Metabolic adaptation is part of the game

A decrease in components of energy expenditure is a logical component of weight loss.

These decreases can be offset by an increase in energy expenditure, primarily from physical activity.

I tried to explain this on the spot last week - hence this week’s email - and while I am not sure the analogy I came up with made total sense, but it almost does because it doesn’t.

Let’s say you’re taking your car on a long drive.

If you decrease the amount of weight in the car by packing light, not inviting some family members or evening removing the seat (because the family member won’t need it) the car will be lighter and will burn less fuel.

However, the car isn’t necessarily more fuel-efficient in the sense that if you added the weight back in, it would burn the amount of fuel as it would before.

The car engine hasn’t changed, the load has.

This part makes sense, but let me go further...

It’s logical to think that when the car is more fuel-efficient, you will save money on fuel.

But this assumes the price of fuel is the same wherever you fill up.

If your cars new found fuel-efficiency means you fill up 150km later than usual, on an isolated road in the middle of nowhere, you might find yourself paying 25% more for fuel which offsets the 15% increased efficiency gained from the modifications.

If you just compared fuel bills, it would appear that the modifications actually made things more expensive, which might be attributed to decreased fuel efficiency.

… Reading back on it, I can kind of see where I was going, but that one needs more work.

The point is that metabolic adaption is a result of changing the settings within the body.

As we alter the input, the output changes as a result.

Tom Fitzgerald