There is no doubt that some people’s metabolisms are faster than others. However, it is also very common for people to attribute their weight gain to slow metabolism, even when it does not cause the problem.
Therefore, in this article, we will talk about slow metabolism. Let’s explain the concept, its causes, and if he is the real villain of those who only sees the scale going up. Continue reading to find out more!
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy and then uses it or stores it as fat.
Therefore, metabolism is essential for life. He makes the “fuel” available to the cells so that they can carry out their functions of tissue repair, reproduction, growth, etc.
In one of the metabolism processes, called catabolism, the organism breaks down complex molecules and transforms them into smaller molecules, releasing energy.
In the process of anabolism, the organism takes smaller molecules and transforms them into complex molecules, and, in this function, it consumes energy.
Our metabolism can be faster or slower. Its regulation depends on a series of biological factors, such as the production of hormones and the action of enzymes.
What Is Slow Metabolism?
In an organism with a slow metabolism, these conversions and utilization of energy occur at a slower-than-expected rate and speed.
Thus, the person ingests energy through food, but their body does not consume it. It burns fewer calories, and the surplus is stored as fat.
Although genetics influence metabolism, it is not the only determining factor for a person to burn more or less calories.
Age also interferes in this process, hormonal levels, eating style, physical activity, or sedentary lifestyle.
The most important information is that we can speed up our metabolism. However, for this, there are no miracles. We need to change our habits.
Besides Slow Metabolism, What Can Cause Being Overweight?
It’s already a tradition: most patients come to doctors’ and nutritionists’ offices claiming that a slow metabolism causes their excess weight.
However, when professionals stop to analyze that patient’s habits, they realize that slow metabolism is just the tip of the iceberg.
Several habits are part of that person’s day-to-day life that would cause them to gain weight, and, as if that were not enough, they even cause metabolism disorders.
Do you want to know what these factors are? See below:
Excessive Consumption Of Refined Carbohydrates
The consumption of sugar and other refined carbohydrates triggers a series of processes that cause the metabolism to slow down.
Firstly, when we eat this type of food, the pancreas needs to produce insulin so that the energy from these products enters the cells. Thus, the blood sugar level is reduced.
However, if we consume these foods frequently, cells develop insulin resistance. The pancreas cannot enter the cells even if it produces this substance.
The pancreas counterattacks by producing even more insulin. So, the result of this fight between the cells and the pancreas is fat accumulation in the body and other metabolic consequences of this mismatch.
In addition, sugar and refined products have a high glycemic index. They cause spikes in blood glucose (sugar, energy), followed by sudden drops in these substances.
Therefore, your body has an energy spike right after consumption. After a while, there is no energy left.
The only way the organism has to “force” you to give it more energy is by provoking the feeling of hunger and especially the desire to eat high-calorie foods.
After all, these extremely high-calorie products provide quick energy, which an organism desperate for energy understands as the solution to its problem.
Lack Of Nutrients
A diet low in nutrients like protein and vitamins also slows down metabolism. Unfortunately, ultra-processed foods, which are increasingly used, are high in calories but lack these essential elements.
Therefore, what determines the lack of nutrients in the body is not the quantity that a person eats but the quality of the foods that are part of their menu.
A sedentary lifestyle is undoubtedly one of the main factors that slow down metabolism. Firstly, the person who does not practice physical activity spends fewer calories.
And that’s not all! There are tissues in our body that burn more calories than others, even when we are at rest. Our muscles are among them.
Thus, a person who does not exercise or strengthen his muscles loses muscle mass. Consequently, without this tissue, the body spends fewer calories, slowing metabolism.
Problems With Sleep
Do you have trouble sleeping? Roll over in bed and don’t feel sleepy? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep anymore? Or are you from the group that even sleeps easily but has been changing the hours of sleep for the screens?
You are slowing your metabolism if you fall into either of these two groups. This happens because, during sleep, the body performs several processes and produces hormones that affect this function.
The first point is that, during sleep, the body produces growth hormones. As you’ve already seen, it helps burn fat and increase muscle mass, which is a natural calorie burner.
Lack of sleep still makes you have less energy to move and exercise. Thus, those who do not sleep well tend to burn fewer calories throughout the day.
Finally, sleep deprivation reduces leptin production, a hormone produced precisely by adipose (fat) cells. It regulates appetite and energy expenditure.
Therefore, when the body produces little leptin, appetite, and energy expenditure are deregulated. You feel more hungry, eat more, and still expend less energy. Thus, producing the caloric deficit necessary to lose weight is difficult.
We couldn’t end this list without mentioning stress. It causes our body to increase the production of cortisol.
In turn, the increase in cortisol levels causes the body to deposit fat in the abdomen. It also impairs the maintenance and growth of muscle mass.
When you think of stress, you probably imagine that day-to-day activities, responsibilities, and problems are responsible for this situation.