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 my 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

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The Value of your Health

How much is your health and wellness worth to you?

Think about this for a moment, maybe more than just one moment and give your most honest answer. I find that most of us don’t put nearly enough value into this element and we have to ask, why not?

We spend a few hundred dollars a month on a car payment.

We spend a few thousand dollars on a house payment.

We spend hundreds of dollars a month on the foods we eat, the places we visit, the bills we pay, and so on…

But for some reason, when it comes down to exercise and eating the right foods; we think, “Oh, that’s okay. I’m good with what I’m doing.”

Why?

Is it because we feel good at this point in time? Is it because we aren’t willing to do something uncomfortable or scary or possibly something we may fail at? Is it because we’ve been taught that doing things for ourselves is selfish?

Or is it deeper?

Is it because we see ourselves as who we truly are, in a very vulnerable way, and working on our bodies and our health may just make us seem more vulnerable to the outside world?

Being different is hard. I know when I began my fitness plans, everyone around me thought I was nuts.

“Kathy, you work out soooo much”

“Kathy, when are you going to relax and just eat ‘normal’ again?”

“Kathy, you are SOO strong and dedicated…I could never do that”…

It got to the point that everywhere I went, I knew that my presence would make people uncomfortable.

Why?

Not because I was giving myself the attention and taking care of my body’s needs.

No, it was because I was different. I was doing different things and standing out.

This, my friend, is scary stuff.

Being different makes other people stop and pay attention. They wonder, why are they doing things different. Then they start to wonder why they are not also doing things that way. And it makes them uncomfortable.

Because we all want to be similar. We all want to belong. We all want to be “normal”…

But what the heck is “normal”, anyway?

Can’t I be a good friend, parent, sister, spouse, etc…and still be considered ‘normal’ because of these traits?

In order to stand out and be ‘different’ to some people, meant that I would also become ‘normal’ to another group of people. And this is awesome.

When you find your ‘people’, you are given new hope. When you find the friends who believe in what you believe in and are willing to fight for what you are fighting for; you are no longer alone.

You now belong to a “group” again.

 

It doesn’t mean that your family and friends who don’t follow your new goals need to be pushed away, it just means that your relationship may shift a little. Only if they choose.

You keep being you.

You keep putting more value on your body than you do on your car or your house.

You freaking LIVE in the same body for your entire life! Why would you NOT??

So, I ask you again, how much value do you give to your health and wellness?

If you need a group to support your goals, we have a private forum on Facebook. Just click HERE to join us.

 

The truth about your ABS!

Let’s talk about ab moves that SUCK!

I am always amazed at the amount of people I still see at the gym doing crunches and sit-ups, while they are pulling on their heads, straining their necks (can you say neck ups?), and just doing nothing more than engaging the most superficial layer of their ab region. So not going to help you with those rock hard abs, peeps!

I know you’re probably sick of hearing abs are made in the kitchen, right? But in all honesty, not until I made this my priority in my goals – focusing on everything I ate and drank – did I really start to see my abs show up. Don’t even think about giving me the excuses like “but I had babies” or “I have gained and lost so much weight over the years that I can’t ever get my abs back” …I have ZERO tolerance for excuses. Excuses are simply your way of telling me, “Kathy, that’s cute but I don’t WANT TO!”…

So even though our foods and drinks are a huge component of attaining the abs we are seeking – what we do and what we don’t do in our workouts is also super duper important and will create those defined abs like you’ve always wanted.

So let’s break it down into FACTS first. What helps with getting a flat and tight ab section:

 #1: We start by burning off the layer of FAT first!

Plain and simple, we can’t spot reduce fat. If you simply train your abs daily you will never see (or enjoy showing off) your abs in the first place. Why? Because you most def have a six pack but it’s covered up by that sexy layer of FAT! :-/ You can’t just take part of a “30 Day AB Challenge” and expect to be guaranteed your abs to pop. No matter how many minutes a day and how many new and exciting ab and core moves you complete, you will never lose your body fat in the same order you put it on. Sad, but true. 😦

Our genetics actually play a big role in this truth. We can eat right, we can workout until the cows come home (I still want to know, where did the cows go in the first place?) but those pesky genes are going to be responsible for some of our results. One way to help speed up these results and help to change the shape of our body and abs, is in HIIT workouts. We will cover that in this post too.

LOL!! I'll take my abs with some extra FLUFF on top! ;)

I love the fact that nothing burns fat faster than some high intensity kick ass training…or “HIIT”. This not only works your body, kicks your butt in cardio, makes your muscles scream; but it also works your entire core along the way.

One way to take your current workouts up a notch, is to add 15-20 minutes of explosive movements to the start or end of your workout; or do a conditioning circuit that includes it. Check out this workout as a great example.

The next best way I like to shred body fat is to add in strength training. It’s a common misconception that women will bulk up by lifting weights heavier than their handbags…but not freaking true!!! Remember, the more lean muscle we have on our bodies, the more calories we burn even when sitting on our asses. True story. 😉 Check out this strength workout to see some great results.

I usually cycle through periods of heavier weight training (8-12 weeks) and then bodyweight training (4-6 weeks) depending on my goals, on my schedule and on my time. They are both awesome and effective ways to get a great body, burn some fat and show off your amazing abs!!

#2: Train your entire core section to emphasize those abs

If you really want shredded abs, you need to stop doing the moves you learned in P.E. classes. The truth of it is, you seriously need to focus on strengthening ALL OF YOUR CORE in order to see the abs pop like you want. That means doing moves that use your lower back muscles, your deeper core stabilizers and the layers of ab muscle that protect your organs and keep you standing taller. An example for this is when you take on a new workout or push harder through a tough run, you will feel sore in your core (I like to rhyme every time..lol) even when you didn’t get on the ground and complete any traditional ab moves.

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.03.13 AM

Our bodies are kind of awesome and and protects us against building too much muscle on one side of our body versus the other side. It protects us because of the fact that too much muscle on one side of the body will put added stress on our bones and start to pull us out of alignment.

Still think you can outsmart your body? Dude, it’s freaking INTELLIGENT!!

So be sure you’re adding moves that target your lower back (aka: back core) as well as the different layers of abdominal muscle too!

7 Weeks Out!!!

To get started:

Sign up and complete my 30 Day Ab challenge HERE and then get started with the next program that will help you advance by signing up below for my ONLINE BOOTCAMP CHALLENGE to help you start shredding those abs!