[EN] Energy Saving Mechanisms - less ≠ more

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

So, you’ve been on a strict diet for a long time but still haven’t lost a kilo. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps your body has been put on “energy saving mode”. It is an evolutionary mechanism that I can best describe like this: your body experiences a persistent shortage of food, which, from an evolutionary perspective, could be perceived as a potential threat - famine. To protect itself, your body will use less energy for tasks so that it can fulfil the same processes but with less energy, simply by making more efficient use of the available energy. Because your body cannot predict how long this energy shortage will last, it prefers to be safe than sorry. So it “puts aside” a little buffer that it conserves from the energy received from foods. It will store that in the most efficient way: as fat.

Particularly in the past when the availability of food was not guaranteed, this was a very useful mechanism, since the lower availability of food over a certain amount of time might herald an even longer period of no food to come: famine. So it is crucial for our existence that we have a mechanism to help us survive for days or even weeks with little or no food, waiting for better times.


To protect itself, your body will use less energy for tasks so that it can fulfil the same processes but with less energy, simply by making more efficient use of the available energy.