If you’re someone who has a history of unsuccessful dieting, you may fear that you’ve damaged your metabolism permanently. One example of something that could cause this kind of damage is going on a low-calorie diet for a prolonged period of time, experiencing all the negative side effects, and then coming off the diet, only to regain the weight you lost and sometimes even more. If this applies to you, read on to discover how you can undo the damage and fire up your metabolism.

A sluggish metabolism

A low-calorie diet will cause you to lose mostly water and muscle rather than fat, and will reduce your basal metabolic rate or slow down the rate at which you burn calories. Your body will think it’s starving and transition into “fat storing mode,” instantly storing any calorie-dense foods as fat.


Eat wisely

The first step for bouncing back from a low calorie diet is to eat unprocessed, natural wholefoods, avoiding anything refined or processed. If you’ve been following a low calorie diet for an extended period of time, your metabolism will be much slower than usual, meaning you’ll be more inclined to store fat in your body. Eating healthily will help fortify your body with nutritious food that’s low in calories and will accelerate your metabolism. Coming off a low calorie diet and gorging on junk food will only cause rapid weight gain.

Lift weights

Hitting the gym and training with weights is another recovery method. Low calorie diets promote the loss of muscle mass, rather than fat, while weight lifting increases your muscle mass and boosts your metabolism. Training with weights no less than three times a week will help you to get back on track by sculpting lean muscle, which will speed up your metabolism and burn off any unwanted fat.

Eat at maintenance levels

A final useful strategy is to eat at your maintenance level, focusing on simply maintaining a steady weight. Give your mind and body a break from the negative aspects of an unsuccessful diet and allow your body enough time to recover. Dedicate an entire month to eating right and educating yourself on the proper way to diet and lose fat safely. Once you’ve recuperated and your body is no longer in fat storing mode, you can slowly transition into a deficit and start a successful diet. Under these circumstances you should not start off with a deficit of more than 15% below your maintenance level.

Avoid low-calorie or fad diets like the plague. That is what damaged your metabolism to begin with. Learn more about what a healthy fat loss program should consist of here


Many of us may have fallen victim to a low calorie diet and damaged our metabolisms. The good news is that if you take action and start eating sensibly, you can fix what may have seemed irreparable. You can always give your metabolism a boost, no matter how sluggish it may be, and begin to build a body that you’re proud of. Eat more to burn more and increase your caloric expenditure by lifting weights and doing cardio. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be on a safe journey to successful fat loss!

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