Does Weight Loss Slow Down Your Metabolism?

Have you ever lost weight only to gain it back plus more?  Why does that happen and what can you do to avoid it?

 Weight Loss and Metabolism

Metabolism is how much energy your body burns.  You burn calories at rest, while exercising and while digesting food.  Your metabolic rate will depend on your size, your activity level and your genetics.

Losing weight does in fact cause your metabolism to slow down because there is less of you to move around.  This doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to gain your weight back though.  You just need to adapt your life to your new size.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your metabolism running well:

  1. Lose weight slowly.

Your body actually does not want to lose weight.  When you lose weight your body sees that as a threat to your existence so it slows its metabolism down in an effort to conserve energy.   If you lose weight fast using extreme measures your body will fight back even more.  The trick is to lose it slowly by slightly decreasing your calories and adding a moderate amount of exercise to your plan.  You should aim to lose about 1 pound per week.

  1. Hit the weights!

Have you been doing a ton of cardio but the weight is just not coming off?  Like excessive calorie restriction, excessive cardio will cause your body to slow it’s metabolism down to conserve energy.  Back off a bit on the cardio and add some heavy weight training.  Don’t worry ladies, you will not get bulky.  Lifting heavy weights will cause you to gain muscle.  Muscle is a metabolically active tissue which means it requires a certain amount of energy just to exist.  This is why people who are more muscular burn more calories.  You need to vary your strength workouts but aim to start with lifting enough to fatigue your muscles within 8-10 reps.  Do 3 or 4 sets with about 2 minutes between sets to allow your muscles to recover and be able to get through the next set.

  1. Change things up regularly.

Variety is the spice of life!  The body is an amazing machine that can adapt to anything that life throws at it.  This is great for some situations but not for weight loss.  If you’ve been eating the same thing and doing the same exercises for a long time you have to switch it up.  Have you noticed that you don’t get as sore as you used to from your workouts?  Have you noticed that even though you haven’t changed your diet you seem to be gaining weight?  This is because your body has adapted to what you’re doing and will no longer change.  It’s up to you to provide a different stimulus for your body.

4. Hydrate.

A dehydrated body will never perform optimally.  Not only can dehydration affect your weight, it can also affect your mental health.  Aim for 3-4 litres/day.  Drink more on more active and/or hotter days.

You Are Not Doomed To Gain Your Weight Back

Even though your metabolism does slow down when you lose weight this does not mean you are doomed to gain your weight back.  Keep in mind the 4 tips I gave you and realize that your new body needs to be cared for and treated differently than your old body.  If you need help, that’s what I’m here for 😊