How to Slow Down Your Metabolism to Maintain or Gain Weight

Everyone is always talking about speeding things up, whether it’s baking a pie or losing weight. So naturally, metabolism speed is something very commonly talked about in the diet world. It’s well known that a faster metabolismleads to weight loss. The more efficiently your body metabolizes food, the fewer calories there are to be converted to body weight. What people don’t talk about very much is how to slow down your metabolism.

A slowed metabolism is less efficient at using calories and can ultimately assist in weight gain or weight maintenance. Here are some easy ways to slow down your metabolism.

Eat more

This may seem self-explanatory, but you need to eat more in order to gain weight. Not only does the caloric increase lead directly to weight gain, but it can also slow down your metabolism since your body has to work harder to digest all of those calories.

Eating 3,500 extra calories a week, or 500 extra calories daily, is roughly equal to gaining one pound. This means you can and should eat that third serving at dinner, and who doesn’t want that? And if you’re trying to add muscle, try chocolate waffles or protein pancakes

Eat less

Be careful with this one since it can be unsafe, but eating less can actually lead to a slower metabolism. After not eating for some time or not receiving enough calories, your body starts to go into conservation mode and slows down in order to preserve energy. This means your metabolism has slowed. However, this does NOT mean that starving yourself is a good way to obtain a slower metabolism, it just suggests that a period of “fasting” may be a good way to keep your metabolism nice and slow.

Eat less often

Eating small meals means that your body doesn’t have time to get back to resting, so it stays in a revved up state. Spacing out meals far apart lets your metabolism really slow down by the time you eat again.

Low and slow

Keeping your workouts low intensity for a shorter duration not only ensures that you don’t get too high of a caloric deficit, but it also help keeps your metabolism slower. HIIT workouts and long endurance training keep your body in a heightened state for an extended period of time, even after the workout. Sticking to lower intensity strength training will help keep your metabolism down while also building muscle.

Maintain homeostasis

Keeping your body at a comfortable temperature and staying low stress (easy peasy!) will keep your metabolism from freaking out. Whenever your body isn’t in its happy place it has to work hard to get back to where it wants to be. This means that being too cold, too warm, or on edge will lead to a hyper-metabolism and a higher rate of calorie burn—not ideal if you’re trying to maintain or gain weight

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine has been proven to directly increase metabolism. It also makes you hyper and less likely to detect tiredness, leading to even more caloric burn. If you’re up and running around, pushing past the signs of exhaustion, you’re definitely going to be expending more energy than usual. Try getting enough sleep so that you don’t need the caffeine to keep you going. More sleep will benefit you in plenty of other ways too.

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