If your weight loss grinds to a halt, you might think that slashing more calories is the solution. It’s probably not.
Though it sounds counterintuitive, your low-calorie diet could be the reason you’ve stopped shedding pounds in the first place.
“Whenever you limit calories to lose weight, your metabolism can go through a process called adaptive thermogenesis,” Moskovitz says. When this happens, your metabolism may slow down.
Essentially, when you cut too many calories, your body goes into survival mode, so it burns fewer calories to preserve energy. In short, your body is protecting you from what it perceives as starvation.
To make matters worse, restrictive dieting may even raise your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to increased appetite and belly fat, according to a May 2010 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine.
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