If you feel like your metabolism is doomed, it’s broken, it’s damaged forever, or that you have metabolic damage and you’re afraid it’s too late to fix…
Well, you’re not alone in feeling this but also know you can heal the metabolism and get it back to working full speed.
If you’re experiencing a lowered metabolism or what you think as a “broken” metabolism, fearing that your case is unique in that you’ve ruined your body forever… what’s going on in your body has adapted.
So it’s not just your metabolism either, apart of your metabolism is also your hormones, so your thyroid, and reproductive hormones, that slowly go down. They go very low and often even shut down and turn off altogether.
Fortunately, you can fix this, and in this article (or watch the video below), we’re going to go over what’s happening to your metabolism and how you can fix it.
So with the metabolism rising and healing, your hormones will also stabilize and heal as the metabolism and hormone production are intertwined. All systems will begin to function properly as the body comes out of a state of malnourishment and into more of a balance that still fluctuates! Which is normal.
First, we must understand that:
…we end up lowering our metabolism as a result.
The metabolism adapts.
So when we finally eat a bit more [because we typically get very hungry and binge at some point during a restrictive diet], each time we eat more and allow our body to rest finally,
our body holds on to everything it can as it’s in survival mode, trying to conserve for the prolonged starvation, famine, or lack of energy and extra energy expenditure (exercise).
If you’re coming from this place of restrictive eating and/or excessive exercise, pretty much all you need right now — is to eat!
And it would be best if you ate a lot. You need to feed your body and nourish your body to get your metabolism to rise again.
Your body needs to sense that it is having an abundance of energy coming inconsistently, and therefore it can slowly begin to raise the metabolism again. You need to:
So if you’re someone who diets and eats a very low amount of calories and you spend most of your time on the elliptical or treadmill or run or cycle miles and miles every dang day or do hours and hours of cardio in some way...
..and you can’t seem to lose any more weight, or you feel your metabolism is low, well, this is common as well,
the metabolism will adapt by lowering the metabolism for these people too.
You should highly consider and strive to back off the heavy amounts of cardio. This can suppress and lower the metabolism, especially when the mindset of guilt or shame is driving it.
An example of this is you think:
“oh I need to do this cardio to earn my calories to be able to eat” or
“I have to exercise to purge the calories I ate last night because I feel so guilty and bad for eating so unhealthy” or
“I have to exercise even though I hate the treadmill because I don’t want to gain weight because I hate my body.”
These habitual thoughts can be just as harmful as a physical restriction or starvation, keeping the body and brain stuck and unable to heal or balance out.
Again, if you are extremely depleted and have not spent a good while in diet recovery, you still haven’t got your period back, you still face extreme hunger all the time – you obviously should not be working out at all if you want to heal your metabolism.
You need to take a break from exercise altogether or at least cut back to just light stretching – literally. And rest for several months – and eat.
Sleep as much as you can, even if you have a busy schedule. Try anything and everything to go to bed earlier or sleep in as much as you can. Take naps if you can and if you really feel like you want a nap, make yourself a priority.
Sleep is essential for healing to take place, and all sorts of hormonal actions take place during REM sleep, so if you’re not sleeping sufficiently, you’re missing out on a critical factor in healing the metabolism.
Like myself and the men in the Minnesota starvation experiment, you can read more about this in my book damn the diets!
The people who do it slowly would still track their calories, which the other people cannot track because they will get too obsessive, and they’re better off just eating to fullness and not tracking at all.
The people who do track would slowly track to make sure they’re eating ENOUGH carbs, fats, or portions...
Because for so long they’ve been in a restrictive mindset, and they need to be eating a lot more carbs and a lot more fats than they even think they should,
So tracking the calories, in the beginning, can be beneficial to show they indeed need to be eating more to:
– this kind of stuff.
And the goal would be to eventually not have to track anymore and eat when hungry and stop when full and be able to navigate this better as the mindset around eating. So their body image heals along with the physical body.
I don’t always recommend tracking or logging calories, but for some, it works.
Typically though, I would rather recommend not logging or tracking but just eyeballing things, so adding extra servings to what you normally would consume every day to get your calories up.
You need to make sure you’re eating enough and eating consistently throughout the day, every day, at every single meal, or moving at the pace at which you feel comfortable enough, but also still challenging yourself to change – forever from here on out.
No calorie compensating, calorie purging, low-anything anymore or conscious efforts to skip meals or cut ingredients, and trying to be so strict.
If you typically eat a couple of pieces of bread, a tablespoon of oil, or no salt, then you would add an extra piece or two of bread in addition to what you’re already eating, plus extra oil plus adding salt to taste in your meals. Slowly over time, this will help raise and heal the metabolism again to normal speed.
It’ll also help you eventually, after the body gains weight and heals and feels safe that the body won’t be starved, to go back to normal healthy weight – effortlessly and naturally without you having to think about it or control it. Yep, this can happen!
There will typically be a rebound effect even in recovery to gain some weight, but if you’re truly consistent without ANY restrictions, this is how you can break the cycle. Eventually, you’ll raise the metabolism back up after it feels safe again. So safe it won't be in a famine, overtrained and underfed, so the body doesn’t have to conserve and hold on to the weight.
It DOES happen. You have to be patient and consistent.
Through yo-yo dieting, every time we restrict or over exercise our body instinctually lowers the metabolism to survive
When we eat or binge to make up for the caloric and energy deficit (aka semi-starvation), we binge with a lowered metabolism [and often weakened digestion too].
Therefore, we gain weight because the metabolic rate is not normally functioning – but this, my friend, is a conservation mechanism!
The metabolism lowers the rate at which the energy is coming in and also stores it as fat to conserve for the perceived threat that it will be starved again, and this food you’re bingeing on won’t be consistent because your brain is full of guilt and is saying:
“omg I’m weak I’m bad for eating, I need to restrict! I need to purge! I’m going to gain weight! I need to cleanse and fast and diet this off!! I need to calorie compensate!”
So the body hears we’re going to be starved again, so it says:
“Let’s store all this fat so we don’t die, let’s keep the metabolism low or else we’ll burn energy too fast and therefore starve from insufficient energy and a lack of the foods we’re really craving, from coming in!”
What will heal and bring the metabolism back to normal, though, is when the body feels safe that it is not consistently starved, deprived, overtrained, depleted, and therefore stressed as a result – but feels safe.
By feeding your body when cued to without guilting yourself for feeling super hungry or for having cravings, or for desiring off-limit foods.
There’s a reason your body is asking for those foods when you’re coming from a past of restriction, dieting, purging, overexercising, and an unhealthy relationship with your body, such as weight control for pure extreme vanity purposes.
So again, this is a slow process, and for some, it may take a year or years, or for others, it may take a few months (which is not as common).
It depends on how long you’ve suppressed your metabolism in the past, how much damage was done, and how often your mind gets in the way trying to get you to go back and restrict every time you eat or gain some weight…
Your body has been in this state of constant stress and betrayal, not being fed consistently, overworked, and purging the calories that come in both orally and exercise purging.
There are so many trends out there demonizing salt – whether it’s salt-free or low salt diets, raw vegan, SOS, or the bodybuilding clean eating diets – all ends of the anti sodium spectrum...
which I tried them all, and it only resulted in:
Eventually, as my energy metabolism (food) balanced out, so did my metabolism of salt and water. I no longer get swollen and puffy if I eat high sodium meals [which I typically eat high sodium meals daily]. 😉
I still don’t restrict salt. Increasing salt not only helped with all this but also with healing my overall metabolism and digestion.
When your metabolism is low, the high water-rich foods will be so hard to process and digest that the body will have a hard time with these foods – the water will essentially put out the fire. (the small little spark of a fire, at that!)
Foods that are high in
all the s’s are great for raising the metabolism! Yum!
So cheese and crackers, bread, ice cream, potato chips, pizza – these are all warming foods, and you’ll notice your metabolism rising (and ease on the bloating and digestive issues) when you’re consistently consuming these foods.
You can still eat fruit and veggies if you crave them but don’t have them making up the majority of your diet at this time, or chose lower water-rich fruits like dates or baked root veggies rather than steamed foods – cooked with salt and fats.
If your body is constantly putting out high cortisol levels, it’s going to be hard to raise the metabolism.
If you’re resting more and not over-exercising, if you’re stopping restrictive dieting and being neurotically stressed about strict clean eating, you’ll, in return, reduce the amount of stress you’ve been putting your body through for years as well.
Dieting, malnourishment, over-exercise are all super stressful on the body and psyche!
Another sign is not peeing several times throughout the night and sleeping soundly without having to get up to go pee repeatedly.
Also, you’ll have more energy, stabilized mood, better digestion, your sex drive starts to increase, and so much more!!
P.S. I’m hosting a free masterclass specifically for people who want to stop feeling obsessed around food and truly heal their metabolism, and you’re invited! Click here to sign up.