When people diet, their body may respond by going into hibernation/starvation mode. This creates huge frustration because when a person eats less they may feel more fatigue and have mood changes. Here are a few suggestions to keep your metabolism stable.
- Sleep quality- Many overweight/obese individuals suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA makes one very tired and has a major impact on metabolism and hunger. If you have OSA and you have a CPAP machine, you must use it! If you have signs or symptoms of OSA you should be checked by a healthcare professional so that you can get the proper treatment.
- Medications- Taking all your prescribed medication is important, but when changes in your weight occur you need to be checked for possible adjustments to medication levels. There are some medications that can alter your metabolism so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about your health goals of weight reduction.
- Thyroid, Estrogen and Testosterone- Hormones in our body can change as we age. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your health and wellbeing. The impact of the endocrine system and metabolism on weight and appetite can be severe.
- Carbohydrates- Eating a diet high in carbohydrates creates a “rollercoaster” effect for your metabolism and appetite. If you must have foods high in carbohydrates, try eating less carbohydrates and adding in more vegetables and protein and vegetables.
- Loss of Muscle Mass- Muscle is the engine that regulates your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is what gets burned even when you are resting. Regularly performing resistance training or strength training will help in keeping your muscle mass when losing weight. Many people think that we “naturally” lose muscle as we age but most of the muscle loss with aging is because of inactivity. If 70 year olds played on the playground like 7 year olds then muscle loss wouldn’t be so great (if at all). Get out and move!
- Mindless Eating-A food journal is a powerful tool when losing weight. Honesty is empowering even if it is only for your eyes! There are many electronic food journal tools available for smart phones including www.calorieking.com or www.myfitnesspal.com. You may choose to use paper and a pen and journal the old-fashioned way. Whatever way you choose, it is important that you write everything down.
Your body is very efficient and will store calories when it perceives that you are starving or going into hibernation. Keep your furnace stoked with a few tricks when managing weight loss.