Is My Metabolism Slowing Down?

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MetabolismWe have all heard the word metabolism and we all have that friend that seems to eat whatever she wants and never gains a pound! Plus, she has great hair and nails, great tone and lots of energy. How about you? Do you know your metabolism? Is it fast or slow?

Metabolism is defined as the physical and chemical process that occurs within a living cell or organism that allows for some substances to be broken down and yield energy for vital activities and the synthesis of materials necessary for life[1].

So how do I know if my metabolism is fast or slow? Here are a few signs that will help you determine if your metabolism is slowing down.

·      It is easier for me to gain weight than lose weight

This is the most common sign of a slow metabolism. However, keep in mind that this only applies if you keep a wholesome lifestyle with a healthy diet and exercise regularly. We can’t expect to lose weight if we don’t watch what we eat and never exercise. Note that if you are experiencing unexplained and significant weight gain, you should consult your doctor to rule out any underlying medical disease.

·      I can’t lose weight no matter how much I exercise

This is a misconception. Some people think that they can eat whatever they want, and then go to the gym and they’ll be fine and lose the weight.  Calories matter, up to a certain point. The most important thing is WHAT you eat and put into your body. You need nutritious foods that help your body accomplish the breaking down and synthesis of materials such as proteins, hormones, cells, etc.  We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and that is incredibly true.

·      I starve myself and still gain weight

Starving yourself is not the answer. When we restrict ourselves and our body is not getting what it needs, our body goes into “emergency mode” and tries to hold on to whatever it is getting.  Instead of burning fat and proteins for fuel and energy, it keeps on storing it just in case. In the end, starving yourself only leads to your metabolism slowing even further. You need a balanced diet that will actually nourish your body and help you lose the weight.

·      I am noticing fat in areas I didn’t have before

We all have our trouble spots. Those bulgy areas we don’t really like but if you are eating well and your are gaining fat in new areas it can mean your body is looking for extra spaces to store fat and it might be a sign of a slow metabolism or hormonal imbalance.

·      I have cellulite in new places

Cellulite is a common problem for women and over 60% of women exhibit this in one are or another. It is most common in the back of the thighs or hips.  Genetic disposition, a high stress life and hormones are some of the factors to blame, but if you notice new areas where fat is depositing and cellulite is being formed it can be a sign of slow metabolism.

·      My skin is dull, dry and cracked and I am losing my hair

This is a problem that can be caused by the lack of nutritious foods and good amounts of proteins and vitamins. However your hormones can also be to blame. Low estrogen, especially in postmenopausal women or and imbalance in your thyroid hormone can be causing these effects on your skin, hair and nails.  If you are experiencing these signs you might want to get checked to rule out a hormone imbalance.

·      I’m always craving sugar

Do you experience terrible afternoon sugar cravings? This can be because your adrenal glands are not sending the appropriate signal to the body to release stored fat for fuel and energy. If his is not released, your blood sugar levels drop and your body tells you it needs food and energy that will give it quick, easy energy.  Regulating your metabolism and eating the right foods will help control hormone release and will help your body get the energy it needs from your natural supply through out the day.

My metabolism is slowing, what happens now?

We have all heard that our metabolism will slow down with age. But does it really have to? The foods we eat and a healthy and wholesome lifestyle can help us keep it in check. As mentioned earlier, “we are what we eat”. The foods in our body and exercising regularly, plus, keeping our hormones balanced can help our metabolism stay strong and balanced.

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[1] Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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