If you want to repair your metabolism after yo-yo dieting, this article will show you how to boost your metabolism and lose weight.
Do you suspect that your metabolism is stopping you from losing weight? This may be true, especially if you’ve been yo-yo dieting over the years.
Research shows that repeatedly losing weight and gaining it back can damage metabolism. Luckily, yo-yo dieting doesn’t damage metabolism permanently. You can fix your metabolism and lose weight no matter how many crash diets you’ve tried.
But before I show you how to repair metabolism after yo-yo dieting realize that you can still lose weight even when your metabolism slows down. In the famous Minnesota starvation experiment, participants continued to lose weight for 6 months even after their metabolism slowed down.
Don’t assume that a wrecked metabolism is the only reason you’re not losing weight. Beware of habits that hinder weight loss like underestimating calories, using too much cooking oil, drinking sugary beverages and so on.
That said, it’s still important to repair your metabolism as it’ll help you lose weight faster and prevent weight loss plateaus.
How to repair metabolism after yo-yo dieting
1. Increase your calorie intake
Prolonged low-calorie diets do more than damage your metabolism, they cause hormonal imbalance, lower sex drive, and make you feel tired all day.
To avoid all these negative side effects, you need to increase your calorie intake. Now, I’m not saying that you should eat as much as you want – you still have to maintain a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
I’m simply saying you maintain a low-calorie deficit, about 300 calories below your BMR. If you don’t know your BMR go here to calculate it.
To make up for the low-calorie deficit you’ll need to become more active and exercise regularly.
2. Take diet breaks
The truth is, maintaining a low-calorie deficit will also slow down your metabolism. To keep the metabolic slowdown minimal, take 1-week diet breaks after every 12 weeks.
During the diet break, increase your calorie to maintenance (the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight).
This study found that not only do diet breaks repair metabolism, they regulate leptin (hunger hormone) levels and make it easier to maintain calorie deficit after the diet break.
3. Eat nutrient dense foods
Nutrient dense foods are vital for repairing a damaged metabolism. Veggies, fruits, fatty fish, and so on contain nutrients that balance hormones and fight inflammation, and as a result repair metabolism.
I may also note that nutrient-dense foods are very filling and low in calories, making them the perfect food for weight loss.
4. Do strength training
Running on the treadmill every day doesn’t do much for your metabolism. It’s best to focus on strength training if you want to repair your metabolism.
Strength training boosts metabolism during and after a workout. More importantly, it increases muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.
The fastest way to increase muscle mass is to focus on full body exercises.
5. Go easy on the cardio
Cardio is good for burning stubborn fat. But overdoing it can cause muscle loss, especially when on a calorie deficit.
Limit your cardio sessions to 30 minutes.
HIIT workouts will give you better results since they boost metabolism and increase muscle mass. Try hill sprints if there are hills in your neighborhood.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep-deprivation slows down metabolism and eventually causes weight gain. In fact, Swedish researchers found that losing sleep for a single night can slow metabolism and expand your waistline.
Make sure you get at least 7 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep every night. Use these tips if you have sleeping problems. If they don’t work, seek advice from a health practitioner.
7. Eat enough healthy fats
Increasing fat intake can help repair metabolism after yo-yo dieting. Avocados, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, and coconut oil help balance hormones and improve metabolic function.
Be keen not to overeat fats since they’re high in calories.
8. Keep changing your workouts
When we do the same exercises repeatedly, the body gets used to them. When this happens, we start burning fewer calories than before and muscle growth slows down.
Changing your workouts after every 4-6 weeks will prevent this. Add new exercises to your routine or start training with a weighted vest.
9. Drink lots of water
Did you know that water temporarily boosts metabolism? According to research, drinking half a liter of water can boost your metabolism by up to 30 percent for one and half hours.
This means drinking water throughout the day can keep your metabolism elevated.
As I’ve said many times before, drinking water before meals can prevent overeating and help you lose more weight.
10. Add more protein to your diet
Have you heard of the thermic effect of food? This is the amount of energy our bodies use to process the food we eat. Eating foods with high thermic effect boosts metabolism.
Well, protein has a higher thermic effect of food than fats and carbs. And as you may know, eating enough protein promotes muscle growth if you do strength training.
11. Avoid crash diets
It’s no secret that crash diets damage metabolism. Additionally, it’s virtually impossible to follow them long term since they’re too restrictive.
Follow eating habits you can stick to long-term. I usually recommend getting most of your calories from plant-based foods and eating enough healthy fats and protein. Processed foods should make up less than 20 percent of your diet.
12. Avoid overtraining
Even though exercise is important, overdoing it can sabotage your efforts. You have to give your body time to rest and recover.
Don’t train from Monday to Monday, rest at least 2 days a week.
Anyone can repair metabolism after yo-yo dieting, it doesn’t matter how many crash diets you’ve tried.
Increasing muscle mass will boost your metabolism more than anything else. And this is true for women too. So make sure you add strength training to your routine.
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