At this point in your fitness journey, you may have heard the term "METABOLIC “DAMAGE”
You may have heard this term before. Well guess what? It’s FAKE NEWS. Though admittedly there was once a time I thought metabolic “damage” was a thing... after adequate research, I’ve found that metabolism get “damaged”, it simply ADAPTS.
We know that weight loss and weight gain are a matter of energy balance [calories in vs. calories out]. Well energy IN is quite a bit simpler than energy OUT. We burn calories from:
• RMR: what you burn each day at rest just to live (~ 60% of your “out”)
• TEE: the number of calories you burn by eating, digesting, & processing food (~5-10% of your “out”)
• PA: the calories you burn from intentional exercise (% of “out” depends on how much energy you expend during exercise)
• NEAT: the calories you burn through activity other than exercise like moving, fidgeting, standing, etc (% of “out” depends on how much energy you expend during daily activity)
NOW, the thing is, you can’t outsmart these systems. Our metabolisms job is to keep us alive and functioning. This means, when “energy in” decreases, “energy out” decreases to match it. This means your body BURNS less in response to you EATING less.
You see, the metabolism doesn’t get damaged, it simply adapts. It learns to function on what you’re feeding it to conserve energy (calories) as much as possible. This is a mechanism to keep you alive. Your body isn’t fighting you, it’s helping you survive.
This is why weight loss often slows down while you’re dieting and why in some cases it can even lead to weight re-gain.
While I’ve certainly simplified things a bit, this process is pretty complex and has a lot of moving parts! That being said, I hope I’ve cleared things up a bit!