Have You Crashed Your Metabolism?

By Russ Hollywood

Do you know anyone who has struggled with weight loss despite eating a very low calorie diet and performing hours of exercise? There are lots of individuals out there who seemingly can't lose weight and don't know why.

If you have experienced this in the past then today's the day you begin understanding the science behind the problem. []

If you know someone who seems to try very hard with their diet but cannot shift any more weight no matter what they do, the issue is usually something known as metabolic damage. Metabolic damage is a condition associated with a growing number of people in today's society due to the every increasing pressure to find a quick fix solution. The symptoms are usually associated with individuals who do the following two things:

1. Constantly following a low calorie diet.

2. An exhausting, long cardiovascular workout plan involving many hours on treadmills and elliptical trainers.

Almost every individual who has damaged their metabolism as a result of trying to shed body fat follow at least one of the two things listed above. Let's take a deeper look into each factor so you can determine whether this issue has happened to you.

The main problem which causes metabolic damage is a poorly structured diet. If you follow a very restrictive, low calorie diet for a long period of time your body begins to adapt by slowing it's metabolism in a bid to prevent you from burning off what little nutrients it has available to use. It's not bothered about losing body fat, it simply wants to keep you alive. So despite eating very little, you will find it near impossible to shed any more fat. This particular issue affects many people, particularly women, who buy into the myths promoted by celebrity fad diets and glossy magazines.

Secondly, these same individuals usually follow a very high cardiovascular workout program. Sometimes spending two hours or more on a running machine per day, these individuals wonder why on Earth they must do in order to promote more fat loss.

Of course, this only adds to the problems and forces the body to work even harder to slow down the metabolism and hang onto it's vital fat stores. So despite working very hard, you physically cannot lose anything. If this sounds like a situation you have been in at some point, you are not alone.

What usually happens here is the individual gets frustrated before completely quitting. When they do this, they suddenly binge on junk foods and then pile a lot of weight back on because their body has adapted to a very low calorie diet, so it doesn't know how to handle the sudden jump in the opposite direction. This is why many people who follow these fad diets tend to end up heavier in the long term.

After gaining this fat quite quickly following their binge eating phase, people usually get quite hard on themselves and make a decision to get things back on track. There is nothing wrong with that. The only problem is, of course, that they jump back on the restrictive diet which wasn't working for them last time and then they place even more restriction on it second time around.

If this sounds like it's happened to you, you are probably wondering how to correct this issue.

It's a simple case of eating more food. That might sound too simple, and perhaps it is. You need to teach your body how to maintain it's weight while eating more food and to do this you should increase your daily calorie intake. Of course, this doesn't mean simply doubling your food as this would do just as much damage to your metabolism as suddenly cutting food down. Instead, try increasing your calorie intake by around 5% per week until you feel you are at a level where you can maintain your present weight despite eating considerably more food.

The most important message is to be patient in doing this. It's very easy to resolve, but the main issue is that metabolic damage tends to occur to those who are looking for quick fix weight loss solutions and therefore these individuals tend to expect the solution to be a quick fix, too. If you can't lose weight you now know what symptoms to look for. If you have damaged your metabolic rate due to a haphazard approach to dieting in the past, it is time to correct the issue.

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