My metabolism is too darn slow!

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All too often, weight gain due to overeating, lack of exercise and poor food choices is blamed on slow metabolism. It seems it has become a convenient excuse. And when someone is in good shape, that’s attributed to good metabolism. But is it true? What if you are doing everything right and still not getting your metabolic rate where it should be? Thanks to genetic research, we now know your DNA plays a major role.

Enter metabolism genes UCP2 + UCP3.


Two genotypes are in focus here: one that’s associated with faster metabolism and lesser chance of gaining weight—especially in combination with exercise. Another genotype, which most elite endurance athletes have in common, is linked to a more efficient metabolism.


Having “lower metabolic rate” response means your body isn’t as efficient at converting the food you eat into energy, compared with someone who has the “higher metabolic rate” gene. Since UCP3 also plays a role in how your muscles burn calories, it’s also likely that you’ll have a greater body mass index and a decreased aerobic capacity.

Is there a solution?

Our metabolic levels may be hardwired, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your metabolism a boost. An easy way to train your body to more efficiently convert food to fuel is to eat breakfast. In particular, aim for incorporating approximately 35 grams of protein in your breakfast. This increases your chances of losing weight, by reducing the odds of you reaching for high-calorie snacks before your next meal. Also, to make the most of your cardio training, make sure you’re working out at an intensity that maximizes calorie burn both during and post-workout. And, to take your lifts a notch higher, make sure to add resistance training. Studies also reveal that doing exercises first thing in the morning without breakfast can give your metabolism an extra boost.