If eating too few calories caused your metabolism to drastically slow down then scientific experiments where subjects were intentionally starved wouldn’t have resulted in huge amounts of weight loss. People may have even ended up putting on weight whilst being virtually nothing.
The hormonal implications of chronically undereating cannot be underestimated, but we’ll base the rest of this on the assumption that you routinely eat enough. The warnings of down-regulating your metabolism are often heard and the phrase “starvation mode” bandied around.
The real truth is more likely wound up in the unconscious effects of undereating. The amount of food that you need on a daily / weekly basis is made up of your BMR, your NEAT and your actively burned calories.
If you cut down the input but try and maintain your exercise routine then the body is smart and will more than likely cut down your NEAT and leave you just feeling tired and sedentary. When we get less energy from food we tend to move around less.
Studies have even shown that when people are fed more they habitually move more!
Ever felt tired, slow and listless while trying to lose weight by cutting calories? This is probably why!
So how do you combat this slow down?
1 – Take a slower approach than you think
Instead of trying to lose 10lbs in the next month, why not aim to lose 10lbs over the next 3 months so you can stay active and happy while you’re dieting down?
2 – Accept the inevitable
If you are intentionally undereating in a effort to lose weight then you need to accept that weights will feel heavier in the gym, you might get more tired when doing some conditioning work than you think you should and you might not be able to think as clearly as you used to.
3 – Work with an expert
If you wanted someone to build you an extension on your house then you’d probably have a builder do it. If your car broke down then you’d probably have a mechanic fix it. If you’re trying to manipulate your bodyweight and appearance then why not outsource the thinking and accountability to someone who knows what they’re doing?