It Could Be Your Meds
Some drugs can slow down your metabolism. These include many antidepressants and certain antipsychotics doctors use to treat schizophrenia. Many other medications, like those that slow the heart rate, also can have that effect.
What you can do: Let your doctor know if you think your prescriptions might be a problem. There may be something you could take instead.
Staying up late to finish homework, working the night shift, or that best-seller could be messing with your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Flip-flopping back and forth in your sleep cycle can lead to a sluggish metabolism and other problems, such as diabetes and obesity.
What you can do: Reset your body clock.Go to bed the same time every night and get up at the same time every day, even on your days off. You might want to talk to your doctor about healthy ways you can get on track.
Your Thermostat Might be Set Too High
It's not always a good idea to heat things up in the bedroom -- at least not when it comes to your metabolism. Rooms warmer than 75 degrees keep your body from making brown fat, which is loaded with calorie-burning cells.
What you can do: Turning the thermostat down to 66 degrees before bedtime boosts brown-fat levels. When it’s cold outside, taking regular brisk walks also may do that.
When you are in a stressful situation, your body makes a hormone called cortisol. It’s meant to give you a quick boost of energy. But if you’re stuck in a stressed-out zone, the body thinks you still need to fight, so it keeps making cortisol. High levels of this hormone make it harder for your body to use insulin. That puts the brakes on your metabolism and fuels weight gain.
What you can do: Find ways you can de-stress. Breathe deep. Do something you love. Find what works for you.
It Might be Your Genes
Not the kind you wear, but rather the gifts your mother and father gave you, could also be the reason you have a low metabolism. Metabolism is how your body changes food into energy. If your body is slow at burning calories while you rest or sleep, you probably got that from your parents.
It could be there is nothing you can do about it but accept that it’s just who you are.
Not Drinking Enough Water
How about a tall, cool glass of water? Some studies show that it helps the body burn energy and fuels weight loss. At any temperature, water also helps you fill up, so you eat less.
What you can do: Sip it throughout the day. You also can eat more foods that are naturally rich in water, such as watermelon or cucumbers.
You’re Not Getting Enough Calcium
You need it for more than your bones. It’s also a key nutrient for a swift metabolism, among the other positive things it does for your body. Many people don’t get enough of it.
What you can do: There are many delicious options! You can get calcium from milk and dairy products, of course. It’s also in many fortified foods (such as cereals, orange juice, and soy or almond milk), canned salmon, turnip greens, kale, and tofu.
A shift in your hormones can put the brakes on your body's energy use. That can make you tired. Some conditions, like an underactive or overactive thyroid and diabetes, are hormonal diseases that affect your metabolism. Stress also releases hormones that can trigger a slow-down.
What you can do: If you have a medical condition, keep up with your treatment. And make it a priority to nip stress in the bud.
You Consistently Eat a High Fat Diet
Eating loads of fatty foods like greasy burgers and buttery goodies is never a healthy idea. It changes how your body breaks down foods and nutrients. Your body’s ability to use insulin is affected, too. That’s called insulin resistance, and it’s been linked to obesity and diabetes.
What you can do: Reach for more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. Beans, peppers, and shellfish are good options, too.