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5 Signs Your Metabolism is Damaged from Dieting

An RD addresses the hows, whys, and what to dos about metabolism issues.

If you feel like your metabolism isn't working efficiently, you aren't alone. Kelsey Kunik, RD, is a nutritionist who tries to help people "overcome overeating without dieting." In a recent Instagram video, she discusses metabolism and how yours could be damaged because of dieting. "Do you ever feel like other people are 'blessed' and you're 'cursed' when it comes to your metabolism??" she writes in the beginning of the post, going on to explain why and what you can do about it. Body Network also consulted with our Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies, to offer her input on the topic.

Some People Try Dieting to Speed Up Their Metabolism, But It Has the Opposite Effect


In the video, Kunik explains that oftentimes when someone believes their metabolism is damaged, they might go to the wrong extremes. "That might lead you to dieting to lose weight or speed things up, but the truth is that dieting, especially dieting on and off over several years, can have a massive impact on how efficiently you burn calories," she says.

Here Are the Signs and Symptoms Yours Needs Help


"While this is NOT medical advice and it's not the ONLY possible cause of these symptoms, your metabolism could use a little help if you experience any of these," she says.

Holding Onto Extra Weight

Overweight unhappy asian woman extra heavy body cellulite sitting on bed at home. Upset oversized lady worry diet weight loss suffering from extra weight. Obesity unhealthily concept.

Are you feeling heavier than usual? The first sign is "holding on to extra weight," says Kelsey.


Sleepy young woman drinking coffee, feeling tired, suffering from insomnia and sleeping disorder. Sad female sitting in modern kitchen interior, empty space

The second sign your metabolism is damaged? "Feeling tired," she says.


Door handle open to toilet can see toilet

Are you having trouble going to the bathroom? "Number three on the list is constipation," she says.

Always Feeling Cold

Frozen. Sad latina female sit on couch at freezing cooled studio flat in warm cap and blanket shiver tremble with cold. Unhappy young lady spend time at home feel bad suffer of heating system problems

Are you getting the chills more than usual? The fourth sign your metabolism is damaged is that you are "always feeling cold."

Hormone Imbalances

Depressed woman sitting alone on the bed with hands on head feel stress, sad and worried in the dark bedroom and low light environment

Are you feeling all over the place or unusually hormonal, even when it's not that time of the month. Number five, "hormone imbalances," she says.

The Answer: Feed Your Body with Nutrients

Girl holds a paper plate with healthy food sitting on the floor. Home delivery food. Healthy eating concept. When you stay at home.

What should you do about it? "And the answer to repairing your metabolism is NOT another diet," she continues. "When your body is given nourishing food on a regular basis that's balanced with high protein, fiber, quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and veggies, it begins to trust that food is available and your metabolism can start to HEAL itself. Your metabolism will NOT improve when your body is in a constant flux of starvation and excess — as if you needed another reason to stop dieting!"

Related: This Is Exactly How to Lose Body Fat This Year

Why Your Metabolism Could Be "Tanking," According to Collingwood


Collingwood agrees on all points. "All of these could be signs that your metabolism is tanking," she says, offering reasons why it may be happening. "It could be from lack of physical activity, poor diet, eating too little, getting too little sleep, or a variety of other reasons," she says. "When under stress, the body tries to hang on to what it has which means lowering metabolism to prevent weight loss and cause fatigue and other symptoms."

💪🔥Body Booster: If you are struggling with your metabolism, resist dieting. Instead, try and take a more balanced approach to nutrition, allowing it to reset.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more