In a previous newsletter, I discussed how dieting reduces your lean mass and lowers your metabolic rate.
Today, I want to talk about how you can potentially diet and still maintain your metabolic rate.
That’s right, lose weight by revving up your metabolism.
The truth is that most diets are actually a disaster for the person who’s dieting.
The diet results in high free fatty acids pouring into the bloodstream.
All of those free fatty acids cause insulin resistance and can lead to type two diabetes.
Low-calorie diets themselves lower your metabolic rate and increase stress hormones including cortisol, and estrogen.
These can cause men to develop man boobs and erectile dysfunction.
It’s also quite probable that the fat is storing vast amounts of estrogen.
So, when you lose the fat, your body has to metabolize all that estrogen.
But today, let’s look at how you can maintain your metabolic rate when you reduce your calories to lose weight.
Here’s the beginning of the problem:
Excessive consumption of energy appears to increase resting metabolic rate.
In other words eating more actually increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR).
So the more you eat, the higher your metabolic rate.
Strange isn’t it?
Because the other side of the coin is:
Fasting and very low-calorie dieting causes resting metabolic rate to decrease.
This means that your body responds to calorie reduction during fasting by lowering its metabolic rate.
So it turns out that if you eat less, you burn fewer calories.
Now you are dieting and not losing weight, and you’re probably frustrated.
But at least now you know why.
The diet has you eating less, so your metabolic rate falls.
Think of it this way.
Let’s say this sample person burns calories per day.
So he starts eating just 2000 calories per day.
He thinks that his body will find those last 500 calories by burning off his extra weight.
BUT — instead of finding those 500 calories, his body just burns 2000 calories.
It slows his metabolic to compensate for the missing calories.
So now he starved himself, didn’t lose any weight, and his metabolism is lower.
It’s because as you eat less, your metabolic rate falls and now you’re not burning calories anymore.
The body always tries to adjust.
They even have an expression for this called “WOB,” the wisdom of the body.
Now, there’s a way to convince the body to keep the metabolic rate up.
What will boost your metabolism so that you can lose weight?
The secret seems to be that you can maintain your metabolic rate by doing sufficiently vigorous exercise while you’re on your diet.
Resting metabolic rate is depressed in previously sedentary obese individuals on a very low calorie diet, but it quickly returns to the pre-dieting level when exercise of sufficient frequency, intensity and duration is undertaken while dieting.
This may be a lot of exercise.
It may be more than you’re used to doing.
Exercise this vigorous may involve an hour or two of exercise every day.
And when you stop or slow down on the exercise, your metabolic rate may fall again.
But it doesn’t seem possible to safely diet by reducing calories — unless you exercise at the same time.
The secret to losing a lot of weight is to go on a diet that maintains your lean mass.
This diet needs to include sufficient protein.
And it needs to include eating frequently enough to maintain lean mass and lower stress hormones.
Plus, it needs to include frequent vigorous exercise to maintain your existing resting metabolic rate.
It ain’t easy, is it?
In another newsletter soon I’m going to explore some shortcuts and alternatives suggested by some other recent studies.
Meanwhile, if you’re going to diet, make sure to diet slowly rather than quickly.
There are great metabolic diets around that focus on these things.
And make sure to exercise so that you maintain your lean mass.
Never fast, and make sure you’re getting enough sugar in the form of good ripe fruit and fruit juice to lower your cortisol levels.