You’re well aware that your metabolism slows as you age, but the good news is that there are ways to rev up your metabolism and avoid unwanted weight gain as you get older. It really doesn’t have to slow down as much as you THINK it does. With just a few simple lifestyle changes such as this one you can easily avoid a sluggish metabolism and start burning more fat.
The Ultimate Mistake: Going too low on calories
Unfortunately, many diets can actually lower your metabolism, causing you to gain more weight in the long run, and thus the reason the yo-yo phenomenon is so common.
Here’s what the dieting cycle typically looks like:
- Torture yourself by severely restricting calories to 800-1200 calories or so to lose weight. Yes, you will be successful in losing the weight if you can stick to it long enough. But unfortunately the results are more often temporary. More on that in a minute…
- Stop the diet now that you have reached your goal and because life is unbearable while following the diet (or simply give up because you were ready to gnaw off your arm).
- Return to your regularly scheduled way of eating.
- Gain the weight back (and likely more). Heck, even continuing on with a healthier diet can be problematic when you’re now taking in more calories than you’re used to.
So what the heck is going on?
I know you had good intentions! I commend you for your effort and hard work to drop unwanted weight and be a healthier person.
Unfortunately, by restricting your calories you set yourself up for failure in the long run. Yes, it may work in the short term and here’s why:
When you go extremely low on calories your body is not getting enough energy, calories, and nutrients to function properly…By function properly I’m talking about regular body functions like digestion, breathing, or contracting your heart.
These functions all utilize energy (or calories) and make up your resting metabolic rate (RMR). So your RMR is basically the amount of calories you need to survive without ANY extra activity like walking about or exercise. And usually the amount of calories needed is MORE calories than what you are eating on your diet!
So your body tries to compensate and get that energy from somewhere else so it can keep functioning and doing it’s job. I don’t blame it…it’s just trying to keep you alive!
Yes, some of that energy will be fat, but the first stop is your muscles!
See, muscle tissue is very metabolically active, moreso than fat, and do you REALLY need that much muscle to merely survive? Not really.
The heart, lungs, and brain are definitely much higher on the priority list so your body will want to get rid of your muscle first.
And since muscle requires a lot of energy or calories to maintain, as you lose muscle mass your metabolism slows down.
So for instance, if you lose about 200 calories worth of muscle, what used to maintain your weight (say 2000 calories) is now maintained at 1800 calories! So your original 2000 calorie diet that kept you right where you wanted to be is now TOO much, a surplus of calories…and so the weight creeps back on!
Now imagine what that does to your metabolism when doing it over and over and over again…
Been there done that…
I did the same thing during my competition phase. I ate around 1300-1400 calories a day for 12 weeks during my first contest prep. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do, but little did I know my RMR was around 1400 calories.
I wasn’t even eating enough to SURVIVE so of course my body is going to find a way to compensate and keep me alive.
No wonder I constantly felt tired, cranky, and had a hard time adding any muscle!
And to top it off, I gained all the weight back plus an extra 15 pounds within a few short weeks after the show. So all that hard work went right down the tubes and noticeably lowered my metabolism.
Luckily, I’ve been able to build my metabolism back up over the years and quickly learned that strict, low-calorie diets are NOT the way to go. You can have a revved metabolism and burn fat without having to starve yourself!
And I’d liked to share with you just how to do that. So if you liked this article and are ready to boost your metabolism, I’d love to share 4 MORE ways you can turn up your fat burning furnace and rev up your metabolism in my upcoming FREE Live Online Webinar: