Why is My Metabolism Slow?

Why is My Metabolism Slow?

You may feel tired, cold or that you’ve gained weight.  Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”. You may be convinced that your metabolism is slow. Why does this happen?  Why do metabolic rates slow down?

What can slow your metabolism?

Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories).

But don’t worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!  In fact it’s so complicated I’m only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.

Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down:

  • low thyroid hormone
  • your history of dieting
  • your size and body composition
  • your activity level
  • lack of sleep

We’ll briefly touch on each one below and I promise to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”.

Low thyroid hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism.  When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active.   Ideally it should work to keep your metabolism just right.  But there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.  Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.

Pro Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your thyroid hormones tested.

Your history of dieting

When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down.  This is because the body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food. While dieting can lead to a reduction in amount of fat it unfortunately can also lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have.  As you know more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate.

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it.

Your size and body composition

In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates.  This is because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than a smaller one. However, you already know that gaining weight is rarely the best strategy for increasing your metabolism. Muscles that actively move and do work need energy.  Even muscles at rest burn more calories than fat.  This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.

Pro Tip: Do some weight training to help increase your muscle mass.

Which leads us to…

Your activity level

Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because you’re also getting hotter. Even little things can add up.  Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.

Pro Tip:  Incorporate movement into your day.  Also, exercise regularly.

Lack of sleep

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.  The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Pro Tip: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/metabolic-damage

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/thyroid-and-testing

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/6-mistakes-that-slow-metabolism/

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

http://summertomato.com/non-exercise-activity-thermogenesis-neat

 

 

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Recipe:

Selenium-rich Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

(Serves 4)

  • ½ cup Brazil nuts
  • 2 cups water
  • nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth (optional)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Blend Brazil nuts in water in a high-speed blender until you get smooth, creamy milk.  If desired, strain it with a nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth.

Add Brazil nut milk and other ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.  Let sit several minutes (or overnight) until desired thickness is reached.

Serve & Enjoy!

Pro Tip:  Makes a simple delicious breakfast or dessert topped with berries.

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About the Author: Christina Della Rocca, n.d.

Christina Della Rocca is a multi-disciplinary Health Coach with over 20 years of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and wellness.

One of Montreal’s leading wellness professionals, Christina has been featured on Montreal AM live, RDS television, CHOM FM, CJAD, Mountain City Rock, and Trends Magazine.  Founder and Director of « EXERCISE PLUS » A Wellness Company that brings health & Fitness programs to companies in and around the Montreal area., Christina is a leading Corporate Wellness Specialist.

Haven’t Changed Anything in Your Diet But Feeling Fatter?

Haven’t Changed Anything in Your Diet But Feeling Fatter?

You are positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still feeling fatter. Is this possible?

Yes!  You are NOT crazy! And here’s why.

We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight.There’s definitely more to the story than just what you’re eating, right? A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat.

 

But, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you’re eating the same.

Things like:

  • Aging
  • Hormones
  • Sleep
  • Stress

Aging

Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains. Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.

The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault one bit.

Hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course. When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down. And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Pro Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested.  Oh, and try the thyroid-friendly recipe that I created for you at the end of this post.

Sleep

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate. And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep. The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain. It’s true! Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain.

Who ever thought you can sleep off your weight?

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine.

Stress

It seems to be everywhere!  So many things that can cause stress responses in your body. And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right? While you can’t necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them.

Pro Tip: Try meditation or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now?

Conclusion:

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you’re eating the same way you always have

 

 

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Recipe: (Thyroid friendly iodine): Seaweed Sushi Bowl

Serves 2

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 avocado (thinly sliced)
  • ½ cucumber (diced)
  • ½ red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ garlic clove
  • dash salt and pepper

Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the sushi bowls.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:  This is a great lunch to take on the go.  Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the sushi bowl.

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About the Author: Christina Della Rocca, n.d.

Christina Della Rocca is a multi-disciplinary Health Coach with over 20 years of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and wellness.

One of Montreal’s leading wellness professionals, Christina has been featured on Montreal AM live, RDS television, CHOM FM, CJAD, Mountain City Rock, and Trends Magazine.  Founder and Director of « EXERCISE PLUS » A Wellness Company that brings health & Fitness programs to companies in and around the Montreal area., Christina is a leading Corporate Wellness Specialist.

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  

I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfast.

 

Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food.  And for good reason! No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton.  I mean actual whole “eggs”. Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses.  Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin. Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time. And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized.  It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’s heart unhealthy.  Ideally, eat eggs with a runny yolk; sunny-side up, poached, or soft-boiled are great.

Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast. You won’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting. Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie or add nuts to your morning bowl of oats.

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.

Breakfast Food #3: Veggies

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right? Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!

And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don’t want to but you totally can!  You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that. Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal.  Including breakfast.

I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.

 

 

Have you been struggling to...

Reduce belly bloat?

Improve elimination?

Lose weight?

Get my free guide and start feeling better fast!

Recipe (Eggs & Veggies): Veggie Omelet

Serves 1

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)
  • ¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)
  • dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric

Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).

In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.

Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil.  Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.

When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:  Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favourite vegetable.  Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.

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Morning routine to keep anxiety at bay

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About the Author: Christina Della Rocca, n.d.

Christina Della Rocca is a multi-disciplinary Health Coach with over 20 years of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and wellness.

One of Montreal’s leading wellness professionals, Christina has been featured on Montreal AM live, RDS television, CHOM FM, CJAD, Mountain City Rock, and Trends Magazine.  Founder and Director of « EXERCISE PLUS » A Wellness Company that brings health & Fitness programs to companies in and around the Montreal area., Christina is a leading Corporate Wellness Specialist.