Weight Loss Support - Advice needed to restore metabolism




Esmeralda
01-03-2009, 01:16 AM
Does anyone have a plan or an idea of how to fix a broken metabolism? I fear that my constant deficits and undereating for a long period of time (about 3 years) has caught up with me and is screwing over my efforts at weight loss. I used to be able to lose about 1 1/2 lbs. a week, and now it's slowed down drastically to where even losing half a pound a week is an extreme struggle. And then there are times (like in October) when I was trying to maintain after FINALLY reaching my goal weight, for no apparent reason I gained weight.. even though I was still STRICTLY watching my intake and continued to exercise. Just to be safe I even ate a tad less than I actually needed.

Right now, I already eat 1,400-1,600 calories a day, and on sedentary my BMR is 1,390. Days that I work I burn about 1,500-1,700.. and that's not even including the 3-4 visits to the gym during the week.

This is what I was considering:

I plan on beginning to lift weights again in addition to my cardio routine. (I admit I've greatly slacked on the muscle work) I'm also going to try cutting my carbs by about 10-15% from what I'm eating now, and increase my intake of "healthy" fats to 30g a day...as opposed to the current 25g. In addition to that... I have a few questions.

1. Should I keep eating 1,400-1,600 calories or increase it? Decrease it?

2. How can I avoid gaining weight during repair, or is it inevitable? If so, how can I minimize the amount?

3. Is there anything else I should do? Supplements I should take? I recently bought an all-natural herbal thyroid supplement, as I've suspected it may be underactive. I've researched the symptoms online and I have every single symptom listed on the box, so I thought why not give it a try.

4. How will I know when my metabolism is back up to speed?

Sorry for so many questions. I just need some answers from REAL people, and google isn't being very helpful. :sad: This is very frustrating as I only have 6 more pounds to lose. :?:


kelly315
01-03-2009, 01:24 AM
I can't say I'm qualified to give advice on this, because I have yet to experience it. I would recommend, however, talking to a nutritionist. It was a great experience for me, and can be covered by most insurance companies, as long as you have a medical reason.

It might help if you told us your weight and workout plans.

A lot of people experience very slow weight loss under 150 pounds (that number varies per person.) It doesn't mean your metabolism is broken- not at all.

PhotoChick
01-03-2009, 01:25 AM
Well .. hmm. There are a couple of flags that I see in your post.

The biggest one is your last sentence. You say you only have 6 more pounds to lose. I think probably a great many people will tell you that the closer you get to your goal weight, and the more you are within a healthy BMI range, the harder it gets to lose. That's not 100% true across the board, but for a great many people it is. It doesn't mean your metabolism is broken. It just means you're normal. :)

Also ... it's hard to give concrete advice about food, weight, or diet w/out knowing more about YOU. How much do you weigh now? How tall are you? How much have you already lost? What do you eat now - not just how many calories but what kinds of foods? What kind of working out have you been doing? Are you sure about your BMR? Have you had it tested or is this an estimate on your part? Are you absolutely 100% sure that your'e eating within the calorie range you say you are - i.e. are you very carefully measuring things or are you just eyeballing them?

Finally (and this is a big soapbox issue of mine) taking "all natural herbal" meds is no different from taking prescribed meds, in reality. Meds are meds and I'm not sure why some people think that "all-natural" makes them any better or any less meds. If you truly believe that you have thyroid issues, then you're FAR better off going to a real doctor and having the proper tests run. If you then choose to research and rely on herbal medication as opposed to prescribed meds, that's one thing. But self-medicating just because it's "natural" is not a good thing. Toadstools are perfectly natural - that doesn't mean they won't kill you if you eat the wrong one. ;)

.


Esmeralda
01-03-2009, 01:53 AM
I haven't had my BMR tested, although I would LOVE to... but the price of doing so.. Ouchies! Plus I don't even know where around here they do that sort of thing. :?:

I've only lost 20 lbs. since 2005. Most of that was taken off by eating 1,100-1,200 a day, I have since then wised up! (that's when I was new to the whole dieting thing)

As for what I eat, I'd be lying if I said everything was healthy. lol I do eat a ton of chicken (skinless white meat), turkey, meat substitutes like tofu and seitan, hardboiled eggs, and a lot of fresh fruit. (dried fruit is not satisfying, nor worth the calories) For vegetables I eat tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc... I try to stay away from starchy ones like potatoes and corn. I eat them only on a rare occasion. For bread I use either low carb wraps like lawash or whole grain loaves, and I rarely eat pasta. I loveee cheese, so I'm usually always snacking on low fat mozzarella sticks, fat free cottage cheese, or fat free ricotta. For yogurt it's Natural Greek all the way - none of that Dannon/Yoplait crap. I make sure to measure everything. I use measuring cups, tablespoons (even leveling them off so they're not "heaping" and sneaking in extra cals), and I weigh everything from my meat, to my fruit & veggies, to my ice cream.

But then yes.. I do eat my rice cakes, diet cookies, and other processed stuff too, but who doesn't? lol A girl's gotta snack. ;)

gymlee
01-03-2009, 02:44 AM
Alright Esmeralda, from my experience listening to Jillian Michael's radio show on KFI AM 640, when you're really close to your goal weight (within 10 pounds) you're body naturally wants to hold on to that. For your body that is a healthy weight and it wants to stay there because it's saying "Ok hold the phone, this is good for me." because those 10 pounds are vanity pounds really. In addition to that if you're eating below your BMR your body is going to go into starvation mode and say, "Hey thyroid, settle down." and you can develop hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) from years of crash and yo yo dieting. If you suspect that you may have an issue with your thyroid I would say definintely get it checked out by a doctor for peace of mind. If anything comes back remotely off I would get a referral pronto to an endocrinologist so you can be put on proper medication and the right dosage. Taking an "all natural supplement" for thyroid could really be dangerous especially if you don't have a problem with it already, it can actually make you hypothyroid. So get it checked out.

As for diet, you may not want to hear this, but get rid of all the processed garbage and eat extremely clean meaning nothing processed, do as much organic as you can, drink tons of water, limit your caffeine, and substitute the "diet food" for real whole foods. Make sure you feed your body, never going below your BMR calorie wise on the days your sedentary, and on the days you're more active i.e. training I would increase your calorie intake. I can't tell you exactly how much more you should take in without knowing current height and weight but it can be determined even if it is a ball park figure to get you there. I would also recommend getting a hold of Jillians book called "Making the Cut" it's all about how to drop the last 10 pounds or so. It's really helpful from the parts that I've read.

I will state this one caveat, I am no expert and I am only going on what I've read and heard from Jillian Michaels, however this same thing can be researched. You can listen to her podcasts and also go on to youtube and can search for her and her appearance at ediets live. She stated pretty much all that I put in here in those clips. Really good stuff. I hope that helps. :)

rockinrobin
01-03-2009, 07:49 AM
I haven't had my BMR tested, although I would LOVE to... but the price of doing so.. Ouchies! Plus I don't even know where around here they do that sort of thing. :?:

I've only lost 20 lbs. since 2005. Most of that was taken off by eating 1,100-1,200 a day, I have since then wised up! (that's when I was new to the whole dieting thing)

As for what I eat, I'd be lying if I said everything was healthy. lol I do eat a ton of chicken (skinless white meat), turkey, meat substitutes like tofu and seitan, hardboiled eggs, and a lot of fresh fruit. (dried fruit is not satisfying, nor worth the calories) For vegetables I eat tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc... I try to stay away from starchy ones like potatoes and corn. I eat them only on a rare occasion. For bread I use either low carb wraps like lawash or whole grain loaves, and I rarely eat pasta. I loveee cheese, so I'm usually always snacking on low fat mozzarella sticks, fat free cottage cheese, or fat free ricotta. For yogurt it's Natural Greek all the way - none of that Dannon/Yoplait crap. I make sure to measure everything. I use measuring cups, tablespoons (even leveling them off so they're not "heaping" and sneaking in extra cals), and I weigh everything from my meat, to my fruit & veggies, to my ice cream.

But then yes.. I do eat my rice cakes, diet cookies, and other processed stuff too, but who doesn't? lol A girl's gotta snack. ;)

I'm also thinking your metabolism is A-OK.

Exericse can DEFINITELY help you rev up your metabolisim and help you to create that all important calorie defict. A combination of cardio and strength training.

And how many calories are you sticking to now? 1400 - 1600? And are you really, really sticking with them? Day in and day out. How long have you been doing this for? That's also some vital info not given here. Hard to tell you where you should go, if we don't know where you are. I think in order to create that deficit, needing/wanting to lose 6 lbs, you would have to stay on the lower end of that range. For sure. Of course only trial and error can determine that for you.

How tall are you? If you're on the short side, like myself, you may have to even go lower than the 1400 by a tad.

I think to lose these last pounds you will need to be extremely, extremely consistient with your food - no off plan days, very clean - small meals /snacks scattered throughout the day, lots of fiber filled veggies and low fat proteins and exercise, some sort of physical activity most days of the week. You will have to be very vigalant. Yes, a girls gotta snack - but if she's only got 6 lbs to lose and is having diffiuclty doing so, she may want to rethink those snacks. Make them work for herself - It's is HARDER and therefore you will have to be stricter, most likely.

Tomato
01-03-2009, 07:59 AM
Esmeralda,

Probably not what you want to hear but I would say since you are only 6 lbs away from goal stop focusing on the scale that much.
You said you plan to add lifting weight to cardio and I wholeheartedly recommend that. That in itself should boost your metabolism. Stop fretting about the number on the scale, perhaps talk to a nutritionist and hit the weights at the gym. Over time, your fat will decrease as the amount of your muscle mass increases.

fatmad
01-03-2009, 01:23 PM
Esmeralda, What do you really want to lose? DO you want to lose 6 pounds to change the number on the scale, or is there a dress size, or a fat pouch you want to get rid of?
Goal weights are fine, but only reflect your weight. Not your size, or tone, or fitness, or health.
What are your other goals besides weight.
I would encourage the weight training, just to add muscle and help tone, and the larger muscle mass will be a better calorie burner anyhow.
And you may need to slight increase calories to do that.
good luck