Sometimes to arrive at an answer, a good question to ask is the exact opposite. What slows down the metabolism? What should one avoid?
First, mental stress will significantly slow down the metabolism over long periods of time. A little anxiety might give a short epinephrine boost, but beyond that your cortisol levels begin to sky rocket and the metabolism can dramatically slow down. Higher cortisol levels will even promote significant fat storage around the abdominal area. Sorry Trainer Tim, but there are several studies on pub med that support this claim. This physical response has been traced back to the stone age when our ancestors where hunters and gathers, and when food was scarce, which would naturally increase one’s stress level, their metabolism would slow down to help them preserve their body mass, increasing chance of survival. We still share this same trait with our ancestors, but unfortunately, in most societies we have new and unhealthy sources of stress, which just help add inches to our waist line.
If you have further interested regarding this topic, go to my discussion on idea fit about stress and metabolism, and feel free to share your thoughts.
Another suggestion that I would emphasize, which was mentioned earlier, is to get a full screening of blood work. One can make all the life changes he or she wants to make but sometimes his or her own biology and heredity might require a higher level of intervention. It is good to get your T3 thyroid levels checked, along with your testosterone levels. If either of the two are low, they can drastically decrease your metabolism, sometimes to a screeching halt.
In addition, be educated about all supplements and mediations you are taking because they can slow down your metabolism and increase your appetite. Some medications can even result in such a change in bmd and sugar level that one can develop diabetes.
I hope you find this information helpful during your journey to wellness.
– Alex Wisch
CPT & Life Coach
This question comes up all the time doesn’t it?
Well I have a couple ideas that are rooted in science and not “what a friend or a friend said” or “I read it somewhere” haha
1) Stress – Stress releases hormones such as epinephrine which raise RHR and respiration therefore burning more calories (I wouldn’t advise adding stress to your life!)
2) Lean Body Mass – more muscle- more calories expended
3) Total Body Weight – People who weight more have to work harder to move their body its that simple
4) Hormones – lower than normal thyroid levels can result in an up to 15% lower RMR
5) Supplements – caffeine and many other supplements also raise RHR and can in turn expend more calories.
6) Exercise – HIIT….but WHYYY?! I can’t believe many trainers can’t explain this but its because of something called EPOC excess post exercise oxygen consumption. Basically when you push your body to its limits it needs to work harder to recover and that leaves your body working harder (increased metabolism) for a sustained period of time even after the workout is done.
Hopefully this brought some fresh insight in to your question.
Hello Again Andrew,
I also would like to add this link to my previous post.