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1/22/2015 2:17:49 PM - Jason

i've read several times now, that "metabolsim slowdown/change" does not really contribute to people not being able to lose more weight at a certain point in their diets/fat loss phases.

It is said that the main factor to stalling weight loss is the actual reduction of body mass and not a slowdown in metabolism.

What is your though on that?

And also a follow up question to that: If metabolism slowdown is not a huge factor in weight loss (or the lack of), why then are obese people often having trouble losing weight, even though their calories are very low?

Thanks a lot for claryfing that!


A reduction in body mass will cause a slow down in metabolism (at least as long as the reduction in body mass involves muscle loss).

The body does adjust to the calories consumed. A perfect (although unfortunate) example of this is people who live in places like Somalia or Ethiopia. They survive on extremely low calorie diets because their metabolisms have adjusted to extremely low calorie levels.

As far as obese people and metabolic slow down, it's actually the OPPOSITE in most cases. Most obese people have relatively "high metabolisms" because of the relatively large amount of muscle mass they carry in comparison to someone who weighs much much less.

Much of the reason they have trouble losing weight is because it takes a long time to lose the amount of weight they want to lose. Shedding 100lbs of adipose tissue takes a lot of time and effort. I've also found that obese people view "slip ups" far differently than people with a lot of experience in dieting and "fitness."

As an example, I've had bodybuilders email me at 2am to tell me they "totally fucked their entire diet!!" after drinking a glass of milk in the middle of the night.

I get very different responses from my obese clients. I'll hear "I was pretty good with the diet this week...I can't understand why I'm not losing more weight."

When I press what "pretty good" means, i'll learn that they ended up going out to eat with their wife on Tuesday, but "tried to order something that was pretty healthy...I got a steak, but I also ate the fries...and I had a couple of beers."
And then I'll learn that nearly every day involved some kind of "slip up" like this.

But...that's the problem with losing's very hard to lose fat. When you're on a very strict diet you might be hypocaloric in the area of 500-800 calories a day. A "slip up" like the one above can easily equate to more than 500 calories above waht they were supposed to be eating in that meal.
So, the net result is that they lost no weight that day...and if they have similar slip ups every day, the net result is no weight loss over the course of the diet.

But...they don't "gain weight" either...because they're eating semi-healthy...similar to how a bber would eatin in the offseason.

Got off on a bit of rambling tangent there, sorry...

Justin Harris

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