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How to best fix my metabolism?

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I've thoroughly screwed up my metabolism...I started eating only 1200 calories a day (if that), and can't really eat more than that without gaining weight, even though I exercise daily. Considering that I'm only a teenager, my Doctor and mom say I should be able to eat 2000 calories a day to be healthy. I don't want to be stuck barely able to eat anything for the rest of my life, so I'd really like to fix this.
I've researched a good bit on this subject, and I have just a couple questions left:
How much weight am I likely to gain before it levels off, and will any of that weight come back off after my metabolism gets back to normal?

And second, Is it best to jump immediately to the 2000 calories a day, or is it better to increase it gradually (and if gradually is better, how gradually? 100 calorie increase a day, or maybe a week until you reach 2000) ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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No one can tell you how much you're going to gain but I would say that 5-7 pounds maximum is what you can expect if you increase your calorie right away. Which is the best way in my opinion. You will prolong the span of gaining by increasing slowly not to mention the malnutrition from not eating enough. The sooner your body is getting an adequate amount of calories the faster the weight gain will level off. Initially you'll gain water weight and food weight which will come off, but you may not notice the decrease since you will also put on "real weight" at some point. So the initial gain might be great but after that the gain will slow considerably since the water weight will subside and the food will pass through your system. In terms of actual gain though I would really expect more than 5-7 pounds if you increase your calories right away and stay consistent. The consistency is key since that is what switches the starvation switch on and off, if your body thinks a famine is coming "again" in the sense that you restrict again then it will hold on to the cals and store it as fat but if you're consistent then your body trusts that food is available and consequently less is stored as fat. Does that make sense?

Hey, I am also doing the same thing as you. I already screwed up my body metabolism so much (years of eating disorder and starvation diets), that I would gain weight even when I eat one meal a day!! And I am just 20 this year.

But right now, I am doing a minimum of 1,500 calories a day and exercise daily to see if there's any changes to my body. I am expecting some weight gain but I also hope that exercising will help to offset some of it...

Good luck to you! Just continue to eat and exercise.

As your doctor has suggested 2000 per day, why don't you ask her/him if that requires a stepped approach from where you are now to 2000 or not?

I expect s/he will say eat 2000 now. Are you hungry? You say you can't eat more than 1200 without gaining weight, but you don't say that you are full. 

In another post you mentioned that you were originally 148 lbs and a dancer with muscles and were made to feel uncomfortable (no one believing you were that 'heavy'). That is absolutely tragic and I am so sorry that happened to you. At your height I can imagine you had beautiful definition and strength at 148 lbs. Muscle is heavier than fat by a long shot.

You are a teenager still laying down bone mass and a lot of your shape will be refined and change over the next 10 years.

I was 117 as a teenager but I would look like an absolute cadaver if I were that now (my bones, skin, everything has matured). I'm 129 and may go to 125 (I'm short unlike you!!) and I am enjoying the strength and shape I have now -- and frankly I'm so old that nothing I wore as a teenager is remotely stylish now!

If you focus on stopping the starvation mode you're in, let the weight do its thing and just continue dancing, it will work out to your advantage. Congratulations for making the move back to health while you are young!


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