Is a Slow Metabolism the Cause of My Weight Gain?

The Gist of It

  • While slow metabolism exists, it’s a rare condition that has nothing to do with being overweight.
  • Being overweight has everything to do with diet and exercise (or rather, the wrong diet and exercise).
  • To really lose weight, you need to commit to a lifestyle of clean eating and regular exercising.


There is such a thing as a slow metabolism. Slow metabolism however, is rare and it’s usually not what’s behind being overweight or obese. Being overweight usually a matter of diet and exercise.

Metabolism is a chemical process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Metabolism efficiency means some people need more calories to burn fuel, while other have to work harder at it. Just like cars, no two 1.5cc car marquees are similar in fuel efficiency.

Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy for functions such as breathing, circulating blood and repairing cells. The brain — the hardest working organ in your body together with the heart — which is the strongest muscle in the body, draws a massive amount of calories to enable proper function. That’s why people with jobs that require plenty of concentration and stress naturally feel the need to consistently feed their brains with stimulus to enable high continuous function. Usually, this comes in the form carbohydrates. Chocolate, coffee and snacks are the biggest culprits.

The number of calories your body uses for these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your body’s rate of energy needs are dependent of some predetermined factors.

Nope. That’s not how it works | Source:

What Affects Your Energy Needs

1. Your body size and composition

If you weigh more or have more muscle mass, you will burn more calories, even at rest. So overweight people are more likely to have a faster metabolic rate — not a slower one. One noticeable feature of overweight individuals is an elevated heart rate even at rest. Because an extensive body mass needs to be ‘fed’ with oxygen, the heart works overtime to make that happen.

2. Your sex

If you’re a man, you probably have less body fat and more muscle mass than does a woman of the same age, so you burn more calories. In order to retain body muscular composition, muscles need to be replenished with nutrients in order to retain its mass.

3. Your age

As you get older, your muscle mass decreases, which slows down the rate at which you burn calories. Face it this way. When I was in my teens and twenties, I was Superman. I could down wolf down whole pizzas easily, work all day, knock off work at 10pm, go out for drinks till 3am and start work again at 6.30am the next day and repeat that 3 days’ a week. 20 years later, I can’t do any of those. Age bites.

4. Genetics and family history


Your genetic make-up can influence your likelihood to become obese in subtle ways through taste perception and appetite control or in more direct ways such as how and where you accumulate fat. If one of your parents is severely obese, your risk increases five-fold.

Only rarely is excessive weight gain caused by a medical problem that slows metabolism, such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

All other excuses with weight gain filters down to 2 other factors. Lifestyle choices and activity limitation, where too many calories are consumed as opposed to expansion.

Lifestyle habits grow on you with time. As we enjoy more affluent lifestyles, our tendency to reduce activity becomes more apparent due to the fact that we need to become financially busier to maintain the same or increase the lifestyle quality of the present. So, as people strive to work harder either to maintain or increase lifestyle quality, health and fitness take a back seat. Alcohol consumption, overeating, indulgence are usual sins that are associated with poor lifestyle habits.

How to Really Lose Weight

Trying to boost your metabolism probably won’t lead to weight loss, at least not to the degree that changing your diet and lifestyle habits would. How much you weigh really depends on the number of calories you eat and how much physical activity you get. The key factor here is to empower yourself to create an imbalance where calorific expansion exceeds calorie consumption. 

1. You Need to Empower Yourself

Dietary calorific reduction is not rocket science. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that calorie intake management is a study by itself that requires a lot of knowledge and self empowerment. Why self empowerment? Simply put, we know most of all the bad stuff we shouldn’t be consuming but we just don’t want to give it up. And keep in mind that as you age, you may need even fewer calories.

2. Get Professional Help

If you’re concerned about your weight or you think your metabolism is too slow, consult a doctor or a nutritionist. Your doctor can check for medical causes and help you adopt healthy lifestyle changes to help your weight loss. A nutritionist on the other can tell you what to avoid and plan your eating habits. Your doctor will most probably kick you out of the clinic, slapping you with a hefty bll laughing as he will probably tell you what I could have told you for free. Get more physical activity and exercise.


3. Take a Good Look at Your Lifestyle

Is weight gain with age inevitable? It can seem that way when your weight climbs despite dieting and even exercising. A range of lifestyle choices, not just the number of calories in your diet influence your weight as you age.

Lifestyle factors that influence weight gain include job description and position. Computers these days are associated with almost all executive level jobs that require more time sat in front of the PC. It also does not help that the trend with a majority of urban population are that they are highly connected to each other through the internet. As with watching TV all these spells less time for exercise.

The trouble with weight gain is, if you don’t actively resolve to empower change, weight gain will be inevitable. Urban lifestyle habits are making people unhealthier. We sit too much, eat too much and worst of all, food quality through processing are deteriorating.

Get moving, get active. Join a gym. Do something. Don’t ask questions you already know the obvious answers to. No time to exercise? You will have plenty of time soon, and most people usually do; after the initial diagnosis and occurrence of the first sign and incidence. High blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, gout, 1st arrhythmia (heart skips a beat), arm/chest numbness. Do I need to name more?

Let’s be Fit!

Make a lifestyle change for the better. Sign up for one month of awesomeness with REBEL Bootcamp at only RM49 (normally RM300) and see how your body and mind transforms for the better. Find out more here or check out Rebel Bootcamp’s Facebook page or website.


What’s stopping you from becoming fit? Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!


Contributed by: Jonathan Tan, programme director for all Rebel Bootcamp programmes.

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