Your metabolism plays an important role in your body’s ability to convert the food you eat into energy, and you’ve probably alternatively loved and hated it at different times in your life.
But while you likely take your metabolism for granted when it’s working well, you can feel really off when it’s not.
It’s normal for your metabolism to decrease as you get older, says registered dietician Scott Keatley, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, making it more likely you’ll gain weight when you don’t eat well and ensuring you’ll have to work harder at maintaining weight loss. Still, that’s normal.
But if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, it might mean there’s something unusual going on with your metabolism. Here are a few signs it’s time to call a doctor to figure out what’s going on:
1. You’re really tired
Plenty of things can make you feel tired, including obvious factors like not getting enough sleep and hitting the gym hard.
“But if you often feel tired, it could be a sign that your metabolism is a little slower as your body is not doing a great job at converting your food intake into energy quickly enough,” says registered dietician Lisa Moskovitz, and CEO of NY Nutrition Group.
Read more: 10 metabolism boosters, ranked according to effectiveness
2. Your skin and hair are suddenly dry
When your metabolism isn’t working well, your body doesn’t turn over cells as quickly as it should to maintain your skin and hair, Keatley says.
Worth noting: This can also be a sign of a bunch of other things, including poor nutrition.
Read more: 6 foods that fire up your metabolism and burn more fat
3. You crave sugar and starchy foods
Cravings are often your body’s way of asking for an energy pick-me-up, says Moskovitz. If you’re eating well and sleeping enough, but still have really intense cravings, it could be that your metabolism isn’t effectively converting the foods you’ve already eaten into the energy your body needs, she says.
Read more: 10 things that makes your metabolism slow down
4. You’re gaining weight even though you’re eating well
Again, it’s normal for it to be a little harder for you to maintain a good weight as you age. But if you’re eating well, and watching your kilojoule intake, and still gaining weight, it’s worth talking to a doctor or dietitian to see what’s going on, Keatley says.
Read more: How to hack your metabolism to lose more weight
5. You’re cold all of the time
Your metabolism also helps generate heat, and if it’s slow, you might be extra chilly, Keatley says. As a result, you may find yourself layering up and throwing extra blankets on your bed.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
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