Studies show that calorie restriction can reduce your metabolism
Studies show that weight loss reduces the number of calories you burn. According to one large review, this amounts to 5.8 calories per day for each pound lost, or 12.8 calories per kilogram. However, this largely depends on how fast you lose weight. Slow and gradual weight loss due to mild calorie restriction does not reduce the number of calories you burn to the same extent. For example, if you were to lose 50 pounds (22.7 kg) quickly, your body would end up burning 290.5 fewer calories per day. What’s more, the reduction in calorie expenditure can be much greater than what is predicted by changes in weight. In fact, some studies show that losing and maintaining 10% of body weight can reduce calories burned by 15–25%. This is one reason why weight loss tends to slow over time, as well as why it’s so difficult to maintain a reduced weight. You may need to eat fewer calories indefinitely. Keep in mind that this metabolic “slowdown” may be even greater in some groups that have a hard time losing weight, such as postmenopausal women.
Muscle mass tends to decrease
Another side effect of losing weight is that muscle mass tends to decrease. Muscle is metabolically active and burns calories around the clock. However, the reduction in calorie expenditure is greater than what can be explained by a reduction in muscle mass alone. The body becomes more efficient at doing work, so less energy than before is required to do the same amount of work. Therefore, calorie restriction makes you expend fewer calories to perform physical activity.
How to avoid the metabolic slowdown
A reduced metabolic rate is simply a natural response to reduced calorie intake. Although some reduction in calorie burning may be inevitable, there are a number of things you can do to mitigate the effect.
- Lift Weights
- Keep Protein High
- Take a break from your diet might help/ Taking Breaks – Some people like to routinely include refeeds, which involve taking a break from their diet for a few days. On these days, they may eat slightly above maintenance, then continue with their diet a few days later.
A weight loss plateau can be caused by many things
When you first attempt to lose weight, you may experience rapid results. In the beginning weeks and months, weight loss can occur quickly and without much effort. However, things may slow after that. In some cases, weight loss slows so much that many weeks can go by without any noticeable movement on the scale. However, a weight loss plateau can have many different causes (and solutions), and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t losing weight. For example, water retention can often give the impression of a weight loss plateau.