Do You Feel Like Your Metabolism Is Damaged?


You feel like no matter what you do you gain weight. You can’t eat like you used to and “get away with it.” You’re eating less and exercising more than ever, but the scale still won’t budge. You feel like you just look at a cookie and store fat.

Women tell me often that they think their metabolism has slowed down, and what they used to do to lose weight doesn’t work anymore. Enter: trying to be more “disciplined” by eating less, exercising more and having your thoughts and time consumed by cooking, eating, and working out.



Metabolisms are designed to keep us alive which means they are adaptive and compensatory. As a defense mechanism, our body decreases our calories out when calories in is decreased. In an attempt to maintain homeostasis, it will down-regulate the metabolism to match the decreased intake. This cutting calories and exercising will work at first or for someone who has never dieted before, but the weight will be hard to keep off long-term.

Metabolic “damage” is a situation where someone’s metabolism no longer allows for weight loss given a caloric deficit. This is why suddenly you may find yourself gaining weight while doing hours of cardio and eating 1,200 calories or less a day. Your body is simply adapting.

There are multiple factors that determine how your metabolism functions, including your hormones, your adrenal function, the type of workout you’re doing, your age and gender, stress levels, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation. Keeping all of these in mind and truly understanding how our bodies work, we can approach weight loss by addressing these areas, rather than just falling back into the pervasive advice to eat less and exercise more.



If weight loss is your goal and you feel like your metabolism is compensating from attempts at eating a lot less and exercising a lot more, you can take steps to rebalance your body.


Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Cut down chronic cardio exercise. Do short bursts, strength training, and leisurely walking. For someone who actually hates exercise and hours on the elliptical, this is good news. But, for someone who loves exercise and does it for stress relief (even though it is still a stressor on the body), this can be hard, but worth it in the long term.
  2. Increase calories. This can sound scary, especially if you’re trying to lose weight, but if you do so slowly you’ll start to see progress. You want to find the number of calories that your body should require to maintain your weight. This is likely more than you’re actually burning in your current state. Many of the women I work with are eating 1200 calories a day and need to be eating closer to 1800 calories a day to support their metabolism.
  3. Balancing your macros. This is a basic recommendation for anyone who wants to balance blood sugar and manage cravings, appetite, and energy, but it holds true for resetting your metabolism as well. Make sure you’re eating an (increased) combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats with every meal.
  4. Keep a running inventory of your stress levels. Be very in tune with all stressors – not just the mental stress – that your body undergoes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Do what you can to cultivate calm throughout the day with breaks, breathing, and taking time to yourself to tune in with how you feel.
  5. Sleeping on a consistent schedule. This will reduce stress, improve insulin sensitivity, and improve thyroid function.
  6. Support digestion and gut health.This is foundational for overall health. An unhealthy gut influences your hormones (like thyroid) and your adrenals.

Supporting your metabolism can take time and changes don’t happen overnight, or even in a couple weeks. You can expect 3 to 6 months to “recover” and get to a place where you can create a deficit in a safe, healthy, and effective way.


  • The latest from Megan
Megan Crozier is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who helps women fix their digestive issues, balance their energy, improve their periods, and cut through all the diet (mis)information out there. She uses an individualized and real food approach to empower women to find a way of eating that works specifically for them. You can learn more about her through Alexandria Wellness or over at

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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