What's Metabolism? Is Yours Fast or Slow?

The kind of metabolism you have will determine how you should eat to be healthy and not to gain (or lose) too much weight.
What's Metabolism? Is Yours Fast or Slow?

Last update: 12 April, 2021

What’s metabolism? It’s something that you’ve probably heard mentioned at some point, but you’re not exactly sure how to define it. Generally, the concept is associated with your figure. However, it goes far beyond that. In reality, metabolism doesn’t just have to do with how thin you are, but also with the way you process food in order to help your body perform its functions as it should.

Discover in this article what is metabolism and what the consequences are when it doesn’t work properly, as well as the most appropriate diet for each case, among other general aspects.

What’s metabolism?

An image showing what is metabolism.

Generally, scientists define metabolism as the set of certain physical and chemical processes that take place in your cells. Through these changes, nutrients in food are transformed into energy.

In short, these reactions are the ones that transform the nutrients you eat or drink into the energy needed to carry out all vital functions.

The energy produced by your metabolism is used in vital functions, including:

  • Breathing
  • Digestion
  • Circulation
  • Maintenance of body temperature
  • Elimination of waste through your kidneys and intestines

It also affects energy expenditure and calorie burning. That’s why you should consider your metabolism if you fail to lose weight despite following strict diets. That’s also why it’s fundamental to eat a proper diet and regulate your metabolism naturally, according to the guidelines of a specialist (endocrinologist or nutritionist).

The symptoms of slow metabolism

People with a slow metabolism may show the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • More frequent constipation
  • Slow or difficult digestion
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Risk of depression, in some cases
  • Difficulty losing weight, or frequent weight changes. Fat accumulates in the hips and legs.

The symptoms of fast metabolism

On the other hand, people with fast metabolism may show the following symptoms:

  • Constant hunger
  • Excess energy
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • A tendency towards nervousness and anxiety
  • Poor absorption of nutrients in the intestines
  • Difficulty putting on weight. Fat accumulates in the arms and abdomen

Metabolism and your diet

A woman measuring her waist beside some fruit and vegetables.

There is a nutritional theory that says that there is a relationship between the kind of metabolism a person has and their eating preferences. From this perspective, you should learn what type of food best suits you if you want to be healthy and avoid gaining weight.

Below we’ll give you some recommendations, however, for this type of pathology it’s necessary to see a nutritionist or endocrinologist. They’ll recommend the best diet according to your medical history and symptoms.

A diet for people if it’s fast

People with fast metabolism have a good appetite and usually prefer foods rich in fat and protein. They almost always opt for salty or savory over sweet.

If this describes you, reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, especially sweets and refined (white) flours, to maintain a healthy weight.

However, it’s also very important to not overdo your consumption of animal proteins. Try to mix it up with vegetable proteins such as legumes or nuts.

Fats are not harmful, as long as you opt for good quality fats:

  • Avocados
  • Seeds
  • Oily fish
  • Nuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Virgin cold-pressed oils: olive, coconut, sesame, flax

Don’t forget to combine protein and fats with a good amount of raw vegetables. Furthermore, have them in juices, smoothies, or salads. If you have a big appetite, eat several meals a day; don’t skip any of them.

A diet for people if it’s slow

People with a slow metabolism tend to gain weight and feel fatigued, despite not eating very much. In this sense, the best solution is based on adopting an adequate diet.

They usually go for sweets, which is generally not a healthy temptation. Therefore, our advice is to consume healthy carbohydrates made with sweeteners like stevia and whole grain flour. Reduce your intake of sodium, which usually causes bloating and water retention.

When you have a slow metabolism, you probably look for energy in stimulants such as coffee or soda. Furthermore, as an alternative, we suggest preparing your own energy drinks with fruits, ginger root, maca, pure cocoa, ginseng, etc.

Moderate your consumption of fats. So, eat them in moderate quantities, and choose the same ones we recommended for people with a fast metabolism. Drinking water throughout the day, outside of meals, will also help accelerate your metabolism.

Now that you know what is metabolism. Try to find out what yours is and what’s best for you to look and feel your best. So, consult your endocrinologist or nutritionist.

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