Why Does Metabolism Slow Down?

Why Does Metabolism Slow Down

Maintaining a stable metabolism is extremely important in weight balance and for one’s overall health. Some medical conditions and lifestyle habits prominently play a role in slowing down the metabolic rate, leading to many health problems. A few of them are as follows:


When the thyroid gland is not able to generate enough thyroid hormone, it is known as hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone plays an important role in stimulating the body’s metabolism, which controls our body temperature, pulse rate, and effective burning of calories.

There is not enough thyroid hormone to fuel up the metabolic pathways in hypothyroidism, which causes a decrease in metabolic rate and lack of energy.

2.Low Protein Consumption

Lower than normal consumption of proteins can cause slow metabolism. High protein intake plays a vital role in increasing the rate of calories burned by our body. 

After digestion, there is an increase in the metabolic rate, known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Studies show that the TEF of proteins is significantly higher than that of carbohydrates and fats. Eating a high protein diet increases the metabolism up to 20-30% compared to carbohydrates and fats, at 5-10% and 3%, respectively. As a result, lower the protein intake, the slower the metabolism.

3.Low-calorie Consumption

Not eating enough calories can significantly decrease the metabolic rate. When there is a lower calorie intake, the body senses that and significantly lowers the metabolic rate to conserve the food resources in the body. Although a decrease in calories can be necessary for weight loss, cutting back too low affects your overall metabolism and resting metabolic rate.

4.Sleep Deprivation

Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy mind and healthy body. When you lack enough quality sleep, it can lead to many conditions such as depression, stress,  and diabetes.

A study conducted on healthy individuals showed a significantly slower metabolism after sleep restriction. A good night’s sleep can improve the metabolic rate of the human body.

5.Lack of Activity

Lack of physical activity and leading a sedentary lifestyle are common causes of a slow metabolism. An adequate amount of physical activity helps burn calories, and when there is not enough activity, this process slows down, thereby decreasing the metabolic rate.

The absence of daily life activities such as walking, climbing up the stairs, or standing also slows down the metabolism. These activities are termed non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Inactivity eventually leads to a slow metabolism.

Watch for my next post—all about 7 ways to boost metabolism.

Ready to optimize your metabolic health? Schedule a Functional Medicine Session with Dr. Ryan here.

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