Do you have a 'slow metabolism'?

Do you have fictional slow metabolism like Debbie?

People all to often self diagnose medical conditions that they don’t have (carb sensitivity is another one)

It’s human nature not to want to be the ‘fault’ of something, but in order to make actual change, accepting reality & taking our heads out of the sand and saying “IT’S ME” has to be done at some point.

Claiming that we gain fat because someone else burns calories faster than us, is like saying that I am condemned to a life of debt because Bill Gates has more money than me.

Okay, just a little bit of pushback here :wink:

Yes, you are absolutely correct that taking the wrong attitude is detremental. Things like: “I have a slow metabolism, I can’t help it” or “I have a thyroid condition, I can’t help it (when no medical tests have been done)” or my favorite, “Who cares if I’m 350 lbs? My curves are beautiful and if you tell me I am unhealthy you are body shaming me!!!”

But I just don’t buy it that “Calories in, Calories out are the only thing you need to focus on! Just get with the program!” While it is true that a calorie deficit is what makes us lose weight (or gain weight if we take in a surplus), I also believe that different human bodies run at different levels. Some people (very few) will be able to eat whatever they want and not get fat. Some people will not have a food addiction that makes them want to overeat. Others will only pick up a little bit of weight and naturally maintain at only that level, while people like me are capable of packing on an extra 200+ lbs that shouldn’t be on their frames. But that’s because we are all different.

Take the Bill Gates example. Bill Gates grew up extremely privileged. He had family money that made sure he got the best education growing up and he was prepared (and could afford) to go to Harvard before dropping out to found Microsoft. He is the equivalent of a person who has a naturally high metabolism.

Steve Jobs, on the other hand, was kinda a screw-up. He was adopted by a good family, sure, but he bounced around and dropped out of college with no plan. He did drugs and vagabonded around India before coming back to California, hooking up with the Woz, and starting Apple Computers. He didn’t have a “high metabolism” so his success yo-yoed… mostly because of self-inflicted problems. (We can correlate his business career to our own success in keeping a healthy diet.) But man, oh man, when he put his mind to a problem he could blow it out of the water with an innovation nobody else could match.

These two men came from different backgrounds. Each man had different advantages and challenges. Both ended up famous and fabulously wealthy. Like Steve Jobs, those of us who don’t have the genetic advantage of a “good body type” can, through training and a lot of hard work, get our bodies into shape.

I’m not saying that we should let people wallow in self-pity. Quite the opposite! When someone laments the fact that they don’t seem to have a high metabolism, ask them “So what?” It just means you’ve got to work harder. Success builds upon success, and while it might be harder for you to get started, once you do get started you can control your destiny. Be like Steve Jobs… the success part, not the drugs and self-sabotage where you get kicked out of your own company part.

We should recognize that some people have it easier than others when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. To say we are all the same could be putting a burden on them that causes them to quit because they can’t understand why others seem to be so much better than them. But we should also help them take pride in the fact that they are overcoming more, when they have more to overcome. That’s just the way I look at it.


I do agree mate, but the point is I see people making up medical conditions they don’t have waaaaaay too often lol :smile:


Ha! Totally agree on that point!

I always thought I did, but when I had my welcome session at the gym they told me my BMR was 2520 which is quite high.

Trouble is, whilst in general you’re right Nemo, people like the lady in the video look for excuses for their poor health. Jobs and Gates just got on with their life.

Previous articles I’ve read have suggested that when people claiming ‘slow metabolism’, or whatever other self-diagnosis they can come up with, are forced to ACCURATELY measure what they’re eating, well, they just haven’t been honest with themselves.

Their actual intake is far higher through snacking than they genuinely believe. Within this group I think we all have a degree of self awareness to acknowledge that basic truth and admit to ourselves we need support to beat the snacking. Well, I do anyway. Need the support.


You all bring up loads of issues and I will add one more - BMI - my pet irk. I honestly think that yes, whilst everyone is different, the vast, and I really mean vast, majority are pretty much the same and for whom the calories in/calories out formula holds very true.

My gripe with BMI is that I have no gripe, but it is frequently condemned because it doesn’t make sense for the 5ft, 6" rugby player with massive thighs. For the rest of us mortals, it’s a reasonably accurate guide as to how porky you are. Using the exception allows one the excuse to ignore it as wholly wrong, when really, it’s just a bit inaccurate for those at the edges of the bell curve. For BMI you can sub metabolism or any other “feature”/excuse you fancy.


what is the BMR, and how is it measured. I’ve heard of BMi (Body Mass index) but not this one.

hey @Shorey,

BMR stands for ‘basal metabolic rate’

It’s the amount of energy your body uses at rest/not moving to maintain your current condition

think of them as ‘coma calories’ the amount of calories your body would need to remain the same if you were in a coma

next on from your BMR/coma calories, is your TDEE

Which stands for ‘total daily energy expenditure’. This is a combination of your coma calories PLUS the additional calories your body uses to move, in order to remain the same

For fat loss purposes we can disregard the BRM, because we humans move & thus expend more calories

So in essence, our estimating our TDEE is a good ball park figure starting point to ESTIMATE how many calories our body needs daily to stay the same

Now to lose fat we need to eat less than that amount, which is where we then need to test/trial, see what happens & make adjustments if needed

Keep in mind we can only estimate our TDEE with formulas & calculations, it may be close or very wrong

have a read of this mate :slight_smile:

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Base Metabolic Rate, basically it’s your metabolism and how many calories you burn if you were to sit around all day doing nothing. Not sure how it’s measured, I did mine in the gym in a smart scale that measured a bunch of other things as well

Great post @maxnas. I agree that people find many, many excuses why they can’t lose weight. The fact that someone says “I’ve tried so many diets” is really telling. The whole mindset is wrong - you don’t try a diet to lose weight. You make simple, permanent changes over time. Otherwise, you might see some temporary results which evaporate completely as soon as you go “off the diet”. Hence the whole yo-yo diet phenomenon that has gone on with so many people for so long.

I agree that people need to stop making themselves victims and start taking responsibility for their own health. Nobody made you fat. Hence your mental attitude is more important than whatever genetics you were born with or whatever environment you are cursed to live in.

Yes, some of us have formed really, really, bat habits that need to be overcome like any addiction. Forums like this, podcasts, books, whatever can help us understand more about why we overeat and get the support we need to overcome. But at the end of the day it’s uncomfortable work to make the necessary changes. But as soon as you start establishing some of those new healthy habits and see the results, you do gain momentum to keep going.

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Something to add, the leaner you get the slower your metabolism will run, the bigger you are & more food you consume the faster your metabolism will be forced to run (especially with more lean body mass opposed to fatty mass)

If you’re overweight your metabolic rate is higher than it would be if you were lean and at the same lean bodymass

Just a question: how slow can a human metabolism be? Tree sloths have monumentally slow metabolisms, but they don’t get fat (they can also poo 1/3 of their body weight). So, is there really such a thing as a slow metabolism.

When I was told that the human skeleton, without water, weighed about 2.5kg, that blew the whole “big boned” thing out of the water.

No matter how frustrated I get with my speed of weight loss, I know it’s not my metabolism; it’s my intake quality and quantity.


thanks for this link, i always realised that to lose weight you need to eat less than you use, but that blog really explains it brilliantly. Totally understand the deficit calorie that i need to do daily now in order to start and maintain the weight loss…

in fact i would go as far as saying that this blog needs to be emailed to all new users, it is that useful!


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The scientific literature on metabolic rates doesn’t use the term ‘slow metabolism’ however it does show that:

  • Metabolic rates are difficult to measure.
  • The metabolic rates of different people vary significantly. i.e. some people burn more calories than others. Its not just dependent on weight and muscle mass.
  • The metabolic rates of individuals varies significantly over time. i.e your metabolic rate on one day may be different from another.

Unsurprising really as everything else about human beings is variable. Whether its the speed of facial hair growth or even core body temperature.


I saw this which looked sensible and appears to link fast or slow metabolisms to general body size (muscle mass especially), also commenting that people tend to underestimate food intake and that crash diets slow metabolisms because they cause a loss of muscle mass.

This 3 part series is quite interesting too.

It’s all very simple really, isn’t it? Eat less, build muscle. The problem is we don’t want to hear it because it means owning up to our flaws, doing something and being ready for the terminally dull grinding out of the weight loss.

Coming up with wacky schemes and blaming external factors is way more fun.


There’s a truth in there. When people ask me what I’ve been doing and I tell them “eating less food”, they don’t want to know. They want to hear about the magic Diet, the pill, the exercise regime.

Eating less is too prosaic.


Yep…my mate asked me what my secret was. I think I lost him at “more exercise, less booze”.
To be fair though, the series I posted takes a very scientific approach and they do a lot of tests on people and the did find some genetic issues.
“Slow metabolism” was rejected though as they said bigger people have faster metabolisms as they use more energy carrying the weight around.
All in all, a pretty good watch. I saw another vid that I cannot find now that had a group of large ladies all swearing blind that they had slow metabolisms.

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