You might also like these other newsletters: Please enter a valid email address Sign up Oops! Please enter a valid email address Oops! Please select a newsletter We respect your privacy. But there are also a few external, controllable factors that can slow down that metabolic rate, says Michael West, MD, an endocrinologist with Washington Endocrine Clinic in Washington, D.
As you get older, your ability to quickly use up energy diminishes and your metabolism can slow. Older people also tend to have less muscle mass than younger people, which translates to a reduced metabolic rate. When your nerves are frazzled, your body releases cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal system that is linked to weight gain. For example, if heavy traffic makes you nervous, avoid the roadways during rush hour.
Regular physical activity, deep breathing, and even professional help from a psychologist or counselor may also be helpful. Getting too little shut-eye can significantly alter your body's processes enough to predispose you to gain weight.
To increase the chances of boosting metabolism, adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To make sure you get enough exercise for boosting metabolism, set aside a dedicated period of time, rather than trying to accomplish it during the course of your everyday activities. Adults ages 18 to 64 need about two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, as well as strengthening exercises for all muscle groups twice a week.
It may be tempting to severely restrict your calories or skip meals to lose weight, but that may be a self-defeating practice. Not eating enough can actually cause your metabolism to slow down in an attempt to conserve calories. A few studies have also shown that caffeine-containing drinks like green tea and foods containing capsaicin a chemical that gives spicy foods their heat may cause temporary increases in metabolic rates. However, they only increase energy expenditure and fat-burning by a very small amount.
Certain drugs can make it easy to put on pounds and hard to lose them. One such medication, olanzapine Zyprexa has been shown to promote weight gain. If you feel your medications may be causing your body to hang on to extra weight, talk to your physician. There is some evidence that exposure to colder temperatures causes an increase in metabolism, as the body attempts to stay warm. However, research in this area is scarce, West says. People living in cold climates may be more likely to gain weight, he adds, because the low temps have a negative effect on their moods.
There are some medical conditions that can make losing weight more difficult. For example, thyroid problems like hypothyroidism , a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, can cause body functions to slow down and weight gain to result.
In men, low testosterone levels can have the same effect. Medications are available to relieve most of these conditions or eliminate their symptoms.