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What is a Slow Metabolism?

Updated: Jun 24

Metabolism is the internal process by which your body expends energy and burns calories. This process works at different intensities in different people. How fast your metabolism works is determined mostly by your genes. A person with a slow (or low) metabolism will burn fewer calories at rest and during activity and therefore must eat less to avoid becoming overweight.

If you've lost a significant amount of weight, your metabolic rate may drop below what your lean body mass would suggest; hence a slow metabolism. Meaning you will burn fewer calories at rest and during activity and therefore have to eat less to avoid becoming overweight. In about 6 months, your metabolic rate should rise back up to where it should be, but during that time, it can be very easy to regain weight and undermine all of your hard work. It is very important to test your metabolic rate frequently with an RMR test during this critical time to know just what your target calories are to keep you on track!

How to Rev Up Your Metabolism

Increase Your Protein or Lose Weight

The Thermic Effect of food happens when your metabolism increases whenever you eat, digest, and store food.  Protein has a higher thermic effect compared with fats and carbohydrates because it takes longer for your body to burn protein and absorb it. ** Because of health issues, some individuals cannot increase their protein, therefore they will need to stick to their caloric deficit to lose weight.

Add Muscle

A pound of muscle burns more calories at rest than a pound of fat. Muscle doesn't burn fat directly but having more muscle mass means you burn more calories at the same body weight than if you had less muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active tissue that requires energy to maintain, and fat tissue is not. Strength training increases your muscles, which burns more calories, which can help to burn more stored body fat.  Adding muscle means increasing resistance.  Increasing resistance is lifting heavier weights for some or making your current movement a little harder for others.  For example, if you are a walker, try adding an uphill walk to your current walking route to increase the resistance on your muscles.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Add a HIIT to your workouts.  A HIIT workout consists of short bouts of intense work, such as running or sprinting, lasting anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds, followed immediately by a period of active recovery of the same length or longer. After a period of interval training, your metabolism can stay revved up for as much as a full day. This can be tailored to your current fitness level.  What is intense for one person may not be intense for someone else. 


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