Why is my metabolism not working efficiently?

Joseph asks…

Why is my metabolism not working efficiently?

all my life, id always been chunky. its hard for me to lose weight. all the women in my family on both sides have hypothyroidism. a year ago i weighed between 135-140lbs, at 17 and 5’2″. i wasn’t happy w/ my body. i was also probably eating 1200 cals/day. maybe more. though mostly ate fast food. then, i went through heartbreak and had no appetite and dropped to 114 pounds in just a few weeks. then, i loved the weight loss and wanted to lose more since id inadvertently been so initially successful. i didn’t obsess over calories until i got just under 110 and hit my first “plateau”. i vowed to eat only cereal for meals, then limited myself to 1 250-350 calorie breakfast every morning until i loved my body. a month later i kept losing weight and hit an all time low of 90 pounds. i looked sick. i was disproportionately thin. if i flexed my thigh muscles, you could see the entire muscle contract all the way to my pelvis. i could could my ribs and my hip bones stuck out so far they were like armrests. but my lower belly still had a “pouch”. anyways, after a few months eating like that and getting weaker and weaker, fluctuating between 94 and 96 pounds and having unbearable cravings & binging that’d go on for a weekend, i stopped having an appetite and wouldn’t eat for days until i let myself cave in. i did keep hydrated. finally at the start of summer, my body “gave up” in a way, and i didn’t have the energy to be so weak anymore if that makes sense. i slooowly gained fat (weight). now im barely maintaining 110. wondering what i can do to fix my metabolism? im not eating more than 800 healthy calories a day, & yes im 100% sure it’s accurate. if i increase my caloric consumption or eat carbs, i gain fat around my midsection and hip/thigh area. it seems like everything i eat is being stored as fat. how low can my bmr possibly be? what can i do to get a “normal” life/eating habits again without getting fatter?

Author answers:

This information is pretty hard to find online, but I did research a year or so ago, and found something out about Schebendach, who did observational studies on anorexic adolescent girls- which is what your did to your body. According to his research, your BMR would be around 862… Which means, living a sedentary lifestyle, he would estimate you’d burn around 1080 calories per day. Obviously your results are pretty low for the Schebendach Formula, but keep in mind it’s just an estimate (I used your lowest results, by the way), and the longer you go, typically the more your body stores.

I hate to be the breaker of bad news, but there really isn’t a way to go into a normal lifestyle and eating habits without gaining some weight. Starvation Mode is pretty darn serious, and as far as I know in all the research I’ve done, the only way to beat it is to consistently give your body more calories than it’s used to and avoid exercise. You need it to think, “hey, I’ve got plenty of food now, the famine is over! Time to shed excess!” But, in order to do that, you will gain weight because your body is set right now to store fat, because it believes there is a famine and will continue to be one.

It totally sucks; I know. But you have to just deal with it. This is why people say starvation is never the answer! Anorexia (and other EDs) are no fun in so many ways, and the consequences don’t just go away when you start eating. It. Sucks. But, it’s necessary.

You will probably gain weight, and it will probably be in fat. I would assume you will put on anywhere between 3 to 5 to even 10 pounds- but the good news is that once your metabolism has been “fixed” you can lose that weight in a month or two just by being healthy. I’d say try to eat 2,000 calories- yes, 2,000- for 3 or so weeks, no exercise. After 3 weeks, cut down to 1,500-1,700 and exercise moderately for 3-5 days a week and see how you do.

William asks…

im having anxiety about pregnancy weight..mothers help!?

im 26 weeks pregnant.ive gained about 10 pounds.i started off at a normal weight,128 lbs. at “5’6”.
its mainly in my belly and boobs but u can tell that ive thickened out a little bit,i exersize regularly and abstain from fatty foods. im a nutrition freak,exersize freak,and i hate to admit it but im terrified at the whole gaining weight thing. im afraid of being chunky or fat cuz i worked really hard to have my body in such great shape.i know it sounds superficial but i cant help it. im scared that when i hit 8 months im gonna blow up an be this huge whale. my husband doesnt think ill be much bigger than i already am- i mean looking thicker and what not in places other than my belly. im just hoping ill lose the weight really really fast after giving birth to. my mom lost practically all her weight after having me and my grandma did to and she had 5 kids. so im hoping thats in my favor. i look at things on the internet and they talk about how women dont lose the weight quickly after and its a slow process and everything and it just scares me.but then ive talked to girls that after 2 months looked like theyd never had a baby. realistically what do you think is gona happen to me?i would like to know some good stories from u mothers about your losing weight and time frame in which u did. please dont answer this question if ur gonna be rude and judge me.this is a touchy subject for me.

Author answers:

Im 20 weeks and i’ve gained 15 pounds… You have a child growing inside of you… Your going to gain weight.. Depending on how hard you try to loose the weight is how much will come off…

Donald asks…

What is wrong with my body?

all my life, id always been chunky. its hard for me to lose weight. all the women in my family on both sides have hypothyroidism. a year ago i weighed between 135-140lbs, at 17 and 5’2″. i wasn’t happy w/ my body. i was also probably eating 1200 cals/day. maybe more. though mostly ate fast food. then, i went through heartbreak and had no appetite and dropped to 114 pounds in just a few weeks. then, i loved the weight loss and wanted to lose more since id inadvertently been so initially successful. i didn’t obsess over calories until i got just under 110 and hit my first “plateau”. i vowed to eat only cereal for meals, then limited myself to 1 250-350 calorie breakfast every morning until i loved my body. a month later i kept losing weight and hit an all time low of 90 pounds. i looked sick. i was disproportionately thin. if i flexed my thigh muscles, you could see the entire muscle contract all the way to my pelvis. i could could my ribs and my hip bones stuck out so far they were like armrests. but my lower belly still had a “pouch”. anyways, after a few months eating like that and getting weaker and weaker, fluctuating between 94 and 96 pounds and having unbearable cravings & binging that’d go on for a weekend, i stopped having an appetite and wouldn’t eat for days until i let myself cave in. i did keep hydrated. finally at the start of summer, my body “gave up” in a way, and i didn’t have the energy to be so weak anymore if that makes sense. i slooowly gained fat (weight). now im barely maintaining 110. wondering what i can do to fix my metabolism? im not eating more than 800 healthy calories a day, & yes im 100% sure it’s accurate. if i increase my caloric consumption or eat carbs, i gain fat around my midsection and hip/thigh area. it seems like everything i eat is being stored as fat. how low can my bmr possibly be? what can i do to get a “normal” life/eating habits again without getting fatter?

Author answers:

You should try calling a hospital and ask for a nutritionist they will usually give you free advice. Everyones body is different everyone doesnt gain or loose weight in the same way

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