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How To Tell if You Have a Fast Metabolism

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 23, 2019
How To Tell if You Have a Fast Metabolism

Metabolism refers to the chemical processes occurring within the human body to maintain life. These processes, among other things, are in charge of breaking down of calories to meet your daily energy needs. Therefore, metabolism plays a significant role in determining easily you gain weight.

For people who are overweight, a faster metabolism can help them break down calories more quickly and lead to weight loss. This is why many believe a fast metabolism is a good thing. However, a healthy weight is neither too heavy nor too light. People with a fast metabolism are at risk of several health problems.

Here at oneHOWTO we are going to talk about how to tell if you have a fast metabolism, its causes and ways to slow it down.

  1. What are the symptoms of a fast metabolism?
  2. What is hyperthyroidism?
  3. How to slow down a fast metabolism
  4. What to do if you have a fast metabolism

What are the symptoms of a fast metabolism?

The easiest way to tell if you have a fast metabolism is to check the most common symptoms. However, this does not mean that everyone who has a fast metabolism shows every item on this list. The way to know for sure is to speak to a doctor. They will be able to give you a blood test and accurately measure your metabolic rate.

If you are wondering if this might be you, fas metabolism symptoms include:

  • Being underweight:

    The Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person with a fast metabolic rate is comparatively lower than the desired value, as per the person’s height, age and body type. We often discuss the problems related to a slow metabolism such as obesity. Societal pressure to stay slim means many people think that being skinny means being healthy. However, an underweight person with fast metabolism can be at risk of lower immunity, growth issues, bone and joint problems and anemia.
  • High basal body temperature:

    The basal body temperature is the lowest body temperature attained during rest. A person with a fast metabolism feels sweaty and hot all the time, since their basal body temperature remains high. When the body temperature or the exterior temperature goes lower, metabolism tends to slow down. It is an oversimplification, but we often say someone with a fast metabolism burns calories faster. This might help us to see that the temperature is higher with fast metabolism.
  • Being hungry:

    A person with fast metabolism is likely to feel hungry all the time, even if they have the 5 recommended meals everyday. Sometimes, they may feel empty immediately after eating food. This is a sign that their metabolism is at its peak speed.
  • Irregular menstruation:

    Young girls who are on their way to puberty may have problems in their menstrual cycles. Their cycle may be irregular or they may start late. This is because females with fast metabolism don't always have the needed amount of body fat to start or continue normal menstrual cycles. They may look thinner, and have less energy levels just before and after the cycles.
  • Mood swings:

    If you have fast metabolism, then it is likely to affect your mood. Hyperthyroidism leads to the overproduction of hormones which can speed up metabolism. A study from 2012 shows that “hyperthyroidism presents with a [wide] spectrum of neuropsychiatric symptoms including both depression and anxiety”[1]. Even the consistent feeling of hunger can make a person feel grumpy if they are not easily satiated.
  • You need to urinate a lot:

    Since the metabolic rate is high, it means your body is processing food more quickly. This means waste products are also produced at a high rate. People with fast metabolism often need to urinate more than others for this reason.
How To Tell if You Have a Fast Metabolism - What are the symptoms of a fast metabolism?

What is hyperthyroidism?

There are several causes of a fast metabolism. One of them is hyperthyroidism, a condition that is characterized by excessive thyroid hormone production in the thyroid gland. The thyroid hormone “directly regulates metabolic rate, body weight, and cholesterol metabolism”[2]. This means one of the main consequences of this condition is precisely a fast metabolism.

If you have not yet been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, but feel like it might apply to you, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Dizziness, excessive sweating and fatigue
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Trembling hands

Treatment for hyperthyroidism usually involves the prescription of drugs. These include thyrostatics (another name for antithyroid drugs), but may also include beta blockers. The later are a drug which regulates heart rhythm and can help with thyroid related anxiety problems. However, lifestyle changes can also be implemented to help with this problem. Diet is one of the most common changes people make. Surgery is an option for acute cases. It usually involves removal of part of the thyroid, but it is not recommended in all cases.

How to slow down a fast metabolism

If you have a fast metabolism, you may want to slow down the process. This is because you want to know how to gain weight with fast metabolism and stay within your ideal weight range. In gaining weight, you can help to prevent related problems.

  • Eat correctly:

    The first thing you can do is to make your food choices wisely. Eat at least 500 calories more than you usually would. To do this healthily, you should eat foods that metabolize slowly and that have more calories such as nuts, meat and dairy products. Make sure you eat your meals with plenty of time in between to slow down your metabolism and help normal digestion.

    If you are trying to put on weight, you can learn how to gain 5 pounds with a fast metabolism in a week.

  • Relax after eating food:

    Do not do heavy work or exercise immediately after eating, as it will cause your food to digest faster and your metabolism will speed up. Do not exercise for more than half an hour a day, and avoid doing any strenuous activities. Avoid burning calories through heavy workout routines, and opt for softer exercise instead.

    You can maintain your muscle tone with a fast metabolism, but it is not healthy to burn your fat reserves completely.
  • Sleep less:

    A person with a fast metabolism should get 6-7 hours of deep sleep everyday. A little less sleep will increase cortisol levels in your body, thus slowing down your metabolism and storing fat in your body.
  • Lose muscle:

    Muscle burns more calories at a resting heart rate than fat, so losing some muscle can slow down your metabolism. It is important to know that this is only if you have a lot of muscle. Don't become unhealthy, nor try to put on fat. These can lead to their own health problems. Exercise is still very helpful and necessary for a health balance.

What to do if you have a fast metabolism

Though many people wish to speed up their metabolism because they have a naturally slow metabolic rate, you should know that in this article we are talking about metabolisms that are excessively fast and can cause health problems. This is not what you want to achieve.

If you experience any of the symptoms and side effects of a fast metabolism and want to slow it down, it is advisable that you first consult your doctor. They will give you the information needed on diet and exercise so that you know how to slow down your metabolism correctly and safely.

There are some fast metabolism diet recipes which can help to slow metabolism. These include a lot of stews and dishes with heavier food items such as pasta, beans, meat, lentils and much more. You can check out our vegan lentil burger below if you want to try one such fast metabolism diet recipe.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Tell if You Have a Fast Metabolism, we recommend you visit our Fitness category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Joe Mama
i think this topic is pretty j o e
jasdeep kaur
how can i manage my fast metabolism?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jasdeep,

If you want to ask something more specific which the article doesn't cover, we'd be happy to answer! =)
This article is pure nonsense. I had a few doctors from relocating, and they all said a fast metabolism is the absolute best way to be as long as it's not fact from something being wrong. People, be careful what you read on the internet
I have a fast metabolism excersice a lot due to sports i pursue and i find a fast metabolism benificial if you can manage it properly you just have to eat alot 3 big meals and snacks throughout the day my brother has a very slow metabolism and he is overweight he has tried dieting and it doesnt really work maybe you could try righting an article about how to speed up your metabolism
OneHowTo Editor
Thanks for the suggestion Megan, we'll take it into account!
I totally agree because this is exactly what my doctor said.
There are some benefits of a fast metabolism
Mikou Shikarida
Didn't really answer my question....
Michael Riley (oneHOWTO editor)
Hi Mikou, what was it you wanted to let us know? If you let us know maybe we can add some more info!
Not exercising for more than 15 minutes a day is not an option for some people, including me. It is such a crucial part of living.
OneHowTo Editor
If you're practicing some kind of competitive sport it's normal to be exercising for more than 15 minutes a day. In these cases it's important to make sure you get a great amount of carbs 2 hours before you practice it.
However, if you love exercising, we recommend you focus on anaerobic exercises instead of cardio.

Hope this info was useful
doesnt matter
im guessing the person who wrote this article has a slow metabolism, and is 100% bias against people with a fast metabolism, did the person list any bad effects of having a slow metabolism? NO, are there any bad effects of having a slow metabolism? YES,
OneHowTo Editor
Dear doesnt matter, This article is just a guide to know if you have fast metabolism or not. It is not telling you if it's good or bad to have one, but it gives you the gidelines to know if you do have it and how to live with it. Hope this helps.
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How To Tell if You Have a Fast Metabolism