Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Slow metabolism preventing weight loss?

Tuesday Tip: Slow metabolism preventing weight loss? 🍏

I often hear people complaining that their slow metabolism is why they can’t lose weight. Is this really the reason they can’t make progress?

There are variations in metabolic rate e.g. someone with a larger body will have a higher resting metabolic rate. This is the absolute metabolic rate and is related to your age, height, gender, muscle/fat mass etc. In addition two people with the same body composition, age, gender etc may well have some differences in metabolic rate. Aha I hear you cry – so that must be it? That variation must explain why some people find it harder than others to lose weight?

Unfortunately the variation isn’t as much as we think. Once you account for age, gender, fat and muscle mass, height etc you can predict about metabolic rate with about 80-85% accuracy. This leaves around 15-20% of the differences unexplained.

What does that mean in practical terms? Well if you predicted someone’s metabolic rate using their body composition etc at 1800 kcals you would see people ranging from 1600 – 2100 kcals per day. On average it’s a difference of 200-300 kcals above or below the expected rate i.e. you might be burning 200-300 calories fewer per day than expected. Whilst this isn’t ‘nothing’, it’s really not as great as many people think it is. It’s also not enough to justify why you aren’t losing weight if you’re eating 1000 kcals a day etc.

A recent study also found that these variations in metabolic rate were not related to weight gain. Those participants with ‘low’

metabolic rate did not gain more weight than those with a high rate. Why?

Well because resting metabolic rate is only part of the equation. It’s the behaviours you adopt that determine your progress – not your resting metabolic rate. If you have a higher metabolic rate but are sedentary and overeat calorie dense foods you will put on weight. If you have a lower metabolic rate and are conscious of what you’re eating, and active you’ll maintain or lose weight.

Focusing on something you can’t control won’t help – instead focus on what you can control – eating at a calorie deficit and moving more.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

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