Let’s say you have occasion where you want to look the best possible. But problem is that you have extra pounds of weight and you want them to be gone. What to do? Of course, you’re starting with diet and rely on your metabolism.
So, today’s intake of about 3000 kcal you’re cutting to 1600 kcal. Also, you’re adding the strength training in the gym, plus an hour of cardio in the morning before breakfast. Great start! You’ll lose about 10 pounds in a few weeks.
You’re keeping this regime, but weight loss suddenly slows down. What should you do?
You decided to reduce the intake of carbohydrates further and fats kept at extremely low 30 grams. It is ok. Fats are beginning to melt again, but not fast as in the first phase. But after only 2-3 weeks, this process stops. Now there is no more room for reducing food intake, so you can decide to insert another hour of cardio a day, after the strength training.
In the next 2 weeks you’ll lose more fat and finely process stops here. You are tired, hungry, workout 2-3 hours of training per day, and desired result is far away. You feel terrible! But don’t!
The metabolism has slowed down and the body completely ceased to melt the excess fat! You have experienced metabolic damage: drastically slowing metabolism caused by prolonged calorie restriction, cardio workout and stress.
Slowing metabolism caused by dieting and calorie restriction is common and normal reaction of the organism. This is a way of adaptation to changes in the metabolism to which is exposed.
Already with the first phase with the diet of 3000 kcal decreased to 1600 metabolism started to slow. To put it simply: the body uses calories for processes of intake and digestion of food. This is called the thermic effect of food. By entering small amounts of food (diet), body uses less energy for intake and digestion while the consumption is lower.
When the body senses the beginning of the process of losing fat, it will start to lower thyroid hormone levels and reduce the output response of the nervous system in an effort to slow down weight loss. After further reduce calorie intake, and increase the level of cardio activity, the fat starts to melt again, and the body further lowers the levels of thyroid hormones and output reactions of the nervous system. Also, reduces testosterone levels and increases cortisol levels, leading to the start of losing of muscle tissue. Since the muscles are metabolically active tissue, which means that their very existence consume calories, their loss is further slowing metabolism.
Why does the human body sabotage attempts at losing body fat? It is a simple mode of survival. If the human body does not have this mechanism, lowering caloric intake from 3000 to 1600 kcal, and maintaining this level over a longer period – people would just – died of starvation. Metabolic adaptation is reaction with the aim of survival.
How to prevent a drastic slowing of metabolism?
Whichever diet you choose, slowing of metabolism will happen, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the starvation and several hours ‘killing’ aerobic activity. Here are some rules that are good to keep in order to control metabolism and achieve the desired goal:
Fats are not accumulated overnight, so it is impossible to expect that it will be solve so fast. Be patient. The result of the maximum loss of 2 pounds a week is excellent: you will preserve muscle tissue and fat will melt. As we stated earlier, muscle tissue consumes energy, but you will preserve and prevent metabolic slowdown.
Another way to exercise patience is the introduction of small incisions in the diet, not a drastic change. Small changes, you still have room for the introduction of the other when the body adapts to these changes. Any change is your weapon in the fight against fat. But if you use too fast all the possibilities, you will not achieve a result.
Keep the carbs in the diet
Weight Loss definitely requires the regulation of carbohydrate intake, but it does not mean their complete expulsion from the diet. Carbohydrates increase the hydration of the cell, and thus the cell volume. When the muscle cell hydrated, they have a greater volume, and signaling the body of the fed state. The body, which feels fed, has no need to lower the level of metabolism. Of course, high level of carbohydrates won’t boost weight loss, but also drastically reduce or completely discharge will not go into long-term benefit.
Take advantage of the days with high carbohydrate
As noted, the carbohydrates are necessary to maintain the metabolic rate. The primary reason is the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the melting of body fat that is directly linked to the intake of carbohydrate and fat levels in the body. Leptin has a number of functions, and one of them is to control energy use, meaning – control of metabolism.
With lowering carbohydrate intake and melting fat, the body lowers the level of leptin. A good way to deal with this is to enter the day with a high-carbohydrate. For example once a week, thus raising the level of leptin, also it is responsible for the metabolism of glucose. These days will improve the overall hormone image: increase the levels of T3, thyroid hormones, and maintain a high level of testosterone, which both affect the melting of fat.
Do not over-reduce fat intake
Fatty acids must be available to the body, so it could create cholesterol that converts to testosterone. If fat intake is too low, the body will not have enough fatty acids to optimize the production of testosterone.
Reduction of the testosterone level, leads to a loss of muscle tissue, which together influence the metabolic slowing. Also, the body will react to too low levels of fat intake: it will adapt to keep its fat because it’s important for survival. So, keep your fat intake because the body will not feel “panic” so it won’t adapt to the “survival”.
Make a plan and gather the info
Removing excess weight is not an easy task, so it is good to consult with experts. Also, it is necessary to adjust training to your aim. Therefore, working with a personal trainer in this situation is often a very good decision. In fact, with their knowledge and individual approach, personal trainers will be able to adapt nutrition and training, and you only have to follow the instructions. Achieving the goal will be guaranteed!
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