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7 Lifestyle Factors Slowing Your Metabolism

Unless you are over 60, it has nothing to do with your age.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Does your metabolism seem to be slowing down? While most people know that your metabolism slows down in your older years, there are other factors that play into speed – and bad habits that might be contributing to its slow-down. Jamie Maitland, certified holistic nutritionist, elite fitness trainer, creator of the 21 Day Reset, and founder of The Office Health, reveals seven lifestyle factors that are slowing your metabolism to a crawl. And guess what? Most of them can be easily remedied.

Lack of Water

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Are you drinking enough water? "Dehydration can slow down the metabolism and inhibit our bodies to burn calories efficiently," says Maitland. "Water is absolutely essential."

Lack of Sleep

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Poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation can alter hormones, which can affect your metabolism. "Particularly the hormones that are involved in regulating our metabolism such as insulin, ghrelin, and leptin," says Maitland.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Lose 15 Pounds in Two Months, Say Experts 

Low Protein Intake

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Protein can help you feel full longer – and also takes more calories to burn versus carbs, "so if you are one to consume a high protein diet, you most likely have a speedy metabolism," Maitland maintains.

Not Enough Movement

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Are you not moving enough? "It's no secret that we all know we need to move, plain and simple. Lack of movement means a significant decrease in the number of calories you burn every day," Maitland reminds us.

Poor Diet


Consuming unhealthy fats, heavily processed or high-sugar foods can negatively impact and slow down the metabolism, explains Maitland. "Heavy consumption of sugar in particular can lead to insulin resistance which, long term, can lead to higher levels of insulin in the blood. This can cause your body to store excessive fat," she says.


Dark-haired girl covers her face with hands

Stress can also impact metabolism: "Cortisol is a hormone released when we are stressed. It essentially sends our body into a 'fight or flight' mode, which temporarily pauses regular bodily functions and can slow the metabolism," says Maitland.


Pensive elderly mature senior man in eyeglasses looking in distance out of window, thinking of personal problems. Old woman wife consoling and hugging sad husband, copy space

Finally, age impacts metabolism. "As we age, our bodies go through hormonal changes that can cause muscle tissue loss. The body becomes less effective at burning calories when muscle tissue is decreased, hence slowing down the metabolism," explains Maitland.

RELATED: 10 Veggies to Help You Lose Weight

Here's What Science Says

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Fun Fact? According to a study published in Science, metabolism peaks around age 1, and then gradually declines about 3 percent a year until around age 20 when it plateaus. It slowly starts declining, about 1 percent annually, at age 60.

💪🔥Body Booster: Is your metabolism slowing down? Don't blame it on age – unless you are over 60 – the scientifically determined age when it actually declines.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more