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November 25, 2007

How To Repair A Damaged Metabolism

By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

If you've caused metabolic damage as a result of following starvation diets or losing weight too rapidly in the past, it can be extremely difficult to achieve any further fat loss at all. The good news is, metabolic damage can be repaired. All it takes is the right combination of metabolism stimulating exercise and metabolism stimulating nutrition (NOT just a diet), all done consistently over time.

The big irony is that most of the diet programs that claim to help you get rid of excess weight, only end up making it harder for you in the long run because they use harsh metabolism-decreasing diets and not enough exercise (almost never any weight training).

It may take a little longer if you have really messed things up with severe starvation dieting in the past, especially if you've lost a lot of lean body mass, but it is never hopeless. Anyone can increase their metabolism.

Most people get an almost immediate boost in metabolic rate when they start the Burn The Fat program. However, the results are not going to be "overnight." Give it a little time...

Within 3 weeks your metabolism will already be more efficient. Within 6-8 weeks, it's burning hot. Give me 12 weeks of consistent diligent effort, sticking with all the metabolism boosting strategies I teach, and your metabolism really will become like a turbo charged engine, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that.

What’s most important for upping your metabolism is CONSISTENCY in applying the Burn The Fat nutrition and training principles every single day.

That includes:

  • Meal frequency: eat 5-6 small meals per day
  • Meal timing: eat approximately every 3 hours, with a substantial breakfast and a substantial post workout meal.
  • Sufficient Caloric Intake: maintain a small calorie deficit and avoid starvation-level diets (suggested safe levels for fat loss: 2100-2500 calories per day for men, 1400-1800 calories per day for women; adjust as needed)
  • Food choices: Select natural, unprocessed foods with high thermic effect (lean proteins like chicken, turkey, egg whites and fish are highly thermic, as are all green vegetables, salad vegetables and other fibrous carbs)
  • Cardio training: Push up the intensity a bit if you really want to get a metabolic boost. Walking and low intensity cardio is fine, but higher intensity is more metabolism-stimulating
  • Weight training: The basic exercises that include the largest muscle groups or even call into play the entire body as a unit (squats, front squats, split squats, deadlifts, stiff legged deadlifts, overhead presses, all kinds of rows and core-activation exercises) will have a much greater metabolism stimulating effect than isolation exercises (concentration curls, calf raises, etc)

The weight training is extremely important in cases of "metabolic damage" because this is the stimulus to keep the muscle you have and begin rebuilding new muscle tissue, which is the engine that drives your metabolism.

The men don't usually have a problem with the weight training, but I still hear women say they don't want to lift weights as part of their fat loss programs. Well, people who wont lift weights can expect a very, very long metabolism "repair process" if they achieve it at all.

Consistency is the key.

Nothing will undermine the "re-building" of your metabolism like inconsistency. If you stop and start, or skip meals and workouts often, you will not even get off the ground.

After your metabolism is back up where it should be, it takes continued "stoking" of the metabolic furnace to keep it there. Once you get your metabolic engine running, you've got to keep feeding it fuel or the fire will die down.

Picture an old fashioned wood burning stove...

Imagine you're in a cabin up in the mountains in the winter. It's cold in there and you want to keep the cabin warm. Can you achieve this by feeding the fire once or twice per day? Nope. Not enough fuel to burn, so not much heat is generated.

What if you just toss an entire pile of wood in the stove all at once? Will that work? Nope. Lots of fuel, but can't all be used at once... it just smothers the fire and the excess just sits there.

How about if you throw some tissue paper or crumpled newspaper in the stove, will that work? Nope - too quickly burning.

You have to keep putting small amounts of wood (the right type of fuel) on the fire at regular intervals or the fire burns out.

It's also difficult to get the fire lit again. In the case of metabolism, it's like going through that initial few weeks of overcoming inertia all over again.

Your goal is to get your metabolism burning hot and keep it burning and this cannot be achieved by missing meals, missing workouts or with sporadic, infrequent training.

I have only seen a handful of cases where all these things were done properly and there was still a longer "repair" process.

For example, one case was former ballet dancer. At 5' 5", she was previously 110 lbs and had increased to about 145 or so. She didn’t want to reach her previous 110, but find a happy medium of about 125 lbs.

I figured with 20 lbs to cut, this would be a simple and predictable process, but she had a challenging time (and I didn't know why at first).

I later found out that she had been anorexic and bulimic for many years. This had caused a lot of damage, and although she did reach her goal, it took about twice as long as we had anticipated.

The good news is, even in this extreme case, the same nutrition and training principles worked! It just took a little longer. And by the way her program included some serious training with free weights and she ate a lot more (clean) food than she had ever eaten before. No "starvation!"

That’s the power of burning the fat and feeding the muscles... Trying to starve the fat with crash diets is what causes the metabolic damage in the first place!

If you’re interested in the healthy, sensible way to take off the fat, while keeping all your muscle and actually increasing your metabolism in the process, then my Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle program can teach you how. No gimmicks or false promises. Just the truth - you have to work at it and you have to be patient.

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to burn fat without drugs or supplements using the little-known secrets of the world's best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and turbo-charge your metabolism by visiting:


what's your opinion on robert dos remedios' men's health power training?

I'm interested in your thoughts about fasting. Not a seriously extended fast, but a one day fast, or once or twice a month. It kind of goes against the science you've presented here, but often health professonals will reccomend a fast once in a while.

What are your thoughts?


Hi Liam!

I've had friends who are nutritionists who believed strongly in fasting once in a while.

That being said, I know nothing about fasting. Not many of my clients have fasted, and I myself have never fasted.

So, I have no experience with fasting to speak from.

I make a point not to speak about things I don't know about. Sorry I can't help.

If you want to discover 3 flat belly exercises which can shape your abdominal muscles and additional body regions simultaneously, then you've found the right article. Because among the most effective ways to form the abdominal muscles is to perform resistance training of separate body parts with workouts which work on the abdomen indirectly.

What do I mean by working the stomach indirectly? With each exercise, you have the primary muscles and you have supporting muscles. E.g., when you do press-ups, you are more often than not working your pectoral muscle, yet your shoulder muscles and triceps act as supporting muscles and also get pumped up. The stomach acts as a supporting muscle for numerous exercises. Doing these exercises means that you are flattening out your stomach simultaneously whilst you're working other body parts. And it is frequently more efficient than doing conventional stomach exercises.

Here are 3 workouts for a flat stomach which I recommend you start doing now:

1. Pull ups - the pull up is a solid exercise. It generally works the back muscles, except whenever possible get a friend to place his or her hand on your abdominals while you are doing it, they will tell you that it is solid as steel. That's because the abs are tensing like mad. Even doing 5 pull ups is more of an effective method than ,for example, a stomach exercise routine of 50 sit ups .

2. Push ups - whilst you're doing push ups you must make certain that your stomach is tucked in. That way, your abdominals are working hard every throughout the push ups. Regardless of the type of push up that you try: horizontal, elevated, or counter elevated, the abdomen is still shaping. Push ups work your total upper body and they are a major exercise to flatten out your stomach.

3. Pull down - this is executed by pulling down the pulley cable and is actually an easier variation of the pull up (yes I realize it sounds strange but they do similar things). Whilst you pull the cable down from above your head down to your waist, you upper body goes through a whole extension which means that your abdomen muscles are tensing. Once again, the abdomen acts as the supporting role, However it does not mean that it is not straining.

Practise these 3 flat belly exercises and you'll witness results throughout your upper body, not just your abs.

To read more about how to get flat abs, and the 5 facts you MUST understand if you're ever going to see yourself with a fglat stomach and sexy six pack abs, check out my website,

Ultimately, and if you've read the facts over at my website, you'll

understand that although these exercises might do some good for getting a flat stomach and possible six pack abs, there is no way that you'll get to that point with these exercises alone, and the good news is that it's not all about doing more exercises! It's ultimately about doing things smarter, not always harder...

You can shave years off your hard work by knowing the secrets to fast six pack abs. Because ab belts, ab-rockers, ab-loungers, and other infomercial ab-gimmicks... they're all a complete waste of your time and money. Visit to see how...

I like it that you didn't perpetuate the myth that building muscle is the way to get lean, because "muscle burns more calories than fat". This is too, but vastly exaggerated. Good atricle!

This is some good information for those having trouble gaining weight and build muscle mass. I would also like to add the importance of breathing squats, which are pretty much the closest thing to a miracle exercise for hardgainers. I have seen literally dozens of people (myself included) gain up to 30 pounds of muscle in as short as two months with just breathing squats and a few other exercises alone

Good post. The medical and pharmaceutical industry doesn't teach us stuff like this. They make too much money off of keeping us fat and sick. I think the whole medical/big pharma complex should be scrapped and instead we should hire people like Tom to keep us FIT and HEALTHY instead of medicating ourselves to death.

That's a pretty helpful article. I think that pills are definitely not the way to maintain fitness. Personal discipline and the "just one" concept is the way to improve diet discipline. That is the concept which says you can eat just one of anything! :)

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