The Gist of It
While slow metabolism exists, it’s a rare condition that has nothing to do with being overweight.
Being overweight has everything to do with diet and exercise (or rather, the wrong diet and exercise).
To really lose weight, you need to commit to a lifestyle of clean eating and regular exercising.
There is such a thing as a slow metabolism. Slow metabolism however, is rare and it’s usually not what’s behind being overweight or obese. Being overweight usually a matter of diet and exercise.
Metabolism is a chemical process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Metabolism efficiency means some people need more calories to burn fuel, while other have to work harder at it. Just like cars, no two 1.5cc car marquees are similar in fuel efficiency.
Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy for functions such as breathing, circulating blood and repairing cells. The brain — the hardest working organ in your body together with the heart — which is the strongest muscle in the body, draws a massive amount of calories to enable proper function. That’s why people with jobs that require plenty of concentration and stress naturally feel the need to consistently feed their brains with stimulus to enable high continuous function. Usually, this comes in the form carbohydrates. Chocolate, coffee and snacks are the biggest culprits.
The number of calories your body uses for these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your body’s rate of energy needs are dependent of some predetermined factors.
What Affects Your Energy Needs
1. Your body size and composition
If you weigh more or have more muscle mass, you will burn more calories, even at rest. So overweight people are more likely to have a faster metabolic rate — not a slower one. One noticeable feature of overweight individuals is an elevated heart rate even at rest. Because an extensive body mass needs to be ‘fed’ with oxygen, the heart works overtime to make that happen.
2. Your sex
If you’re a man, you probably have less body fat and more muscle mass than does a woman of the same age, so you burn more calories. In order to retain body muscular composition, muscles need to be replenished with nutrients in order to retain its mass.
3. Your age
As you get older, your muscle mass decreases, which slows down the rate at which you burn calories. Face it this way. When I was in my teens and twenties, I was Superman. I could down wolf down whole pizzas easily, work all day, knock off work at 10pm, go out for drinks till 3am and start work again at 6.30am the next day and repeat that 3 days’ a week. 20 years later, I can’t do any of those. Age bites.
4. Genetics and family history
Your genetic make-up can influence your likelihood to become obese in subtle ways through taste perception and appetite control or in more direct ways such as how and where you accumulate fat. If one of your parents is severely obese, your risk increases five-fold.
Only rarely is excessive weight gain caused by a medical problem that slows metabolism, such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
All other excuses with weight gain filters down to 2 other factors. Lifestyle choices and activity limitation, where too many calories are consumed as opposed to expansion.
Lifestyle habits grow on you with time. As we enjoy more affluent lifestyles, our tendency to reduce activity becomes more apparent due to the fact that we need to become financially busier to maintain the same or increase the lifestyle quality of the present. So, as people strive to work harder either to maintain or increase lifestyle quality, health and fitness take a back seat. Alcohol consumption, overeating, indulgence are usual sins that are associated with poor lifestyle habits.