Are You Causing Metabolic Damage?
Is your metabolism all out of whack?
The phrase metabolic damage is a way to describe a slow metabolism that no longer burns fat efficiently, despite your low-calorie intake or frequent exercise habits. When you’re unable to maintain weight loss, you may be a victim of metabolic damage.
What Causes Metabolic Damage
When you begin eating less, your metabolism starts to slow down. With that being said, your RMR, or resting metabolic rate, begins to decrease. This is because your body isn’t using as much energy to run all bodily functions, such as breathing or making your heart beat. These effects are considered a natural psychological response coming from your body in attempts to maintain energy and prevent from going into starvation; hence the term starvation mode.
Is This So-Called Damage Irreversible?
No. If you are in the first stage of this metabolic shift where you notice something is different, you can correct it.
Step 1: Get some sleep. Strive for at least eight hours of sleep every night. Sleep and rest is just as important as working out and eating healthy. Your body needs times to recover and recalibrate.
Step 2: Cut back on your exercise. If you’re working out for 2-3 hours a day, you need to cut your regimen in half. Continue to lift weights in order to maintain muscle mass. Instead of running or biking for miles and miles, do some restorative walking on the treadmill at an incline.
Step 3: Add calories back. Pay attention to your macros. Start by slowly adding carbohydrates back into your diet.
Step 4: Relax. De-stress. Allow yourself to eat whatever you want, and choose the healthier option if you just can’t bear not dieting. Focus on balance.
Do You Think You’ve Caused Metabolic Damage?
Jade Teta, an author from MetabolicEffect.com, has been kind enough to share a cheat sheet on how to tell if you’ve caused damage, or if your metabolism is simply compensating – shown below.
– Metabolism slows down and weight loss slows or stops (you hit a plateau).
– One or more of the biofeedback cues hunger, energy and cravings (HEC) become moderately out of balance. Typically energy will be fine but hunger and cravings will be strongly working against you.
– This is very much like the early signs of athletic over-training. Also called overreaching.
– Weight loss halts completely, and you can no longer lose weight with an eat less, exercise more approach. At best you maintain your weight.
– One or more of the biofeedback cues is a constant reminder something is wrong. Typically there is moderate continual fatigue but it is more of a wired on the inside, tired on the outside feeling.
– Mood changes occur. You can be anxious or depressed, but ironically it is a little of both.
– Sleep becomes dysfunctional. You may have difficulty going to sleep and/or staying asleep.
– You may notice in the evenings that you feel more wired and energetic than the rest of the day.
– All of the above
– You can’t lose weight and may even be gaining weight despite no change in diet.
– Your body is taking on a puffy/waterlogged look.
– You are suffering depression.
– You have multiple digestive complaints.
– You may be dealing with hypothyroid symptoms of dry skin, itchy scalp, and slow thinking.
– You are exhausted and have zero motivation.
– Your libido is gone.
– Your menses is completely gone or irregular.
– You may be feeling light headed.
– You may be having new sensitivity to bright lights.
– You may have developed multiple food intolerances.
VPX Sports suggests consulting with a doctor to evaluate thyroid, adrenal, gonadal function and more to begin repairing your metabolism. Not all hope is lost, for this is your body’s way of telling you it needs a change.