Common signs you’ve sent your metabolism in reverse. How to correct this – Dr Richard Mackenzie
The internet is full of quick fix solutions to our diet and weight issues. Yet we often question whether such solutions could be doing us more harm than good, at least in the long-term. What if these so call solutions are actually sabotaging our metabolism?
Excessive food restriction, stress and or overtraining (hard exercise is a good example) can actually push the body’s metabolism into reverse and may even cause long lasting damage. See below for more information
1. Can’t lose weight
Crash or low-calorie diets can actually have the opposite to the desired effect. During such events, the human body will often go into a temporary state of hibernation. Let’s consider two points;
- a) Consuming food costs energy. If you don’t eat, your body’s metabolism is very likely to slow down. This is very similar to the conditions experienced by our ancestros who needed to slow their metabolism during periods of extended fasting owing to harsh weather conditions and low food availability. Yet this is the opposite of what we want in a world that has excessive food (energy) availability. You can measure your own individualised energy requirements using a Resting Metabolic Rate diagnosis. This information may allow you to adapt your energy intake and expenditure in order to achieve your goals while improving your health.
- b) Rapid reductions in calorie (energy) intake can signal your body to consume stored energy. Your muscle mass is a large storage site of energy and the body may use this when faced with of energy deficit (starvation or extreme / over exercise training). In this case, you will be losing the very tissue that makes your body more metabolically active, resulting in decreased metabolism. Thus, controlled weight loss by food restriction is best managed when combined with an exercise programme that targets gains in muscle mass. Check your body mass (fat mass and muscle mass) with our Body Composition diagnosis.
2. Feeling cold
Research tells us that food restriction alone will not be effective in reducing that hard to shift fat in the long term. Key to successful weight loss is understanding your metabolism, and not estimated values from potentially random data. If you often feel cold this could be a key sign that your metabolism has slowed down dramatically. Research has shown that reduced body temperature can slow metabolism by 130 calories per day. This may be linked with a reduction in body temperature and reduced blood circulation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basal_metabolic_rate).
3. Eczema or psoriasis – poor skin
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can lead to distress and pain. Research has shown that there is a relationship between eczema and poor insulin sensitivity. This latter condition is a problem with the way the body uses insulin and is seen in those at risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition that contributes to poor metabolism, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Insulin resistance is a term that encompasses the poor handling of carbohydrates and sugars.