- Weight Cycling…Facts About Yo-Yo Dieting
- Weight Cycling…Facts About “Yo-Yo” Dieting
- What Yo-Yo Dieting Actually Does to Your Body
- What Yo-Yo Dieting Is Actually Doing To Your Body
- The Hidden Danger of Yo-Yo Dieting You Need to Know About
- Yo-Yo Dieting
- How does yo-yo dieting affect our heart health?
- Altering eating patterns periodically
- A cardiometabolic ‘rollercoaster’
- How to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting Once and for All
- Rapidly losing and gaining weight could be dangerous if you have heart disease
- The 3-Day Fix to Supercharging Your Metabolism
- How to Know If Your Metabolism Is Broken
- What A Broken Metabolism Feels Like
- What A Fixed Metabolism Feels Like
- The 3 Week Metabolism Fix
- How to optimise your carb cycling
- How much food in a refeed?
- Other things to think about
- The science reasoning
- Maybe a bright side
- Increase your metabolism
Weight Cycling…Facts About Yo-Yo Dieting
Weight Cycling…Facts About “Yo-Yo” Dieting
What is Weight Cycling? Weight cycling is the repeated loss and regain of body weight. When weight cycling is the result of dieting, it is often called “yo-yo” dieting. A weight cycle can range from small weight losses and gains (5-10 lbs. per cycle) to large changes in weight (50 lbs. or more per cycle).
Some research links weight cycling with certain health risks. To avoid potential risks, most experts recommend that obese adults adopt healthy eating and regular physical activity habits to achieve and maintain a healthier weight for life. Non-obese adults should try to maintain their weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.
If I regain lost weight, won’t losing it again be even harder? A person who repeatedly loses and gains weight should not have more trouble trying to reach and maintain a healthy weight than a person attempting to lose weight for the first time. Most studies show that weight cycling does not affect one’s metabolic rate-the rate at which the body burns fuel (food) for energy. Based on these findings, weight cycling should not affect the success of future weight-loss efforts. Metabolism does, however, slow down as a person ages. In addition, older people are often less physically active than when they were younger. Regardless of your age, making regular physical activity as well as healthy eating habits a part of your life will aid weight loss and improve health overall.
Will weight cycling leave me with more fat and less muscle than if I had not dieted at all? Weight cycling has not been proven to increase the amount of fat tissue in people who lose and regain weight. Researchers have found that after a weight cycle, those who return to their original weights have the same amount of fat and lean tissue (muscle) as they did prior to weight cycling. People who exercise during a weight cycle may actually gain muscle.
Some people are concerned that weight cycling can put more fat around their abdominal (stomach) area. People who tend to carry excess fat in the stomach area (apple-shaped), instead of in the hips, thighs, and buttocks (pear-shaped), are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Studies have not found, however, that after a weight cycle, people have more fat around their stomachs than they did before weight cycling.
Is weight cycling harmful to my health? Some studies suggest that weight cycling may increase the risk for certain health problems. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gallbladder disease. For adults who are not obese and do not have weight-related health problems, experts recommend maintaining a stable weight to avoid any potential health risks associated with weight cycling. Obese adults, however, should continue to try to achieve modest weight loss to improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing obesity-related diseases.
Losing and regaining weight may have a negative psychological effect if you let yourself become discouraged or depressed. Weight cycling should not be a reason to “feel like a failure.” Instead it is a reason to refocus on making long-term changes in your diet and level of physical activity to help you keep off the pounds you lose.
Is staying overweight healthier than weight cycling? It is not known for certain whether weight cycling causes health problems. The diseases associated with being obese, however, are well known. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain types of cancer
- Gallbladder disease.
Not every adult who is overweight or obese has the same risk for disease. Whether you are a man or woman, the amount and location of your fat, and your family history of disease all play a role in determining your disease risk. Experts agree, however, that even a modest weight loss of 10 percent of body weight over a period of six months or more can improve the health of an adult who is overweight or obese.
Conclusions Further research on the effects of weight cycling is needed. In the meantime, if you are obese or are overweight and suffer from weight-related health problems, try to improve your health by achieving a modest weight loss. Although weight cycling may have some effect on disease risk, the serious health problems resulting from obesity are clearly understood. If you need to lose weight, you should be ready to commit to lifelong changes in your eating and physical activity behaviors. If you are not obese or overweight with weight-related health problems, maintain your weight. Focus on adopting healthful eating habits and enjoying regular physical activity to manage weight and promote health for life. For additional information, please visit the Obesity Center. Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health (www.niddk.nih.gov).
Be realistic. Pick a weight management plan that you can stay with—first to help you lose weight and then to help you keep the weight off—for life. It’s a permanent way of living.
Believe you can do it. Ask yourself if making the lifestyle, diet and exercise changes are worth a healthier you. Do you believe they will pay off in the long-run?
Try something new. Make small changes—they’re usually easier to do and to keep doing. Even a tiny change can invigorate your weight loss journey and bring positive results.
Take time to take care of yourself. Of course eating healthfully and exercising regularly is taking care of you. But doing things that have nothing to do with weight loss can also help with your self-care. A little TLC can do wonders.
Try not to use food as a stress reliever. For many of us, eating when we are stressed can turn into a binge. Recognizing that life can be messy and stressful can help you to put food in its proper place.
Ask for help if you need it. Talk with your support group, whether its friends, family or a colleague. It can help you keep your weight loss journey in perspective.
Ingrain your new healthy behaviors. Boost your odds of reaching your goal and stop yo-yo dieting with a commitment to your new healthy lifestyle in your new permanent way of living.
Yes, you can make yo-yo dieting, along with all its potential health dangers, a thing of the past. And, you can become someone who lost the weight—for good!
What Yo-Yo Dieting Actually Does to Your Body
Yo-yo dieting sounds something like this:
“I want to be 130 pounds by bikini season.”
“I want to wear my size four dress to the bridal shower in three weeks.”
“I won’t get rid of the size small belt because I know it will fit when I get back to working out eventually.”
All of these quotes come from actual clients of mine, but chances are they sound awfully familiar to you or someone you know.
You work hard to lose weight, only to find it creep back on with a few extra pounds to boot, to then again buckle down to lose again, gain again, lose again, gain again.
You have your fat jeans and your skinny jeans, you have your handy rice cake and boiled chicken repertoire constantly on standby, and you’ve bookmarked all your favorite Drop-Weight -Fast workouts on your laptop so they’re there when it’s time to get serious. You’re a pro at this.
Now, here you are trying to figure out how to lose weight, yet again.
But, honestly, between weekend pizza you can’t seem to nix and the bag of candy that speaks to you every day at 3:00 p.m., you’re exhausted from constantly having to choose whether or not to deprive yourself—eat it, don’t eat it, eat just a little, skip it altogether. Okay, have a bite, cut a whole piece. No, wait, a sliver. Maybe if you eat it fast enough with your eyes closed it won’t count? Keep it out of sight because if it’s in your eyesight it’ll disappear into your belly. Ugh, you can’t believe you ate that. Ugh your pants are too snug…
You already know how losing and gaining weight messes with your head, but do you know how yo-yo dieting really messes with your body?
What Yo-Yo Dieting Is Actually Doing To Your Body
Whoa, hormones. Yo-yo dieting, including severe calorie restriction and dramatic dietary changes can increase the hormone cortisol, wreaking havoc on your health. It increases your risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
There’s tons of evidence that people who live the longest are those who are constantly eating slightly less than they need to be satisfied and maintaining a low body weight for their height. This is, in part, due to hormones being optimized. If you restrict your calories too severely, hormones don’t work as efficiently and your overall health becomes compromised. Nutrient deficiencies pop up and you may end up with dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and a crappy immune system.
The bottom line is that dropping too many calories messes with your hormones, which messes with your health.
Metabolic meltdown. So here’s the deal: if you over-restrict your calories, your body responds by slowing down your metabolic rate, or your ability to burn calories. It also causes muscle loss.
Yo-yo dieting doesn’t appear to permanently ruin metabolism, but the process of losing muscle (which is what your body uses for fuel when there aren’t enough calories from food coming in) is never anyone’s goal. You need your lean body mass to support your bones and keep you fit, strong, and burning calories. So don’t compromise it by breaking it down to use for fuel.
Here’s a new way of thinking: don’t exercise to lose weight, exercise to maintain your lean body mass (which helps with weight loss) and to keep your brain focused on your fitness. The more fit you feel, the more motivated you’ll be to skip dessert.
Eliminate eliminating. Extreme weight loss is hard on your brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. These vital organs need carbs and calories to do their jobs, and without enough nutrition, they’re at risk for damage. Severely decreased calories can also cause nutrient deficiencies, which in prolonged states can damage bones, skin, and immune functioning.
Bottom line: Reducing carbs and calories is fine. Cutting them out completely is not. If you eliminate a whole food group entirely, you’ll end up back on the whole yo-yo dieting cycle again, guaranteed.
Say no-no to yo-yo. Rather than embarking on a ridiculous 1000 calories a day diet or ditching all carbs for good, solid research promotes eating a little less of everything at every meal and snack in order to maintain a healthy weight. Learning to feel “satisfied” instead of “full” is key to ending that up and down cycle. Eat a balanced diet and choose clean, healthy foods. Learn how to gauge your appetite by learning about your hunger quotient (HQ). And, plan for your indulgences.
It’s easier said than done, but it can be done. Be focused, consistent, and patient.
The Hidden Danger of Yo-Yo Dieting You Need to Know About
It’s a scenario so many women can relate to: You succeed at losing weight, only to gain it back six months later. You shed the pounds again, but they return…and the cycle continues. This up-and-down routine is the definition of yo-yo dieting, and as a new study shows, the term isn’t reserved only for people who yo-yo drastic amounts of weight.
Preliminary research presented at this week’s scientific conference of the American Heart Association (AHA) found that women who yo-yo diet as little as 10 pounds have a higher number of risk factors for heart disease than women who have never been on that gain-lose-gain merry-go-round.
RELATED: I Was Born With a Heart Defect That Could’ve Killed Me by Age 4. I’m 25
In the study, researchers at Columbia University focused on 485 women, asking them how many times they’ve lost and then regained at least 10 pounds in any given year. The average age of the study subjects was 37, and the average BMI came in at 26. (A woman with a BMI of 25 or higher is considered to be overweight.)
Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that yo-yo dieting was very common; 73% of the study subjects reported losing and regaining a minimum of 10 pounds at least once—and some cycled the weight up to 20 times in their lifetime. The scary part: Women with a yo-yo dieting history scored lower on an AHA measure called “Life’s Simple 7.” These are seven heart-protective lifestyle markers the AHA has identified as being important to cardio health: “eat better,” “get active,” “lose weight,” “quit smoking,” “reduce blood sugar,” “control cholesterol,” and “manage blood pressure.”
The more times a woman yo-yo dieted, the worse she scored on the AHA measure, researchers found.
“Achieving a healthy weight is generally recommended as heart healthy but maintaining weight loss is difficult and fluctuations in weight may make it harder to achieve ideal cardiovascular health,” Brooke Aggarwal, senior author of the study, said in a press release.
RELATED: More Young Women Are Having Heart Attacks. This Might Be Why
The yo-yo dieters were also 82% less likely to have a BMI in the healthy range. That makes sense, as research shows that it’s common for people to lose weight quickly on a diet only to slowly gain it back. One 2015 study in Obesity Reviews stated that when it comes to dieting, “weight regain is generally the rule.” In fact, as much as two-thirds of the pounds lost are regained within the year. And almost all the dropped pounds come back within five years, the 2015 study found.
The authors of the latest study clarified that while their research found a link between yo-yo dieting and heart disease risk factors, they stated that more (and longer-term) research is needed.
This isn’t the first time that studies have suggested an up-and-down weight can be harmful to a person’s health. A 2018 study linked weight fluctuations to a greater risk of mortality (though it wasn’t associated with heart disease). On the other hand, a 2014 research review of 20 previous studies found that weight cycling did not have a negative impact on health.
What’s the takeaway if you’re a yo-yo dieter? You might want to consider the role fad diets play in all of this. Most plans that promise quick weight loss of more than a pound a week are almost guaranteed to fail—because even if you do drop weight, the diet itself is difficult to sustain. Plus, many plans don’t provide you with the information and tools to keep the weight off. Eventually, the pounds creep back on.
A better way to lose weight is to eat with your health in mind. In other words, don’t diet; instead, load up on nutritious, whole foods (such as lean protein, fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains) and stay active—and let your body shed any excess weight at a slow, steady, sustainable pace.
RELATED: Heart Attack Signs Every Woman Should Know
Losing weight is easy. Just ask Oprah Winfrey, or the millions of other dieters who are on a weight-loss roller coaster. They manage to lose five, 20, or 50 pounds — only to gain it all back. Doctors call this “weight cycling,” but it’s better known as yo-yo dieting.
Yo-yo dieting can be extremely frustrating. Studies suggest that repeated cycles of weight loss and weight gain may also be harmful to your health, but no study has definitively proven that. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight or plan to diet in the future, you should know the ins and outs — or rather the ups and downs — of the yo-yo diet.
Why does lost weight come back?
Many people look for quick fixes to their weight problem. They starve themselves or go on a fad diet and rejoice as the pounds disappear. But as soon as they return to their old habits, the weight comes right back. Even dieters who take the slow-and-steady approach to weight loss can sometimes go back to square one. Simply put, permanent weight loss requires a lifelong commitment taking in no more calories than you can use — a goal that’s often reached by exercise. Anyone who wants to lose weight but can’t make that commitment is bound to end up on the yo-yo.
As you age, another factor comes into play: Weight can build up or quickly return because your metabolism slows down, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Studies show, however, that this weight gain is preventable: So if you’re eating the same way in your 40s as you did when you were 20, you probably just need to cut back calories or increase your activity.
What are the health risks of yo-yo dieting?
No matter what your size, any sudden weight gain or loss may be hard on your health. A study of 485 female heart patients published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that yo-yo dieters had relatively low levels of HDL cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol that helps prevent heart disease. The shortfall of HDL was especially severe in women who had lost and regained at least 50 pounds. However, researchers found no direct link between low HDL and heart disease in any of the women. Other studies have found that yo-yo diets may slightly boost a person’s blood pressure (although it’s unknown whether the higher level is only temporary). Fluctuations in weight also seem to increase the risk of gallstones.
Of course, these risks have to be put into perspective. A yo-yo diet may shake up your system, but it’s not thought to be as unhealthy as obesity itself. Extra pounds can make you a target for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, orthopedic problems, and other ailments. For those who are carrying extra pounds, even a modest reduction in weight can greatly improve overall health.
If you’re overweight, you shouldn’t let the specter of yo-yo diets keep you from trying to lose weight. Instead, you should feel extra resolve to keep weight off once you lose it. If you’re already at a healthy weight, try to keep it steady.
Can yo-yo dieting change my body type?
Contrary to common belief, yo-yo dieting doesn’t make a person fatter. In fact, people who go through a complete weight-loss cycle tend to end up with the same proportion of fat and muscle they started with. If you work out during your cycle, you may actually be more muscular than you were before.
Does yo-yo dieting make it harder to lose weight in the future?
Many people fear that yo-yo dieting will slow down their metabolism and scuttle future attempts to lose weight. You should be concerned if you go on repeated starvation diets (less than 1,000 calories a day). You’ll probably lose weight and muscle temporarily. But if you start to eat the way you did previously, your body may react by storing the fat faster and more efficiently, and you could add more pounds than before, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also keep in mind that controlling weight can be more challenging as you grow older because of hormonal changes that tend to encourage weight gain and perhaps changes in body composition.
If you have a history of yo-yo dieting, it’s time to rethink your approach to weight loss. Remember: Permanent changes in your weight require permanent changes in your life. By getting plenty of exercise and eating only the number of calories you need to maintain or lose weight, you can reach a healthy weight — and there won’t be a string to pull you back.
National Institutes of Health. Weight Control Information Network. Weight Cycling.
Olson, M.B. et al. Weight cycling and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in women: Evidence of an adverse effect. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. November 1, 2000. 36(5):1565-1571.
National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity. Weight cycling. Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 272(15):1196-1202.
How does yo-yo dieting affect our heart health?
Sticking to a strict diet can be challenging, so our eating patterns can fluctuate wildly. A new study looks at how these changes might impact cardiovascular health.
Share on PinterestHow does eating well intermittently affect our heart?
As we roll into 2019, many people will be trying out new diet regimes.
For many of us, sticking to a nut-filled, burger-free, fish-heavy Mediterranean-style diet will only last a matter of days before we return to the realms of cheesecake and cheese boards.
Though eating right over the long-term reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, we know much less about how a fluctuating dietary regime impacts our heart health.
Because so many people choose a diet and then gradually stray from it, researchers are interested in how yo-yo dieting might influence markers of cardiovascular disease.
A team led by Prof. Wayne Campbell, of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, set out to investigate. The scientists recently published their findings in the journal Nutrients.
Altering eating patterns periodically
To investigate, the scientists inspected data from two previous studies into dietary interventions carried out by the same group of researchers at Purdue University.
The participants of these studies followed one of two eating patterns: a Mediterranean diet or a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
Lead study author Lauren O’Connor explains these two eating patterns, saying, “Our DASH-style eating pattern focused on controlling sodium intake, while our Mediterranean-style focused on increasing healthy fats. Both eating patterns were rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”
Participants followed their eating pattern for 5 or 6 weeks. After this period, the scientists assessed their cardiovascular risk by measuring a range of parameters.
These included blood pressure and levels of fats, glucose, and insulin in the blood.
Following the 5–6 weeks of dieting, participants went back to their standard eating patterns for a further 4 weeks. Then, after another cardiovascular assessment, they were restarted on DASH or Mediterranean diet plans for an additional 5–6 weeks. Finally, they had one more checkup at the end of this period.
A cardiometabolic ‘rollercoaster’
The analysis showed that, as expected, the cardiovascular markers improved when the individual stuck to the diet. Then, once they had returned to a less healthful eating regime, the biomarkers became less favorable again.
Then, once the healthful diets were restarted, the metabolic markers once again improved.
The key message is that only a few weeks of healthful eating can make measurable improvements to markers of cardiovascular health, but at the same time, it does not take long before they return to their unhealthy state once a person terminates their healthful diet.
“These findings should encourage people to try again if they fail at their first attempt to adopt a healthy eating pattern,” Prof. Campbell says. “It seems that your body isn’t going to become resistant to the health-promoting effects of this diet pattern just because you tried it and weren’t successful the first time.”
More research will be needed to explore whether yo-yo dieting has an impact on long-term health.
Some studies have shown that losing and gaining weight again in a cycle, or weight cycling, could cause stress to the cardiovascular system. However, the evidence is certainly not overwhelming, and some scientists question whether weight cycling has any adverse effects at all.
Overall, the results are bittersweet; they show that just a few weeks of dietary change can produce measurable improvements in health markers. On the flip side, after just a few weeks following the abandonment of a new diet, those benefits are lost.
However, if a person restarts their healthful eating plan, the benefits can be won back in the same short amount of time. As such, Prof. Campbell’s message is one of stubborn persistence:
“The best option is to keep the healthy pattern going, but if you slip up, try again.”
Weight cycling is losing weight and regaining it over and over. It’s called “yo-yo” dieting when it happens because of dieting.
Weight cycles can be big (50 pounds or more) or small (5-10 pounds).
Is it bad for you? That’s not clear. Staying overweight isn’t healthy, so ask your doctor what your goal weight should be, what you should do to reach that weight, and what it takes to stay at that weight.
Your doctor may not have all the answers, so ask him for a referral to a dietitian to help you find ways to eat better and lose extra weight. Working with a personal trainer will help you get on track with exercise, which is especially important in keeping the pounds off once you reach your goal weight.
You can break the cycle of losing and regaining weight. Researchers showed that by following 439 overweight women for a year. The women who had a history of moderate or big weight cycles were just as likely to stick to the study’s diet and exercise plan. Anyone who stuck to the plan benefited.
For more inspiration, consider some of the key findings from more than 10,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year. They shared their strategies with the National Weight Control Registry, which posted them on its web site:
- 78% eat breakfast every day.
- 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
- 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
- 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.
How to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting Once and for All
Photo: Getty Images / Science Photo Library
Reaching your weight-loss goal isn’t *always* the end of the weight-loss journey: Yo-yo dieting or weight cycling (losing weight only to gain it back), can be a frustrating reality. It happens: Your job gets stressful, you have trouble finding time to work out, a vacation really sets you back.
But our mentality surrounding weight loss can also be problematic. It’s easy to think a diet is something to go on and then get off as quickly as possible, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founding director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Weight Management Center. “But lasting weight loss requires making lifestyle changes that will work long-term.” (See: 6 Ways to Make Your Health Transformation Last)
And yo-yo dieting has serious setbacks which can make meeting your health goals more difficult. “Repeated crash dieting increases metabolic hormones, such as insulin, and elevates levels of sex hormones, including estrogen,” says Andrea Pennington, M.D., author of The Pennington Plan for Weight Success. “These changes cause you to start putting on weight around your middle, which research has linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.”
Repeatedly beating your body down with endless hours of steady-state cardio and low-calorie and low-fat diets? That can lead to metabolic damage. (Working with a professional can help you realign yourself hormonally, metabolically, and behaviorally, experts say.)
If you’re consistently fluctuating between weights, your confidence can also take a hit. “The more times you go through the gain-lose-gain cycle, the less convinced you become that you can break free from the constant ups and downs,” says Keri Gans, R.D., a dietitian in New York City. “No one wants to diet forever; it’s hard work.”
So how can you stop yo-yo dieting and settle in on a healthy weight that works for you and *all* of your health goals for life? To avoid regaining, follow these tips.
Make a list of restorative activities.
You’ve got a looming deadline at work, your in-laws are coming to town, the house is a mess. Before you know it, you’ve demolished an entire bag of chips while freaking out over your to-do list. “Stress eating can quickly turn into a binge: We don’t register what we’re munching on because the food’s going down so fast,” says Martin Binks, Ph.D., an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Texas Tech University. Instead of reaching for an unhealthy snack, make a list of other calming strategies (going on a run, meditating, curling up with a book), Binks suggests. When you feel overwhelmed? Consult your list and pick out something you can do in the next 10 minutes. (Related: 20 Simple Stress Relief Techniques)
Set a new goal.
There will always be a reunion, wedding, or vacation you want to look and feel your best for. But rather than keeping the pounds off just long enough for an event, think about rewarding long-term achievements (and book these spa treatments to try before a special event instead). Maybe you want to train for your first half-marathon or get in shape to hike the Grand Canyon. Setting a big new goal each time you check one off your list will keep you headed in the right direction.
Focus on the positives.
Focusing solely on calories in and calories out can make it hard to stick to your plan if you aren’t seeing results. “Even if you’re doing everything right, your weight can fluctuate based on the time of day or how hydrated you are,” says Evelyn Tribole, R.D., coauthor of Intuitive Eating. In fact, research shows that women who fixate on counting calories and restricting their food intake report more stress and have higher levels of cortisol, which is linked to overeating. (FYI, that’s just one of six sneaky reasons you’re not losing weight.) “Instead of obsessing about every morsel, think about how eating right and exercising make you feel,” Tribole says. “Do you have more energy? Are you able to keep up with your kids?” If you take the time to notice the positive effects of each healthy behavior-whether it’s pushing away from the table before you clean your plate or biking for 30 minutes a day-it’s easier to motivate yourself to stay on track.
Join a digital weight-loss community.
Studies show that tracking what you eat every day can help you lose up to twice as much weight as people who wing it. (See: Why Food Journals Are the Weight-Loss Tool That Still Works) But having others along for the ride can keep you accountable. In fact, joining an online support group could help you finally meet your goals. Your online squad will provide you with the support you need to stay on track.
Exercise harder on the days you want to quit.
Instead of skipping your workout when you’re feeling less than inspired, get over the hump by intensifying your efforts. “Pushing yourself a bit harder than usual shows that you can take on and tackle tough challenges, which boosts your confidence,” says Christina R. Johnson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of kinesiology at Cornell College in Iowa. The more pumped you are, the easier it is to bounce back from inevitable setbacks and plateaus. The next time you’re dragging, partner with a faster friend for your usual four-mile run or opt for the advanced yoga class rather than the intermediate one.
Find a success story.
Sticking to a diet is easier if you have a friend who is in it with you, but teaming up with someone who has already met their health goals can be even more useful, says Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., author of The Beck Diet Solution. “A mentor can empathize, help you navigate potential pitfalls, and remind you of how good it feels to be in control of your body,” Beck says. Find a friend who fits the bill, follow hashtags to connect with others on social media, or join a group IRL, like WW.
Clean up your kitchen.
It might sound surprising but a messy house can interfere with your efforts to make healthy choices, says Peter Walsh, an organizational expert and author of It’s All Too Much. Plus, “an overflowing pantry or fridge makes it more likely that at mealtime you’ll opt for takeout or packaged food instead of digging around to see if you have healthy ingredients to cook,” Walsh explains. So clear the counters (so you have no excuse not to meal prep!) or clean out and restock your pantry and fridge with good-for-you picks-fruits, vegetables, lean meats, soups, and whole grains. It’s simple to whip up a quick, satisfying dinner when you know you’ve got tasty foods on hand. (Related: I Tried Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up Method-and It Had a Serious Impact On My Happiness)
Consider a new “healthy.”
Find yourself stuck at a certain weight for more than a month? It could be that you’re fighting an unnecessary battle. “You may want to be 130 pounds, but if you’re doing everything you can-watching portions and exercising-it may not be right for your body,” Gans says. Check in with other measures of health: Do you feel stronger? Happier? Are you sleeping more soundly? All of these can be good indicators that you’re right where you should be. (Read: How You’ll Know When You’ve Reached Your Goal Weight)
- By By Kenrya Rankin and Mike Roussell
- People who yo-yo diet are up to six times more likely to have low levels of muscle mass that those whose weights remain more constant, a new study published in the journal Obesity found.
- Losing and regaining as little as 6.6 pounds was enough to be considered yo-yo dieting, according to the study.
- Adding strength-training to your running routine can help build and maintain muscle mass, as well as prevent yo-yo dieting from occurring.
Starting in your 30s, you naturally begin to lose some degree of muscle mass and function—a process called sarcopenia—and sedentary people can lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass each decade.
That can have a serious ripple effect in terms of strength and function, and significantly raise your risk of disability.
But age and inactivity aren’t the only factors for upping your chances of sarcopenia. A new study suggests weight cycling—often called yo-yo dieting—can speed this process. Yo-yo diets were highlighted recently in a study showing lose-gain-lose bouts are tough on cardiovascular health, but now Italian researchers find they can affect muscle health as well.
In the new study, which was published in the journal Obesity, researchers looked at 60 men and 147 women, all classified as obese with an average body mass index (BMI) of 38, and a mean age of 52. They were categorized into three groups: non-weight cyclers, mild weight cyclers, and severe weight cyclers who had more than five weight cycles during their lives.
A weight cycle was defined as a voluntary loss—meaning it was done on purpose— of more than 6.6 pounds, followed by an involuntary weight regain of that same amount, within the same year.
Study participant muscle strength was evaluated with handgrip exercises and DEXA scans—which measures bone mineral density and percentage of lean muscle and fat mass.
Those in the severe group had nearly 4 times the increased risk of low muscle mass compared to the non-weight cycles using the scan data and 6 times more risk when considering handgrip strength.
Why would weight loss and regain be such a muscle zapper? It’s likely because of how the body puts that weight back on, according to said lead researcher Andrea Rossi, M.D., Ph.D., of the Healthy Aging Center at the University of Verona.
When you regain weight after losing it, you’re likely adding more fat than you had originally. That can be especially problematic for people who lose muscle when they lose weight—a situation that can happen with crash diets, for example, when weight is lost by significant caloric restriction. Regaining the weight doesn’t mean that muscle comes back—far from it. You’d still have the lower muscle mass, but you’re now adding fat back.
Fat mass can prevent amino acids from working efficiently within muscle, he said, and it can also reduce protein synthesis. So, your muscles aren’t getting what they need to maintain or build strength, and the result can be sarcopenia.
“The yo-yo effect is associated with an increase in fat mass, which is why it has unfavorable effects on heart health,” Rossi said. “But the main message with our research is that it is also a risk for loss of muscle, with important consequences on your level of autonomy.”
More yo-yo cycles put people at risk for a condition called sarcopenic obesity, he said, which is characterized by both low muscle mass and increased fat mass.
Further studies are needed to determine if the problems associated with repeated weight loss cycles can be made better by physical activity programs like strength training, added study co-author Mauro Zamboni, M.D., a professor at the University of Verona.
However, he noted, since their research indicated that the number of weight cycling episodes determined the loss of muscle strength and mass—the more you yo-yo, the worse the effect—it’s likely that taking on some kind of structured exercise program would be beneficial not just for building muscle, but also slowing the yo-yo.
“It’s reasonable to conclude that after weight cycling, adopting healthy lifestyle habits that combine diet with physical exercise and stable weight could have long-term benefits,” Zamboni said.
Rapidly losing and gaining weight could be dangerous if you have heart disease
Most people know that get-thin-quick diets don’t work and just lead to a cycle of weight gain and loss. But these schemes are not only ineffective — yo-yo dieting can raise the risk of dangerous health problems for people with coronary disease.
For a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at data from almost 10,000 men and women with coronary artery disease. All of the participants were between 35 and 75 and half were taking a drug to lower cholesterol.
Over the four years they were monitored, people who repeatedly gained and lost weight were more likely to have an entire slew of health problems. The group with the biggest weight changes had 124 percent more deaths than those whose weight remained the most stable. In addition, they had 117 percent more heart attacks and 136 percent more strokes.
It’s important to note it’s not clear that weight cycling actually causes the bad outcomes. Also, because they were looking at preexisting data from a different study, the researchers people didn’t know whether the subjects lost weight because they were sick or dieting or for any other reasons. That said, more than a third of Americans are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and half of them are trying to lose weight at any time. Because obesity itself puts people at risk for heart disease, it’s not uncommon for those with heart disease to be overweight.
Perhaps the most sobering thing about this study is that people in the “high-fluctuation” weight group didn’t even see the numbers budget that much, usually only about nine pounds. In contrast, to be in the group with the smallest shift in weight, your weight had to be almost entirely stable, changing by only about two pounds.
The 3-Day Fix to Supercharging Your Metabolism
When to wake up
Get a solid 8 hours of sleep
If you had a late night on Friday, spend Saturday morning catching up on some ZZZ’s.
When you don’t get enough sleep, this can disrupt the hormone balances in the body — which in turn slows down your metabolism and increases your risk for weight gain.
“Sleep deprivation is perceived by the body as an additional stressor — so cortisol goes up and testosterone drops,” says exercise physiologist and nutritional biochemist Shawn M. Talbott, PhD.
One study from the University of Chicago found that getting only 5.5 hours of sleep each night over a two-week period reduced fat loss by 55 percent.
According to Talbott, “People who get 6 hours versus 8 hours of sleep per night typically carry 5 to 15 pounds of extra belly fat.”
Get the most metabolism-boosting benefits from your sleep
Aim for at least 8 hours per night — and make sure those 8 hours are full of high-quality shut-eye.
“ that you get is as ‘high-quality’ as possible — meaning that you spend as much time in REM sleep, which rejuvenates the brain, and deep sleep, which restores the body,” says Talbott.
What to eat today
Don’t skip breakfast…
You might be tempted to run out the door in the morning, but if you want to keep your metabolism revving all day, make time for breakfast (and a workout!). “Eating breakfast fast tracks metabolism and keeps energy high all day,” says Lohre.
A recent 2018 study found that eating breakfast before exercising accelerates your metabolism post-workout.
… and have a Greek yogurt
Probiotics balance gut bacteria and help increase metabolism — so make sure to have a Greek yogurt (which is more concentrated and has higher levels of probiotics) with your breakfast.
To make sure you’re getting the right gut-balancing microorganisms with your breakfast, make sure your Greek yogurt says “contains active cultures” on the packaging.
(Yogurt not your thing? No worries! You can also get your morning probiotic boost with supplements.)
Benefits of probiotics“The bacteria in our guts influence numerous aspects of our metabolism, so having the ‘wrong’’ balance of bugs can lead to junk food cravings, blood sugar swings, and weight gain — while having the ‘right’ balance of bugs can lead to less sugar cravings and higher metabolic rate,” says Talbott.
What to do today
Work in a 20-minute strength-training circuit…
If you want to jumpstart your metabolism, a great way to do it is strength training. “Muscle building speeds up your metabolic rate for up to 2 hours after every 20-minute session,” says Lohre.
By doing a strength routine, you’ll build more muscle — and the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism.
“Building muscle will help you burn more calories even when you’re not moving — and the higher your muscle mass, the stronger your metabolic rate,” says Lohre.
If you want to strength train, you can definitely go old school and lift weights — but that’s not your only option! Doing body-weight exercises (like squats and planks) or hitting a TRX class is just as effective at building muscle as exercises like bicep curls.
… or get in some cardio
Now, if you’re not used to pumping iron, strength training could leave you feeling super sore.
But no worries! If you want to get in a metabolism-boosting workout, cardio can be just as effective. In fact, a 2011 study found that 45 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise increased metabolic rate for a whopping 14 hours post-workout.
To get your cardio in, you can hit the trails for a run, check out a spin class, swim some laps — anything that gets that heart rate up!
When to go to sleep
Get to sleep before midnight
You might be tempted to stay up late and catch up with your Netflix queue, but fight the urge! If you want to keep your metabolism revved up, you need to get at least 8 hours of sleep — so make sure your head hits the pillow before midnight.
Lost some weight doing HCG or some other very low calorie diet and now put on fat just looking at food? Your metabolism might be broken. Let’s fix it…
Every time I see someone promoting a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) as a lifestyle diet I just want to slap them in the greedy little faces. We once promoted it. We tried it and lost weight. Then we slapped ourselves in the impatient faces when we finished the diet and found we would put on fat eating a f*(n salad.
So we got fat and blamed ourselves. “Low self control,” we said.
Out came the whip of self loathing…
Jokes. We don’t do that shit. We don’t hate ourselves when we try something and fail!
That just doesn’t help. Instead, we educate ourselves. Which is what I’m going to do here for you. Save you the 5 years of yo-yo dieting we went through…
A very low calorie diet should only be done once in your life… ever. Unless you’re in the first 3 months post partum, you risk permanently shutting down your metabolism by repeatedly starving yourself.
If you’ve done a HCG diet before, then you should NEVER do it again. And if someone tells you to, especially if that someone profits from you (buying their magic woo-woo potion), run away and never buy anything from that low life, cash guzzling monster again.
NOTE: This post is not about doing HCG or a low calorie diet, it’s about what to do if you have done one and want to actually eat something again.
How to Know If Your Metabolism Is Broken
first, let’s quickly work out if your metabolism is running ineffectively…
Fill in the following form:
Scroll down to the bottom of the results, and you’ll see the following table:
Look for these three numbers
Your numbers will be different to the above ones, but whatever they are, you should be able to eat somewhere around this many calories every single day, without gaining or losing weight.
If your look at your calculated calories and think, “no way can I eat that much,” then your metabolism could be broken. So read on…
If you have no idea how much food that is, then get on over to the App MyFitnessPal (it’s free) and log your day’s food. Compare it to the numbers above and see where you’re at.
What A Broken Metabolism Feels Like
We just calculated what is called your “maintenance” calories. Every time you eat less than your maintenance calories, your body responds by dropping or slowing non essential processes, like reproduction, hair growth, muscle growth etc.
The most important thing for dieters is to be patient, diet as close to maintenance as you can, so you avoid any of the following:
- lethargy (always feeling tired)
- depression symptoms
- anger (short tempered)
- lack or complete loss of sex drive
- grey hair or hair loss
- illness (low immunity)
- the feeling that you need caffeine just to survive
- sore joints
What a broken metabolism feels like
What A Fixed Metabolism Feels Like
After years of fucking up my metabolism with the diet/binge roller coaster yo-yo, I just thought the feelings I had meant I was getting old. But since I fixed up my metabolism, I found that most of the problems I had were just little odd jobs my body was putting aside until the calories came rolling back in.
So if you have been doing the same diet-binge-diet-binge yoyo for a while, you’ll most likely feel like shit. I can tell you that once you correct your metabolism, you’ll experience some or all of the following:
- better skin (people will tell you this by saying you look “glowing” or “healthy”. what it means is that your body has enough energy to excrete the right oils onto the skin as well as replace the old dead skin, often clearing up eczema symptoms.
- Better mood. Being hungry makes people angry. It’s nature. Eating a whole lot more food without packing on fat feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
- Return of sex drive. You’ll feel it. You’ll definitely feel it. I’m convinced that the cliché of the frigid wife is just because women diet more than men. Many women who get a meal plan from us report that they become really horny after a couple of weeks.
- athleticism. You’ll just feel more athletic. Not old any more. I guess you could say you feel youthful again. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “I feel better now than I did in my early 20’s.”
- energetic and healthy. With sufficient calories and nutrition, your body responds by making you feel “alive” and energetic. Caffeine becomes obsolete, and illness becomes a thing of the past.
- Fat loss. This is a funny one. If you increase your metabolism, you reduce body fat, while eating even more than you did before. This alone should be reason to fix your metabolism.
What It Feels Like To Have a Fixed Metabolism
imagine being able to eat so much more food that you never feel hungry, and still lose weight? It is possible. It’s why top fitness models can stay lean year round. Read on to find out how you can too…
The 3 Week Metabolism Fix
Alright, you know your metabolism is stuffed and you’d like to eat way more without becoming Jabba the Hut, so let’s do it, in 3 easy weeks.
Step 1: Eat Above Maintenance For 2 Weeks Minimum*
go back up and see what your maintenance calories are. Eat at or above your maintenance calories to give your body the signal that the famine has ended. Good times are here and they’re here to stay.
Make sure you eat early and don’t skip meals. Don’t let yourself feel hungry ever during the 2 weeks.
*It’s not a free for all junk fest. In this 2 weeks, ensure you eat a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as meat. Try to steer clear of addictive foods or over processed foods. The additives in them can mess with your metabolism dramatically. So stick to eating a healthy balanced diet, and making sure you eat a lot of it.
You WILL gain weight. But that’s not because this process isn’t working, its because the diets you’ve been doing have broken your metabolism. Your body needs to regenerate organ tissue, blood, hair, brain matter and all the other things it’s been putting off for so long. The weight gain won’t be only fat, it will be necessary weight.
Spend 3 weeks getting it back and you’ll be set to lose fat on more calories than you can currently stomach.
Step 2: Eat Just Below Maintenance For A Week
For the third week, drop calories below maintenance, but no more than say a 500 calorie per day deficit, otherwise you risk undoing your good work.
It’s actually really healthy to eat just a bit less than maintenance.
Step 3: Carb Cycle
I’m sure you would have noticed people talk about carb cycling. Carb cycling done right will prevent the downregulation of your metabolism, and in most cases, force upregulation – you can eat more and still lose fat.
There are two ways you can do this.
Two ways to carb cycle:
fixed diet plan
2 days low carb, 1 day high carb or 3 days low carb, 1 day high carb
low carb until you hit ketosis (See ketones, then have a carb load (refeed) meal.
The first method is a fixed diet plan – 2 days low carb/low cal and 1 day high carb/high cal. Or something like this. But we’re not a fan of “one size fits all” dieting, so we prefer a tailored approach, specific to you.
Doing this may seem a little more work, but you’ll benefit by being responsible for your own results. Something most people don’t want to do. It’s important to remember though, you have no vested interest in your diet other than your own success.
How to optimise your carb cycling
Firstly, buy from the chemist something called Ketostix – you put them in your pee and they will tell you if your body is producing ketones.
Ketones in the blood mean that you are burning fat, yes, but this is because you have run out of useable carbohydrates.
This is the alarm bell for your body to downregulate non-essential processes, the result being homeostasis, but for you, the dieter, that means a plateau. To lose weight, you’ll need to then diet harder. You’ll eat even less and the down regulation happens again.
Worse still, if you go back to your original maintenance calories, your body will take a bit of time to upregulate – the excess calories consumed will be stored as fat.
This is the diet trap most people find themselves in – their bodies have become efficient. Only using consumed energy for essential processes – storing the rest for better times.
But remember that efficient doesn’t mean healthy. A lot of processes are just not getting any energy and therefore not working. If you have been dieting on and off for a few years, I’d suggest first taking about 2 weeks of eating LOTS of NUTRITIOUS food. Not a junk fest, but eating LOTS.
If your head is starting to hurt, just click here and we’ll do the grunt work for you.
Back to carb cycling.
What is important is that there is a bit of lag between states – diet hard and a few days later, the process is downregulated. Eat lots and a few days later the processes are upregulated – business as normal.
So keep checking your ketone levels – normal is zero. You’re not meant to have ketones. Ketones are a survival mechanism. For a week, check them 2 or 3 times a day (don’t worry ketostix are really affordable). Try and see how long it takes you, while dieting, to produce ketones.
AS SOON AS YOU SEE A CHANGE, you need to eat carbs.
But not just any carbs – carbs that have glucose, not fructose. Remember that fructose doesn’t affect the hormones the way you want them to. Now, how many grams of carbohydrate is up to you.
Carb cycling results (body weight vs body fat) with a mass gain and fat loss diet plan
The severity of upregulation depends on the type and quantity of carbs consumed. Eating high glucose, high GI carbs will force upregulation nearly straight away. You’ll notice this on your ketostix.
Another great indicator that you have upregulated is that you poo lots. Your body believes food is in surplus so flushes out the excess (the opposite happens when you’re restricting calories).
I start the carb refeed by eating bananas. I know there is a little fructose in them, but the greener, the more glucose. AND bananas have so many other health benefits. I blend 2 bananas with a tablespoon of cacao powder, wait 20 minutes and see if that has changed my ketone levels.
when on a fat loss diet, we sometimes carb cycle with pasta made from zucchini. It’s low calorie, so you can really stuff yourself on it.
If not, I will have a bowl of oats with rice malt syrup, water and a protein powder (I add the protein because one of the benefits of high GI carbs is insulin, which promotes better storage – I want my body to take up the protein.).
Realistically, you can eat any high GI carb you want, I know some people who eat lollies (candy). Some would argue that they are better for upregulation, since they are mostly glucose.
High GI carbs can make you hungry as hell too. You don’t want a carb load to become an all day feeding frenzy. So choose your carbs wisely. I don’t like grains, sugar or dairy, so I stay off them as a blanket rule for overall health reasons. I choose carbs that will carry an ancillary benefit, like sweet potato, pumpkin, quinoa – they give you that full gut feeling, psychological break and good nutrition.
You can feel like you’ve come off your diet, but not blown it. I also like to make banana bread with banana flour. It’s a resistant starch – really good for you and for digestion.
The trick then is this:
When you see ketones, do a conditioning workout (gut busting, lung burning, heart rate lifting workout that lasts up to 15 minutes). The FitDad or FitMum programs are all about this.
As soon as you’re finished the workout, have your carb feed – this will ensure that the carbs you do eat are taken up by the muscles and the liver – not converted to fat.
Test your ketones and add more carbs until ketone levels are 0 again. As you progress, your metabolism will lift and you will be able to eat quite a lot of carbs, which is very exciting!
How much food in a refeed?
This is a very confusing thing for people, but it’s actually very, very simple. Just eat AT LEAST the difference between your diet calories and your maintenance. So if you are dieting at 500kCal less than maintenance, then eat at least 500kCal of carbs for your refeed meal.
maintenance cal – diet cal = refeed cal (at least)
It’s that simple.
Other things to think about
Save the big lifts for carb day
If you’re restricting calories, especially if you’re restricting carbs, big workouts just don’t have the same punch – so I program the biggest workouts (squats) for carb day.
The night of carb load, try to put the carbs to use – doing legs at the gym is best I find. Nothing upregulates metabolism like heavy squats. I used squats every third day to gain muscle, but keep fat low.
Save muscles with HIIT
Do conditioning (HIIT) workouts 2 to 5 times a week and remind your body that it needs to keep muscle tissue by strength training in the gym at least one night a week.
Avoid jogging, but walking is great
Better cardiovascular fitness is essential to slowing the severity of downregulation.
But, I would avoid traditional cardio (like running or cycling etc) anything above say 20 minutes will force your body to become more efficient so that it can stay in homeostasis (sounds counterintuitive, but think about it for a bit longer…).
walking is a great exercise for fat loss without any downregulation, or muscle loss.
2 days low carb minimum
You should be able to last about 2 days between carb refeeds. Initially this may be less. If you can’t last this long, then you need to increase daily calories by bumping up carbs and/or fat.
Some people like to do a depletion day (or a few). This means continuing with low carb/low cal for a few days once you’re producing ketones. This is OK if you can still train at intensity, some people are good with ketones, some not.
It has been proven that when in ketosis, we consume 60% protein and only 40% fat. You can reduce this through strength training, but I just don’t like those numbers.
The holy grail of dieting
Carb cycling properly will actually increase your maintenance metabolism higher than it was before. Your body will essentially be allowed to do more stuff (which in turn means you will be healthier) and the big plus is that you get to eat way more than you are right now, while still losing body fat.
That’s the holy grail of dieting right there!
If you want us to create a customised carb cycling meal plan individualised to you and your needs, then go here:
It is a common thought among the fitness and health industry that yo-yo dieting can lower your metabolism. Yo-yo dieters’ weight is constantly going up and down. Either yo-yo dieters are on a diet losing weight, or they are gaining it all back. Does this pattern sound familiar?
The science reasoning
When someone goes on a reduced calorie diet and/or loses weight, metabolism slows down. This can be especially apparent when someone goes on a diet with an unrealistic low calorie amount.
Weight loss efforts may be sabotaged because the body becomes more efficient by slowing down the calorie burn; the exact opposite of what you are trying to do.
The body is actually brilliant when doing this. Imagine if you are forced into a situation where you are in starvation. You would want your body to not burn as many calories so you can prolong your survival rate. This reaction may be similar to going on a very low calorie diet. This is one reason health professionals recommend to stay above 1,000-1,200 calories per day.
Health professionals assume when someone is constantly lowering their metabolism then bringing it back up (when diet is returned to normal) that this cycling may negatively impact metabolism by lowering it in general. So if someone is or has constantly gone through the yo-yo weight cycle, some may say their metabolism is now “shot”.
Maybe a bright side
If you or someone you know has been caught in the yo-yo cycle, there may not be as much reason to fear as once thought. Researchers in a 2013 study from Metabolism put the yo-yo dieting and metabolism busting to test.
Over 400 post-menopausal women were put into 3 different groups- non weight cyclers, moderate weight cyclers and severe weight cyclers based on how much their weight has fluctuated over the years.
The non- weight cyclers weighed significantly less than the moderate and severe weight cyclers to begin with. These three groups were randomly put into different groups for weight loss for 1 year-
- Aerobic exercise
- Diet and exercise
- Control group (no regulated diet or exercise)
Researchers found after the weight loss period that there was no significant difference between the non-weight cyclers and moderate or severe weight cyclers with losing weight in the diet and/or exercise groups. This study suggests, at least for post-menopausal women, that women who have been on a yo-yo cycle with weight can still lose weight as well as women who have not weight cycled.
This suggests even if weight yo-yo cyclers’ metabolism has gotten off track with diet cycling, the results may just be temporary and may not affect weight loss efforts in the future.
Increase your metabolism
Maybe you feel stuck or that whatever you do, you can’t lose weight. If you have been stuck in a cycle of yo-yo back and forth with weight, here are some tips to help increase your metabolism.
Exercise consistently. This is not a new concept for weight loss. However, the metabolic changes that happen in the body with exercise can help your body become better at using fat as a fuel. It can also help keep your muscle mass up which can increase metabolism.
Change up your exercise. If you’ve done the same exercise routine for years and struggling to get the scale to change, change it up. Moderate exercise (you can carry on a conversation while exercising) burns the highest percentage of fat calories, but high intensity (you don’t want to talk while exercising) burns higher total calories. Both can benefit weight loss and keeping metabolism high.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for general health adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week OR 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week plus 2 days of muscle strengthening activities. However, you may need to do more than this amount for weight loss efforts or to maintain your weight. Sometimes we just need to get MORE movement even if we already exercise.
Eat protein at every meal and snack. Protein burns the highest amount of calories for digestion and absorption, and it can help us feel satisfied the longest. Have a protein source with every meal to help boost your metabolism.
Protein sources can be lean meats, low fat dairy, nuts or nut butters, legumes or soy based food. See also how to eat more protein without meat.
Eat whole, unprocessed foods. This simple tip can help bump up your metabolism. When eating foods high in refined carbohydrates, we may be more apt to store them. Our body may utilize the calories different from unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains compared to the same amount of calories coming from things like sweetened pre-packaged foods.
Yo-yo dieting may alter your metabolism while you’re going up and down in your weight. However, any impairment on your metabolism from this may just be temporary. Until more is known about this exact process, simple changes in your exercise routines and eating habits may help get your metabolic rate back on track.