One of the crucial systems in the body is the metabolism, the process where the body converts the food we eat into energy. Sometimes, the metabolism doesn’t work efficiently, leading to various impacts on the body. Read below to learn more.
1. Unexplained Weight Gain
If you eat well and exercise regularly but still experience weight gain, a sluggish metabolism might be the culprit. When our metabolism is slow, the body burns fewer calories, making it harder to control weight. (1)
2. Chronic Fatigue
A slow metabolism may lead to inefficient conversion of food into energy, leaving us sluggish and fatigued.
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3. Intolerance to Cold
People with a slow metabolism often feel cold, as their bodies may not generate enough heat from the food-to-energy conversion process.
4. Dry Skin and Brittle Nails
A sluggish metabolism can lead to reduced blood flow, affecting skin health and causing dryness. (2) Brittle nails and hair are also common indicators.
5. Slow Digestion
Constipation or slow digestion can be a sign of a sluggish metabolism. When our body breaks down and processes food slowly, it can affect the entire digestion process.
How to Improve Metabolism
While genetics play a role in determining our metabolism rate, there are several ways to give it a boost:
- Regular Physical Activity Exercise stimulates metabolism and helps burn more calories. A combination of aerobic exercises like running or cycling, along with strength training for muscle building, can increase our metabolism rate.
- Stay Hydrated Adequate water intake is crucial for a healthy metabolism. It aids in digestion and can increase the number of calories we burn.
- Eat Meals at Regular Intervals Skipping meals can slow down metabolism and lead to weight gain. Regular and balanced meals keep our metabolism active throughout the day.
- Prioritize Your Sleep Lack of sleep can negatively impact our metabolism and lead to weight gain. Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to maintain a healthy metabolism.
- Limit Processed Foods Processed foods are harder to digest and metabolize. Opt for whole, fresh foods as much as possible, and minimize processed food consumption.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) These workouts burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time and can boost metabolism for hours after the workout. Note that HIIT requires significant effort and is recommended for individuals already in good shape, not for beginners. Also, consult a doctor for a physical examination before starting.
- Seek Medical Evaluation for Specific Conditions Certain medical conditions, like thyroid underactivity, can slow down our metabolism. If you experience many of the symptoms mentioned in the article, it might be worth getting various tests based on your family doctor’s recommendations.
In conclusion, being mindful of these signs and implementing lifestyle changes can help improve your metabolism and overall well-being. Always remember to approach any significant changes to your routine with care and consult a healthcare professional if you have specific concerns or conditions.