Are you gaining weight and feeling lethargic? The reasons for your slow metabolism may well surprise you.

1. You are producing too much cortisol

Metabolism is the process by which your body transfer calories to energy. So, when you are told that you have a slow metabolism, it means that your body accumulates calories but without spending them causing the intake of unwanted pounds. But what is the cause? In many people or some of them, it is the excess of cortisol, the famous “stress hormone.” Secreted at a normal dose, cortisol could help you to burn fat. But an overabundance of cortisol – if you are experiencing a long period of stress – can cause your body to think you are experiencing hardship and will need more energy to overcome them.

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2. Your insulin level is too high

This is the problem of chicken and egg: overweight is a cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; And type 2 diabetes is related to being overweight. Insulin helps the body turn sugar into energy, but if your body is resistant to insulin, the cells are unable to absorb glucose, and this results in high blood sugar. This can also mislead your body, which, thinking to have fueled energy, slows down its metabolism. Even if you do not have diabetes, other factors such as stress can boost your insulin levels.

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3. Your thyroid is out of control

Located at the base of the neck, your thyroid gland regulates thyroid hormones, which greatly affect our metabolism. So, if you do not produce enough hormones, your metabolism will slow down. One of the leading causes of hypothyroidism in North America is Hashimoto’s disease. It isn’t easy to understand to what extent the thyroid controls the metabolism. What we know is that thyroid hormones increase oxygen consumption by the body. Patients with hypothyroidism, therefore, consume less oxygen, resulting in a lower basal metabolic rate.

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4. Your estrogen level is low

Women who go into menopause sometimes wonder why their metabolism is so slow. The decline in estrogen levels is one of the manifestations of menopause.” The lack of estrogen is characterized by an increase in fat mass and a reduction in muscle mass. Women take between two and three pounds during their menopause. Pounds that accumulate mainly in the middle of the body.

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5. You lack testosterone

Men are not immune to hormonal changes. “The decline in testosterone in men who are getting older is accompanied by a decline in muscle mass and an increase in fat mass.” This also slows down the metabolism. A study on the effects of a drug against prostate cancer has shown that lowering testosterone levels goes hand in hand with an increase in fat mass. A German study indicates that testosterone replacement therapy, although controversial, seems to reverse these changes.

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6. You just grow old!

We often attribute the slowness of our metabolism to the fact that we are getting older. With reason! In addition to those that occur when men and women age, our body loses muscle mass every year. And since lean mass burns more calories than fat, even at rest, less muscle is equivalent to fewer calories burned and thus to more fat. You can always fight the effects of metabolic aging by doing more exercise and eating less.

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7. You have too much fat and not enough muscles

If you are overweight or obese, you have more fat than muscle, and it is a vicious circle: if you have less muscle, it means fewer calories burned even at rest, and fewer calories burned to translate By more fat. If you want to burn more calories at rest, you need more muscle. And so you have to exercise more. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, practicing with weights allows you to spend more calories than conventional exercises. Also, be careful to eat healthily and to sleep sufficiently.

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