If you struggle to lose weight, you may suffer from metabolic burnout. What is metabolic burnout, and why does it make weight loss difficult? LoveToKnow recently spoke with Valerie Berkowitz, registered dietitian and author of The Stubborn Fat Fix, to learn more about metabolism burnout and how it may be affecting your weight.
Interview with Valorie Berkowitz
About Metabolic Burnout
LoveToKnow (LTK): What is metabolic burnout and how is it caused?
Valorie Berkowitz (VB): Metabolic burnout is a term described in my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix, and it is exactly what the name implies. Metabolic burnout is the result of many years of abuse (stress, lack of sleep, prescription and over-the-counter medications, poor diet and exercise patterns) that cause your organ(s), i.e. your adrenal glands, pancreas or thyroid, to work less efficiently. Your internal balance is thrown off and the body struggles to bring itself back into equilibrium.
LTK: How can someone know if they have metabolic burnout?
VB: There are many different symptoms but a few are: fatigue or inability to fall asleep, hunger and difficulty losing weight. In chapter five of The Stubborn Fat Fix there are easy to answer questions that help identify and categorize the factors that cause metabolic burnout and lead to "Stubborn Fat" such as yeast overgrowth, thyroid, adrenal and hormone issues and insulin imbalance.
LTK: How can metabolic burnout lead to cravings?
VB: This is a good question. There are many different ways but here are a few scenarios:
- If your tired, you may crave food to give you energy
- If your blood sugar is not balanced and it dives too low, you get hungry
- Poor food habits can lead to too many calories but not provide enough nourishment to help the body function properly, so cravings are signals from your body to communicate that it is hungry
LTK: Why is it so difficult to lose weight, if someone suffers from metabolic burnout?
VB: The body is shifting its energy to help maintain balance of the organ systems that are affected by metabolic burnout because health, not weight loss, is its priority.
LTK: How important are supplements and why?
VB: Supplements are very important because they provide reinforcement of the nutrients that have been missing or are not being utilized appropriately. They help restore balance to the organ systems that have been dealing with metabolic burnout for so long.
LTK: What specific supplements do you recommend for balancing metabolism and weight loss?
VB: Use brands that have a GMP (good manufacturing practice) seal or ask your healthcare expert on the brands they recommend and are reliable such as Nordic Naturals, Solgar, Puritan's Pride or Rainbow Lite.
Supplements cannot trigger weight loss without a proper weight loss diet. With that said, I suggest a multivitamin, Omega-3, calcium with vitamin D, magnesium and boron, L-carnitine, COQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. A probiotic can be useful if you have yeast overgrowth.
Balancing the Metabolism
LTK: What are some tips you can share to help balance the metabolism and start losing weight?
VB: Change bad habits, it is not easy but it is necessary. A quick fix will not work. Get more rest and practice stress management techniques. Follow the nutrition plan in The Stubborn Fat Fix - avoid commercially prepared foods and eat a variety of unadulterated whole foods and supplements that provide nutrients that build good health.
LTK: Anything else you can share about metabolism burnout and losing weight?
VB: If it's difficult to lose weight it may not be your fault. You may be following your nutrition plan and not getting results because your body is not on board with your plans. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Cutting fat and calories does not always work; nourishing your body with nutrient dense foods like fiber rich healthy carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables, protein and healthy fats will bring your body back into balance and get you the weight loss you deserve. Lowering fat is not always good for weight loss because fat fills you up and helps to curb hunger. It also helps support the immune function, hormone balance, nerve and heart function and inflammation.
Learn More About Metabolism Burnout
LoveToKnow would like to thank Valerie Berkowitz for sharing her insight on metabolism burnout. To learn more, check out The Stubborn Fat Fix. If you are in the New York area, you can also visit the Center for Balanced Health where Valerie serves as a registered licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator and certified lifestyle counselor.