Can’t seem to lose weight, no matter how hard you try? Don’t think you’re cursed with a slow metabolism. You’ve got more power than you think. The key is to master your mitochondria. Trillions of these tiny energy factories are in each of your cells. They burn calories to fuel your metabolism. Here are six ways to recharge.
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6 Tips to Rev a Slow Metabolism (Infographic)
Your biochemical makeup is unique. Here are 5 factors that may contribute to a slow metabolism:
- Your genes. If your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes, research shows that you may metabolize fats and lipids inefficiently. This can increase your risks of weight gain and diabetes.
- Your age. Age-related chronic diseases, like heart disease and dementia, can throw a wrench into the mitochondrial works.
- Your diet. Food becomes information for your cells and tells your mitochondria what to do. If you overdo sugar and processed, inflammatory foods (including refined oils) — or overeat, period — you’ll overload your energy factories and slow their production. On the other hand, yo-yo dieting, undereating, calorie-restrictive dieting and other extreme measures also and slow your metabolism way down. Your body goes into starvation mode and clings to fat to keep you alive.
- Your lifestyle. Environmental toxins like pesticides, mercury and radiation can impact the way your body produces energy. So can chronically high levels of stress.
- Your gut bacteria. When the unhealthy inflammatory bugs outnumber the healthy bugs in your intestine, your body absorbs too many lipopolysaccharides. These gut toxins create inflammation and damage your mitochondria.
You can’t turn back the clock, but you can increase the number and function of your mitochondria. The key is eating enough of the right kind of foods.