Did you know that most dieters end up fatter than before they went on the diet?
This is because the metabolism slows down. Meaning you need to eat less and less and / or move more and more, in order to maintain your weight loss results.
Even going back to the amount of food you ate before the diet, will result in you being fatter than before, due to this slowed metabolism.
This may sound a bit airy fairy and it may even sound like some sort of excuse that people tell themselves when they struggle to lose weight. Trust me, I have been coaching people on fitness and fat loss for 20 years.
I don’t do airy fairy.
I do facts and science.
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*** Please note
Your metabolism naturally slows down as you lose weight. As your body size decreases, you use less calories to perform everyday activities, so your calorie needs drop.
For example, a 70kg woman who loses 10kgs, requires approximately 100 fewer calories per day than she did at her heavier weight.
This is normal and to be expected.
The 3 factors of slow metabolism as listed below, are the slowing down of your metabolism BEYOND this normal level.
Rare medical issues aside, there are 3 main factors that can contribute to a slow metabolism.
Muscle is metabolically active, which is a fancy way of saying it burns fuel (the food and beverages we consume). If we don’t burn all of the fuel we put in each day, the excess fuel turns to body fat (reserve energy).
The more muscle we have, the more fuel we burn up all the time. Even when we are resting. Even when we are sleeping. The person with more muscle on their body has a higher metabolism (meaning more energy is burnt).
If you lose muscle, either through dieting, lack of the correct nutrients, or lack of use….. Then your metabolism will slow down. (you wont burn as much fuel). This means you will need to eat less and less, in order to maintain your weight loss results.
A lot of diets that focus primarily on calories in vs calories out can result in your body losing precious lean muscle mass.
Action steps –
- Choose exercise sessions that work and overload ALL of your muscle groups and do those 3 x per week
- Get enough protein in your eating plan
See also –
When you are more insulin sensitive you burn fat more easily. When you are insulin resistant you store fat more easily (and burning fat becomes harder).
Some diets that are too high in refined carbohydrates may result in compromised fat burning hormones, if you continue to ride the blood sugar rollercoaster all day long
3. You are not getting adequate nutrients.
You may have heard of the term STARVATION MODE.
“Starvation mode is your body’s natural response to protect itself when you don’t eat enough for extended periods. When you regularly eat too little food to provide your body with the necessary nutrients, it perceives itself to be in danger from starvation. Since your body is wonderfully designed to protect you, it will slow down your metabolism to conserve energy so it can keep vital organs such as the brain and the heart going for as long as possible , it will also start burning lean muscle mass”
Most people incorrectly believe that it is lack of FOOD that causes STARVATION MODE. However if you read the above definition carefully, you will realise that it is actually the lack of NUTRIENTS.
- You can eat 5000 calories, still be hungry, and still be at risk of slowing down your metabolism. If you diet is filled with low nutrient foods.
- On the other hand, you can eat 1500 calories, keep full and satisfied and have a healthy functioning metabolism. If your diet is filled with high nutrient foods.
I have written about how you can eat MORE food, MORE nutrients and LESS calories HERE
Hunger is usually a sign that the body needs nutrients.
If you feed that hunger with calories that don’t contain (m)any nutrients, hunger will continue until the nutrient need is met. Metabolism may also slow down. No matter how many 1000’s of calories you have consumed.
If you feed that hunger with high nutrient food, hunger will be satisfied and metabolism will be optimal. Even if you haven’t actually consumed a lot of calories.
High nutrient foods are usually those that look the same as they are found in nature. Example, lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, meat etc and fruits and vegetables.
Low nutrient foods are usually those that look nothing like you would find in nature. Think rice-crackers, muesli bars, most breakfast cereals etc.
If your weight loss plan focusses primarily on limiting calories IN and burning up lots of calories OUT (Quantity), with little to no attention placed on the amount of NUTRIENTS you are getting(Quality), then you may be putting yourself at risk of your metabolism slowing.
GREAT NEWS !!
You can reverse all 3 of these metabolism slowing factors.
- You CAN increase the amount of muscle you have by doing regular resistance training and consuming adequate protein
- You CAN improve your fat burning hormones and take yourself from Insulin Resistant (IR) to Insulin Sensitive (IS). ** This is the secret sauce to long term successful weight loss in my opinion. 4 part series HERE
- You CAN improve the amount of quality nutrients you consume
- You CAN make fat burning easier and fat storage harder. YAY
We address all of this and so much more in my online fitness and fat loss coaching program.
- ways I can help you lose weight and get in great shape
- 2 steps to weight loss. A case study
- Metabolism myths
- Insulin resistance and your weight
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