If you could 𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘮, or slow it down so much that weight loss was impossible, how could anorexia or starvation exist?
What if I told you that this entire concept of metabolic damage is 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗯𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗻 and preys on the desperation of dieters who hit a wall in their efforts? Instead of people helping you understand the true reason for your plateau, they want you to believe they have the 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮 and it is tied to your ‘𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘬𝘦𝘯’ metabolism. Although it is great for their business, it isn’t you who is the problem — it is those whom perpetuate false ideas so you keep trekking the dead end that you’re on.
What most people think of metabolic damage is actually 𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀, where the body actively down-regulates processes that aren’t essential for life in an attempt to slow the weight loss and stall the perceived starvation. 𝘌𝘹𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘤𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘺𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘴, 𝘯𝘦𝘶𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘺𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘦 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘀.
But why is it that when people start to eat like normal after dieting they gain weight?
Because they have a 𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘺 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 after dieting by virtue of weighing less! If you lose a bunch of weight, that means less energy needed to keep you alive and less energy required to move your now lighter body around. It’s not damage, it’s being lighter.
In Ancel Keys’ classic Minnesota Starvation Experiment, normal-weight men lost 25% of their body weight over a 6-month dieting period. Their metabolic rate dropped by 40%, but 25% was due to weighing less and only 15% was from adaptive thermogenesis. 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀.
These ideas can be hard for small women to wrap their head around given the already really low resting metabolic rate. If you have an adaptive down-regulation on an already low daily burn, then it may very well feel like you are starving to achieve further weight loss. 𝘖𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘷𝘦, 𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯. That will let you eat more food while maintaining a deficit.
Finally, you don’t need to reverse diet and slowly increase your calories back to normal. All that does is prolong the diet. Just eat at your new maintenance calories again, which will probably be lower than before you started dieting because, again, you weight less than you did before!
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