Today, we look into a potential reason as to why some people lose weight and drop body fat much easier than others…

For example, if two people living identical lifestyles were to reduce their calorie intake by 500kcal per day, why would one potentially lose more weight that the other?

It’s very evident that our environment, accessibility to fast foods and lack of activity is largely to blame for weight gain and obesity, but how much does our genetics come into play?
This topic has been explored very nicely by Piaggi et al (2018) where they cover two types of genetic variations to their metabolism and how much energy they burn as a result:

1) Spendthrift
2) Thrifty

When people increase or decrease their calorie intake, their metabolism either speeds up or slows down to meet this new stimuli.

Typically speaking, when you drop calories to shred body fat, your metabolic rates slows down in attempt to preserve your energy stores. Likewise, when you increase calorie intake, your metabolism typically increases to preserve leanness.

Now, here’s the tyre kicker…not everyone responds the same.

People who are termed ‘metabolically thrifty’ would be defined as your typical ‘slow metabolism’ type of individuals. When they are introduced to a calorie restriction, they see large decreases in metabolic rate. Unfortunately, they also see small increases in metabolic rate when higher calories are consumed.

Therefore, these people tend to find it harder to lose weight, and easier to gain weight – they are ‘energy efficient’.

Where people termed ‘metabolically spendthrift’ have the opposite…i.e. they don’t see large decreases in metabolic rate when they drop calories, but see large increases in metabolic rate when they overeat.

These are the people everyone tends to hate – they can shred body fat easy and can stay relatively lean when they eat in excess – they are ‘energy inefficient’.

Don’t take this the wrong way, people with thrifty metabolism can still lose weight, so please don’t use this as an excuse to say you can’t (your metabolism isn’t broken). What it does mean is that it may be somewhat more challenging for you and it’ll perhaps take a longer time to reach your goal – so keep at it!

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