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