Understanding Metabolic Damage
“Why am I gaining weight?” is the question on everyone's mind these days. “There are several reasons for this to occur; however, most people simply find an excuse such as they don't have time to exercise, they've been too busy to fit in a workout, or the myth that they're just “big-boned.” But what if there is an actual reason — such as metabolic damage? Is that a valid reason you're not losing weight (despite your best efforts)? It could very well be.
Sure, you could look at someone's lifestyle and determine why they are gaining weight, such as if they have poor genetics, poor nutrition, haven't worked out in weeks, are under a lot of stress, have a condition that is causing them to gain weight, are on a new medication, and so on. However, one topic that is rarely discussed these days is metabolic damage. And it could be the root cause of your inability to lose weight.
Metabolic damage is primarily defined as a condition in which the body's metabolism slows to less than half of its normal rate and cells begin to atrophy. It makes no difference whether you have had metabolic damage or not. What matters is whether or not poor eating habits have caused metabolic damage to the point where it has slowed your weight loss efforts.
In this article, we'll look at what metabolic damage is, how it happens, what might be causing it, and how to fix it.
What Is Metabolic Damage?
The primary cause of weight gain after a period of weight loss is metabolic damage. It refers to a state of reduced metabolic rate caused by dieting damage.
Metabolic damage is not the same as going into starvation mode, which is a term used to describe the body's response to severe calorie restriction and is not usually associated with “yo-yo” dieting.
Metabolic damage is a term used to describe a condition in which the body has been damaged and is unable to respond to normal brain signals. This results in an inability to effectively regulate caloric intake and expenditure, resulting in weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
How Does It Happen?
The first thing that happens when you restrict your food intake is that your metabolic rate slows down. From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes perfect sense. If you're not eating as much, you'll probably require less energy, so why squander calories on things like digestion? The issue here is that your body can't tell the difference between being cold and being hungry. It simply recognizes that it requires less energy than usual, so you begin producing less of it.
This means that even if you're eating fewer calories than before, your body isn't burning fat as quickly as it used to because it believes there's plenty of food and no need to burn extra fuel. Calorie restriction has harmed your metabolism because there isn't enough food coming in for your body to function normally.
What Causes Metabolic Damage?
Several factors may contribute to metabolic damage, including:
- Not eating the right foods – Nutritionists frequently state that your diet accounts for 80% of your success when attempting to lose weight. That is why it is critical not only to eat healthier, but also to consume foods that will aid in the maintenance of proper metabolism.
- Missed workouts – If you don't exercise enough, your metabolism will slow down, making it more difficult to lose weight.
- Stress – Including physical stress, is the most common cause of hormone imbalance. If not controlled, it can cause cortisol levels to skyrocket and remain elevated.Obesity, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance are the three characteristics of metabolic syndrome. Having all three factors raises your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
- Sleep deprivation – It can have a variety of negative effects on health, including increased cortisol levels and decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Metabolic syndrome – Obesity, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance are the three characteristics of metabolic syndrome. Having all three factors raises your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
How to Fix Metabolic Damage?
It is possible to reverse these metabolic changes and avoid weight gain, but it will take effort. Here are some suggestions to help reverse the effects of metabolic damage and get your metabolism back on track.
- A healthy diet is essential. You should eat less than you need to maintain your weight and aim to lose one pound per week. This can be accomplished by reducing calories or increasing physical activity (or both).
- Another critical component of any treatment for metabolic damage is establishing a regular and consistent exercise regimen — preferably one that can effectively burn the most calories (think along the lines of a circuit to keep the heart rate elevated or something like HIIT).
- Cardio should be included in your workouts because it improves your cardiovascular health while also helping you burn calories and fat.
- When attempting to combat metabolic damage, strength training should never be overlooked. Strength training is essential because it can help improve your metabolism and body composition by adding lean muscle mass, which naturally burns more calories (even while at rest).
- The goal is to recover from metabolic damage by making changes to your lifestyle, training regimen, and diet.