How to Fix Metabolic Damage in the Body?

How to Fix Metabolic Damage in the Body?

Metabolic damage, weight loss resistance, and starvation mode are just two other names to describe a slow metabolism. Young people, as well as athletes, are finding it hard to lose body fat and weight. It seems near impossible to lose weight even after doing much training and following diets. 

The best possible way to lose weight goes through food intake and exercise. The human body is designed in such a way that it understands the importance of calories and the nutrient value of food. Additionally, it also understands the concept of burning fat as fuel for exercises without even getting proper intake.

The metabolism works efficiently when the calorie intake and energy expenditure are in balance. To fix impaired metabolic damage, we must first understand the metabolism. 

Understanding the Metabolism

Girl doing bicep curl in the gym

Getting to know about how metabolism work in the body can help to prevent metabolic damage. Below are some key terms to understand metabolism. 

Resting metabolic rate {RMR}: It is the rate at which the body burns calories (energy) while we are at rest (doing nothing).

Basal metabolic rate {BMR}: It is the same as an RMR. It is the rate at which the body burns calories while the body is at rest. In simple words, 45-65% of the calories are provided by BMR as the daily body requirements. The daily required energy for optimal body functioning is different for both males and females, depending upon the intensity of activity and age. The average energy requirement for adult females is approx 1500-2300 calories, and it is 2000-3000 for adult males.

Activity energy expenditure {AEE}: It is the rate at which the body spends energy (calories) while any physical work such as playing sports or exercises. The rate can range from 20% to 50%, depending upon the sedentary lifestyle of a person. 

Thermic effect of food {TEF}: It is the rate of calories which is required to digest & absorb the food, and to distribute the nutrients to the body. It accounts for nearly 10-20% of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Physical activity, age, and meal composition, frequency, and timing can influence the thermic effect of food. Protein foods require more energy expenditure.

Basics of metabolism

Some factors can affect metabolism, such as food consumption and intensity of exercise. Studies have revealed that calorie-restricted meal plans can slow down metabolism. 

You may be surprised to know that even eating food can lower the energy levels as it is used for the digestion process. Insufficient intake of calories and the thermic energy expenditure together can lead the body to starvation mode.  

Increasing the intensity of training can also affect metabolism. If you are taking only enough food to support the basal metabolic rate and less for the physical activities, it can adversely affect the body. Our body requires energy/calories for workouts specifically. (Source). Our metabolism cannot provide sufficient energy for the exercises until and unless we intake enough calories. 

Losing weight can also affect metabolism. Whenever the body loses the fat, it tries to maintain the balance back, and this process is known as homeostasis. Decreasing body fat is beneficial, but it must not be done too fast. We must give our body enough time to adjust to this fat loss. It is recommended to lose half kg to 1.36 kg per week to prevent impairing the metabolism.

A quick weight reduction can harm metabolism. Due to this sudden weight loss, the body tries to re-achieve balance by decreasing the thyroid levels and lowering the nervous system function. Restricting the calorie intake and increasing the exercise intensity can affect nervous system functions and healthy thyroid levels.   

Stress hormones can also affect metabolism. When there is low-calorie intake and increased exercise intensity, the body increases cortisol and reduces testosterone. Studies revealed that stress hormones could slow the metabolism and affect the potential to lose weight.  

While we try to reduce body fat, we try many different weight loss techniques that may lead to metabolic damage. Due to this, the body tries to save fat and uses muscle tissue for energy demands. So it is recommended not to seek to lose fat quickly rather than try to fix metabolic damage first.

The body is designed in such a manner that it tries to store fats for critical conditions and to have sufficient energy to function properly. So when we try to reduce fat, the body attempts to maintain the balance because that is how it is meant to work.

Why Metabolic Damage Happens?

More fat storage than required can make us feel to reduce it quickly. We try to do it as quickly as possible without considering the proper methods to decrease body fat. We do not think about the metabolic function and try to lose weight fast. 

The first thing people do is that they start to eat less to reduce calorie intake. An adult male requires nearly 2900 calories/day, and a female requires almost 2200 calories. But to lose weight, a male may eat only 1700 calories, and the woman may reduce her calorie intake down to 1300 calories.

To burn fat, people add cardio exercises to their already vigorous programs. In the early phase of the program, it might have achieved a significant amount of weight loss, and this can increase the determination.

But after a while, people reach their weight loss plateau. That means there is no weight loss similar to the earlier weeks. So always be patient and if it happens you must try to fix the metabolic damage first.

What Is The Reason Behind This?

Now the fat is not reducing as it was in the beginning. Why has the fat stopped shedding? 

To fix this issue, people choose to cut even more carbohydrates and fats. Now the body adjusts itself to maintain the fat storage by not losing any fat anymore. As this happens, people take desperate measures, including adding more cardio training. 

As time passes by, a person does not see any improvements in fat loss, and now the body stops to respond to the weight loss methods.

How to Fix Metabolic Damage?

Due to all those desperate efforts to lose weight, it leads to metabolic damage. But there are steps to reset metabolism and fix a slow metabolism. 

The first thing one must do is to give rest to the body for metabolism to achieve its natural form. Try to eat less and do fewer exercises for the initial phase for three to four weeks. Lightweight training, cycling, or walking can be done without getting exhausted. Also, consult your physician to know the steps for metabolic adaptation. 

Once the body gets to feel better and has more energy, you can slowly try to incorporate the proper methods of weight loss. 

Do not expect to lose fat drastically. This is a process that must be followed correctly with patience. Aim for approx half kg to 1.36 kg per week. It is a long term process not to make the body starve as the effects of starvation can lead to slow or fast metabolism, finally resulting in impaired metabolism.

A slow weight loss process allows the body to adjust itself and prevents the risk of losing muscles. Make sure to try to boost the metabolism as it is near to impossible to lose weight with a slow metabolism. 

Start by making little changes to the calorie intake. Add complex carbohydrates in the diet and cut back on the excessive cardio- sessions. With small changes, the body can adapt itself and can provide better results. 

Increased exercises combined with less calorie intake can disturb metabolism. Allow the body to adapt to the reduced calorie intake and stress due to increased physical activity. 

Carbohydrates can boost metabolism by triggering a fat-burning hormone known as leptin. High leptin levels can boost energy output. So if carbs are reduced, it can lower leptin levels & decrease their function.

The proper amount of fat intake is vital for hormone function, including testosterone. Testosterone hormone helps to boost metabolism and fat-burning power. Cutting off fats from the diet can increase body fat and can affect body functions.

A Few Tips For a Healthy & Balanced Metabolism

  • Do not try to lose weight in a short period of time.
  • Aim for half kg to 1.20 kg of fat loss per week.
  • Do not eliminate carbohydrates from the diet, instead reduce the quantity. 
  • Fat consumption is vital for fat burning & hormone function.
  • A moderate amount of healthy fats can promote metabolic function.
  • Try to maintain a healthy & balanced weight throughout your life.


Taking desperate measures to lose weight can result in impaired metabolism. To fix a metabolic damage eat healthily and exercise in a proper moderate way for the best results.

Read more: Keto Diet to Loose Fat Quickly


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Manoj Datic