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Slow metabolism. What am I doing wrong?

You often claim that your metabolism is slower comparing to other people because you are short or very tall, old or very young. But let's see what really happens.

Metabolism involves all the biochemical processes involved in the production and release of energy (the conversion of energy into food). It is divided into two parts, catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism provides energy while anabolism absorbs energy. But an important factor for this is the food. Think of a car. In order to drive it for a few kilometers, you need fuel. Without it, it stops halfway. The same happens with the human metabolism. If there is no fuel (food), its efficiency decreases.

For a healthy adult, the basal metabolism is about 1200 to 1600 calories per day. However, there are some things that can reduce the number of calories your body burns in "maintenance" mode or slow down your metabolism.

1. Sudden weight loss. The smaller the body, the fewer calories one needs daily. So if you go out with your friend who is taller than you and you both eat the same amount of food, guess who will be the one who is going to wake up with a slightly bigger number on the scales the next day. (Do not stress, it is not extra weight. You can not gain weight within a night).

2. Strict diet - Excessive calorie restriction. Excessive calorie restriction for more than a few days can also affect your metabolism and this is not necessarily accompanied by weight loss. It can lead to the plateau effect, the stabilization of weight for reasons of self-preservation of the body's health levels. Our body is in a S.O.S. mode because it believes that it will not receive food for a long time and it stores energy as fat "for an emergency".

3. Loss of muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active of bones and fat. So, when you lose muscle tissue, your metabolism slows down and unfortunately, you do not lose actual weight. This is especially true with rapid weight loss (chemical diets, keto diets) where you can lose a lot of muscle tissue other than fat.

4. "I grow up". We also tend to lose muscle mass or muscle quality as we get older, which leads to a slower metabolism. As a result, we generally need fewer calories over time.

In conclusion, you can not eat the same amount of food as you used to do it in the past. You can not eat the same amount of food with your friends and complain that "they eat and do not gain weight." Do not go on exhausting diets because summer is around the corner and do not skip meals.

Have 5-6 small meals, with fruit or nuts for snack and combine your lunch and dinner with a bowl of salad.

Tania L.

ISSA Certified Personal Trainer

ISSA Certified Nutritionist.

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