As other posts on this blog attest, a low calorie diet can be detrimental in a number of ways.
One way you cause yourself problems by dieting is because dieting slows down your metabolism. 1
Metabolism is the energy regulation system for our body. It oversees thousands of processes and functions every minute of your life. These include:
- Metabolism regulates body temperature right around 98.6F.
- Processing thoughts in split seconds (An average adult brain needs about 325 calories per day just to think straight!).
- Creating new cells replacing dying cells every moment (Just for starters, hundreds of billions of blood cells and platelets are replaced each day.).
- Breathing, heart beat, eyes blinking, and so many other functions we take for granted.
Your metabolism is hard wired to keep you functioning in the best possible way. All while you’re blissfully unaware. To do this it generally uses between 60-75% of your normal daily calorie intake.
You’re using the remaining 25-40% of calories to get out of bed, go to work, take care of duties, cooking, cleaning and having fun!
How A Low Calorie Diet Affects Metabolism
So, say you’re dieting. What happens when your metabolism has less calories available?
What do you think your smart body does?
Your metabolism becomes more efficient. It does what we do when we need to tighten our economic belts.
Say the company you work for unexpectedly cuts your hours and income to half.
Suddenly you have half the amount of money to supply all the necessities and luxuries in your life.
What do you do?
You definitely continue to buy food for your family. Although you may buy more bone broth soups and less sirloin steaks. You might look at car pooling, and re-mortgaging your house to a lower payment plan. You might even cancel the Pay TV channels.
During a low calorie diet your body is altering priorities too. It is making your reduced income go further.
Metabolism Remains Slower After Calorie Restricted Diet
Now imagine your work company gets busy again. Your hours are picking up and your bank account is registering the rewards.
However, you discover you quite like bone broth soups on a cool winters day. The friends you met car pooling are great and it seems silly to stop traveling together. Plus, without the Pay TV you’ve learned how to play chess and are loving every chance you get to say check-mate to your partner!
Instead of going back to your old spending habits you comfortably continue with your new routine.
You put your extra income straight into savings, and aren’t you feeling smart! You’re relaxed, feeling financially secure should a similar downturn ever strike again.
Some say this is how your metabolism reacts when food intake decreases, and then increases again. During a diet your body becomes comfortable and efficient operating on less food. When more food is reintroduced it might happily store the extra income away as fat. Smart body!
Restrictive diets are effectively telling your body to conserve. The more you restrict, the more your body aims at conserving. Therefore, it may seem your body becomes very efficient at storing weight.
Eat Healthy Balanced Diet To Keep Metabolism Heightened
So, if you want to keep your metabolism firing, don’t go on a low calorie diet! Rather, eat a wide variety of whole foods so you’re body can relax in the knowledge there is plenty and there’s no need to store up for a famine.
On the other hand, what do you do if you’ve already dieted?
Then you might want to look at ways to help encourage your metabolism to speed up. There are a variety of ways believed to help at least somewhat.
Here are a few tips that certainly boost your health, and may very well do the same for your metabolism:
- Increase your body muscle mass
- Ditch the trans-fats
- Eat a wide variety of whole natural foods
- Use foods believed to help such as ginseng, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, tumeric, ginger, and green tea
- Keep your protein level up
- Eat breakfast, and…
- Don’t diet!