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Recovery from Dieting

Recovery from Dieting 960 640 Janie

If you have spent most of your life dieting or cutting calories to try to lose weight then it is highly likely that you are suffering from metabolic damage which makes weight loss impossible and causes a cascade of health related issues, and steals your energy and enthusiam for life.

The good news is that your future weight loss efforts do not have to be futile and that you can get your metabolism humming and singing again just like it should be!

THRIVE Health can help you recover from the dieting treadmill by helping you restore your metabolism through appropriate and personalised nutrition and exercise.

It is a fallacy that losing weight long-term is as simple as cutting calories and exercising more. It doesn’t matter if you completely cut calories, or just cut back on fat, the body’s response is the same. It thinks it is in a famine and its priority then becomes to save and store energy (read fat) because it has no idea how long the famine is going to last.

This is a state of extreme stress for the body and it goes into survival mode because it is not getting the nutrition that it needs. It diverts precious resources away from healthy metabolic processes like digestion, fighting of pathogens, healing from illness or disease, eliminating toxins, wound healing and menstrual cycles for women. It also doesn’t have the energy to create healthy skin, hair & nails, strong teeth and bones or worry about sex drive and fertility rates. This is what it means to have a low metabolism.

Instead the body does everything it can to reserve energy while preparing for a stressful event. Heart rate goes up, body temperature drops, stress hormones are released to keep the body alert and primed for danger, catecholamines are released to keep the body feeling “up” in a time of distress when it has to be ready for action.

This stress response has helped us to survive and evolve. It has helped us through times of famine, escaping from tigers, and to travel great distances. But we are only designed to be in this state of stress for a limited amount of time. Eventually the famine will end, the tiger will leave us alone, or we will get to our destination.

It may be easier to think about different types of stress that are more tangible. Getting stronger by building muscle is based on a stress response. If we stress a muscle for a few minutes, then rest it for a few days, the muscle fibres get stronger so that next time we use them, they are stronger. But if we over work the muscle or do not rest to allow it to recover, the muscle breaks….

Mental or psychological stress can be great in small amounts to help us learn and change behaviour. When we push ourselves out of our comfort zone we can achieve great things. But if the stress is relentless and we never have the time to recuperate between stressful events, the mind can break just like a muscle, and we may suffer a breakdown…

So what happens when we constantly deprive the body of the food that it needs to survive and we never let it recover from the famine? Quite simply the metabolism breaks.

Feet on bathroom scale with hand drawn sad cute facesWhen you have spent your life cutting calories, yo-yo dieting or trying the next great diet your metabolism becomes damaged. Perhaps on the first dozen diets you did lose weight (read muscle & water, not fat) and you felt great from the catecholamines that were relased to keep you alert and feeling up to get through the famine, but the famine never ended and the catecholamines eventually stopped being produced and what you were left with was a damaged metabolism and most likely even more weight than you started with. So you tried again and again and each time the weight loss results were less and less spectacular and the high lasted for less and less time and you ended up feeling very unwell and put on even more and more weight.

And now you are probably blaming your lack of willpower to stick to a diet, or you are not exercising enough, or you are on the wrong diet, or there must be something wrong with your genetics. Otherwise you would be slim and healthy by now, wouldn’t you???

But what has happened is that your body has shut down. It is physically impossible for you to lose weight in this stressed state. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place because you cannot eat much or you will put on weight, but the diets are not working. Your body is broken. And you probably have no energy, get sick very easily, and have an array of health issues and physical symptoms.

So this seems to be a good time to ask so what can I do?

The first thing that needs to happen is that you need heal your body and get your metabolism working properly again. Your health needs to be your goal, not a number on a scale. You have to remember that you cannot physically lose weight until you are healthy again.

THRIVE Health can help you on the road to recovery. We have a process to re-introduce you to REAL FOODS to nourish and heal your body, that will start to turn off the stress response and raise your metabolic rate again. You need a period of recovery, just as if you had torn a muscle or had a breakdown, so that your body can be restored to health.

Depending on the extent of damage done to your body, this can be a quick or a long process. It can take some time to reintroduce foods that your body has not dealt with for a while, to turn back on all the enzymes and processes to absorb the nutrients you need to function normally again. It may also require some work to overcome food phobias and to undo years of thinking about certain foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It is about unlearning and relearning what food really is.

Then at some point your metabolism will start functioning, your energy will return, health symptoms may alleviate and you will feel good.

Woman Enjoying Barbecue OutdoorsWhen you are healthy we then start to look at the perfect combination of foods for your body to achieve its optimum weight. The good news is when a body is functioning properly it tends to gravitate naturally towards its optimum weight and losing weight does not have to be about watching what you eat and limiting foods. It is about eating the right amount of delicious, nourishing natural food in a combination that works for your body.

We also look at appropriate exercise that does not stress your body, but gets you fitter and stronger and most importantly, gets your metabolism fired up for fat loss.

Contact us today to start your journey to recover from dieting and return to great health.