Let’s talk about metabolic adaptation. Many of you have probably heard the term “metabolic damage”, which essentially refers to a metabolism that is not working “properly” or “efficiently” for the individual. However, your metabolism cannot really be “damaged”, so there is some controversy around this word.
Essentially, when the metabolism is in a slowed stated (examples would be eliminating carbs or a hypothyroid condition); it’s become that way due to factors that forced it to be there. Sometimes these factors are seemingly “out of our control” but more often than not these factors are our own doing.
So how does a slow metabolism occur? One of the number one culprits is fad dieting, such as eating low calorie or low fat foods for a prolonged period. When you drop your calories too low, the body eventually responds by slowing the metabolism down. This means it can be hard to drop body fat percentage, gain lean muscle, etc. This is how our system keeps us alive, so it’s definitely not a bad thing. If our metabolism didn’t slow down, we would starve to death much more quickly and easily. However, restrictive dieting typically goes hand in hand with yo-yo dieting and/ or binge eating behaviors. These behaviors are why so many struggle with being overweight while simultaneously having a non-optimal metabolism. The combination of gaining weight with a slower metabolism is exactly why so many people get stuck in a cycle of yo-yo dieting and feeling “trapped” like they cannot get out. Restrict/binge habits of overeating and slowing the metabolism more can cause you to gain more weight from a slowed metabolism, which continually repeats.
So how do you get out of this cycle? I was there once, with a metabolism that didn’t seem to work for me if I ate over 1200 calories a day. But today I am eating 2,700+ on most days. The key is REVERSE DIETING. This is why so many clients are put on a reverse diet, to get the metabolism working in their favor again. Reverse dieting is not only for weight loss, but can also help with muscle gain and fat loss.
Want to learn more about reverse dieting, or have other metabolism related questions? Set up a complimentary consultation with Sarah by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org!