How To Slow Down Your Metabolism Rate
Your metabolism, or metabolic rate, is how quickly your body breaks down and uses up energy you get from calories. Some people can eat a ton of food and never gain weight. The reason is that they have a very high metabolism. A high metabolism can prevent muscle growth, leaving you skinny and weak. Luckily, there are a bunch of habits you can form to decrease you metabolism and increase your weight gain.
If you are underweight or looking to build up additional weight, check out these tricks people use to slow down their metabolism. This is especially helpful if you are recovering from an eating disorder or if you are weight lifting or participating in sports that need a lot of muscle.
As always, talk to your doctor before making an changes to your diet or lifestyle. Everyone is different, and what works for one person might not be ideal for you.
Count Your Calories
The very first thing you should do, before you even consider trying to change your metabolism is to count your calories. A lot of skinny people actually eat far less calories than they think. See how many calories you eat in a day and then compare that to the number you get from a TDEE calculator. This will give you a good idea of how much you are eating, and how much someone who has an average metabolism should be eating at your weight and height.
It’s a lot easier to increase the amount of calories you eat than it is to slow down you metabolism. If possible focus on increasing the calories you eat rather than slowing down the rate that your body consumes those calories. You can always try adding a gallon of milk a day to your diet, or something similar.
Once you known you are eating a ton of calories, and that you feel full all the time, you can work on decreasing your metabolic rate.
In the end, weight gain is all about the amount of calories you eat compared to the amount of calories your body burns.
Change When You Eat Meals
One effective way to slow down the speed at which your body burns calories is to change when you eat food. The time of day that you eat and how often you eat will affect how quickly your body burns through what you ate.
Eat Bigger Meals Less Often
One trick to slowing down your metabolic rate is to eat less often. When you do eat, make sure that you eat as many calories as you would have otherwise. You do not want to eat less food less often. Doing that is a recipe for weight loss not weight gain.
But, if you are able to eat the same amount of calories with long breaks between meals, then your body will adjust your metabolic rate. The human body is amazingly resilient. It can survive for many days without food. When your body notices that it is not getting new calories, it starts to slow down its metabolic rate.
In other words, if you have not eaten in a while, your body will slow down how fast it is burning existing calories.
Intermittent fasting is a popular way to schedule when you eat your calories. People who are committed to intermittent fasting swear that it helps them gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. These people will not eat anything for 16 or more hours at a time.
There is no need to go to such an extreme. You should see a slowing of your metabolism as soon as you stop eating lots of small snacks and small meals through the day and instead focus on eating a few large meals.
Eat Before Bed
Your body naturally slows down its metabolism when you are sleeping. Sleep is super important for muscle gain and weight lifters should treat a good nights sleep as a necessary part of their post-workout recovery.
Because your metabolism slows down when you are sleeping, eating a meal before bed will help you put on additional pounds.
Change What You Eat
Changing what you eat can lead to weight gain or weight loss due to the amount of calories in the food. But it can also lead to changes in weight simply because different foods are digested at different rates. Some foods help speed up your body’s metabolic rate and should be avoided.
Don’t Over Do The Protein
This is a common mistake that weight lifters who are trying to bulk make. They eat a diet that is 75% protein. Eating too much protein can actually hurt your weight gain goals.
Your muscles and body need protein. You need to ensure you get enough protein for muscle growth and for the natural functions of your body. However, you need other nutrients as well. Do not over do the amount of protein you consume.
After a certain point, your muscles will not need any additional protein. After that point is reached, you do not get any benefit from eating more protein. Most people need at most 0.8g/lb or 1.6g/kg of protein per body weight. So if you weight 150lbs, you need at most 120 grams of protein (0.8 * 150 = 120). Anything beyond this number will not be beneficial.
The problem with too much protein intake is that protein is more difficult for your body to digest. This means your body actually burns more energy consuming protein. This is the same thing as increasing your metabolism. You are wasting energy by digesting complex proteins.
So while you must get a sufficient amount of protein, don’t over do how much protein you eat. Doing so will only slow down how much weight you are gaining.
Avoid Spicy Foods
Spicy foods hurt weight gain in two ways.
The first is that they are a natural hunger suppressor. When you eat spicy foods you tend to feel satisfied faster than if the food was not spicy. This will lead to you eating less food, unless you are really good about counting your calories.
The second is that spicy foods increase your metabolism. There’s a number of scientific studies that show that spicy foods increase your body’s resting metabolic rate. Some scientists are even looking into using capsaicin as a natural weight loss supplement.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat something really spicy you start to sweat and your body feels warm? Those are symptoms linked to an increase in your metabolic rate.
Spicy meals will make you feel more hungry, and will also burn up the existing energy in your body at a faster rate. These are two things you want to avoid when trying to gain weight.
Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Tobacco
All these of the above vices will speed up your metabolism or decrease your appetite.
The effects of alcohol are probably least clear. Studies show that alcohol does increase the metabolic rate, but alcohol is made of calories that are consumed when drinking. In addition most alcoholic beverages have sugars and other additives which have a lot of calories in them. The change in metabolism and the increase in caloric input can affect weight gain or weight loss.
Alcohol is not exactly healthy, and should probably be limited in your diet. If you are drinking, remember that it might interfere with weight gain.
Caffeine is another drug that increases your metabolic rate. It also tends to make people more jittery. This added movement, such as nervously moving ones leg up and down, will burn calories.
Finally, caffeine prevents sleep. As mentioned before, sleep is essential for weight gain and health. Your body’s metabolism slows down when you are sleeping. Getting inadequate amount of sleep can have detrimental effects to your health and your weight.
Tobacco is the most clear cut of these three. There is a ton of evidence that shows that smoking will slow down your metabolism. That is one reason why people gain weight when they stop smoking.
Smoking is also deadly and will have a ton of detrimental effects on your health and your fitness journey. If you smoke, try to quite.
Add More High Calorie Foods To Your Diet
A lot of people think they eat a lot, but they are actually eating a lot of low calorie foods. Gaining weight is not about how much food you eat, but how many calories you eat.
Remember, there are 9 calories per gram of fat, compared to only 4 calories per gram of carbs of proteins. If you are looking to gain weight, be sure to eat lots of healthy fats. This includes olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. Adding these to your existing meals will help ensure that you are getting the most calories out of every meal.
This comes back to counting calories. I cannot over stress how important counting calories is for someone who is looking to change how much they weigh.
Drink Your Calories
Obviously, I am a huge fan of high calorie shakes. They are easy to customize to fit your nutritional needs. They’re quick to make and more importantly, you can drink them quickly.
Drinking your calories is great for weight gain because you can consume more food faster. When you quickly drink a shake your body does not have as much time to respond to all the food you just drank. You do not feel full as quickly as you would if you were slowly eating a regular meal. Drinking smoothies allows you to get more food in before your body tells you you are full.
Change How You Workout
Cardio and high intensity workouts where you sweat a lot will lead to weight loss. These are the kinds of workouts that burn through calories at a very fast pace.
If you want to build muscle, you must lift heavy things. Weight lifting is key for getting large strong muscles. Note that building muscle and weight lifting will increase your metabolism. There is no way to avoid this, other than to avoid muscle gains.
If you are not interested in muscle gains, and you just want to keep your metabolism slow, then the key is working out “low and slow”. This means you lift low weights and you make slow movements. Basically, avoid anything too strenuous or high paced. Nothing that will make you sweat.
A low and slow exercise routine is great for anyone trying to gain weight after a sickness or recovering from an injury.
Other Metabolism Factors
There’s a few other things that affect your body’s metabolism.
The older you are the slower your metabolism will be.
The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be. This is important to remember if you are gaining weight and gaining muscle. The more muscle you have, the more you need to eat. Muscle has a faster resting metabolic rate than other parts of your body.
Be sure you read more about why you might not be able to gain weight.