How many times have you heard some one say – “Increase your calories and you will start to lose that body fat, it will help your metabolism!”
For most of us who have been calorie obsessed and diet gods for years this is almost an impossible theory to get our heads around.
We get it, it makes sense, but we just can’t do it.
So how exactly does this work?
Simply put, when you eat too few calories over an extended period of time your metabolism adapts and decreases resulting in a broken metabolism.
It becomes sluggish and slow.
It is our bodies evolutionary biological response to starvation. When food is not always plentiful our body uses the minimal number of calories for survival. When food is plentiful our bodies do not need to store calories as fat. As many calories as possible are used to regulate our endocrine system and fuel our biological functions like maintaining body temperature and organ function.
Can you fix your “broken metabolism”?
Yes, you can but you need to get it moving along again!
- Feed it. You do still need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat, that’s a given. Increasing your calories should be a gradual process over a few weeks.
- Protein significantly increases the rate at which your body burns calories, speeding up your metabolism. Get that daily intake up to around at least 1g per pound of body weight. You may to increase this slowly over a few weeks.
- Get your body moving. When you are inactive your metabolism is snoozy.
- Get your sleep! Poor and inadequate sleep may lower your metabolic rate, try for at 7-9 hours a night
- Get lifting and resistance training. Even minimal amounts will boost your energy. Increasing your muscle mass = increasing your metabolic rate. The high amount of fat-free mass we have in our bodies the greater calories our bodies burn at rest.
Your metabolism determines how many calories you burn each day, you can reverse starvation mode as easily as you got there. Of course, there are some contributing factors that are unfortunately a little out of control.
- Age – the older we get the slower our metabolic rate
- Body size- the bigger you are the more calories you burn
- Temperature – when we are cold our bodies work harder to maintain body temperature
- Hormones – Some hormone disorders can slow down metabolic rate
So, you have been trying to lose body fat by drastically reducing your calories and have not got results? Your body functions in starvation mode every day, time to fix that “broken metabolism”, trust the process maybe get yourself a nutrition coach or a personal trainer to help you through the process.