Far too often I am asked by clients what they are doing wrong that they still cannot reach their goals. They are eating healthy, restricting calories, exercising 5-6 days a week, and the scale just won’t budge. They are frustrated, defeated, and ready to give up on this whole healthy thing all together! What they don’t realize is that they aren’t alone, there are thousands of Americans struggling with the same issue as them. The issue? For whatever reason, their hormones and metabolism aren’t working in their favor. You can work yourself in to the ground each day through restricting calories and exercise to create a caloric deficit, but if your hormones and metabolism aren’t on the same page, you are losing an uphill battle with your body. If you are reading this and thinking, “YES, THAT’S ME!”… I have a solution for you. Please welcome to the room…m e t a b o l i c strengthening, or as it is more commonly referred, reverse dieting.
Here’s how it works…
Who needs metabolic strengthening?
Anyone who has been in a caloric deficit for a extended period of time (> 6 months). You may be experiencing a weight loss plateau or even weight gain, accompanied with symptoms of fatigue, reoccurring illness, poor workout quality, emotional “burn out,” and hormonal disturbances.
What is metabolic strengthening?
Metabolic strengthening is a progressive time frame of slowly increasing calories from the energy storing macronutrients (carbohydrates and fat) in order to increase your metabolic capacity. The process occurs slowly enough that you give your body sufficient time to catch up to the excess calories, without packing on the pounds like you would do if you were to increase your calories drastically.
I have helped many clients, including myself through a metabolic strengthening process. The beauty of this time is that although it is a slow process, you can increase your calories significantly (who doesn’t like more food?!) all while gaining very small amounts of weight (0-5 lbs is typical). If you are an athlete working to improve your performance or your physique, metabolic strengthening typically results in increased strength and performance, as well as increased lean body mass. Then, after your metabolism has been strengthened, you can decrease your calories if you wish to lean out further from that point. You’re probably thinking, this all sounds great, what’s the catch?
Metabolic strengthening requirements
Patience (it can take anywhere from 4-10 months total, if not longer to be effective)
Preciseness (you must carefully track everything eaten during this time to ensure you aren’t increasing too quickly)
Acceptance (you may gain some weight- that’s ok. Carbohydrates attract water in order to be stored as glycogen. Your body will typically level out after some time and will eventually drop this water weight)
Working to strengthen your metabolism can be tricky and also very difficult when coaching yourself. Sometimes your body just isn’t ready for a weekly increase and you need a coach to tell you if you should increase your calories that week or not. Want assistance? Our “Metabolic Strengthening” at Functional Fueling is a perfect plan to help guide you through your metabolic strengthening phase. It includes 24/7 email access and weekly adjustments that are made as needed. Questions? Email us at email@example.com.