Weight Loss Support - How can a metabolism be so slow/low?




berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 12:06 PM
I'm 42 years old. According to the scale and other tables, my BMR is around 1500 calories a day. That's if I sit all day, doing nothing.

It seems, however, based on my eating and activity level before leaving on vacation (Mid-April to Mid-July) that eating at 1500-ish with moderate activity - gardening, cleaning, taking leisurely walks means I maintain my weight or even slightly gain.

If I eat around 1450-1550 and workout every day (or 5-6 times a week for an hour) at either strength training or step aerobics or the like, I can lose about .75 to 1 pound a week. If I'm religious about my eating and exercise.

Twice now, I've gone off plan for holidays and vacation for a month. Both times I ate what I wanted. Over the holidays, I ate a LOT and I mean a lot and I know it and I wasn't very active - lots of parties, etc. But now on vacation we were swimming, hiking and such almost every day. We were not inactive. I ate more (especially more carbs), but not grossly over-eating. I gained 9 pounds over that month's time. I was probably eating 2000-2300 a day AND I was active (as mentioned).

How is it that I gain so easily? I remember being shocked at a 3FCer exercising for an hour every day and eating about 1500 a day just to maintain. We are about the same height and age too. I was like "that's barely eating!" And here I am, and that's about what it will be for me to maintain at my ideal weight, I figure. Yet, I see others who can eat 2000 or more a day and maintain at much shorter heights even.

How is it so different for people? I eat now - a protein bar in the morning, coffee with whole milk, a piece of fruit. For lunch I eat an apple with peanut butter. For a snack I either have an egg or cheese or a beef jerky serving. For dinner I eat tons of veggies or salad with olive oil and a good size serving of meat - fish/pork/beef. No eating after dinner. That's it - 1500 calories and none of it from grains/sugars - no juice or soda or alcohol.

I'm getting perplexed. Seems I'll have to be pretty rigid with everything to lose everything I want to lose and to KEEP it off I'll have to keep that super rigid diet/exercise habit too.


Vex
08-19-2012, 01:22 PM
I don't know. I'm the same way and also 42. I maintain at 1500 and start to gain at 2000.

I'm sure age has something to do with it, but it seems as if I was always under the metabolism stick throughout my life. I suppose there's always going to be those people that have to be strict for the rest of their lives.

Some people might say to increase calories. I don't know about that - increasing calories put me where I was. I don't know if more aerobic exercise helps increase metabolism or not but it's probably something worth researching.

I wish I had fun happy thoughts about it, but unfortunately I don't. The bottom line is, which is more important - staying at a reasonable weight or being able to pick and choose food freely?

I look at it in a somewhat fatalistic way sometimes - I spent half my life with no control over food, so the least I can do is spend the other half with control.

JohnP
08-19-2012, 01:22 PM
Your vacation is pretty easy to explain in general terms. I think it is very easy to underestimate calories ingested when not tracking everything and certainly it is easy to over estimate how many calories we're burning with activity.

That said - your pre-vacation numbers are very interesting. Don't be offended when I question them. I recall you mentioning that exercise blunts your appetite.

Could it be that when you don't exercise and your appetite is not blunted that you're simply consuming more than you think?

Regardless - when you look at the studies which were done to create the BMR calculators most people fall right along the curve but even within the curve there is deviation and then there are true outliers.

Than there is the consideration that people who have lost weight burn fewer calories primarily because our bodies tend to be more efficient at resting.

Anyways - the answer to your question is yes. Totally possible. The only way to truly know is long term diligent tracking or to find a lab that will hook you up and test out your actual BMR.:D


sagebrush
08-19-2012, 01:32 PM
Than there is the consideration that people who have lost weight burn fewer calories primarily because our bodies tend to be more efficient at resting.



I've never heard this. How depressing!

Berryblondeboys, do you lift *heavy* weights? I know we lose muscle mass as we grow older and that is a part of having a healthy metabolism. And the latest research is telling us that light weights and "toning" aren't all that useful. It's something I need to start doing personally, since 40 is sneaking up on me. How tall are you, btw?

Prim2012
08-19-2012, 02:06 PM
I've never heard this. How depressing!

Berryblondeboys, do you lift *heavy* weights? I know we lose muscle mass as we grow older and that is a part of having a healthy metabolism. And the latest research is telling us that light weights and "toning" aren't all that useful. It's something I need to start doing personally, since 40 is sneaking up on me. How tall are you, btw?

Yes, it's depressing Sagebrush but since you're lighter your body does not have to exert itself as much so you're not burning as many calories. I'm with you on focusing more on muscle building which may help give you a little more wiggle room for maintaining your weight (not a lot but maybe you can have an extra 50-100 calories per day due to increased muscle mass). Berryblondboys, have you considered using BodyBugg? I find it's been helpful for seeing what I burned compared to the calories I've eaten. Once you see a pattern that shows you're consistently maintaining, you will have a good idea of how much exercise and calories required for you (versus using the general calculators online).

berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 02:08 PM
I've never heard this. How depressing!

Berryblondeboys, do you lift *heavy* weights? I know we lose muscle mass as we grow older and that is a part of having a healthy metabolism. And the latest research is telling us that light weights and "toning" aren't all that useful. It's something I need to start doing personally, since 40 is sneaking up on me. How tall are you, btw?

I do strength training, but for now I've done BodyPump. Not super heavy, but not light either. It helps A LOT and I think a lot of my issue is that I stopped going mid-April due to an injury. I started back up this week. My upper body and core didn't lose much strength as I was doing heavy duty landscaping at home June and July (installed a stone pathway, removed sod from two areas in my yard manually, planted 4 flower beds - 200 square feet each, etc). However, I lost a LOT of strength in my legs, oddly. I dropped my weight on the bar by half for squats at bodypump from where I left off and I could barely walk two days later. I did the class again and my legs seem better now (with still the lower weights). I didn't need to decrease the weight on the bar for anything else by much if at all due to heavy lifting elsewhere in daily stuff.

I just can't get into machines and doing things solo. I'm TOTALLY a 'class' kind of girl - being part of a group - with music.

Rana
08-19-2012, 02:12 PM
BBB, I have always thought I had a slower metabolism than others, and recently, studies in women with PCOS and IR have noted that this is the case, in fact.

I know you don't have PCOS, but I think I remember you saying that you are trying to deal with prediabetes, I think, and if it applies to women with PCOS, maybe it applies to women with pre-diabetes too.

I posted the links over at the PCOS board.

The study basically indicated that there is a slower metabolism at play, which affects weight loss and weight maintenance.

I have been tracking my BMR with exercise calories (Estimated) and consumption of calories, and according to that data, I should have lost about 1.5 - 2 lbs more than I have in the last 6 weeks. It's not a big amount when you break down into those six weeks, but it is slower than someone who is "normal" so to speak. (In my case, I'm just glad that I'm losing weight, period the end, even if it's not as fast as others!)

You may have to play around with the macros (if I eat 150 grams of carbs or less, I lose weight, anything higher and I maintain, regardless of calories). You may have to just let your body get used to being back on plan, rather than on vacation. And you may be able to maintain at slightly higher calories (1700, for example), rather than 1500 for the rest of your life.

But it may just come to the point that you have to accept that you have to eat less. You came to accept you're not going to be taller, this may be one of those things you have to accept too.

However, before you give up, I also think you should try heavy weightlifting. You won't look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you do have prediabetes it will help with that, and if you are lifting really heavy, then your muscles will help you burn more calories.

I have been doing a more intense version of Pilates for this reason and I'm thinking of adding real weights like dumbbells into my routine too.

berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 02:13 PM
Berryblondboys, have you considered using BodyBugg? I find it's been helpful for seeing what I burned compared to the calories I've eaten. Once you see a pattern that shows you're consistently maintaining, you will have a good idea of how much exercise and calories required for you (versus using the general calculators online).

I have a similar devise, the BodyMedia Fit Core. I haven't worn it since early July (and not on vacation). I'll take it out again and charge it up, but they don't 'really' know what your BMR is either - it's a guess based on 'averages'.

berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 02:20 PM
Your vacation is pretty easy to explain in general terms. I think it is very easy to underestimate calories ingested when not tracking everything and certainly it is easy to over estimate how many calories we're burning with activity.

That said - your pre-vacation numbers are very interesting. Don't be offended when I question them. I recall you mentioning that exercise blunts your appetite.

Could it be that when you don't exercise and your appetite is not blunted that you're simply consuming more than you think?

Regardless - when you look at the studies which were done to create the BMR calculators most people fall right along the curve but even within the curve there is deviation and then there are true outliers.

Than there is the consideration that people who have lost weight burn fewer calories primarily because our bodies tend to be more efficient at resting.

Anyways - the answer to your question is yes. Totally possible. The only way to truly know is long term diligent tracking or to find a lab that will hook you up and test out your actual BMR.:D

It is true that I cannot know for sure what calories I was eating during vacation. Especially since I was eating foods without labels. I totally could have under-estimated, tis true.

But I'm very careful with counting at home. I 'wing it' with measuring when I'm sure, but every so often, I'll remeasure to be sure I'm guessing right and 99% of the time I am - often under-estimating and those are for things like veggies/salad that don't add many calories anyway. I always measure the peanut butter, butter, yogurt, etc. Then for things that have single servings, it's easy enough - like a cheese stick, etc.

Exercise makes it easier for me to stay within my calorie limit without feeling starving. I'll stay within them anway, but it's more difficult without the exercise.

But maybe my body is 'older' than the average 42 year old too. I'm pretty sure I'm going through menopause, as well as dealing a low thyroid (which should be under control by now with meds).

berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 02:24 PM
BBB, I have always thought I had a slower metabolism than others, and recently, studies in women with PCOS and IR have noted that this is the case, in fact.

I know you don't have PCOS, but I think I remember you saying that you are trying to deal with prediabetes, I think, and if it applies to women with PCOS, maybe it applies to women with pre-diabetes too.

I posted the links over at the PCOS board.

The study basically indicated that there is a slower metabolism at play, which affects weight loss and weight maintenance.

I have been tracking my BMR with exercise calories (Estimated) and consumption of calories, and according to that data, I should have lost about 1.5 - 2 lbs more than I have in the last 6 weeks. It's not a big amount when you break down into those six weeks, but it is slower than someone who is "normal" so to speak. (In my case, I'm just glad that I'm losing weight, period the end, even if it's not as fast as others!)

You may have to play around with the macros (if I eat 150 grams of carbs or less, I lose weight, anything higher and I maintain, regardless of calories). You may have to just let your body get used to being back on plan, rather than on vacation. And you may be able to maintain at slightly higher calories (1700, for example), rather than 1500 for the rest of your life.

But it may just come to the point that you have to accept that you have to eat less. You came to accept you're not going to be taller, this may be one of those things you have to accept too.

However, before you give up, I also think you should try heavy weightlifting. You won't look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you do have prediabetes it will help with that, and if you are lifting really heavy, then your muscles will help you burn more calories.

I have been doing a more intense version of Pilates for this reason and I'm thinking of adding real weights like dumbbells into my routine too.

It is true that these past few months, the amount of carbs have creeped back up in my diet (as I no longer have sugar issues). I've dropped them back down, so we'll see how much that helps. I "feel" better with them lower, that's for sure.

I'm OK with eating less day to day for most of the time. It just makes vacationing VERY difficult. I can control what I eat to 1500 calories and have it be filling 1500 calories. VERY difficult when I can't control my foods where there are hidden calories everywhere. I guess I'll just have to deal with weight loss every time when I get back from vacation.

I've already decided I'm not going off plan this holiday season. That did a doozy on my head getting back on track. That will be hard as I'm a baker who takes orders over the holidays - and those NINE holiday parties/events, but I will have to do better than I did last year. It took me 2-3 months to relose the weight from those 3 weeks of over-indulgences.

sagebrush
08-19-2012, 02:41 PM
You know, this could be a long shot, but I just read the Diet Cure by Julia Ross. I'm not on board with everything she says, but I do like her explanation of amino acids and how our brain chemicals are linked to everything else in our body, including weight loss. Being on the weight loss bandwagon can contribute even more because restricted calories means fewer essential amino acids. Anyway, I just started supplementing as she recommends (with several amino acids throughout the day) and I am astounded at how much better I feel--I'm not exhausted all the time, my appetite is decreased, my mind is quieter, I'm not obsessing about food and yet, I'm losing weight (I had a baby 2 yrs ago and I've been a mess since--she said hormonal events like puberty, childbirth, menopause can trigger these problems). With issues like PCOS, pre-diabetes, and pre-menopause, it might have some useful ideas for you.

Brandis
08-19-2012, 04:35 PM
Have you had your thyroid levels checked recently? Maybe you could consult with an endocrinologist to see if there is anything lurking with the hypothyroid issue, and perhaps a better plan for you if you are insulin resistant or are having other hormonal issues.
Also, maybe you could try zig zagging your calories? This seems to work for me, as it gives me a "high" calorie day mixed in with the low calorie days. I also have to go with the heavy weight lifting recommendation, because the more muscle you add, the higher your metabolism will be (although it is hard to build muscle at a deficit.)

kaplods
08-19-2012, 04:44 PM
It's amazing to me how much my metabolism has changed over the years. The calorie level it now takes to maintain my weight is a calorie level I would consistently lose 5 to 8 lbs a week on in my 20's (at the same weight). I am currently less active, but I also have health issues that are known to be causes or effects of slow metabolism.

It's sometimed difficult to wrap my head around the difference between my old metabolism and my current metabolism. It's almost like they belong to two different people (and sometimes I think of it that way.... not only can I not compare my metabolism to that of other people, I also can't compare it to my old metabolsim. The old me doesn't exist anymore, and probably never will).

I have found that I can lose a bit more consistently (while getting to eat a few more calories) on low-carb.

For me the difference is about 300 calories (I lose about the same amount of weight on an 1800 calorie low-carb exchange plan as I do on a 1500 calorie standard exchange plan (and I'm far less hungry, and not only because of the 300 extra calories. I'm hungrier on 1500 calories of high-carb than I am on 1000 calories of low-carb, because the fewer starchy/sugary carbs I eat the less hunger I experience, and the more starchy/sugary carbs I eat, the hungrier I get).

I used to think that this was an unusual discrepancy (at least many people told me that they believed it to be, as well), but a recent study comparing diets of three different carb-level found this same discrepancy. The lowest-carb diet studied was found to have a 300 calorie advantage over the highest carb plan (that is the advantage averaged 300 calories). That is subjects were able to eat an average of 300 more calories on low-carb to acheive comparable results of subjects eating a high-carb diet.

Looks like I'm more typical/average than I thought (well, in one way at least).

Now that doesn't mean that even if you do experience this calorie advantage that the lowest-carb diet possible is the best diet. It just means that a calorie is a calorie, isn't all that accurate when it comes to metabolism. If you restrict carbs, there's a good chance that you can eat a slightly higher calorie diet than if you don't.

I only read the abstract of this study, so I do not know what the range of calorie differences was. I would be very interested to know more about it. Did some people experience no advantage whatsover, and others experience a 600 calorie advantage? Were there any participants who experienced a calorie advantage to the high-carb plan (group statistics wouldn't necessarily capture this. The average advantage was 300 calories, but that doesn't really tell us whether the effect was universal to all participans or whether it was proportional to all participants. Some people may have experienced smaller differences, larger differences, no differences, or even the opposite effect).

Only Me
08-19-2012, 04:48 PM
I'm beginning to think 1500-1600 is going to end up being my maintenance average too. I've only lost a couple of lbs over the summer, with mostly 1200 calorie days, dotted with significantly higher days once or twice per week on average. It's kind of frustrating to think that this is what I'm going to be stuck with, but I am becoming used to it and I think I can live with it if the alternative is a slow, steady regain and return to the pains in my hips I was having last winter. I'm 39.

Steph7409
08-19-2012, 05:06 PM
I'm old and short, so I'm basically screwed. :mad:

But, like Vex said, I spent most of my life eating whatever I wanted. Now it's time to grow up and take some responsibility for my health.

I've found that I can maintain my current weight without too much trouble (exercising at least an hour a day, eating up to 1800 calories) but I really should lose another 15 pounds. If I ever get there, maintaining that will be much harder, I'm sure.

berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 06:02 PM
kaplods - I went on a lower carb diet when my numbers were all BAD, but unconsciously, I let them creep back up. They were still lower carb than most, but too high carb to keep my hunger in check and thus, the calorie count low enough.

Just in this past week of being back to a lower carb diet, my face has stopped breaking out and my gut is shrinking - a LOT. Keeping net carbs between 50 and 80 on average.

Brandis - I just started seeing an endocrinologist this past couple months and they just increased my meds and switched me from generic to name brand (as I was having a weird side effect with the generic - and that side effect is now gone, so it was some inactive ingredient only found in the generic brand). My numbers for my GP were fine - 3.5. She wanted them lower. So, we'll see. For the past nearly 2 years they've been trying to get the numbers down as my thyroid is low.

Steph and Vex - it is true, I spent 40 years eating what I want, but there are times I have less control over my diet and while my husband gained NOTHING over vacation - as the activity we had was more than he was used to on a daily basis. I gained 9 pounds. Sure his metabolism is faster than man as a man, but still!!!

Only Me
08-19-2012, 06:31 PM
My husband can literally eat twice as much as I can without gaining weight. It's only when he goes above that (and he does/can) that he starts gaining weight, his pants get tight, and then he cuts back for a few weeks and loses it. It's very annoying. :/

Prim2012
08-19-2012, 07:03 PM
I have found that I can lose a bit more consistently (while getting to eat a few more calories) on low-carb.

Kaplods, this is the same for me. If I do no/very low carb for vacations and holidays, I've actually seen limited weight gain, usually 2-3 pounds over a 7-10 day period versus the 6-8 pounds I gain when eating lots of carbs so I try to eat like this as much as possible when I travel or go on vacation (very hard during the holidays because I'm more tempted by sweets and my mom makes great pies!). My regular eating plan has about 40% carbs so not very low but some days I eat lower than this and some days a bit higher. When I go to maintenance, I may have to go a bit lower on the carbs, say 30-35%.

sontaikle
08-19-2012, 07:13 PM
I've never heard this. How depressing!

Berryblondeboys, do you lift *heavy* weights? I know we lose muscle mass as we grow older and that is a part of having a healthy metabolism. And the latest research is telling us that light weights and "toning" aren't all that useful. It's something I need to start doing personally, since 40 is sneaking up on me. How tall are you, btw?

Yeah it's depressing to find out, but I haven't really found it's the case for me...but I'm also 24. I'll have to get back to you in 20 years :lol:

I have to agree with you on lifitng heavy weights. I'm convinced that's why I have to eat 2000+ a day or I start losing again. I'm active, but nowhere near enough to justify the amount I eat for someone of my height and weight.

Before my vacation, I cut down my calories to 1800 a day to give myself a little buffer before I went. I got down to 110. Today, the day after, I weighed in at 111.8. I KNOW I was retaining water too, because I could feel it...which probably means I have to get back on the gaining wagon again since I'm sure I'll see 110 once this water weight goes away.

1800 should probably be maintenance for me, not losing calories. But lifting twice a week, ocasionally 3 if I can and making sure it's heavy seems to require something different.

I might just have a fast metabolism, i don't know, but from what I've read other lifters can eat a lot too and not gain.

ChickieChicks
08-19-2012, 08:23 PM
I have been fairly sedentary for medical reasons this summer, and although my BmR says I should be fine at 1750, I really maintain at 1500 with no activity. Wien I feel myself, just doing daily activities, I can go up to 1800, and when I work out 2-4 times per week, I can go up to 2200-2300. It has taken nine months to figure out my numbers, and eat according to my activity level.

Arctic Mama
08-19-2012, 08:46 PM
Children and menopause, as well as wonky thyroid, are definitely going to impact your resting BMR. Building lean mass is about the only solution, except eating in a way that supports your health (which sounds like low carb, whole foods). Sometimes that's just how it is, you know?

And for most folks, even those who have never been obese, gains on vacation are NOT unusual. Maintenance is gaining and losing the same 2-10 pounds, over and over, for life. That IS weight stability. The best many of us can do is make that window smaller and tighter and the swings less and less. But gaining ten pounds on a long vacation of less than ideal foods isn't a sign that something is wrong with your body or method. I really believe that's typical for 80% of the population!

berryblondeboys
08-19-2012, 09:36 PM
Children and menopause, as well as wonky thyroid, are definitely going to impact your resting BMR. Building lean mass is about the only solution, except eating in a way that supports your health (which sounds like low carb, whole foods). Sometimes that's just how it is, you know?

And for most folks, even those who have never been obese, gains on vacation are NOT unusual. Maintenance is gaining and losing the same 2-10 pounds, over and over, for life. That IS weight stability. The best many of us can do is make that window smaller and tighter and the swings less and less. But gaining ten pounds on a long vacation of less than ideal foods isn't a sign that something is wrong with your body or method. I really believe that's typical for 80% of the population!

Thank you... I guess I 'know' that, but I wish it wouldn't be so easy to gain. THAT part is the scary party. It doesn't take much! I wasn't stuffing my face and never ate until I was stuffed, but it piled on.

I am back on track with the weight training too. I enjoy the classes and I know they've helped me tremendously. I first got off from an injury, and then doing all that yard work, then vacation. But.. two classes down of a bajillion to go. I'll start out with bodypump twice a week, might up it to 3 times a week max. I'll do step 2-3 times a week and then fast walking. When that doesn't work for me as a heart rate raiser (need to check that even now), I'll start the C25K. I'm already on my way, right?

kaplods
08-19-2012, 09:37 PM
kaplods - I went on a lower carb diet when my numbers were all BAD, but unconsciously, I let them creep back up. They were still lower carb than most, but too high carb to keep my hunger in check and thus, the calorie count low enough.


I think this may be part of my current difficulty breaking through a stall I've been having for the past few months.

Carb creep may be part of the problem (especially during TOM). I'm not very happy with my current birth control, it does not control the TOM hunger like my previous bc did (but I can't GET my previous bc because Medicare no longer covers it, or any med like it).

However that explains the increase in carb cravings, but not the carb-eating. Just because I WANT carbs "that week" doesn't mean I need to eat them (though "that week" can actually last up to 10 days, and my resolve usually only lasts about 3 or 4).

Because I also crave red meat during this time (and don't eat it much the rest of the month), my husband and I refer to it as "meat week."

This week (currently mid-meat week) I've been struggling with water retention and off-plan eating so badly, I have no idea what my fat weight is doing. Will all the weight goes when the water goes, or have I actually gained some fat? I hate not knowing.


I used to eat no starchy/sweet carbs during "meat week" (no fruit, grains, or starchy veggies), and maybe I have to go back to that.

I've also considered the reverse, eating no carbs the rest of the month and "banking" all my plan-carbs to "spend" during meat week (spending them on fruit and starchy veggies though not on stuff I shouldn't be eating at all).

I have to do some experimenting to get over this hump.


It's funny (strange funny, not haha funny) how persistant the "diet demons" are. The old instinct to give up when a plan stops working is still there.

It's not so much a voice in my head telling me to give up, it's that giving%

explore
08-20-2012, 08:29 AM
Look at your sugar content in your diet. For me, in order to lose weight efficiently I cannot touch sugar (even fruit). When I eliminate sugar and processed foods not only does the weight start to melt, but I can eat a lot more calories and still lose. I found the book by Gary Taubs "Why We Get Fat" extremely helpful for my body.

SOG
08-21-2012, 10:14 AM
Berry:

I could have written your post myself. I maintained my ideal weight for a few years due to strict calorie counting 6 days, then one cheat day. It got tedious and boring so i had a 8 month eat fest and gained almost 30#, so I'm back at square one.

The brutal fact is YES i gain weight that quickly. I lift heavy weights 3-4x a week and have for years, minimal cardio. I'm an RN and work 12 hr shifts, figure I get enough walking on work days. The weight lifting has helped, Im sure I would have gained even more if I hadn't beend doing it, but no miracle as far as metabolism.

I'm trying to accept the fact if I want to not be fat, then this is my lifestyle, period.

I'm inspired by the quote, which I found on here somewhere, "If you love the results, learn to love the process." I say this to myself eating my lunch of giant veggie salad and hot veggie soup. I throw some beans or eggs in there also. It's a challenge but so what, right?

I find carbs don't influence my weight as much as total calorie count. i'm a big believer in counting!

lilkel244
08-21-2012, 11:53 AM
I am the same. I eat 1200 calories a day. I track them religiously. However if I move up even to 1500 I gain. I am wearing a fitbit which gives me back calories if I am active but if I eat those I gain. It drives me nuts. 1200 is a realllllly love number. Now I am short 5' even but I weigh 185 right now. I have lost the 25 lbs rather quickly (since May) but it is with a strict 1200 calorie diet. I was tested for thyroid issues but the doctor said I am fine. I am skeptical because I have a lot of the hypothyroid symptoms but all my levels came back correct.

hbr777
08-22-2012, 06:16 PM
Twice now, I've gone off plan for holidays and vacation for a month. Both times I ate what I wanted. Over the holidays, I ate a LOT and I mean a lot and I know it and I wasn't very active - lots of parties, etc. But now on vacation we were swimming, hiking and such almost every day. We were not inactive. I ate more (especially more carbs), but not grossly over-eating. I gained 9 pounds over that month's time. I was probably eating 2000-2300 a day AND I was active (as mentioned).

How is it that I gain so easily?


It is depressing. You gain because your body wants to hold on to every bit of energy it can. You were on plan, which is some sort of calorie restriction. Your body dials back the thyroid gland and you produce less T3, which lowers your metabolism because your body thinks it is a time of starvation; it automatically slows the body down to hang on to the fat, because with calorie restriction, it thinks winter is coming :)

Then you go off plan. The body is like, "Hey, starvation is OVER! Look at all this food! But I don't know if starvation will happen again, so I am going to hang onto to every calorie as fat - just in case."

Really, a very simple, primitive thing.

Any type of calorie restriction dials back the thyroid and cause our bodies to hang on to the calories.

And if 3.5 is your TSH level, you might want to find a new endo. I would be in bed asleep with a TSH that high. The ranges changed and anything above 3 is hypothyroid. I could not lose a pound until I went on a combo of Armour and Synthroid.

luckystreak
08-22-2012, 06:24 PM
How is it that I weigh less and have the same BMR?

Also, as you get older your metabolism slows down ontop of it all.

Somethings wrong here

hbr777
08-22-2012, 06:33 PM
How is it that I weigh less and have the same BMR?

Also, as you get older your metabolism slows down ontop of it all.

Somethings wrong here

Are you talking about my BMR? I have no idea if what is in my ticker is accurate. It just shows up on the ticker. Who knows how they calculate it.

QuilterInVA
08-22-2012, 06:46 PM
A more balanced food plan would help.

hbr777
08-22-2012, 06:52 PM
A more balanced food plan would help.

Lots of my reading has shown that "balanced" is a myth. Primitive people didn't have a balanced diet. If a balanced diet includes grains and sugars, count me out!

JohnP
08-22-2012, 08:03 PM
If one is insulin resistant adding carbs will not help it will do the opposite.

Insulin sensative people will typically burn more calories with carbs.

Why is the big question and the reason is the output side of the equation is affected.

If you're insulin resistant and you eat carbs you'll be tired and NEAT and SPA will be decreased. The opposite is also true.

Calories always matter but how many calories one burns can be affected by the macronutrients they ingest.

Arctic Mama
08-22-2012, 09:14 PM
Great little summary John! And so true - the unfortunate truth is that most of us who get morbidly obese have varying degrees of insulin resistance contributing to that. And even with weight lost, managing insulin resistance through lifestyle choices is often a necessary part of maintenance. That tends to mean restricting energy intake and awareness of the effects of various fuels on our bodies, which is not what many dieters are aware of or willing to do.

People with normal bodies and no hormonal dysfunction are going to benefit from a moderate or even high starch/sugar diet, when it comes to how they feel and respond. But again, for those of us who ended up with morbid obesity, the energy disregulation that takes a body there almost always necessitates eating in a way contrary to conventional wisdom if we want to manage our symptoms effectively.

That's not the case with everyone, but a fair generalizing for a good chunk of the obese and formerly obese population, myself included :)

berryblondeboys
08-22-2012, 09:20 PM
And if 3.5 is your TSH level, you might want to find a new endo. I would be in bed asleep with a TSH that high. The ranges changed and anything above 3 is hypothyroid. I could not lose a pound until I went on a combo of Armour and Synthroid.

It was 3.5 with my GP and he was OK with that. That's why I went to an endo. She saw it and said it needed to be lower. Thus, 2 months ago I was put on a higher dose. In about 3 weeks I get my levels checked again. nearly 2 years ago the number was 53 or something like that!

berryblondeboys
08-22-2012, 09:27 PM
If one is insulin resistant adding carbs will not help it will do the opposite.

Insulin sensative people will typically burn more calories with carbs.

Why is the big question and the reason is the output side of the equation is affected.

If you're insulin resistant and you eat carbs you'll be tired and NEAT and SPA will be decreased. The opposite is also true.

Calories always matter but how many calories one burns can be affected by the macronutrients they ingest.

I'm tired and not following this well, but I have tendencies to be insulin resistant. WIth eating fewer carbs, my blood levels are now fine - fasting is 80 and my A1c (Is that the name of it? The long term look at sugar on red blood cells) was 5.2 or something like that the last two times - which is also fine.

I have NO idea if my sky high numbers before were due to thyroid issues or due to my eating and weight. All I know is that I feel MUCH better if I keep net carbs under 100. Around 80 is best. Though, fruit sugars don't do to me NEARLY what other sugars do. I don't start craving sugars from fruit sugars. Maybe I would if I drank juice, but I don't.

So, to feel better and to make eating lower calorie easier, I just limit the carbs. No pasta, no rice, no sweet potatoes, no bread, no candies/cakes, etc. For some reason potatoes don't raise my blood sugars (tested this when I had gestational diabetes and when I was battling sugar issues 20 months ago). So, I will eat a potato here and there. But that's it. I eat a TON of vegetables - especially green vegetables. I love all vegetables. And I eat nuts and then some dairy and meat proteins and fats and fruit - like an apple every day and sometimes some blueberries, peach or the like blended up with some yogurt.

kaplods
08-22-2012, 10:50 PM
How is it that I weigh less and have the same BMR?

Also, as you get older your metabolism slows down ontop of it all.

Somethings wrong here


Do you mean BMI (Body Mass Index)? Weight and height are used to determine BMI.

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the amount of energy your vital organs and chemical processes expend while you are at rest. While there are BMR averages that are probably loosely correlated with weight, it's not a perfect correlation, because there are so many variables that go into determining BMI, including activity level, genetics, health issues, stress, and probably a thousand others.

If weight were the main determiner of BMR then we all would know our BMR, we'd just be able to look it up on a chart (like we can for BMR), but metabolism doesn't work that way. If you measured the BMRs of 200 people of the same weight, they would not all have the same BMRs. Even if they were also of the same age and similar lifestyles. BMR is dependent upon a lot more variables than BMI (which is dependent upon only two, height and weight).

hbr777
08-23-2012, 09:02 AM
People with normal bodies and no hormonal dysfunction are going to benefit from a moderate or even high starch/sugar diet, when it comes to how they feel and respond. But again, for those of us who ended up with morbid obesity, the energy disregulation that takes a body there almost always necessitates eating in a way contrary to conventional wisdom if we want to manage our symptoms effectively.


I totally agree with this. Most women I know with thyroid issues gain weight with too many starchy carbs. Our bodies actually start to look doughy.

The only way I can be lean is to cut out starches and sugars. Period.

hbr777
08-23-2012, 09:05 AM
It was 3.5 with my GP and he was OK with that. That's why I went to an endo. She saw it and said it needed to be lower. Thus, 2 months ago I was put on a higher dose. In about 3 weeks I get my levels checked again. nearly 2 years ago the number was 53 or something like that!

My endo doensn't even pay much attention to TSH - it is the free T3 and the free T4 that determine my dose.

On just Synthroid, I kept gaining weight, my face looked all puffy and fat, and I had all of the hypo symptoms. I added a bit of synthetic T3 (Cytomel) and it helped a bit but not too much. My dose of Synthroid kept going higher and higher and I still had hypo symptoms. I then started Armour Thyroid and over the course of 4 months, started to get "me" and my body back. Armour is not for everyone, but my body needed the T3 it contains.

Serenity100
08-23-2012, 09:55 AM
Very interesting thread. I love my internist, and one of the reasons is that at my last check up she told me that some people are just able to keep the weight off easily "due to genetics", and some gain weight easily "due to genetics". It is much less frustrating knowing that yes, some of us have to work harder than others to keep the weight off is acknowledged. It is not just "will power".

We just can't give up, and need to keep on plugging away. What works for some, might not work for us.

berryblondeboys
08-23-2012, 10:18 AM
It totally is genetics. My husband is from a long line of skinny people. People who had to try to PUT on weight for parts of their lives. During vacation, he didn't gain an ounce. I gained a ton. I come from a long line of tubby people!

Rana
08-23-2012, 12:31 PM
I come from a long line of tubby people!

This made me laugh! :rofl:

Arctic Mama
08-23-2012, 01:02 PM
It totally is genetics. My husband is from a long line of skinny people. People who had to try to PUT on weight for parts of their lives. During vacation, he didn't gain an ounce. I gained a ton. I come from a long line of tubby people!

Me too! Some is genetics and some is learned behaviors, but my family is just on the short and plump side, and my husband's family all run long and lean. He is the most heavy member at just a little flabby. Oy >_<

freelancemomma
08-23-2012, 01:49 PM
I can honestly say that for me, macronutrients make NO difference in how much I lose/gain, how full I feel, or my general well-being. I would love to be able to say, "by eating an egg with my toast I feel SO much fuller," but it seems to make no difference. Occasionally I have a day in which I eat about 80% carbs, and I feel no more hungry than if the same calories were allotted to different macronutrients. Same deal if I have a very high protein day -- I feel no more sated than any other day.

F.

Rana
08-23-2012, 02:50 PM
I can honestly say that for me, macronutrients make NO difference in how much I lose/gain, how full I feel, or my general well-being. I would love to be able to say, "by eating an egg with my toast I feel SO much fuller," but it seems to make no difference. Occasionally I have a day in which I eat about 80% carbs, and I feel no more hungry than if the same calories were allotted to different macronutrients. Same deal if I have a very high protein day -- I feel no more sated than any other day.

F.

You're super lucky, then!

I wish I didn't have to think about macros or percentages in my diet. When I initially started losing weight, restricting calories was enough. But halfway through, I had to start thinking about it. And now, I really do have to watch it.

I read something Kaplods said once, I may be mis-remembering it, that she said that she was okay having to look at macros, because it forced her to pick her food more wisely.

I've been thinking about that comment for a while now, because I'm beginning to accept the fact that I do have IR/PCOS and that I do, in fact, have to watch what I eat. But that has made me make better choices about food.

A few years ago, I might have been happy to eat three Snickers bars (I don't like them, but it's an example!) and call it a day. If calories were just calories for me, I could have done that and lost weight. But they aren't, so I'm forced to eat vegetables and lean proteins, and nuts, and fruits, and honestly, I think that's much better for me, not just in terms of weight loss, but also in nutrition.

So, I'm now grateful I do have to watch the macros. :D Even if my IR drives me nuts.

berryblondeboys
08-23-2012, 04:06 PM
Me too! Some is genetics and some is learned behaviors, but my family is just on the short and plump side, and my husband's family all run long and lean. He is the most heavy member at just a little flabby. Oy >_<

Sometimes I wonder if it's learned behavior or if it's how eating makes us feel and our hunger pangs. Like, how can you explain identical twins adopted by two different families and they are both overweight to about the same degree, but their adoptive parents are thin and fit?

I look at my husband and he eats when he's hungry. He prefers good stuff over bad stuff. He can say no to things. Is that learned? or is there some other stuff going on there? I'll never know. All I know is I WISH I could eat like him!

sagebrush
08-23-2012, 04:41 PM
I can honestly say that for me, macronutrients make NO difference in how much I lose/gain, how full I feel, or my general well-being. I would love to be able to say, "by eating an egg with my toast I feel SO much fuller," but it seems to make no difference. Occasionally I have a day in which I eat about 80% carbs, and I feel no more hungry than if the same calories were allotted to different macronutrients. Same deal if I have a very high protein day -- I feel no more sated than any other day.

F.

I am the same way, but I wouldn't say it's lucky. No matter the combination of macros, I was still ALWAYS hungry, until I started taking several amino acids (per "The Diet Cure" by Julia Ross).

Sometimes I wonder if it's learned behavior or if it's how eating makes us feel and our hunger pangs. Like, how can you explain identical twins adopted by two different families and they are both overweight to about the same degree, but their adoptive parents are thin and fit?

I look at my husband and he eats when he's hungry. He prefers good stuff over bad stuff. He can say no to things. Is that learned? or is there some other stuff going on there? I'll never know. All I know is I WISH I could eat like him!

I think this is true, but in my large family, I am the only overweight one besides my mom. She and I look alike and have the same build. None of my sisters or brothers takes after her to the degree I do. I think we may have the same genetic tendencies which make it harder to lose and maintain weight loss, but after reading Ross's book, I think we have the same need/deficiency for certain brain chemicals. Since starting aminos, I feel so much better and I'm actually able to feel full from eating and my cravings are gone.

I don't mean to be all evangelical about the book, but's it's really turned things around for me (before I was strictly calorie counting--with an emphasis on protein-- and white knuckling my way through the day).

Arctic Mama
08-23-2012, 05:55 PM
Some is definitely learned behavior, especially when it comes to frequency of meals and nutritional choices. And yet, some is also genetic, who is to say how much of the meal frequency, for example, is dictated by habit vs. the entire family tending toward hypoglycemia, being consistently more fidgety and active, or what have you?

Given the huuuuuge role that hormones play in energy regulation, I am inclined to believe a stronger genetic component in influencing metabolism than many. But that doesn't mean it can't be surmounted or worked around - genetics load the gun and habit pulls the trigger, in that sense.

Making different choices and working with our bodies to come to a satisfying and healthful solution to our specific food challenges can be done by most people, I think. But some have to change a LOT more of what they eat, how much, and the consistency with which they adhere to their new habits, than others.

Vex
08-23-2012, 09:08 PM
genetics load the gun and habit pulls the trigger

excellent phrase..

Serenity100
08-24-2012, 11:04 AM
I have read instances about twins separated at birth are reunited they often find that they have the same weight and favorite foods, etc.

On the otherhand, my sister who is two years younger than me, grew up in the same household, and she never liked to eat. She is naturally thin.

So maybe our learned eating is the response our body gets from certain foods.

Sometimes I wonder if it's learned behavior or if it's how eating makes us feel and our hunger pangs. Like, how can you explain identical twins adopted by two different families and they are both overweight to about the same degree, but their adoptive parents are thin and fit?

I look at my husband and he eats when he's hungry. He prefers good stuff over bad stuff. He can say no to things. Is that learned? or is there some other stuff going on there? I'll never know. All I know is I WISH I could eat like him!

Euphy
08-25-2012, 09:49 PM
I don't understand it either. I will admit I don't have the best diet, but I would never consider myself a binger and I don't eat a lot of food as far as quantity goes. I was at 196 just two months ago and now I'm up to 203 just from adding back in some "normal" foods. I guess I'm just destined to eat salads with a side of water forever.