How to Tell if You Have a Slow Metabolism

Reviewed by Dr. Kenton Bruice, MD

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body that keep it alive and functioning.

These reactions help your body convert food into energy, making it crucial for both survival and maintaining a healthy weight. The rate at which your body performs these reactions is your metabolic rate.

People often blame a “slow metabolism” for weight gain, but what does that really mean? 

In this four-part blog series, we will talk about metabolism and its impact on our body, as well as ways to optimize it for better health.

In this first blog, we will identify 5 signs of a slow metabolism and provide tips on how to identify them in yourself.

Understanding Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is the minimum amount of energy your body needs to function at rest. This includes vital functions such as breathing, circulating blood, and maintaining organ function.

Your BMR is affected by factors like age, gender, body size and composition, and genetics. It accounts for about 60-75% of total energy expenditure for the average person.

A slow metabolism, then, would refer to a lower than average BMR. But how can you tell if you have a slow metabolism? 

5 Signs of a Slow Metabolism

  1. Weight gain: One of the most common signs of a slow metabolism is gradual and unexplained weight gain. With a slower metabolic rate, your body burns fewer calories, making it easier to gain weight even with a healthy diet and exercise routine.
  2. Fatigue: A slow metabolism can also cause fatigue and low energy levels. This is because the body is not converting food into energy efficiently, resulting in less fuel for daily activities.
  3. Constipation: Your metabolism also plays a role in digestion and bowel movements. A slow metabolism can lead to constipation, as the body is not breaking down food and eliminating waste at an optimal rate.
  4. Dry skin: Your skin’s health is also impacted by your metabolic rate. With a slower metabolism, your skin may appear dry and lack the necessary nutrients for a healthy glow.
  5. Cold sensitivity: A lower metabolic rate means your body produces less heat, making you more sensitive to cold temperatures. This can also contribute to fatigue and feeling sluggish.

If you resonate with one or more of these signs, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Causes of a Sluggish Metabolism

There are several factors that can contribute to a slow metabolism, such as:

  • Genetics: Some people may have inherited a slower metabolic rate from their parents.
  • Age: As we age, our BMR tends to decrease due to muscle loss and hormonal changes.
  • Diet: Eating too few calories or skipping meals can slow down your metabolism as your body goes into “starvation mode” to conserve energy.
  • Lack of physical activity: Regular exercise helps boost metabolism and build muscle, which in turn increases BMR.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Thyroid disorders and other hormonal imbalances can affect metabolic rate and contribute to a slower metabolism.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Sitting for prolonged periods of time, such as at a desk job, can also decrease metabolic rate.

Tips to Improve Metabolism

Fortunately, there are ways to improve your metabolism and promote better overall health. Here are some tips:

  • Strength train regularly: Building muscle through strength training can increase your BMR and help burn more calories even at rest.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for proper digestion and metabolic function.
  • Eat balanced meals regularly: Eating regular, balanced meals helps keep your metabolism running efficiently.
  • Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workouts: HIIT has been shown to not only burn calories during the workout but also increase BMR for hours after.
  • Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can affect hormone levels and metabolism, so make sure to prioritize quality sleep.
  • Consider BHRT and peptide therapy: Hormones play a significant role in metabolism, and addressing hormonal imbalances with BHRT and peptide therapy can have a positive impact on metabolic health.

Remember, finding balance and optimizing your metabolism is an ongoing journey, not a one-time fix. 

In our next blog, we will talk about the role of peptide therapy in improving metabolic health. Stay tuned!

Medical Weight Loss in Denver

Metabolism is complex, and it’s important to address all aspects of your health for optimal results. This includes making healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and stress management techniques.

At Denver Hormone Institute of Colorado, we take a personalized approach to optimizing metabolic wellness by combining BHRT, peptide therapy, and medical weight loss techniques. Dr. Bruice, MD, will work with you to create a tailored plan that fits your unique needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about our medical weight loss program in Denver or Aspen, contact us today for a consultation. If you are searching for ‘the best hormone doctor near me’ or ‘Denver medical weight loss,’ call (303) 957-6686 to book an appointment or complete the online inquiry form.

Additional Resources

Quiz: How to Know if You Have a Fast Metabolism

The Link Between Hormone Imbalances and Weight Gain

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