For years you have tried various very low calorie diets and restriction to achieve weight loss, and to no avail. It seems despite the decrease in intake and several hours in gym, your weight still was not dropping as you would have anticipated. With these severe habits, it’s likely that it never really resulted in great weight loss and when it did, you may have found that you gained it back in no time at all.
What actually is happening is related to your metabolism regulating hormones. As you take in less and less, your body’s hormones, such as thyroid and leptin, begin to drop in an effort to create homeostasis in the body. At the same time the muscle tissue begins to break down and be used for energy (which will lead to an even slower, more depressed metabolism).
this slowing of your metabolism can turn into a vicious cycle.
So is it possible to fix this broken metabolism:
Let’s start with exercise, taper it to about 3-5 days a week, maximum, with an hour at a time – as a maximum. Really, 30-45 minute workouts are more than enough. Keep in mind that resistance and weight training is the best way to enhance metabolism, while cardio workouts should be considered secondary and can be added in as part of the 3-4 day regimen, but a combination is best.
The next step is to look at your caloric intake, and be prepared to increase this slowly. It is important to take this slow as to not gain weight back too rapidly, which will discourage you and may lead to another cycle of restricting your intake. Try to calculate how many calories you are taking in and add about 50-100 calories a week. The goal will be to have added about 500 calories after the course of a few weeks.
Author (Dr Abhishek katakwar) is a bariatric & metabolic surgeon based at Asian institute of gastroenterology, Hyderabad.