How To Determine Whether You Have Slow Or Fast Metabolism

Having dinner with friends can be frustrating if you're struggling with losing weight. One friend might devour four slices of pizza while another will have one slice and a salad. Yet no matter how much or little you and your friends eat, you all could have different body sizes. Sure, some people have certain genetics that factor into their metabolism, but hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism could also cause your metabolism to be slow or fast (via MedicineNet).

People with high metabolism need more calories to maintain their current weight. They might be more energetic or hyperactive and therefore sweat a little more. A high metabolism might also mean a higher heart rate and body temperature. A person with a low metabolism might experience gas and bloating, high blood sugar, or a hormone imbalance. People with lower metabolism might also crave sugar. A doctor can determine your metabolism by looking at your blood sugar or hormone imbalances, such as your thyroid, according to Mercy Health. Some factors you can't control about your metabolism, but there are other ways you can boost your daily calorie burn.

Factors that slow your metabolism

According to Cleveland Clinic, you need a certain amount of calories per day so your body can perform complex functions such as breathing, regulating hormones, circulating blood, and cell repair. Your body uses 10% of your energy to convert food to fuel. Unfortunately, your metabolism will slow as you age, but a slower metabolism will also slow your aging process (per Mercy Health). If you have more muscle, you'll tend to burn more calories at rest. Because men tend to have more muscle than women, they also have a faster metabolism. Obviously, if you exercise often, your metabolism will be higher than if you're sedentary.

Too much dieting through calorie restriction can make your metabolism sluggish because your body will adjust to quick drops in your daily calories. Although how much your metabolism slows can vary according to other factors such as previous dieting or your fitness level, people who are obese could see their metabolism slow even more, according to Healthline.

How to boost your metabolism

The Mayo Clinic says to avoid supplements that claim to boost metabolism because they either don't work or have unwanted side effects. It's better to reduce your daily calories by about 500 to lose weight slowly. Your weight doesn't change very much from day to day, but consuming a little more or a little fewer calories each day can add up to weight loss or weight gain, according to Harvard Medical School.

Healthline suggests keeping a diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. When you eat protein, your body needs more energy to process this macronutrient. Protein will increase your metabolism by up to 30%, especially if you eat most of your calories in the first few hours of the day. Drinking more water can also increase your metabolism while helping you feel full during meals. If you feel your metabolism is slow, you can also lift weights to help you add metabolism-boosting muscle. High-intensity interval training also helps.

Whether your metabolism is fast or slow, you'll gain weight if you take in more calories than your body can burn. In fact, Cleveland Clinic says that some people with a fast metabolism can also be obese.