Will Eating Less Damage Metabolism?
Gaining and losing fat can change the way your brain regulates your body weight. Why do you get energy to stay alive and move around? This source of energy comes from food, as well as stored energy in the body, most of it from your fat tissue. Body composition are made up of tissues available for use in energy breakdown, which are fat, muscle, organ and bone.
Body composition is influenced by a myriad of factors like hormone levels, protein food intake, exercise type/ frequency and intensity, as well as age, gender, medication, genetics and more. IT IS NO DOUBT, a really complicated equation and sometimes, expectation and reality of weight gain and weight loss is unexplainable.
No matter what, “EAT LESS, MOVE MORE” is always a good start! So, you ask, does LOSING WEIGHT DAMAGE METABOLISM? ANSWER IS NO. How calorie-burning mechanism in the body work is affected by several factors, one of them is the resting metabolic rate (amount of calories you burn while at rest). A bigger body burns more calories when doing the same form of exercise, as compared to another with a smaller body build/ weight. Eating also helps in burning calories - More calories are burned when more heat is generated in the body in an effort to digest and absorb protein and carbs as compared to the process of digestion and absorption of fats which burn lesser calories.
However, during the process of weight loss, the body becomes more sensitive to various hormones. Reducing calorie consumption from food, may cause hunger hormones to increase, causing us to crave and eat more, leading to weight regain. Other than that, cortisol from stress of dieting may also cause the body to retain more water, making us feel “less lean” than we actually are.
Then, You May Wonder What Can You Do To Lose Fat and Keeping It Off?
1). Eat sufficient protein that maintains muscles, tissues and organs, and it increases satiety causing you to eat less overall. For men, eat a minimum of 6 palm-sized servings per day, while for women, it’s about 4 palm-sized servings per day.
2). Minimise on processed foods as the highly processed foods are less filling, higher in calories and burn fewer calories in the digestive process as compared to natural forms of whole food. For example, consuming peanut butter vs peanuts, researchers found that almost 38% of fat in peanuts were excreted, rather than absorbed by the body. Whereas, seemingly all the fat in the peanut butter was absorbed.
3). Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. For vegetables, it is recommended to eat 6 – 8 fist-sized servings per day for men, while 4 – 6 fist-sized servings for women.
4). Aim for 3 – 5 hours a week for a mixture of resistance, cardio and recovery activity. Resistance training helps to maintain muscle mass and improve glucose tolerance. Cardio activities burn calories and expends energy. While recovery activity like walking and yoga helps maintain intensity, decrease stress by lowering cortisol which helps to lose body fat. When you intentionally move more, you will also expend more energy through your physical activities.
5). Experiencing a plateau in your weight loss regime? Research found that it is always due to an intermittent lack of diet adherence, rather than metabolic adaptations, as we usually think that we’re already eating less and exercising more, than what we truly are doing. So, it is wise to always review your food intake by watching your food diary every now and then.