|Top 12 Causes of a Slow Metabolism and
Do you have trouble losing weight and can't figure out why? If so, you are not alone.
Difficult weight gain can be nearly impossible to lose unless you can properly identify
the underlying factor(s) that is causing a slow metabolism. This isn't always easy
because there are so many potential causes of weight gain. For some, the cause of
weight gain in the belly, butt, hips, thighs or waist could simply be lack of exercise or
excess calories in the diet. But those are the easy cases to solve. A simple diet and
exercise log is all I need to correct a poor diet or improper exercise. But for you, the
cause of weight gain could be something hidden deep in your metabolism- something
that is preventing you from losing weight no matter how hard you try. And often, the
harder you try, the more weight you gain. The reason for this difficulty may be because
you are not addressing the cause of your weight gain. This can be so frustrating that
you may want to give up trying to lose weight. You may feel like you want to quit
exercising and eat junk food because you figure you are going to gain weight anyway.
I once worked with a patient who swore to me she only ate 500 calories a day and that
she exercised every single day. And her daily food log backed this up- she was eating
well under a thousand calories per day, yet she weighed in excess of 300 lbs. This
simply should not happen! Even at that ridiculously low calorie intake she was unable to
lose any weight no matter how much she exercised until we uncovered the underlying
cause of her slow metabolism. This particular individual had a severe case of anemia
that was preventing her from converting fat into energy. There was no way she was
going to lose weight until the anemia was corrected. But once we corrected the
underlying cause of her weight gain (anemia in her case), she began losing body fat at a
very rapid pace.
There is Hope
Once you identify the cause of your slow metabolism, it is often very easy to correct it
naturally. Weight loss will then be much easier and will tend to be long lasting. Here are
some of the many causes of weight gain we look for in all of our patients who have
trouble losing weight.
1- Thyroid Function and the Metabolism
Thyroid hormone regulates the rate of the metabolism in your body. So if the
thyroid is off, you will have a slow metabolism and will likely become fat and have low
energy. Other symptoms of low thyroid include weakness, cold hands or feet,
constipation, low immunity and brittle hair. The tricky thing about the thyroid is that there
are more than 10 things that can go wrong with the thyroid leading to hypo-thyroid (low
thyroid). Yet most doctors only check 1 or 2 pieces of the thyroid which means they
miss most opportunities to help their patients get better.
Once you identify which piece or pieces of the thyroid is failing, it can often be restored
to normal without medication being needed. A normal thyroid means a normal metabolic
rate with fat loss and better energy soon to follow.
How can I correct my thyroid?
First, identify if you have a thyroid issue by working with a qualified health care
professional. If you are unable to work with me directly, have your doctor check your
thyroid and check it thoroughly!
Once you identify the issue, it is often easy to correct and many times it is not even
related to the thyroid but rather a different issue that might appear to be a thyroid issue.
I will discuss many of those issues below.
2- Adrenal Fatigue and Difficult Weight Loss
Stress makes you fat and here's why. Stress will make you release high amounts of
hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. High cortisol or adrenaline levels will lead to
fat gain around the belly and eventually to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue leads to
excessively low cortisol levels which will cause bloating, fatigue, sleep disturbances, salt
cravings and even more difficulty with weight gain. That's right, high or low cortisol will
cause weight gain and adrenaline further complicates the issue! In order to lose weight,
cortisol and adrenaline have to be "just right." If you have some form of adrenal fatigue,
it will be impossible to lose weight unless the adrenals are repaired.
How do I correct Adrenal fatigue?
Thankfully, adrenal fatigue is easy to identify and correct. Identification requires two
1) A cortisol test which can be measured from either blood or saliva.
2) My Metabolic Profile which can give us insight into adrenaline production and help
me determine the exact type of adrenal fatigue. Without this information you are just
guessing at the best way to correct the issue. You can test your metabolism here.
Learn more about how adrenal fatigue causes a slow metabolism
3- Toxicity and Fat Gain
Toxins cause your body to malfunction and can destroy your cells all together. This
causes inflammation that can lead to changes in appetite and the inability to burn
fat. In other words, toxicity can be one of the underlying causes of a slow metabolism
and weight gain. I must give caution to anyone who is trying to drop body fat. If your fat
cells are toxic, rapid weight loss can release those toxins into your blood stream at high
levels. This is one reason why people might not feel very well or might get sick once
they begin to loose weight. I will implement strategies to help you avoid getting poisoned
by your own stored toxins during fat loss.
How do I know if I am toxic???
Have you ever had silver dental fillings? Do you have carpeting in your home or work
place? Has your home or work place ever been sprayed for bugs? Do you have scented
candles in your home? Do you breath air? Do you drink water? Do you eat food? I think
you get the point. We are all toxic to some degree. But are you so toxic that it is
preventing you from losing weight? Only testing can determine that.
My Metabolic Profile has a panel within it that analyzes both kidney and liver toxicity. If
you are toxic, this test will not only reveal this information but will guide you on the type
of detoxification program that will best help you eliminate poisons from your body.
4- Food Allergies/Sensitivities and Weight Gain
Some people are born with food allergies and some people develop them later in life.
Some reactions occur within minutes and are very severe. Other reactions can take
days and may only appear to be mild. During these delayed allergic reactions a large
amount of inflammation can occur throughout the body which can cause problems with
insulin sensitivity and many other problems that can cause a slow metabolism.
Learn more about Food Allergies and Weight Loss.
Read our Food Allergy Symptom Survey
Test your Food Allergies so you can start losing weight
5- Hydration and the Metabolism
Your body is a complex chemistry set and without enough water, none of the chemicals
can mix properly. If you are not well hydrated, your hormones and other important
chemicals will not work right and the result will be a slow metabolism and poor energy
levels. And remember, if you aren't burning energy, then you are storing it as body fat. It
is very clear that dehydration is one of the most common causes of weight gain today.
6- Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes and Fat Storage
Insulin is a fat-storing hormone released in response to excess blood sugar. It greatly
impacts weight gain in the stomach/belly initially and eventually leads to weight gain all
over the body. Insulin resistance means that insulin isn't working very well in your body,
so you end up releasing too much insulin. This slows your metabolism! Insulin
resistance is extremely common today but once identified, insulin resistance is very easy
to reverse. Improving your insulin response is a great way to reduce body fat, improve
energy and overall health. It also happens to be one of the best anti-aging steps you
How do you fix insulin resistance?
First- identify if you have insulin resistance or not. That is best done through a
combination of a blood test (glucose, HbA1C) in conjunction with my Metabolic Profile
which you can order here and take in your own home: Metabolic Profile
Read more about how insulin resistance causes weight gain and other health problems.
7- Estrogen and other Hormones Impact your Weight
Those with excessive fat stores (women and men) tend to have excess estrogen. This is
because fat cells store and release estrogen (as well as cortisol and inflammatory
agents). In fact, body fat is now considered an endocrine organ. Excess estrogen
stresses the adrenal glands and binds up thyroid hormone, making weight loss very
difficult, especially in the hips and thighs. Excess estrogen is also closely linked to
many types of cancer including breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is very important
for both men and women to have estrogen (along with thyroid and adrenals) monitored
and possibly treated to reduce risk of cancer and all of the obesity related diseases.
There are natural substances that are very effective at aiding estrogen metabolism and
proper detoxification and elimination of estrogen by-products.
8- Sleep Disturbances and Body Composition
Your body constantly breaks itself down and then repairs itself. Sleep is when most of
the repair occurs. Growth hormone, which is very high during deep sleep, helps the
repair processes. Muscles needs growth hormone in order to repair after exercise.
When you have more muscle mass, you automatically burn more calories and fat.
Leptin, another hormone produced during deep sleep, tells your brain you are full after
eating a meal. If you do not sleep properly, it is likely that you have increased cravings
due to low leptin levels. Sleep issues can also be the underlying cause of weight gain.
9- Serotonin/Dopamine Imbalances and Weight Gain
Neurotransmitters such as serotonin send signals to your brain to regulate hunger. Low
serotonin levels seem to be common based on the fact that 25 million Americans have
taken SSRI (Prozac type) drugs aimed at boosting serotonin levels. Low levels of
serotonin can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, increased pain and
cravings (especially for sugars), which leads to weight gain. Normal serotonin
levels can easily be achieved with natural therapies.
10- Digestion and Body Fat
Your body contains trillions of bacteria that line your intestines. Some of them are very
beneficial, helping you breakdown food and make nutrients from the food while others
can cause serious illnesses, absorption problems as well as inflammation. With
proper care, you can balance your gut bacteria, improve digestion and overall health,
and lose weight.
More causes of a Slow Metabolism (11-12)
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