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I have an unnaturally slow metabolism; tips?



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DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,274)
Fitness Minutes: (14,204)
Posts: 9,576
8/12/12 2:03 P

If you're gaining weight the day after eating, it's more likely to be sodium-related water retention. All you're doing by not eating after a certain time is just moving up the time you digest. Gaining 5 lbs the day after can't be fat! that's because it's not possible for your body to metabolize food that quickly and turn it into fat. Fat creation takes days... not hours. The human body does digest things differently because the time of day changes. It can't tell time. :) I think the problem is your timing of the weigh ins. If you were to weigh later with no additional changes, that "gain" wouldn't be there.

For example, if we go out to eat at a restaurant where the food is high in sodium, I WILL "gain weight" the very next day, if I bother to weigh. However, over the next couple of days, it will balance out, and I haven't truly gained anything! Daily weigh ins only tell you how the foods you eat affect your body in the short term, through fluid retention and hormone shifts. They DON'T tell you how fat is distributed or created in your body. This is one reason Sparkpeople recommends only once-per-week weigh ins. What matters is trends over weeks... not individual numbers on days.

I think your daily weigh-ins may be part of your problem, because they've given you an unrealistic idea of what is going on in your body. A 5 lb difference over the course of a 24 hour period is perfectly normal, and not at all a sign of a slow metabolism.

If you think you have a slow metabolism, you should have yourself tested to find out. Something running in your family doesn't mean you have it; for starters, they may not even have slow metabolisms themselves. :) I know plenty of people who blame their metabolisms for weight gain, when in fact, they're the ones who eat poorly!

If you are exercising for 2-4 hours a day (which is a bit excessive) you're not eating enough. 1200 calories, for starters, is the absolute minimum anyone should be eating... it's difficult to get proper nutrient balance to meet your body's needs below that. If you're active at all, it's just not enough. If anything, eating so little slows your metabolism even MORE! If you have a slow metabolism, undereating and overexercising is going to make it worse.

I also agree that you should be strength training; if you're losing all your weight from cardio and diet, then you are burning lean muscle as well as fat... and to mitigate that lost lean muscle mass, you need to be strength training.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 8/12/2012 (14:11)


BRITOMART
Posts: 7,369
8/12/12 8:52 A

You may have a slower than average digestion, but that isn't at all the same thing as a slow metabolism.

Daily fluctuations (hourly fluctuations!) in weight are normal--more likely to be water (or poop) retention, that time of month, or something very transitory than they are real weight gain. I, too, weigh myself daily, first thing in the morning, BUT no single data point means a darned thing--it's the TREND I'm looking at. If, over time, my graph goes down, I'm losing, if it goes up and down around the same points, I'm maintaining, etc. I never 'count' a loss till I've held it a while because of the variations that a body goes through. And I look for other methods of measurement--clothes' fit, or actual tape measurements--to reaffirm what my scale tells me.

If you haven't had a thorough physical, probably including fasting blood checks or glucose absorption stuff, you really don't know the medical facts about your metabolism.

And I agree, with the amount of exercise you are doing, your 1000 calories/day, if accurate is part of the problem, not the solution: For 4 hours of cardio, 1500 is probably too low. A body needs adequate fuel to lose weight, and it CAN slow a metabolism down if the body is in a food-stressed environment. You'll have more energy if you are adequately 'fueled.''

Also--a purely cardio routine is not going to help you lose weight as much as a strength-based one, with 2-3 good, reasonable and challenging sessions/week with weights, bands, or just body-weight exercises. Muscle burns much more fuel (i.e., fat) than fat does. Try shifting your focus, do strength 2-3 days spaced through the week (so your muscles can repair), cardio 2-3 days--and take one day (mostly) off--a gentle walk would be good, or light swimming. Your body needs REST as much as it does activity.

Try plugging your information, including exercise, into the SP calculator--I bet you get a higher range. We have been so convinced that food is the enemy, our heads can't always be trusted. If when you feel hungry, the idea of eating something healthy that you don't really adore (the apple, not the pb&j sandwich, for instance, or whatever your yes/no combo is) appeals, then definitely eat.

I wish you success in your journey.

Edited by: BRITOMART at: 8/12/2012 (08:59)


ZORBS13
SparkPoints: (94,396)
Fitness Minutes: (95,822)
Posts: 12,914
8/12/12 8:34 A

hit the heavy weights and hit them hard. I had a slow metabolism and building lots of muscle counteracted that very well.



BERGUETTE
SparkPoints: (13,703)
Fitness Minutes: (4,838)
Posts: 227
8/12/12 8:18 A



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,747
8/12/12 7:39 A

the problem with what you are saying is that a 5lb variation in what you weigh everyday is normal. even the 8lbs after a big restaurant meal is far more likely that your dinner is still in you than actual weight gain. and excretion the next day is what makes the number go down, not starving yourself. the starving yourself is what's probably causing the slow metabolism.

so..
1. put your scale away for the week. one day a week, wake up, go to the bathroom [actually use the toilet, not just stand in the room], wear as little clothing as possible, and make sure you haven't had anything to eat or drink, weigh yourself, note the weight and wait til you have a few weeks of data to look at the trends to see if you are gaining and losing.
2. be as active as you possibly can.



RACKMYBRAINS
Posts: 435
8/12/12 2:53 A

Just some things to consider -

1. Are you actually eating enough, considering your exercise level? 1000 cal is very low, particularly if you're doing 4 hours of cardio a day. And it looks like all your mentioned exercises are cardio. I knew someone who basically shut down their metabolism by having a calorie deficit and going way overboard on cardio. Her body reacted in the same way as someone who goes into starvation mode.

2. Have you had your thyroid checked?

3. Could you have a vitamin D deficiency?

4. Are you taking any medications with weight-retention side effects?

5. Could you have a calcium deficiency?





TINYINSIDE
SparkPoints: (4,116)
Fitness Minutes: (2,947)
Posts: 23
8/12/12 2:14 A

Yes, I drink up to 9 glasses of water a day (sometimes more when I work out) and I eat 5 small meals per day.
I weigh myself daily in order to stay on top of my diet. I found a few years ago I was more disciplined with myself when I knew I had to weigh myself the following morning, than if I had a weigh in the following week.
I know weight fluctuates daily, but I prefer to weigh myself every morning. it keeps me grounded :)



L1983M
SparkPoints: (71)
Fitness Minutes: (55)
Posts: 5
8/12/12 1:45 A

Are you eating plenty of.small meals a day and drinking lots of water? Weighing yourself every morning is not a good idea. People are known to fluctuate throughout the DAY anywhere from 4-8lns. This is normal considering all the factors. (Waste, salt retention,etc) sometimes you have to work with what you got. If you're losing 1-2 lbs a week that is normal and healthy steady weight loss.



TINYINSIDE
SparkPoints: (4,116)
Fitness Minutes: (2,947)
Posts: 23
8/12/12 1:33 A

Sorry I wasn't more specific.
@ DragonChilde, I know I have a slow metabolism because it runs in my family; also, I weigh myself daily. and if I eat after I certain time, I always wake up heavier the next morning, sometimes as much as 5 pounds heavier if I eat the wrong thing, (although I have been known to gain 8 pounds overnight just from eating out one day. but this was before I knew how many calories restaurants squeeze into their meals!)
@ AILEBBELIA, I never eat and weigh myself immediately afterwards. I weigh myself daily. each morning when I get up, I get on the scale before breakfast. Also, I eat every 2 to 3 hours.
@ KAPELAKIN my current caloric intake is 1000-1500 calories per day.
My activity level is very active, and my exercise plan is anywhere from 2 to 4 hours per day depending on my energy level.
I do mostly cardio work outs.
My favorite work out is Taebo (I do this 4 times a week, sometimes more)
I also use the stationary bicycle and the treadmill.
I also walk a lot.

Edited by: TINYINSIDE at: 8/12/2012 (01:34)


KAPELAKIN
Posts: 1,971
8/12/12 12:31 A

What is your current caloric intake, what do you eat, and what is your activity level/exercise plan?



AILEBBELIA
SparkPoints: (13,410)
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
Posts: 3,171
8/12/12 12:31 A

You need to get proof that you have a slow metabolism ASAP.

You might be making the problem worse (slowing your metabolism) by spacing your meals too far apart.



I'm sorry, but it was not clear,
Did you mean that you ate a snack, weighed yourself right afterwards and the number went up?




DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,274)
Fitness Minutes: (14,204)
Posts: 9,576
8/12/12 12:14 A

Hmm. How do you know this? It's not really possible for your food to be turned to fat after a certain time... that's a myth. Our bodies don't really work the way you're describing. Could you explain what you mean by slow metabolism, and how you know?

If you are truly hungry, then eat something. Your body is trying to tell you you're not feeding it enough.



TINYINSIDE
SparkPoints: (4,116)
Fitness Minutes: (2,947)
Posts: 23
8/11/12 11:54 P

My metabolism is slower than drying molasses. It has never been fast and I always suffer because of it. My biggest problem lies in eating at night. If I eat ANYTHING (and I Do mean A N Y T H I N G) after 4 pm it usually goes to fat.
As of the past week I've had no appetite hardly at all and have eaten like a bunny; which is great because I've dropped weight quickly and easily while staying within my calories.
However, today was an off day and I've had the appetite of a growing teen age boy.
I've done my best to ignore these constant feelings of hunger, although around 6:30 I did have a snack. *Cucumber slices and hummus YUM!*
But my whole day has been off because my scale went nuts, so now in the back of my mind, I've got bells and whistles going off saying "YOU'RE GOING TO GAIN WEIGHT!!!!"
But is this truly the case?
Having a slow metabolism that refuses to speed up, and a body that automatically stores ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING that passes my lips *with the exception of water ONLY*
makes these weird days very tough to deal with.
My tummy says feed me, but my head says DON'T YOU DARE!
What can I do? Do I just sit it out and wait til morning?
Or is it okay to have a little teeny bite before I turn out the light?
Suggestions and helpful hints are desperately needed!



 
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