutrition is to supply energy as a result of metabolic processes. We need active metabolism for a number of reasons; primarily,

  • to maintain our body temperature within a narrow range, so that we remain unaffected by the environmental temperature.
  • to perform a number of functions that requires energy produced as a result of metabolism of food.

Generally, whatever we eat, eventually get metabolized and assimilated within the body; however the time require for the completion of these processes pretty much determines our body weight. People who have slow metabolism tend to be overweight. This is because whatever they eat is converted into fat instead of energy.

Causes of slow metabolism

There are a number of causes of slow metabolism that includes:

Hormonal aberrations

Hormones are chemicals in our body that performs different functions in our body. In case of any hormonal aberration, the speed of metabolic processes is greatly affected. A few most important of these hormones are insulin, thyroid and cortisol. Thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is one the most common cause of genetic or acquired slow metabolism.


At times, deficiency of some enzymes run in families leading to slow metabolism and obesity trends that can only be managed by dietary modification and life-style changes. Although it is difficult to deal with genetic causes of slow metabolism directly, but the effects and complications can be largely controlled by organic methods without necessitating the need of medications or supplements.

Physical inactivity and unhealthy lifestyle or habits

Sometimes people don’t realize, but the unhealthy lifestyle, type of foods consumed on daily basis and other dietary habits and preferences can also affect the metabolic rate to a great extent. A few known factors that lead to acquired slow metabolism are:

  • Excessive consumption of processed food like fast food or junk
  • Eating at irregular intervals
  • Binge eating followed by self- induced starvation is perhaps the most common cause of slow metabolism in young teenagers of today.

What can you do about it?

Since most people are now concerned about staying in good shape and physique, it is very important to have a good metabolism to prevent obesity or other weight issues. Instead of using unhealthy and potentially dangerous supplements, drugs or hormones, it is better to use simple strategies to enhance your slow metabolism by totally organic methods.

A few tips that may help you are:

  • Eat small but frequent portions of meal divided evenly throughout the day
  • Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits and limit the use of foods that are studded with calories or are high in fat content
  • Adopt a healthy habit of exercising your muscles at least 3 times a week.
  • Avoid processed foods that are high in calories and takes less time to metabolize.
  • Avoid starving yourself as it will deteriorate your metabolic rate.

Lastly, always calculate your calorie requirement according to your height, gender and age and do not go beyond recommended calorie intake.

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