What Really Makes Your Metabolism Slow?

Seeing your weight fluctuate over a period of time can certainly be frustrating, but it is completely normal. Even a daily fluctuation is expected. Endocrinologist Kathleen Wyne says to Verywell Fit that a five-pound weight shift is the standard for most people day-to-day. This daily up and down could be because you indulged in a high sodium meal causing water retention. Or perhaps you spent an hour in the wet sauna and sweated out a few pounds. One of the more popular explanations for weight gain is a slow metabolism. And while most of us accept this as a legitimate reason, have you ever really thought about what makes your metabolism slow?

Firstly, it would help to know what metabolism is. The NHS describes the metabolism as the chemical process in your body that works to keep your organs functioning, repair cells, and yes, help you digest your food.

You do have some control over the speed of your metabolism

If you are concerned you are gaining weight because your metabolism has slowed down, consider why this may be the case. Everyone's metabolism works at a different speed. According to the NHS, age, gender, genes, and body size are all factors that play a part in the speed of your metabolism. It has also been shown that people who have a larger muscle mass tend to have faster metabolisms.

Ok, so genes, age, and gender may be out of your control. But you can maintain some control over the speed of your metabolism. Healthline recommends not skimping on protein, avoiding crash diets, and to make sure you're getting enough high quality sleep. In addition, you can stay active with both strength training and aerobic activity to keep those calories burning. It doesn't have to be with a marathon. Consider biking to work if it's possible. Or take the stairs to your office on the fifth floor instead of using the elevator.

It is possible your fluctuating weight could be a result of a slow metabolism. And while there are some factors you can't control, there are healthy changes you make in your day-to-day to help boost your metabolism's current speed.