T Nation

Metabolism slow and diet

Dan Duchaine claimed that your metabolism starts to slow down after ~3 weeks of dieting. The author of the ABCDE diet claimed that the body loses inefficiency to drop fat after two weeks of dieting. Keeping this in mind; what have your personal experiences been? What are your methods around it? Do you diet for short periods of time (4 weeks) then resume maintanance calories for a few weeks? Or do you diet straight for ex.12 weeks?

I’m interested in this, too, as I have a long diet road ahead of me.

I think this is one of the functions of the cheat-refeed meal–to throw a sort of metabolic curve ball. I have noticed, though, that I have broken through plateaus right after vacations or other somewhat longer periods of not so clean eating.

Are proper refeeds the way to regulate metabolic suppression when one is dieting longer term? Should one periodically incorporate a week at maintenance calories?

I suppose a lot of this is trial and error–finding what works for you.


Paul, you’re just going to have to experiment and continue to consider your metabolic/thyroid-boosting options. And remember, what works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next. We’re all biochemically and physiologically unique.

A couple of options are:

  1. The judicious use of carb refeeds; there are many flavors of refeeds and cheat meals, and you’ll just have to experiment to see what gives you a positive result. Unfortunately, carb refeeds don’t work for everyone.

  2. Cycling of carbs high and low, almost a cyclical approach, with carb calories being low on non-workout days and 500 calories (or so) higher than non-workout days. Those carbs should be taken in, in your PWO drink and the real-food PWO P+C meal that follows about an hour later.

  3. Use of variant forms of cardio; HIIT and longer-duration, medium-intensity fasted-state cardio. I’m not sure FS cardio has the clinical backing, but it does have a long history as a partitioning tool with the BB set, and some credit it singlehandedly with getting them to ultra-low BF percentages. To stack the deck a bit and protect LBM with FS cardio, I’d recommend the use of BCAAs.

  4. Use of thyroid support formulas like Hot Rox, T2 and T2-Pro, along with sufficient intake of L-Tyrosine and natural forms of iodine (kelp and seaweed are ideal - I sprinkle some food-quality kelp on a lot of my protein).

  5. If doing a low-carb diet, switching macronutrient percentages. Some people have had success switching fat calories to carb calories two days or so to a week. In other words, dropping fat to as low as possible and replacing the fat calories with carb calories; oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice – QUALITY carbs, of course. The trick is to continue to take in below-maintenance calories and use a glucose disposal agent like r-ALA, ALA, or vanadyl/vanadium sulfate.

Okay, just some food for thought. Hopefully others will stop by.