Our metabolism essentially acts like a barometer for stress. It is always adapting, learning and providing feedback to us based on it's surroundings and environment.
This biofeedback can actually help us break through plateaus if we are savvy enough to understand and decipher it.
The main problem I see though is that...
...most people have not been taught how to correctly decipher this feedback. And tend to believe that you can treat the metabolism like a calculator, rather than like a thermostat, barometer or boomerang.
The harder you throw a boomerang, the harder it is going to fly back to you. Your metabolism works the same way.
It does not work like a calculator like most of you have been taught. Simply subtracting the amount of calories that you eat in order to lose weight will not provide long term results.
And we know this right?
Ever have your mood, energy, hunger, sleep and/or cravings get out of check about 10-14 days in on a restrictive, low calorie (eat less) and high exertion (exercise more) diet?
Only to want to quit and sit on the couch and overeat for the next 10-14 days...
The key aspect that we are missing is that in addition to having a caloric deficit (eating less and exercising more), we must also have hormonal balance (hunger, energy, sleep, cravings and mood) in check.
We can do this by eating when we are physically hungry and stopping when we are about 80 percent full, eating what our body requires for fuel and exercising enough, but not too much in order to see results.
In my experience...
More people need to incorporate more rest-based living strategies rather than focusing on severely cutting their calories and eating dramatically less, when they have reached a plateau. Meaning body fat and not necessarily body weight has stagnated.
Strategies like yoga, getting a message, sauna therapy and leisure walking.
Finding the right mix of rest-based living strategies, exercising just enough, and having our "what, why and how we eat" in check will help us achieve a caloric deficit and hormonal balance at the same time.