Why dieting forever slows your metabolism and what you can do to fix it

Are you are eating nothing at all and not losing weight?

Have you stalled with your weight loss and don’t know why?

Do you always pile weight on after your diet?

There is a reason for everything. You are not broken.


If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time you are probably struggling.

Your body struggles to consistently drop fat month after month with no break.

You might actually be slowing your progress by trying to lose it all in one go…

When is the last time you had a break from your diet?


So what is dieting really?

Dieting is calorie restriction.

Calorie restriction is how you lose weight.

Try and prove us wrong, we dare you.

There are many ways to restrict your calories which normally come disguised in ‘fad diets’ or ‘styles’ of dieting as below:

FlexiDiet_Fat Loss Diet Chart (2)


















There is nothing ‘wrong’ with these approaches (except maybe the low fat due to impaired brain function).
If you prefer intermittent fasting because you like huge meals, great!
If carbs make you feel yuck, thats fine too.
However you must restrict your calories at some point so that you are in a calorie deficit (eating less than your body needs to maintain).


Why does a calorie deficit work?

If there is not enough energy coming in to maintain your body’s demands, your body will start to use ‘non-food’ sources to keep you going.
On the flip side… a calorie SURPLUS is how we get fat. If there is too much energy coming in, your body will store it as fat to use in times of need.
So we just need to find a diet that allows this calorie deficit to happen without feeling like we want to eat our arm off!!


What happens to the body in a calorie deficit?

Believe it or not, a calorie deficit has been shown to be anti-aging as you are reducing inflammation when you don’t eat as much food.
Your body also kicks off several pathways which allow your body to repair internally. This is why some of the longest living people fast daily.
Speaking from personal experience my grandfather was in the concentration camps in world war 2 where he was starved for 4 years.
He is still living today even after all the hardship he went through… you would think he would have lived a much shorter life!
There is no doubt that fasting is a way to extend your life.

There are negatives to a calorie deficit…. hunger, reduced energy for training, negative hormonal responses around testosterone and cortisol can even change.
Some people report feeling more anxiety when in a restricted calorie state!
If you want muscle gain and peak performance, a calorie deficit will NOT serve you well.
Studies have also found that you burn less energy through exercise while in a calorie deficit!


What happens if you stay in a calorie deficit (diet) for too long?

Your metabolism is never ‘constant’.
It doesn’t stay at the same level forever.
In fact, it is constantly changing which is largely dependent on what YOU put in to your mouth.
Your body is a amazing machine built for survival.
You can survive without food for up to 30 days!!!
Your body will actually reduce its metabolic rate in order to adapt for survival.
So lets pretend that you’ve eaten 1000 calories a day for 30 days and now weight loss is starting to stall…
What has happened? You’re eating nothing but not losing weight anymore?
Your body is SURVIVING.
The metabolism has now adapted to 1000 calories, you are starving and hangry and you’ve got no where to go… this is not a good place to be.


How do you avoid ‘metabolic adaption’ in the first place?

The reason you are in a miserable place is because you either dieted TOO HARD or for TOO LONG.
If you went from normal eating to 1000 calories within a week, I’ll bet you lost at least 2KG in that first week until your metabolism adapted right?
Now what?
Start your diet by tweaking what you CURRENTLY eat.
Reduce your portion size slightly or take out 1 snack.
Your body will respond in a slow but steady pace.
You can  keep doing this until you reach a 500 calorie deficit. Once you reach this level, you should STOP reducing calories.

I’m a big fan of increasing your calorie deficit through healthy habits.
The number 1 habit being EXERCISE.
You can create the demand for the fuel by consistently improving your exercise routine.
Set small goals to beat each week and never stay still. Your body will respond over time.
This isn’t a quick fix, this is creating a happier healthier you.


How can you reverse metabolic adaption? Reverse Dieting

Eating less or exercising too much got you here.
Eating more and taking part in heavy resistance training will get you out.
Have you heard of reverse dieting?
This involves you increasing your calorie intake SLOWLY so that your metabolism can now ‘adapt’ to the higher calories.
If you aren’t eating much at the moment you need to give your body time to adapt.

Reverse dieting is hard. You need to stay just as consistent as if you were dieting for fat loss.
If you gradually increase your calories over time, a successful reverse diet will mean that you have increased muscle mass and little to no fat gain.
Increase your calories by 100 (daily) the first week. If you were eating 1000 calories, aim for 1100 calories.
Week 2 you do the same, aim for 1200 calories.
Do this for 4-5 weeks or until you reach your ‘maintenance’ level.


If you are a FlexiDiet client, simply increase one of your meals by ONE LEVEL. This will add 100 calories to your intake.
Talk to your FlexiDiet nutritionist if you need help with this!


The results of a successful reverse diet

Once you reach maintenance, you should stay there for at least 4 weeks.
During this time you should feel more energy, improved mood, better workout performance and more.
You should start to feel GREAT.
Once you are happy, tackle the diet once more… this time do it slowly.
Drop to a 300 calorie deficit. Allow your body time to adapt to this new target while trying to improve your exercise weekly.
Once you stall, drop again!
Next reverse diet?

Rinse and Repeat.

If you need help with dieting or reverse dieting, be sure to talk to a FlexiDiet Nutritionist where we can lay out a plan for you to succeed and actually enjoy your diet.

Email us at info@flexidiet.co.nz if you’d like a private and confidential discussion.


Hi I’m Brad, the founder of FlexiDiet. I’m a ISSA & NZIHF Certified Nutritionist/PT specialising in getting people lean eating burgers. Here at FlexiDiet we don’t believe in clean eating or restrictive diets and we want to teach YOU how to make your favourite foods healthier. If you are enjoying your food, your results will be PERMANENT and you don’t actually need to use a temporary fix ‘diet’.

FlexiDiet is the result of hundreds of successful client transformations. Will you be next?

Your diet doesn’t have to be super clean and restrictive.

Your diet doesn’t have to be confusing.

You diet doesn’t need ‘special foods’ in order to lose fat.

You can still socialise, drink alcohol and lose fat.

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Learn to build your own 7 day meal plan with yummy recipes provided.

Want to get started on building your own meal plan right away?