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What actually is Metabolic Adaptation for Weight Loss? What do you need to know?

The body structure is, as we know, is a vital part of a lot of sports. If you're seeking a bodybuilding pro card, dropping fat to increase your pace

What actually is Metabolic Adaptation? What do you need to know?

The body structure is, as we know, is a vital part of a lot of sports. If you're seeking a bodybuilding pro card, dropping fat to increase your pace, or dropping a weight class to achieve the record-setting squat, successful weight loss techniques will be crucial to success.

What is Metabolic adjustment?

The human body is robust as YFR readers know. You may have noticed that you were able to add more and more plates to that bar on your back, amidst the stringent stress you put on your body every day.

You also hear about the idea of thrifty genes, as people speak about obesity. The general theory is that mankind has developed towards having a genotype that helps us to store excess calories as fat, mainly as a survival mechanism. Essentially, during feast periods we are able to conserve water, just in case we later experience a famine.

I would like to think of metabolic adaptation as the other side of the picky gene theory — instead of thinking about what occurs at the "feast," metabolism tackles the "famine".

Two things happen during weight loss: We introduce a caloric deficit, either by increasing exercise or by reducing food consumption, and we start losing body mass (hopefully much of this is fat mass, rather than lean mass). Both of these are indicators of low energy supply and the body adapts according to it. Such adaptations can, in short, include:
  • Increased efficiency in mitochondrial (fewer calories crushed to make the same amount of ATP)
  • Diminished energy consumption (metabolic rate)
  • Hormone elevations promoting catabolism and hunger, with decreased hormones promoting anabolism, energy spending, and satiety.

What are the results of such modifications?

Such modifications, as you might understand, explicitly contradict the aims for weight loss. Changes in mitochondrial performance and energy consumption will reduce the energy deficit, delaying weight loss. In addition, the hormonal shifts make it difficult to maintain lean mass, affect the levels of energy and general mood, and increase appetite. Sex hormones are especially undesirable; many natural top male athletes develop symptoms of low testosterone late in preparation for the game, and amenorrhea is generally encountered by female athletes.

The impact of these adjustments extend also beyond the phase of weight loss. Let's say you've made it down to the weight class for which you were shooting, or you've reached a degree of body fat ready for the stage.

Well! What now?

And after you have lost your weight, research has shown that many of these changes continue as you strive to keep your new bodyweight going. These adaptations, which have reduced your metabolic rate and increased hunger, are also setting you up for a huge bounce back. When after a diet you don't exercise any discipline, it's normal to regain the fast weight.

Independent review has shown that weight gained is that if this duration is preferentially stored as fat, and that hyperplasia of adipocytes (adding new fat cells) can happen. It can lead to a condition known as obesity after malnutrition or overshooting of body fat; in this case, the dieter typically regains more weight than they lost during the diet. This eventually diminishes the gains made in the diet and hampers future dietary attempts.
What actually is Metabolic Adaptation? What do you need to know?

Popular Misconceptions of Metabolic adaptation

Metabolic adaptation has become quite a popular discussion topic among fitness coaches and competitors. As such, there have arisen too many of some common misconceptions. Some of those misunderstandings include:

1. Metabolic adaptation can make weight loss impossible or even weight gain gave a caloric deficit

Metabolic adaptation does not apply to any mystical circumvention of thermodynamic laws — these changes merely help to reduce energy expenditure. Thus, the energy deficit is reduced, and weight loss will gradually stop as energy consumption exceeds energy intake. Weight loss will start at this point if more exercise is added, or if caloric intake is reduced. Yet when exercise frequency is already high this is very difficult, and the caloric intake is already low.

2. These adjustments are a dire problem

These are modifications that spontaneously accompany weight loss and tackle the "energy crisis" in which your body faces a caloric deficit, particularly as you begin to become very lean. If such changes did not take place, a very serious situation would be because the human body became more vulnerable to starvation. If that were the case, it might tell a very different story about our evolutionary past.

3. These adaptations indicate an unsuitable diet

Again, that's not true 100 percent. Such changes are to be expected to some degree with a reduction in calories and a weight loss. Even with the best weight-loss strategies, to some extent, you'll still expect these adjustments to happen. Nonetheless, they are likely to be compounded by inappropriate methods, and a more suitable approach to weight loss will certainly dampen them.

What could be done to stop such adjustments?

Unfortunately, these modifications are unlikely to be fully avoidable. You will possibly reduce them though by using proper dietary techniques.

Of course, enough protein is required. It has the highest thermal effect of any macronutrient and is extremely satiating; it also helps to maintain lean weight and metabolic rate. The same is true for participation in a well-designed structured resistance training program.

Hypothetically, the scale of these changes is likely to be linked to the size of the energy deficit — a bigger deficit means a more urgent energy crisis. It is therefore advisable to implement the smallest possible weight loss deficit and to create a relatively slow weight loss rate. If weight loss starts to slow, make small, cautious changes to raise the energy deficit and treat the diet with gradual, regular changes in a step-wise fashion.

Regrettably, when attempting to maintain very low body fat cardio also becomes a must. As a thumb rule, however, it might be best to keep cardio as minimal as possible throughout the entire weight loss process. Cardio from the resistance exercise will not only theoretically minimize your rehabilitation, but the effect of the parallel training can also be counterproductive. It could be better to avoid modalities with greater effect, long durations, and low frequencies when cardio is needed; a combination with moderate intervals in cardio intensity and high-intensity periods on a stationary bike are solid choices.

Recurrent carb refeeds are very common in physique sports today. By temporarily elevating leptin, they can theoretically help to influence metabolic rate and satiety, but more work is needed on this subject. Another common technique used by physique athletes is the reverse diet. While there are little empirical data on this technique, potentially it could help to sustain weight loss. Although a bodybuilder shouldn't try to remain at the stage weight for a prolonged period of time, this technique may help competitors remain within striking distance throughout their offseason, and is likely to avoid post-diet body fat overshooting.
What could be done to stop such adjustments?

Reverse diet may help them to maintain a large percentage of their weight loss for the general population, but this is pure speculation, and the investigation is necessary on the subject. It is important to note that reverse diet does not mean that you need to maintain a caloric deficit past the expected duration of weight loss — it merely refers to slowly rising calories, as opposed to huge, dramatic caloric excess.


There are certain metabolic reconstructions that accompany weight loss and energy restriction. Such adaptations, which are presumably mechanisms for survival to prevent hunger, usually help to improve productivity and reduce the caloric deficit. Although metabolic adaptation is not a serious, dangerous phenomenon, it definitely opposes targets for weight loss. While metabolic adaptation can not be entirely prevented, a well-planned training and diet strategy will likely mitigate these changes and encourage more effective weight loss.



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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: What actually is Metabolic Adaptation for Weight Loss? What do you need to know?
What actually is Metabolic Adaptation for Weight Loss? What do you need to know?
The body structure is, as we know, is a vital part of a lot of sports. If you're seeking a bodybuilding pro card, dropping fat to increase your pace
YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters
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