Your Metabolism Isn’t Broken 6 Tips to Stay in a Calorie Deficit

Your metabolism is not broken – if it were you would be 6 feet under. Metabolism is not just a calorie-burning machine, but a sophisticated system that regulates countless processes within our bodies.

Having a healthy metabolism is essential to good health. But whether your metabolism is fast or slow does not predetermine whether or not you are lean or overweight. A fast metabolism doesn’t mean better health and a slow metabolism is not the root cause of weight gain or difficulty losing fat. 

Our metabolism is responsible for regulating everything from energy production and nutrient partitioning to immune function and detoxification. As we age it is typical for our metabolism to change, but there are things we can do to maintain a healthy metabolism. Having a robust aerobic system, and a solid foundation of lean muscle tissue are important. The process of building and maintaining those attributes are equally as important.

Exercise is the key to metabolic resilience. Of all the factors that influence health, exercise is arguably the most potent. Regular physical activity, particularly resistance training and high-intensity interval training, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, increase muscle mass, and boost mitochondrial function – the powerhouses of our cells that generate energy.

So, you might be thinking

“If my metabolism isn’t broken, why can’t I lose weight?!”

When a person can’t lose weight, there is really only 1 thing that is responsible : they have not been in a calorie deficit.  There are several factors that can play a role that does make it more complicated, but at the end of the day, if you want to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. 

Nutrition, not exercise, is the best way to drive weight loss. While exercise does help us burn more calories, it’s better to think of the positive benefits of exercise, including things like toning, muscle building, and better energy to do the activities you enjoy. Get in a calorie deficit using your nutrition as the tool. 

Here are 6 tips to help you maintain a calorie deficit:

  • Focus on lean cuts of protein and lean dairy sources for protein: Choose lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and low-fat dairy to support muscle maintenance and keep you feeling full in a calorie deficit.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables: Fill your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake, which aids in satiety and helps you stay within your calorie goals.
  • Drink only water or unsweetened beverages: Stay hydrated with calorie-free drinks like water or unsweetened tea and coffee, avoiding high-calorie beverages that can derail your calorie deficit.
  • Measure your portion sizes: Use measuring cups or a food scale to portion out your food, helping you stay mindful of your calorie intake and avoid overeating.
  • Most of your carbohydrates should come from grains, beans, and potatoes (limit processed items like chips, crackers, or anything sweetened): these provide sustained energy and fiber, while limiting processed items to avoid unnecessary calories.
  • Plan ahead: Plan your meals and snacks in advance to ensure you have nutritious options on hand, making it easier to stick to your calorie deficit and avoid impulsive, high-calorie choices.

Don’t get caught up in the myth of a “broken metabolism”;  maintaining a healthy metabolism and achieving sustainable fat loss boils down to adopting a lifestyle that prioritizes physical activity, nutrient-dense foods, and stress management. While staying in a calorie deficit is essential for weight loss, it’s equally important to focus on building metabolic resilience through exercise and a balanced diet. Empower yourself with knowledge and take control of your journey towards a leaner, healthier, and more energetic you