Weight loss tips and myths - do diets slow down metabolism?
The majority of scientists agree that a strict weight loss diet negatively affects metabolism. They say that usually the lost weight quickly returns and often with a surplus. Although there are many causes of excess weight return, scientists and doctors tend to say that it is dieting that ruins your metabolic rate so even if you eat less, you burn fewer calories than before your diet. However, the latest research published in the scientific journal Science Alert proves them wrong.
Talking about metabolism, scientists mean base metabolic rate, i.e. the number of calories a person’s body burns at rest. The more the person moves, the more calories he or she burns. Worth noting, that people with more muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate than people with low muscle and high-fat content.
For weight loss without a diet, a person needs to eat fewer calories than they burn. In this case, the organism starts using its energy reserves, for instance, fat, to have the energy or “fuel”. But once you cut calories, the body tends to slow down metabolism in order to conserve energy reserves and minimize weight loss. It is an ancient protection mechanism that is effective to save people from dying of hunger. It happens when its fat stores are depleted or a person consumes much fewer calories than they usually do which the organism identifies as hunger. This turns on thermogenesis, which further diminishes the base metabolic rate and can stop fat burning even in a strict diet.
Thermogenesis can begin in three days after starting the diet, and it is thought to persist far beyond the diet - even interfering with weight maintenance and promoting weight recovery.
New research demonstrates that the major effect of thermogenesis occurs during the actual diet phase as a short-term response to weight loss. Scientists say that there is no evidence that metabolic rate stays slow in the long run (for up to a year after dieting).
The study also found that although metabolic rate did drop as a result of diet, those who slowed down the most had higher metabolic rates after recovery. So basically, even short dieting is beneficial in the long run and you don’t have to worry about the slowing down of your metabolism. However, you have to remember some simple rules.
How to diet correctly?
If you are trying to lose weight for years and still hadn’t succeeded or succeeded for some time and then your weight got back, you need to figure out what you are doing wrong. Here we share the main rules for correct weight-loss dieting:
1. Do not opt for highly-restrictive diets. These diets that are based on a very short list of products have two major drawbacks – they are very difficult to maintain for more than a couple of days and they can seriously damage your health due to lack of vitamins or excess load on kidneys (high-protein diet) or other organs.
2. If you chose a calorie-counting approach, cut 10%-15% of your current daily consumption and not more. Many people who want to lose weight want to make it quick. So they cut their calorie intake in half or even more. There are many women who tried eating 1000 or even 500 calories a day which is unhealthy, unsafe, and, sadly, not even effective. The thing is that an adult woman not doing professional sports needs from 1600 to 2000 calories (to calculate your optimal calorie intake use a special calculator or consult a certified nutritionist). Of course, restricting herself to less than half of her norm of food, she suffers from cravings, malaise, and quickly loses motivation to work on losing weight. Worth noting that crazy calorie cuts also result in slowing down of metabolism because your body turns into “danger of hunger” mode and tries to store as much fat as possible. But if you cut your current food intake by 10-15%, you will slowly but surely lose weight without harming your health and being constantly hungry.
3. Do not fully exclude foods that you love. If you refuse all of your favorite foods at once, the chance of failing your diet rises significantly. Of course, it is recommended to reduce the consumption of sugar, pastry, fast foods, fat fast food, and so on. But you can indulge yourself on cheat days once every 5-10 days and in a limited amount. Otherwise, if you plan to diet for months, one day you can find yourself eating all of the “bad” foods and in excess which is usually followed by guilt and the feeling that you need to start all over but for now your diet or healthy eating is done. One cheat day doesn’t mean that you have to eat “bad” all the days from now on. Take it as it is (or plan a day off from your diet), and then continue your weight loss journey. By the day, it will be easier to resist your cravings as they will become weaker with the smaller consumption of sweets, fats, and so on as your body will break the habit of needing them.
What drugs for weight loss can you use?
There are many weight loss pills on the market but very few of them are safe. If you want to facilitate your weight loss with pills, opt for the FDA-approved Orlistat or its generic version available at our online drugstore. The drug is not a “magic pill” that suppresses appetite or helps to burn calories. Its effect is based on the inhibition of the absorption of fats in the small intestine. When a patient takes the pills, the consumed fat, which consumption must be lowered to avoid side effects, is washed out with feces. Due to the peculiarity of this process, loose stools are common with the use of Orlistat. If you plan to use this medication, consult your doctor first and check the list of contraindications and possible side effects on the product page.