You have too much cortisol
Your metabolism is how your body turns calories into energy, so when you say you have a “slow metabolism,” you really mean your body is hanging onto calories, causing unwanted weight gain. But what causes this to happen? For some people, it could be too much cortisol, known as the “stress hormone.” Normal amounts of cortisol can help you burn fat if it’s working in tandem with other chemicals in your body. But if you have too much cortisol—like if you’re really stressed out for a long time—your body may think you’re under duress and could need extra energy. which is why it clings to calories. This also happens if you have a medical condition called Cushing’s Syndrome, a disorder of the adrenal glands that releases too much cortisol into the bloodstream. “The excess cortisol can promote a significant amount of weight gain,” Michael West, MD, an endocrinologist at the Washington Endocrine Clinic in Washington, DC, told everydayhealth.com. These are other signs stress is making you sick.
Your insulin levels are too high
This is a bit of a chicken-or-egg problem: Being overweight is a cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; and having type 2 diabetes is linked with problems losing weight. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, insulin helps the body use glucose for energy; if your body is “insulin resistant,” your body’s cells can’t absorb the glucose, which results in high blood sugar. This may also trick your body into thinking your fully stocked with energy, so your metabolism slows down. Even if you’re not diabetic, other factors, like stress, can raise your insulin levels. A study from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center found that among women who were asked to eat the same high-calorie meal, those who had reported being stressed out had higher levels of insulin. They burned 104 fewer calories—which could add up to 11 pounds a year! “This means that, over time, stressors could lead to weight gain,” lead author Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, MD, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State, said in a press release. Here are some simple steps to cut down on sugar cravings.