It’s tempting to think of your metabolism as an internal speedometer … or maybe like a hamster running on a wheel. The faster it goes, the faster you burn calories and fat.
But in reality, it’s a complex biochemical process that your body uses to convert what you eat and drink into energy. The majority of the calories your body burns (up to 70%) happens at rest…just being YOU to maintain all the processes of the body, also known as your BMR (basal metabolic rate).
- Size (height/weight)
- Health Issues
Lifestyle factors that influence BMR?
- Non-Exercise Physical Activity
- Thermic Effect of Food (energy to digest food)
- Structured Exercise
- Body Composition
Here are the top signs you might be suffering from a sluggish metabolism:
Big energy crashes
Weight gain or inability to lose weight
Digestive issues like constipation, gas, bloating
High cravings, specifically for carbs & sugar
Poor appetite or hunger
Low strength & endurance
When I work with patients, the first places we start addressing to boost their metabolism is:
Underlying Root Causes: poor gut function, hormone imbalances, liver congestion and chronic stress and infections ALL affect our metabolism!
We utilize extensive testing and a thorough functional medicine health history analysis to go over your exact needs and goals.
Lifestyle Factors we work on include:
Overall physical activity: This includes standing more, taking more steps, recreational movement and exercise!
Eating enough: many women are chronically dieting and telling their body to hold on to fat!
Proper balance of macronutrients: many are under-eating protein, which is necessary for lean body mass. Lean body mass drives our metabolism!
Optimal Sleep and Rest: This is when your body naturally recovers, detoxifies, grows and creates the hormones necessary to fuel the metabolic engine!
Here are FAST FACTS about your Metabolism:
- Your body burns the same amount of calories digesting your food no matter how many meals/day you have.
- Spicy food and other foods may slightly increase your metabolism short term, but it won’t have a long term effect on improving metabolism.
- Your overall physical activity during the day plays a larger role in your metabolism than exercise!
- The more muscle you have, the faster your resting metabolism rate.
- Your hormones, specifically your thyroid, affect your metabolism. Without optimal thyroid health, your metabolism will suffer. If you’re curious about learning more about your thyroid, then click here to read this post.
Estrogen levels affect Metabolic Rate.
Did you know that low estrogen can actually lead to insulin resistance?
That’s because estrogen makes you more insulin sensitive, thus supporting a healthy metabolism and fat burning. This is why many women in their 40s or 50s start to gain weight when menopause hits; It is linked to low estrogen!
Optimal Vitamin D levels can improve Metabolism.
It acts as a hormone in the body and needed for different processes like mood regulation & gut health. Studies have shown supplementation and those with optimal levels of Vit D had a better functioning metabolism!
Gut Health affects Metabolism.
Our gut is where many of your hormones are synthesized and your nutrients absorbed. Studies have linked a healthy gut microbiome to better health overall. If you’re suffering from digestive issues but also things like brain fog, pain, and low energy, these could be signs that your metabolism is impaired.
Interested in using functional medicine to help treat boost your metabolism and see better results? Contact our practice to set up a consult!