Your metabolic rate is governed by many different factors including hormones secreted by your thyroid, mood, activity level, other hormones and body composition.
Typically, if you have a fairly “fast metabolism,” adjusting your body composition or shredding body fat is much easier than having a slow and sluggish metabolism, which often means you have to eat less food and still struggle to lose fat quickly.
Luckily, there are a few natural ingredients which have been shown to favorably affect and increase metabolism, which in turn can make it easier to lose body fat or just maintain a healthy weight.
Throughout this article, I’ll dive into some reasons why your metabolism might be slowing down and give you a few unique natural ingredients that may help.
Dieting Constantly Slows Your Metabolism
If you want to lose fat you must focus on creating a calorie deficit or burning more calories than you consume every day, that’s a scientific fact (1).
The law of energy balance shows that your body weight is largely regulated by your metabolic rate, or how quickly and readily your body burns calories for energy.
Interestingly, the human body is very adaptive by nature. In fact, it’s likely the reason that you’re here reading this article. In order for the body to survive, it needs to adapt to various stressors so that they aren’t actually a stressor any longer.
Your metabolic rate is no different.
During times of calorie restriction, the rate at which your body metabolizes energy needs to adapt to the how available that energy is. It’s one of the reasons that you’ll lose weight initially with a calorie deficit.
Eventually however, your metabolic rate will begin to “slow down” in order to adjust to a lower calorie intake. This is largely because the body is attempting to survive against what it believes to be a threat. If your metabolism never adapted, it would just continue burning calories until there was nothing left to burn.
The Thyroid’s Role In Metabolism
Controlled primarily by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus (region in the brain), your thyroid is an endocrine organ that secretes hormones to regulate your metabolism.
As a result of decreased calorie intake, levels of your thyroid hormones can drop. This causes a loop of other hormones being released, to stimulate the thyroid again.
Unfortunately, this eventually causes resistance and the thyroid can’t keep up. When this occurs, it often requires changes to your diet and supplements to help the thyroid along and re-energize your metabolism.
As you may know, if you are having a hard time losing weight despite being strict with your diet and exercise regime then your thyroid may be slowing down.
Here are a few ways to give it a much needed boost.
Ingredients in Thyroid & Metabolism Support
Here is a list of ingredients with research supporting their use and a few reasons why they may be beneficial for your metabolism.
Iodine is arguably one of the most important ingredients in boosting and protecting your thyroid.
Iodine is an element that is required for the thyroid to produce hormones affecting our metabolism. When levels of iodine fall, this can result in a condition called hypothyroidism in which the thyroid can’t produce thyroid hormones (2, 3).
This can effectively reduce metabolic rate further and even create immense feelings of fatigue (4).
Iodine is therefore a key supplement in order to ensure that the thyroid is not at risk of hypothyroidism and possibly help recovery if it were to be the case. If you are constantly dieting or feel weight loss is starting to become hard, then supplementing with iodine may be a sensible choice.
Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning that it must be consumed through the diet in order to meet our minimum daily needs (5).
Interestingly, selenium is also imperative to the health and function of your thyroid hormone and your metabolism.
Some studies have shown that having normalized levels of selenium intake is imperative for thyroid hormone metabolism, making it a key ingredient in our own thyroid and metabolism supplement (6, 7, 8).
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is actually used in combination with iodine to produce thyroid hormones (9).
Based on this fact, it’s no wonder why it would be a promising supplement for helping improve thyroid function and metabolism.
Interestingly, studies have actually shown the L-tyrosine converts to various catecholamines within the body, which can act to increase metabolic rate.
In fact, they have the ability to attach to receptors on fat tissue to release fatty acids into the blood stream for metabolism (9, 10, 11). This is a key part of the weight loss, extracting the fatty acids from the stored fat tissue to then be burned off as energy.
Bladderwrack is actually a type of seaweed, which is a great provider of Iodine. As mentioned earlier, iodine has numerous benefits both for the thyroid and its effect on metabolism.
Additionally, bladderwrack seems to provide a pigment called fucoxanthin, which has actually been shown to be a potent stimulator of metabolic rate. Remember, your metabolic rate is a key player in how many calories you burn per day and ultimately how much fat you can lose within a given period of time.
In line with this increase in metabolic rate, fucoxanthin provided by bladderwrack has also been shown to decrease body weight in a research-based setting (12, 13, 14).
I specifically chose to include cayenne due to its capsaicin content.
Capsaicin is a molecule found in pepper, which plays a role in increasing metabolic rate and helping oxidize (burn) stored fat for fuel.
In fact, this molecule actually has the ability to enhance metabolic rate by attaching to receptors on adrenal glands, which are responsible for releasing the previously mentioned catecholamines.
Via this interaction, cayenne allows for a direct increase in metabolic rate (15, 16).
How to take a Thyroid & Metabolism Support
To reap the benefits of this unique blend of natural ingredients, I suggest supplementing at a full dose (2 capsules) of our own Thyroid & Metabolism capsules at least once per day along with meals.
If you are outside the USA and so currently unable to obtain this, you can also purchase these ingredients individually or try to find a well-designed metabolism boosting supplement which includes these ingredients.
- Spiegelman, B. M., & Flier, J. S. (2001). Obesity and the regulation of energy balance. Cell, 104(4), 531-543.
- Iodine Deficiency. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency/
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Iodine. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/
- Zimmermann, M. B., & Köhrle, J. (2002). The impact of iron and selenium deficiencies on iodine and thyroid metabolism: biochemistry and relevance to public health. Thyroid, 12(10), 867-878.
- Rayman, M. P. (2012). Selenium and human health. The Lancet, 379(9822), 1256-1268.
- Winther, K. H., Bonnema, S. J., Cold, F., Debrabant, B., Nybo, M., Cold, S., & Hegedüs, L. (2015). Does selenium supplementation affect thyroid function? Results from a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial in a Danish population. European Journal of Endocrinology, 172(6), 657-667.
- Contempre, B., Duale, N. L., Dumont, J. E., Ngo, B., Diplock, A. T., & Vanderpas, J. (1992). Effect of selenium supplementation on thyroid hormone metabolism in an iodine and selenium deficient population. Clinical endocrinology, 36(6), 579-583.
- Vinceti, M., Wei, E. T., Malagoli, C., Bergomi, M., & Vivoli, G. (2001). Adverse health effects of selenium in humans. Reviews on environmental health, 16(4), 233-252.
- Nakashima, A., Hayashi, N., Kaneko, Y. S., Mori, K., Sabban, E. L., Nagatsu, T., & Ota, A. (2009). Role of N-terminus of tyrosine hydroxylase in the biosynthesis of catecholamines. Journal of neural transmission, 116(11), 1355-1362.
- Fernstrom, J. D., & Fernstrom, M. H. (2007). Tyrosine, phenylalanine, and catecholamine synthesis and function in the brain. The Journal of nutrition, 137(6), 1539S-1547S.
- Lehnert, H., & Wurtman, R. J. (1993). Amino acid control of neurotransmitter synthesis and release: physiological and clinical implications. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 60(1), 18-32.
- Saha, M., Rempt, M., Grosser, K., Pohnert, G., & Weinberger, F. (2011). Surface-associated fucoxanthin mediates settlement of bacterial epiphytes on the rockweed Fucus vesiculosus. Biofouling, 27(4), 423-433.
- Abidov, M., Ramazanov, Z., Seifulla, R., & Grachev, S. (2010). The effects of Xanthigen™ in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat. Diabetes, obesity and metabolism, 12(1), 72-81.
- (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/726.html
- Surh, Y. J. (1999). Molecular mechanisms of chemopreventive effects of selected dietary and medicinal phenolic substances. Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, 428(1), 305-327.
- Zhang, L. L., Liu, D. Y., Ma, L. Q., Luo, Z. D., Cao, T. B., Zhong, J., … & Schrader, M. (2007). Activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 channel prevents adipogenesis and obesity. Circulation research, 100(7), 1063-1070.