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Metabolic damage? Is your body in starvation mode? What you need to know!

Updated: Dec 1, 2023




Metabolic DAMAGE as a result of dieting is not necessarily a thing, however, metabolic ADAPTION is! The reason that you are not losing weight is NOT because you have damaged your metabolism after years of crash diets – in fact, believe it or not, there are a number of benefits to dieting quickly, but that’s for another day. The reason you are not losing body fat is because you are no longer in an energy deficit and this COULD be due to metabolic adaption causing a weight loss plateau.

Metabolic adaption, also known as adaptive thermogenesis is made up by a number of different variables when weight loss happens:

· Decreased satiety (feeling full)

· Improved energy efficiency (one of the reasons it is beneficial to keep training varied)

· Subconsciously reduced levels of non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) (moving around less)

· Increased hunger

· Reduced basal metabolic rate (the energy needed just to keep your bodily functions working)

· Altered hormones – namely, leptin, ghrelin and thyroid hormone

Adaptive thermogenesis can turn a legitimate calorie deficit into a maintenance energy level causing a weight loss plateau – this is above and beyond the adaptation that occurs just because you are lighter and so require less energy to move around.

It is worth bearing in mind, however, that starvation mode IS NOT a thing too! If it was why would people in developing countries die from not having enough food? You are not gaining weight because you aren’t taking on enough energy and so your body has gone into ‘starvation mode’ to hold onto the fat you do have. There is a limit to adaptive thermogenesis, there is a limit as to how slow the metabolism will adapt to.

For this reason it is imperative that with weight loss comes HABIT CHANGE and long-term lifestyle alterations – now you know why I’m so hot on creating habits for life, not quick weight loss and quick diets!!


Peace and love, A x




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