Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Your body needs energy for functions such as breathing, circulating blood, and repairing cells, even when you are at rest. The number of calories your body uses for these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate.

Slow Metabolism

One that can directly change metabolic rate is hypothyroidism, which is caused by an under active thyroid gland. It’s common for people with hypothyroidism to feel tired and experience weight gain because the thyroid helps regulate the metabolism and energy production. Diabetes can also cause a slow metabolism. One of the most common causes to a slow metabolism is too much fat relative to muscle. Lean body tissue is more metabolically active than fatty tissue which is one reason why men have faster metabolic rates than women. Muscle tissue declines with age which is a reason for middle aged weight gain.

Lifestyle factors can be the cause of a slow metabolism. Skipping meals, fasting, and taking medications such as ones for depression cause the metabolism to slow down. The body slows down to conserve energy when it senses a lack of fuel; fewer calories are burned. Eating frequent, small portioned meals that are high in protein can keep the metabolism going at its best. Genetics is another reason for a slow metabolism, but one that can not be directly controlled. Exercising regularly and including aerobic and resistance activity can build lean body mass and speed up a slower metabolism. Adding intensity and interval training to your workout routine will aid to keep the metabolism elevated even after a workout.

Metabolic disorders occurs when abnormal chemical reactions in your body disrupt this process. When this happens, it can be a result of having too much or too little of some substances that you need to stay healthy. This can be developed when organs such as the liver, or pancreas contain a disease or do not function properly.

How does the Thyroid Manage your Metabolism?

How the Body Works: The Basal Metabolic Rate

Metabolism Differences

Body composition which is the amount of muscle, bone, and fat that make up the body are different between men and women. Men usually have more muscle mass, heavier bones and less body fat than women. The recommended percentage of body fat for a woman in between 20-30 percent which is assumed to be higher for childbearing, while the recommended percentage for a man is between 12-20 percent. Men burn more calories than women at rest because of this.

Women’s energy expenditure tend to be lower due to significantly less calories burned from physical activities than in men’s. These two factors make it easier for men to eat more without gaining weight and lose weight faster than women of similar size.

Although, these differences do exist, making positive lifestyle changes such as routine workout and healthy eating will result in successful and lasting weight loss.

Factors that lead to weight gain:

  • Eating too many calories

  • Not enough physical activity

  • Genetics and family history

  • Certain medications

  • Unhealthy habits

  • Continuous lack of sleep