I think there is some confusion about BMR. So I'm not going to use that phrase in this post.
Let me get this correct.
You ate 1000 calories for the day, burned 300 calories doing exercise and lost .2 pounds. Since 1 pound is 3500 calories; .2 pound would be = to 700 calories.
So 1700 calories eaten daily and 300 calories burned through exercise would result in weight maintenance for you. Does this sound correct?
Many people would report 1700 calories would maintain their current weight. Of course this depends on your gender, age, height, % fat/muscle, and daily activity. Factors such as female, shorter in height, middle-aged, more body fat/less muscle mass, and a sedentary daily lifestyle---could easily result in 1700 calories being a calorie amount to maintain your weight. And nothing would be wrong with your metabolism.
I will be following this thread, in case you have more to share. I really want to try to answer your question accurately.
Becky SP Registered Dietitian Becky
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574 7/5/13 2:31 P
Maybe BMR is the wrong keyword. I'll tell you what I did. Everyday for a week or so, I tracked my calories consumed as opposed to my calories burned by exercise. When I woke up in the morning, I checked my weight. If there was a difference, I would calculate what that difference was in calories. 1750 calories supposedly equals half a pound, so if I was .2 pounds lighter in the morning, I calculated that I had burned 437 calories over my needed intake. Therefore, if I ate 1000 calories and burned 300 through exercise, the rate at which I burn calories is 700+437=1137 for that particular day. I consider this to be pretty low, since the sparkpeople tracker says I should have a BMR of 2000. Does this make more sense now?
You can't calculate your BMR based on one week of self-monitored food intake and daily weights on a household scale. A home scale isn't accurate enough, and there are too many other factors that influence weight besides calorie intake. You would get very different results if you did the same thing during a different week, when the weather and your stress levels were different or when you were at a different point in your monthly hormonal cycle. To measure your actual Basal (not Basic) Metabolic Rate, you have to spend some time in a special chamber that measures exactly how much oxygen you use.
Also, where did you get the information that 1500 is a low BMR? That's actually above average. BMR is what you burn with NO exercise or activity-- it's the base rate, the amount you would burn if you were in a coma. I suspect that the figures you're looking at are for total burn, after the BMR is multiplied by a small amount to account for the normal movement most people do in a day-- getting out of bed, washing dishes, standing instead of sitting, etc. If your BMR really were 1500, that would be a FAST metabolism-- it would mean that you could eat 1500 calories a day with no exercise and you would lose about 3 pounds a month.
But even if 1500 is your total daily expenditure before deliberate exercise, rather than your BMR, that's not ridiculously low. It should still allow you to lose weight. You say that your doctor put you on a 1000-calorie diet and another doctor agreed with it 2 years later. Did you follow that diet faithfully and accurately all that time? Did you weigh all of your food on a digital scale and write down every single bite the second it went in your mouth so you didn't forget anything? If so, then there's something wrong and it's time to find other doctors or scientists doing research on metabolic disorders and volunteer to be their guinea pig in exchange for help.
But if you go in and out of being gung-ho on your diet, if you have days when you don't track your food, if you're guessing at serving sizes instead of weighing everything... then use those tools first. Challenge yourself to go for 56 straight days when you weigh and track every single bite down to the gram, eat no more than 1400 calories and no less than 1200, and make sure you're also meeting the minimum targets for protein, fiber, and calcium, with an absolute minimum of 5 servings of vegetables and fruits. If you do that faithfully for 56 days (2 months as far as your body is concerned) and you don't lose any weight, then there's an issue.
You wanted someone to make you feel better about your BMR. According to your own calculations, your BMR is BETTER than normal. There's no reason to feel bad about it in the first place.
"I found my BMR to be only about 1500 calories a day."
I... don't find that to be so unnatural? Mine is only 1587 (based on 5'6", 48yo female, 195#) and I'm less than halfway to 100 years old! From the BMR, I multiply by 1.2 to find out my daily calorie needs if I are very sedentary, or 1.375 once if I can improve to be mildly active... meaning 1900-2100 calories/day to maintain my current weight. Seems more or less reasonable.....
One effective way of improving your metabolism would be to add lean body mass (muscle!), which you do through strength-training exercise (working with weights, for example). The more muscle on your body, the more calories your body requires just to maintain that muscle. Loss of lean mass can happen when one becomes sedentary, as a natural part of aging, or as a result of extreme-diets or other food/nutrition deprivations. But you can build it back up. Which will make you feel better and look better in addition to improving your BMR.
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574 7/5/13 1:53 P
check out the article I referenced in my first post - it has some good general information about the thyroid gland and how it functions.
i just found out i have trouble with my thyroid. i don't understand what the thyroid does
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574 7/5/13 1:29 P
You're very welcome - I hope it works out for you. Hopefully your doctor is open-minded as regards natural therapy. You may want to give the entire article to your doctor - most are very busy so they don't always have the time to look at research, especially from resources outside mainstream medicine.
Just finished reading the article. I'm undecided as to whether the article proves I have hypothyroidism or not. I called the doctors office to check my last TSH level. The test was done in November and the result was 1.24. The article says even at the lowest, normal ends at 1.5. I do know that the same blood sample taken for the TSH was sent for a vitamin D check, and that number came back deficient. I will try to get back to taking the vitamin d supplements. I will also take the list of suggested supplements to my doctors visit next week and ask for another TSH test. I do have most of the problems listed on the page, including hair loss. I've been spending a lot of time mixing together masks for my hair in the hopes of making it strong enough to grow. Thank you for your suggestion, it might be the help I need.
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574 7/5/13 12:52 P
I hope you read the article I referenced - it provides some good insight that you will likely never hear from your endocrinologists. And as it seems "conventional medicine" is unable to help, I think it would be a good time to try something else.
My thyroid has been checked more times than I can count, though all they can really tell me is that it is functioning in normal standards. The doctors have often commented that a normal thyroid test doesn't preclude some deeper problem with the thyroid that can't be detected by a blood test. As for my nutrition, I've also seen a lot of dieticians in my life. I try to keep to a high fruit/veggie count and eat lower calorie proteins to help the blood sugar issue. Also, I know someone commented about messing up my metabolism by dieting so much of my life. I believe part of the reason for my low BMR is due to the fact that when I was going through puberty, I was in an abusive situation that often left me with little to no food. Though I was taken away from my abuser, I was left in the care of someone absentminded to the point of neglectful, so even into my high school years my diet was often periods of little to nothing swinging into occasional fast food dinners. Whatever the case though, does anyone think this problem will ever get better?
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574 7/5/13 11:55 A
metabolism is controlled by your thyroid gland - perhaps you have a mild case of hypothyroidism. If you are interested in knowing more about natural support for your thyroid please have a look at this article vitalitymagazine.com/article/thyroid-Rescu e/
I find it believable, especially since your doctors have already put you on a low-calorie diet. It is certainly unusual, but with proper medical care you can still be healthy & active.
I hope you were/are able to consult a nutritionist or dietitian to make sure your low calorie diet is nutritionally complete, though.
Edited by: DROPCONE at: 7/5/2013 (11:47)
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9,661 7/5/13 11:43 A
I don't know much about the medical aspect of things, although others will be along that are. I do wonder, though, have you dieted a lot in your life? Low calorie diets, etc?
Some people do have slower metabolisms than others. There are metabolic disorders, hormone problems, sometimes it can be self-inflicted through years of dieting or poor health care. Did you ask the doctor what she thought could have caused it?
I'm hoping someone here can make me feel better about what I've discovered concerning my Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR). I've had difficulty with my weight all my life, and during the heaviest days of my life, I visited an endocrinologist (doctor of hormones), to find out exactly what causes me to have such problems. She ran a bunch of blood tests and checked all the usual problems, but couldn't find much other than a tendency towards high blood sugar and a low metabolism. She put me on a 1000 calorie diet, a medical opinion that was seconded by a doctor I switched to two years later. Curious about this, I read through a couple of articles on the internet and spent a week or so tracking calories in/out and daily morning weights. When I did the math after this research, I found my BMR to be only about 1500 calories a day. That is the same BMR as a woman over 100 years old. I am 29. Seriously, is it possible for my metabolism to be THAT low? All opinions welcome, though please keep in mind that I thought this through and did lots of research before I arrived at this belief.
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