10 Factors That Slow Your Metabolism to a Crawl

Find out the factors that may cause a sluggish metabolism.

10 Factors That Slow Your Metabolism to a Crawl

By Reina Berger

If you want to keep your metabolism revved up, it’s important to get an adequate amount of sleep, exercise, and water and to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. But on the quest for a speedier metabolism, there are certain roadblocks you should avoid to ensure you don’t do any unintentional harm. Here are 10 factors that may play a role in your metabolism function.

Watch: 3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Metabolism

Junk Food

It may seem like a no-brainer that eating junk food and having a fast metabolism doesn't go together, but it actually goes deeper than that. Any excess of calories can lead to weight gain, but as registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick explains, "junk food, in particular, requires a lot less energy from the body (known as the thermic effect) to process and break down, compared to complex carbohydrates or protein." While the latter requires more of a calorie expenditure to break down, the former gets broken down quickly, so quickly in fact that you may find yourself hungry soon after eating, sluggish from a sugar crash, or bloated from a sodium overload. Eating junk food can also affect gut microbiota and have an impact on one’s resting metabolic rate.

More: Quiz: Are You At Risk of Metabolic Syndrome?