Slowed Metabolism: Should You Run More and Eat Less?
Before we dive into today's topic, I have an exciting announcement for you:
I'm hosting a FREE 5-DAY VIDEO COURSE: HEAL YOUR METABOLISM & RECOVER FROM BURNOUT
Before we get started, I have an exciting announcement:
Burnout Recovery Spectrum 5-day Video Course: Sign Up HERE
This FREE 5-day crash course is all about Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery, metabolic resetting, overcoming food obsession and exercise addiction and finally arriving at a fit, healthy and athletic physique that you can count on forever.
Over the course of 5 days, I'll be breaking down the 3 major phases of metabolic burnout and metabolic recovery and providing assessments for you at each phase, so you can figure out exactly how optimized your metabolism is currently (or not) and start taking steps to balance and reset it.
If you're like me, and have suffered from burnout, metabolic damage and/or obsessive food and exercise behavior, this course is a must-do.
This course will describe the symptoms, signs and metabolic effects of each phase and provide examples from my own own life and that of my clients' to help you figure out where to go next. The goal is to eventually come out on the other side healthy, happy and with a plan that will generate the results you want — inside and out.
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I'm happy to answer any questions if you've got them, and have a conversation about your own assessment once you go through the full training.
Now, on to today's topic!
Should You Run More and Eat Less To Speed Up Your Metabolism?
Have you ever said: My metabolism is so slow; everything I eat turns into fat immediately! I can’t even look at a cookie without gaining weight right this second!
What you're basically saying is that you can't eat anything different from your current diet, or you can't eat even a tiny bit more than usual, and you immediately gain weight.
You conclude that the reason for all this is slowed metabolism, which you think means that you should cut our calories down even further. So, if you started from already low 1500 calories, you now have to cut to 1400, and then to 1200… You can't really cut much more!
The Real Reason Why The Metabolism Has Slowed Down
Yes, you’re right about one thing: Your metabolism has slowed down. If you’ve been eating low calories and training a lot, creating greater and greater caloric deficit, your metabolism really has slowed down. Too big caloric deficit is often the reason behind “slow metabolism”.
It's unfortunate that many trainers and fitness gurus tell you that this is exactly what you have to do. Sure, at first you do lose weight when you do tons of cardio and eat less, but there are two problems with it: 1) You also lose muscle not only fat, and 2) this weight loss will not be sustainable.
Do You Have To Run More And More To Maintain Your Weight?
Maybe you’ve noticed that you used to run 30 minutes a day and that was enough to keep your current weight.
Then, that stopped being enough and now you had to add 15 minutes to your daily run.
And before you knew it, you had to add another 15 minutes to maintain that weight! And you get frustrated because all you do is run for hours and eat 1200 calories. You're feeling hungry, frustrated, and your body is not changing the way you want it to change.
We're Teaching The Metabolism To Slow Down
The reason for all this is that that by doing more and more cardio and eating less and less, we’re teaching our metabolism to operate on fewer and fewer calories.
Your metabolism becomes careful: It has to hold on to energy because it’s not getting as much as it actually needs. It's like not having enough money: You can't spend on fancy things when you don't have enough for basic things. You cut down your costs and get by on less and less. You're able to somehow manage, but you don't live comfortably.
And this is exactly how we slow down our own metabolism too!
You Can Speed Your Metabolism Up Again
But all that doesn’t mean that we can’t speed it up again.
If your metabolism has slowed down, eating less and training more won’t help to speed it up. As I described earlier, it will do even more damage. Therefore, in order to start feeling better, we have to do the opposite.
For a little while, we actually have to eat more and cut back on cardio to let our metabolism heal. If we do everything right, we start noticing how your energy improves, or bowel movements become more regular, our period problems correct, our hair stays on, and we start feeling better overall.
Our body will find its optimal weight where it settles. It no longer takes enormous effort to maintain the healthy weight. We can eat cake and won't gain weight from it (as long as it's done reasonably, of course — significant overeating of anything will obviously cause weight gain even in healthy bodies).
Never Eat 1200 Calories Again
When we’re at our optimal weight and our metabolism is healed, we will never have to eat 1200 calories and do excessive cardio again. Our weight becomes easy to maintain. We can eat more than before and our weight stays stable, because the body utilizes the calories, instead of saving them. This is how you know that your metabolism is restored again.
If you think that you have slowed metabolism, know that the reason isn't probably bad genetics or bad luck. The reason is likely that you've been eating less than your actual needs, and you've been exercising more than is reasonable for you. That way, you've taught your body to survive on less and less calories. In order to heal, you have to do exactly the opposite: Eat more and cut down cardio.
To learn more, don't forget to sign up for the FREE 5-day Burnout Recovery Spectrum video course! We start on June 3rd. All details can be found HERE.
What questions do you have about slowed metabolism and metabolic healing?