Slow Metabolism?

Man and woman walking

Slow Metabolism? Cutting Calories Can Make it Worse!

Slow Metabolism?
Slow Metabolism?

First, it’s important to note that for those who do eat far too much – and if you’re guilty of this, you know it – a cut in your calorie intake is necessary. No one can engage in “pigging out” on a regular basis and not gain weight. This has little to do with a slow metabolism.

Some can get away with this when young, but as age creeps up, so will the numbers on the scale. Common sense, 101…apply it!

The average person who sincerely watches their portions and tries to eat a reasonable amount of food every day often find themselves unable to drop pounds. We’ve been programmed to think the first thing we need to do is stop eating as much as we currently are eating. Not necessarily true! In fact, eating more can actually result in an increase in your metabolism. In other words, it can boost a slow metabolism!

Most of us who have dieted have heard or even used the expression, “I must have a slow metabolism!” Or, seeing someone who can eat like a horse and never gain weight, “Wow, s/he must have a GREAT metabolism!

Well, while it’s true that some metabolism factors are genetic, there are things you can do to give yours a boost. No matter your unique genetic code and no matter your age. And a reduction in calories is NOT the answer to a slow metabolism.

Decreasing calories causes your metabolism to slow down.

That’s right. So, instead of immediately thinking you have to cut calories to lose weight, consider increasing activity FIRST. This will kick start a fat-burning effect and it’s far better to burn fat than starve fat.

What Kind of Activity?

Walkers
Aerobics are probably your best bet when it comes to fat burning. You don’t have to run marathons or walk 10 miles or jump around in your living room for an hour. If you’re out of shape, it’s best to start slow and gradually build yourself up in time and intensity. You’ll still get results.

Be gentle with your body. Learn your strengths and weaknesses and adapt. And don’t force yourself to do something you dislike. This only leads to distaste for exercise and more excuses for procrastination. It puts a negative aspect on the whole idea of exercise, let alone the actual exercising!

For example, try a 10 minute walk after your largest meal of the day. When done, grab some hand weights and do another 10 minutes of weight lifting exercises.

Alternatively, try a theraband. These are especially good if you have joint problems, arthritis, etc. Getting into this habit alone can be helpful.

About That Food

Now just because you’ve planned to raise your activity levels, this doesn’t give you free reign to stuff your face.

Nutritional quality runs in degrees. Food choices aren’t good or bad. They aren’t black or white. There are shades of gray. When you want to reduce your weight or break a plateau, you have to improve your food choices.  You do this by eating fewer processed foods. Replace them with foods that are in their raw, natural state.

Food should be food you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to eat something you find distasteful just because it is considered healthy. Too much of this and you’ll find yourself on a binge of your favorite fattening foods.

Summary

  • You now understand that decreasing calories can slow metabolism, ruining your weight loss efforts.
  • You know you have to increase your activity to increase your metabolism.
  • You understand that swapping out some of those foods you know aren’t the best for you, foods in more of a “raw” state can allow you to eat more and burn more fat.

See also: Using Nature to Boost Metabolism

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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