We all want to be healthy and look great, don’t we? Well, one key factor for our wellbeing is metabolism.
Many people talk about metabolism and how to boost it, yet, this term is still not fully understood! In fact, one particular common misconception is that metabolism dictates the regularity of taking a poo…
That being said, this “rule” can be valid for some people while being totally non-applicable to others. But then how do you know if you have slow metabolism? In fact, what does the term ”metabolism” mean? And can we really control it?
This article will guide you through the answers of all these questions!
Let’s get started!
How do I know if I have a fast metabolism?
When talking about metabolism, people usually mean energy metabolism, or the rate at which the body converts food into energy (and burns calories). We’ll look at how that works in the next section.
Now, it’s important to remember that the metabolic rate can change during your lifetime and can be influenced by various lifestyle factors, such as age, weight (body mass), physical activity, hormone levels, diet, and others.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, genes play a key role in determining the natural metabolism rate.  From then on, the rate may decrease with age  , as well as strict dieting (achieving significant calorie deficit through starvation)  , hormonal changes (like thyroid hormones, insulin, leptin)  , and sedentary lifestyle .
Some common signs of slow metabolism include:
- Weight gain without changes in diet or physical activity routines
- Feeling tired and sleepy often
- Underlying medical issues (e.g., underactive thyroid gland, insulin resistance)
- Feeling cold, having slow heart rate (if slow metabolism is caused by hypothyroidism) 
On the web, you can find different formulas for identifying your metabolic rate at home. However, measuring metabolism is a complex process, and the results should be interpreted according to your body type, health condition, and physics. Your healthcare provider can conduct relevant tests to get accurate estimations/results of your metabolic rate, and prescribe you dietary and lifestyle recommendations based on the results.
What is slow metabolism?
The metabolic rate or so-called “metabolism”, in fact, refers to a more specific term: ”Basal metabolic rate” (BMR.)
According to the NHS, the BMR is the minimum amount of energy that the body needs to function properly (keeping you alive, supporting organ functions and body temperature, and keeping internal systems intact.) And it may sound surprising, but your basal metabolism is responsible for burning between 40 and 70% of your total daily energy expenditure. 
Taking into account that calories = energy that we consume, the BMR is important for weight management, as it helps you define target daily calorie intake to support ideal weight or trigger weight loss.
That being said, people with slow metabolism (low BMR) likely burn less calories per day when at rest, compared to individuals with fast metabolism.
This can put people with low BMR at a disadvantage when it comes to weight loss, as they need to either consume fewer calories per day or integrate more physical activities/exercises into their daily routine to be able to burn as many calories as the people with high BMR. 
Hormonal imbalance-having hormones that are not balanced inside our body is an underlying cause of weight gain and a sluggish metabolism
Thyroid Disease-often time, a thyroid that is not producing enough hormone can cause the body's cellular speed to slow down. It is important to get a full comprehensive thyroid profile to check the values of this gland.
Autoimmune conditions-Having any type of autoimmune condition where the body is attacking itself is a known cause of decreasing our metabolic rate. Blood tests can reveal if this is something you are dealing with.
An inflamed liver-the liver is an organ that is helping balance your immunity, but also involved with digesting fat. If our liver is inflamed from overuse of pharmaceuticals, biotoxins, alcohol, too many carbohydrates or hidden infections, it will create problems inside our metabolism
How can you boost your metabolism?
There are various methods that can be used to impact (and speed up) the basal metabolic rate. The two most common being: taking medication (prescribed by your healthcare provider,) and making suitable lifestyle changes.
Here are 5 lifestyle changes to make if you want to naturally boost your metabolism:
- Start exercising regularly (around 30 minutes most days) 
- Drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated 
- Have a coffee, green or black tea, or other caffeinated beverage (in moderate amounts) 
- Eat your Omega-3s– fatty fish and seafood, olive oil, fish oil, walnuts 
Sleep hygiene-be sure that you are getting sleep that makes you feel refreshed, sleep time is not as important as sleep quality. Sleep is important because this is where we repair our damaged cells.
Enzyme replacement therapy- This is a technique i use in clinical practice that helps to boost the metabolic rate.