Your Diet and Metabolism – It’s Not Just About Food

Erin Benjamin 

When it comes to dieting, common sense tells us that, in order to lose weight, our caloric intake must not exceed the number of calories that we burn in a day. This is the thinking behind diets that limit your caloric intake drastically. So why do these extreme, low-calorie diets rarely work? The one thing that low-calorie diets don’t take into account is the human metabolism. If the body isn’t getting enough calories, then the metabolism also slows down. You may lose weight from a low-calorie diet eventually, but you’ll also gain it all back once you start taking in more calories. In order to effectively lose weight, you have to understand the relationship between dieting and metabolism.

Your Diet and MetabolismIf you’re overweight, your metabolism is used to converting energy at a certain rate, based on your usual caloric intake and your usual level of energy spent in a day. If you reduce either your caloric intake or the amount of energy you spend, then your metabolism slows down to compensate for the lack of energy or resources. So the relationship between dieting and metabolismshows that the answer is not to lower your caloric intake (unless it’s really excessive and unsustainable), but to increase the amount of energy that you spend.

In those low-calorie diets, your metabolism slows down because it’s trying to conserve energy. It burns calories slowly because it doesn’t want to run out of resources. As a result of the relationship between dieting and metabolism, it can take a long time to lose the weight you want to because your body keeps compensating for the loss of calories by slowing down your metabolism. And the results never last because, once you reach your target weight and start eating normally again, your metabolism is too slow to process the increase in calories, and you start putting on weight again.

Because of this relationship between dieting and metabolism, you don’t just want to lower your caloric intake, but you want to increase your energy output. The more energy you burn, and the faster you burn it, the faster your metabolism will have to be in order to supply energy to your body. But you also want to have enough fuel to create that energy, so it’s important to find a healthy balance between your caloric intake and the amount of fuel you burn on a daily basis. Find that balance, and the pounds will come off quickly, naturally, and sustainably.

Ultimately, because of the link between dieting and metabolism, you can’t just think about losing weight in terms of the food you eat. You also have to consider exercise, and the rate at which your body converts food to fuel. But if you are able to find a good balance that allows you to exercise and have a healthy appetite, then you’ll find that your Weight Loss will last, and that you’ll be able to enjoy the results of a lifestyle change instead of starving yourself to stay at your target weight.