A recent study conducted by researchers at the Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch has confirmed an already widely held belief that slow metabolism can make it harder for you lose weight.
So you can blame biology, if your friend is losing weight and you are not even when both of you are on the same diet.
How was the Study Done?
The researchers studied the metabolism of 12 obese men and women by measuring their energy expenditure, which was calculated using air samples.
The researchers measured the baseline energy expenditure of the participants in response to one day fasting after, which the participants underwent a 6 week inpatient 50% caloric reduction.
Results of the Study
The researchers found out that those whose metabolism decreased the most during the fasting period lost the least weight during the period their calorie was reduced by 50%. This group has what the researchers referred to as “thrifty” metabolism.
On the other hand those who lost the most weight were those whose metabolism decreased the least during the fasting period, and this group has what is called the “spendthrift” metabolism.
The researchers do not know whether the different metabolic rates are innate attributes or develop over time. They also are yet to know whether the body’s response to caloric reduction can be used to prevent weight gain.
More studies would have to be conducted to determine that because this particular study focused on weight loss.
What Do the Results of The Study Imply?
The implication of the results of this study is that if two people with different metabolic speeds (“thrifty” and “spendthrift”) embark on the same diet, the weight loss result they will get will vary, because their metabolism will respond differently to the diet.
“When people who are obese decrease the amount of food they eat, metabolic responses vary greatly, with a ‘thrifty’ metabolism possibly contributing to less weight lost,” said Susanne Votruba, Ph.D., study author and PECRB clinical investigator.
However, this does not mean that anyone who has “thrifty” metabolism is doomed. It only means that they may have to work harder to lose weight.
“But biology is not destiny. Balanced diet and regular physical activity over a long period can be very effective for weight loss.” said Martin Reinhardt, M.D., lead author and PECRB postdoctoral fellow.
There has always been a general belief that metabolism plays a role in weight loss, but this is the first time that this belief has been confirmed by a laboratory results.
This will help to us to be more empathic to those with obesity and to not just assume that the reason they are not losing weight is because they are not cutting their caloric intake or that they are not trying as hard as those who have successfully reached their weight loss goal.
However, as the researchers rightly said, “biology is not destiny”. So even if you have “thrifty metabolism” you can still speed up your metabolism through exercise and by eating foods that boost metabolism.
Weight loss is a journey, you will surely get to your target if you do not give up – it may take you longer than your friend, but the important thing is that YOU finally get there, so keep at it and you will be glad you did.