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Healthy Weight Center

How Can I Get My Metabolism Back on Track?

03/11/2009

Question:

A few years ago I lost about 15 pounds. I was able to keep it off for the past few years. Recently I`ve gained the weight back, even though I have not changed my eating habits. I consume 1000-1200 calories daily and my fat intake is around 10 grams. I exercise daily for at least one hour, either, weight training, walking,riding a stationary bike or some other type of cardio work. I can`t seem to lose weight,it seems as if I am starving myself fat. How do I get my metabolism back on track, eat a healthy balanced diet and lose weight? Is it true that one has to eat to lose weight?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. I give you credit for such diligent dieting and exercise! Your caloric intake is awfully low considering the amount of exercise you are doing. And yes, it is true that if your calorie intake is too low, your metabolism will slow down because you`re not "fueling" your body enough to burn anything. Ideally, most people should not eat below 1200 kcalories/day as this may impact metabolism. In order to get "back on track", I suggest you meet with a registered dietitian who can better assess your kcalorie needs for weight reduction. A dietitian can assess your height, weight, diet history and exercise habits more closely. You can locate one through the American Dietetic Association website. In addition, it is possible that you are gaining muscle (due to your exercise load). Since muscle weighs more than fat, the scale may not budge, though you may be losing fat and toning up. I hope this information was helpful. Good Luck!

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati