7 signs of a slow metabolism

7 signs of a slow metabolism

We all know people with fast metabolisms. You know who they are–those people who seem to eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. They have great skin and hair, toned muscles and tons of energy. But what about you? How do you know whether you have a fast metabolism or a slow one?

1. It’s easier for me to gain weight than lose weight

This is the number one sign of a sluggish metabolism: Your old weight loss tricks simply don’t seem to work anymore.  (Note that if you’re having unexplained weight gain or loss, visit your doctor to make sure there’s no underlying medical issue.)

2. I can’t lose weight no matter how much I exercise

We’ve heard this one for years: That losing weight is merely about calories in and calories out. So theoretically, it doesn’t matter WHAT you eat as long as you burn off more calories through exercise. Well, let me tell you, I’ve had clients that run 10 miles a day and can’t lose weight. I’ve seen men who hit the gym 5 times a week and can’t lose the beer gut. It’s NOT about calories: It’s about what foods you’re putting into your body. Exercise can help, as long as you’re eating the right foods, but you don’t need to kill yourself every day with 2-hour workouts.

3. I gain weight even when I eat next to nothing

Something terrible happens when you severely restrict your diet. Your body goes into emergency mode. Because it’s not getting enough food, your metabolism starts thinking “hey, we haven’t had much food, so I’d better start storing everything just in case.” Your body is actually trying to save your life! Instead of burning fat for fuel, it stores fat for the future. Not what you want! You actually need to feed your body and your metabolism to lose weight. The key is feeding it the right foods that stoke your metabolic fire. That’s what the Fast Metabolism Diet is designed to do!

4. I’m noticing fat in areas I’ve never had it before

We all have those trouble spots — the little bulges where we always tend to gain and lose weight. But if you’re starting to gain fat in new areas, this could be a sign of a sluggish metabolism. Your body is searching for new areas to to store fat. Fat around your midsection, for instance, can mean your cortisol levels are out of whack. When your metabolism is over-taxed, or you’re stressed out, your body pumps out extra cortisol, a hormone that tells your body to store fat around your belly.

5. I’ve got cellulite in new places

Forty percent of women — even a lot of very fit women — have some cellulite on the backs of their thighs and hips. But if you’re starting to notice it on the fronts of your thighs, that’s a metabolic red flag.  When your body starts scavenging your muscles for fuel, soft fatty deposits are left behind: cellulite. You also lose collagen and elastin, leaving your skin looking stretched. This can also make cellulite more noticeable, and any body fat starts to look lumpy and distorted.

6. My heels are cracked and dry; I’m losing hair

The thyroid is not only a metabolic superstar, it also shares responsibility for healthy skin, hair and nails. Dry, cracked skin — especially cracked heels — is an indicator that your thyroid isn’t as efficient as it should be. Hair loss, particularly for women on the crown of their heads can also indicate hormone imbalance.

7. I have terrible afternoon sugar cravings

Your adrenal glands are responsible for telling your body to release stored fat for fuel, particularly as the afternoon drags on. When that doesn’t happen, blood sugar drops and your body signals you to eat something that has quick, easy energy — sugar and simple carbs. But it’s a vicious cycle because those foods don’t provide energy very long. A fast metabolism, however, can regulate blood sugar to give you energy all day, without sudden drops.

The good news

Even if you have a slow metabolism, you can CHANGE it! It can be fixed, repaired and refinished — just like a piece of beautiful furniture with good “bones” that needs some TLC. That’s what the Fast Metabolism Diet is all about! Read more about the science behind why it works.


Links included in this article will sometimes direct you to the ShopHayliePomroy.com website, where you can learn more about and purchase many of the products mentioned. Please know that Haylie Pomroy has a financial interest in anything that is sold from ShopHayliePomroy.com.

65 thoughts on “7 signs of a slow metabolism

  1. I am interested in starting this diet, but I am concerned about the availability of food where I live. We are currently in the UAE, and certain specialty foods are impossible to find. Will be be able to follow the food plan without needing to get special foods?

  2. started phase 1 today — this is a lot of food but I want to lose 40+ so I guess that’s why it’s so much food. is granulated coconut nectar, which is low glycemic, ok in place of stevia?

  3. I start the program next Monday, April 22. Trying to get organized, but the IPAD APP IS NOT LOADING! Please correcct this asap, as it looks like something that has been created to HELP – and I will need all the help I can get. Please respond in case it’s an easy fix. Thank you.

  4. I suffer from hypothyroïdism and take my medicine every day. I’ve just got the book. Is this diet compatible with my disease? Will it help to boost my metabolism? Can I quit my medication if I follow this diet?
    Thanks for your clarifications.

    • Anissa, I also take thyroid medication. Just take it in the middle of the night…3:00 am or when you use the bathroom. Your medication will be on an empty stomach that way.

  5. I am on daily thyroid medication that I take every morning, but I’m not supposed to eat for an hour. One of the rules in the diet is to eat something within 30 min of waking. Will that extra 30 min really make that much of a difference?

      • That was very helpful for me as well thank you Christine and Anissa for asking th equestions. I take anti-rejection medication for a kidney transplant and I have to take pills on empty stomach, wait one hour before eating. Thank you for the clarification

      • You might want to check with your doctor to see if your medication can be taken at night, before bed. That’s what I’m doing now. (But I haven’t checked with my doctor about it yet.)

  6. This is my first day on the diet and I am concerned if I’m eating enough. I am getting hungry at the two hour mark after meals/snacks. By the time I get to 3 hours I’m starving and my snack/lunch doesn’t fill me up. Am I doing this right? I need to loose 30lbs so I was increasing portions by 1/2.

  7. I’m on 2nd day of starting diet , I have 40+ pounds to lose, I’m afraid I’m not eating enough. Feel hungry between scheduled meals/snacks and I’m tired all the time. Are those 2 signs you are not following the plan ? hunger and tired ?

  8. Hi I am on the diet second week have stuck to it to the tee. Even making recipes from the book. Lost 3lbs but gained 1lb
    back?? Baffled did not cheat is this normal?

    • I haven’t ever heard an answer from Haylie or the admin, but I have yo-yoed within the diet, too. As I understand it, it’s easier to loose in one or the other phases for some than others. Stick with it. It will reward you. Also, since I’ve done the 28 days and am now able to modify a little, I do P1 for 4 or 5 days, P2 for 1 or 2 and P3 for 1 or 2. I tend to gain in P3, loose in P2. My only problem is if I have dinner around 6 pm I’m hungry by 8 or 8:30 and there is no snack provision for that time of day.

      • Hi Nancy. Thanks for sharing. You can certainly have a snack — your window is 2 -4 hours between meals. So if you find yourself hungry at 8:30, you could have an additional phase-specific snack. And you can always have vegetables as a snack. Try sliced jicama sprinkled with cinnamon, or sliced red-pepper strips.

  9. I just started week 2 of the program today. I have lost 0 pounds. I have the app and followed the food choices and portion sizes. Do I need to complete the entire 28 weeks before noticing any weight loss? The only thing that I can think of that may be the problem is the timing of my snack and lunch in the first part of the day may not always be on time but I am usually within the hour. What am I doing wrong?

    • April 26 I lost 1/2lb today, April 27, I am up 1 full lb. I am following this diet exactly. Wight gain is not the rythm I was hoping for on week 2.

      • I feel like I’ve been taken again by some fad diet who’s author goal seems to jump on this money making bandwagon. Sorry I fell for this again.

        • Hang in there Carol, Stay the course. I’m in the 1st day of week 3 and have only lost 1lb. Keep reading the material and refining what your doing. What she say’s makes a lot of sense. At least we are eating healthy

          • I started the diet over again. I’m week 3 day 3 and only lost 3 lbs from my original weight. I am dead tired when I am on the protein days. Why isn’t this diet working for me?

  10. i bought the digital form of the bii
    I bought the digital form of the book. I cannot read the meal maps the printing is small and fuzzy. Where can I get clear a clear copy of the meal map.

  11. I have been on the diet for two weeks now and I have only lost a couple of pounds. I am following it very closely, and I have had my blood tested as well (I am already on thyroid medication for mild Hashimoto’s). I have less than 10lbs to lose – is it unusual to start out so slow? Will the weight loss pick up in the next two weeks? Thanks!

  12. I started this diet 2 weeks ago and I love it!! I’ve lost 10 pounds already and feel great!I use the IPhone app and I LOVE IT!! Its so helpful!

  13. Why leave us android lovers out will there be an app for android? Keeping my fingers to be able to get the app for android soon!

  14. Today my husband and I started week #2. We noticed we actually gained weight all 3 days of phase 3 and were very, very tired. What’s causing this? (We weigh and measure everything!!! and absolutely NO cheating).

  15. I”ve been on the diet for 9 days and have only lost 3 lbs. I’ve eaten/drank water….just what the book says. Why isn’t it working for me

  16. In the last year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I am in constant pain and have absolutely NO energy. Getting out of bed is an effort and I’ve gained 30 pounds. Did I mention I’m also going through menopause? Anyway, I take medication for the disease but am convinced the medical world really doesn’t know how to deal with any of this. Do you feel this diet would be beneficial to me?

  17. while reading blog on tips for slow losers that she listed foods to eat to help, radishes for Phase 1. Radishes not in book except for Phase 3. I really wanted radishes with open faced sandwich in Ph 1. So which is correct?

    • You can have radishes on any phase — that will be added to the next edition of the book.

  18. Thank you for this! I meet 5 out of the 7 signs. I am hoping that this diet eliminates my cellulite on the front of my thighs. I am on week 3 phase 3 and can see myself shrinking.

  19. I am on week 4 of the diet and the. 28 days will end on Sunday. I lost 6 pounds in week 2, but for the last 2 weeks I have lost no weight. I don’t know if I should start over and do a second month. Has anyone else had these issues or have done 2 months?

  20. “Your body is actually trying to save your life!”

    If that’s true, maybe that’s why those with lower metabolism are more likely to live longer (according to some studies).

  21. Hair loss is not always due to a slow metabolism. It happens to most women starting in peri-menopause and escalates during menopause. why don’t I see a lot of info about the effects of menopause and weight loss on this website? Everyone is not 25 or 30.

  22. Monday I will be starting my fourth week. I am doing this all the way and have only lost 12 pounds. I’ve gone an entire week without any weight loss. I’m not happy i started this program with my family and they have already lost 19, 23, 18 pounds what is the deal?

    • 12 pounds in 3 weeks is great! Everyone is different — you can’t compare yourself to others or you’ll drive yourself nuts. A 12-pound loss in three weeks is a huge accomplishment. Don’t be down on yourself — you’ve improved your health and dropped an average of 4 pounds per week. And you’ve been eating lots of real food. Keep it up!

  23. I am on week 5 of the diet. By week 3 I had lost 10 pounds … I don’t know where I am at right now because the battery died in my scale and I have not yet gotten a replacement. However, I have never felt better in my life!! I am vegan as well as gluten free so this diet is a bit of a challenge and the 2 high protein days are my least favorite (I am really tired of tofu and tempeh … didn’t eat a lot of that before this diet but it is hard to do the 2 protein days without it). One of the benefits I have noticed is … I don’t have food cravings anymore. I just had the first big test of my diet … a birthday party. I had brownies topped with Coconut Bliss (yes – there are vegan, gluten free brownies that are wonderful – unfortunately). I was terrified that it would trigger my food cravings again – but here is what happened. I had 1 brownie with 1 large scoop of Coconut Bliss and loved every bite!!! But felt no need to have seconds – in fact … I was very satisfied with my single serving! What a huge change!!! Before doing this diet I would not have been able to resist seconds (and thirds) without a great struggle …. this was such a change from what I have faced my whole life!! Oh – I also have no thyroid … so I take medication every day … I am going to try the suggestion of taking it during the middle of the night – good idea! For those of you who aren’t seeing the results you anticipated … hang in there … I think there is more to this than JUST weight loss. I have not intention of changing from this method of eating … it is (for the most part) effortless and I love the results – even with the down side of the 2 high protein days

    • Yes, you can eat sushi — whichever fish are on the phase you are on. I believe that’s tuna in all phases, and salmon in phase 3. On phase 1, you can have brown-rice cakes.

  24. Soy hipotiroidea, y tomo levotiroxina cada mañana. El doctor me indico no consumir granos durante el desayuno. Que se puede hacer con los desayunos de la fase 1 y 3? Gracias

    • Hola. ¿Qué hay de frijoles para el desayuno en la Fase 1 y la Fase 3 por la mañana, si no se puede tener granos? Yo sé que no hay proteína en la P1, pero los frijoles son mi mejor sugerencia para obtener un carb no grano en el desayuno.

    • The foods on the diet are all clean and healthy. Certainly, check with your doctor, but it’s never a bad time to start eating better!

  25. Hi There! I’m so excited about starting the FMD!! But I have a question, I already eat ogranic food and since having my gallbladder out, cut gluten out of my life. I was wondering throughout this diet if I could make my own gluten free bread from almond flour, or coconut flour, or maybe even tapioca flour and if that would be ok? If that would still comply with the rules? For Phase 1 and Phase 3.

    Thanks so much! Can’t wait I’ve been struggling so much just to lose a pound since my gallbladder has been removed so I’m really hoping that this will help. I exercise already so cutting that down will probably be difficult!

    • Haylie always advises that individuals consult with their physician prior to beginning the Fast Metabolism Diet, if they have health concerns.

  26. This eating plan ROCKS! It works! It is not a fad. How can eating healthy be a fad diet? Since I started this plan I have had no heart burn at all! Regularity has never been better. I am in the middle of my second week and am down 9 pounds. It has slowed down since the first week, but I still see the scale inching in the RIGHT direction. YAY! To me it was difficult to get started, I was unprepared but as you go along you will get the foods you can eat and learn great ways to cook them. Thanks!

  27. Hi Christine,

    I have done my 28 days and lost an overall 11 lbs, which is great. However, I lost this quite fast and now I have been staling for the last 2-2.5 weeks. Eating exactly to plan.
    I am a huge workout freak, so have been doing my workouts according to the phase everyday, sometimes even twice a day. Sometimes I add a longer warm up run before my weights and ballet in phase 3. Is that ok?
    I am still a bit confused on how to eat before and after the exercise. I know I should be eating 30 min before, but this is often difficult to schedule with my other eating times..
    Should I be adding some more protein to my protein portions due to the high amount of workout in order to start losing weight again?
    Looking forward to your advice as I still would like to lose some more pounds.

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