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:
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.
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.
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314