If you are unhappy with your weight or frustrated by your inability to lose weight, you’ve probably wondered whether a slow metabolism may be to blame.

Your suspicions may have been confirmed by all the diets, programs, and products out there that claim to “fix” a slow metabolism. Let’s take a closer look at what factors have an impact—either positive or negative—on our metabolism and how big that effect might be.

First, let’s define some terms. In this context, metabolism refers to your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the amount of energy your body uses just to maintain basic biological functions like breathing, pumping blood, blinking, and maintaining your body temperature.

For a healthy adult, this is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200 to 1600 calories per day. However, there are some things that can lower the number of calories your body burns in “maintenance” mode—or slow your metabolism.

 

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