You’re not taking in enough calories
It seems to make sense that if you eat fewer calories you’ll lose weight, right? Not always: You need enough fuel to keep your body going, otherwise it will slow down your metabolism to conserve energy. “When we continually eat below our basal metabolic rate (BMR), our body may adapt by adjusting the amount of calories we need to function,” says Dr. Adams. “If we eat just a bit less than the BMR, we can lose weight without drastically affecting our metabolism; however, if we go too far below our BMR for too long, the body may compensate by going into a lower metabolic state to conserve mass.” Focusing on getting enough protein, especially early in the day, can give your metabolism a boost. Here are some ideas for high-protein breakfasts.
You have too much cortisol
Your metabolism is how your body turns calories into energy, so when you say you have a “slow metabolism,” you really mean your body is hanging onto calories, causing unwanted weight gain. But what causes this to happen? For some people, it could be too much cortisol, known as the “stress hormone.” Normal amounts of cortisol can help you burn fat if it’s working in tandem with other chemicals in your body. But if you have too much cortisol—like if you’re really stressed out for a long time—your body may think you’re under duress and could need extra energy. which is why it clings to calories. This also happens if you have a medical condition called Cushing’s Syndrome, a disorder of the adrenal glands and they release too much cortisol into the bloodstream. “Increases in cortisol causes an increased availably of all fuel substrates (carbs, fats, and proteins) by mobilization of glucose, free fatty acids, and amino acids from the body’s reserves,” explains Roger Adams, PhD, personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness.com. “While this may lead to a loss in lean tissue (muscle), it also seems to increase appetite and fat mass, which can be a dangerous combination.” These are other signs stress is making you sick.