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Health & Support
Moderators: tigermoth5, autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405

How to repair my severely abused metabolism?

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Without going into lots of detail (b/c that would be a loooooong post)....
I started calorie counting about 18 months ago, thought I was doing it all right, but looking back realize that I was likely not eating enough (running 4-6 miles every day, eating 1400 calories.).

One thing led to another and I became bulimic. I have been stuck in binge/purge/restrict cycle.

I am at a very sustainable and healthy weight now, but I didnt' get here by healthy means.

I have thrown out the scale, invested in some self-help books, and am still actively searching for a therapist or group to help me along in my recovery.

I have (obviously) seriously abused my metabolism and I'm worried that the damage I've done is irreversible, or that it will takes years to fix.

Are there ways to help get my metabolism going again without gaining 30 lbs back? I know that I will gain some, that's unavoidable (right?), but can anyone give me advice on this?

Thank You--I appreciate any input!

my stats:


24 yrs

5' 8"

130 lbs

*not looking to lose*

Edited Feb 10 2009 02:04 by nycgirl
Reason: Moved from Weight Loss to Health & Support forum
11 Replies (last)
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eat 5-6 small  BALANCED meals a day and alternate your work outs

Perhaps the maintenance section would be better (Or even the weight gain section since a lot of people overcoming their ED's are there and they've been there, done that)

I posted here simply b/c the most people respond to posts in this forum, but if a moderator wants to move it to another section (preferably not weight gain) that's fine!

I moved this post to H&S

first off...congrats on over coming the first step on realizing you had a eating disorder.  i never have but i did have a control issue with the whole calorie and stepping on the scale about 10000394 times a day!


anyways the answer on 6 small meals a day is the best way to keep that weight where it is!

i have kept 30 lbs off for a year now with the mentality of "keeping the tank at 3/4 full".  meaning never be hungry never be stuffed.  fruit, veggies, some bread and cheese...little healthy snacks keep me full and energized through out the days.  if its a work out day (most days are lol) i also am a big fan of chili.  fills you up and if you use ground turkey 8oz only run you about 200-300 calories. 

keep up the good work!

from what i understand, metabolism bounces back pretty quickly.  i'd start with eating 5 times a day (within whatever calorie range is appropriate for you now) and drinking at least a half-gallon of ol'fashioned water every day. 

avoid stimulants, of course (caffeine, smoking, diet supplements), but the first two are the safest ways to get your metabolism back on track right now.


im sry to say but at 5`8 and 130 lbs is underweight so therefore your body will definitly gain a couple of pounds for it to run properly. make sure during ur recovery to not restrict cause u can cause the metabolism to crash right down again

Honestly, the fix is simple but the hardest to do.  You've just got to make an overhaul to your diet and eat how you SHOULD be able to eat with a normal metabolism.

I learned this firsthand--unfortunately after years wasted not believing it when my Dr. and nutritionist said I "could" be eating 2500+ and not be gaining weight.

I used to maintain on 12-1500 cals/day with working out 2-3 times per day.

After consistently getting my intake up to a truly "normal" level and reigning in my activity my metabolism did come back.

I was SO SURE I was the exception.  I knew i didn't eat normal, but I couldn't or I would gain.

I was wrong.  I gained 3lbs my first week on 2500, but a couple months later I was losing on 3000.

3000 calories, without activity, now results in weight loss for me, and I am also smaller than I was then--but far stronger.

It will come back, but you have to really teach it.  Just a bit more, while still meager calories, keeps your body thinking it won't get enough so it just hangs on to the couple hundred extra.

But if you day after day after week after week give it how much it would need to work normal, it will get the message and do that.

Thank you all so much for your responses, I really appreciate it! It's just so hard-I know I need to get my metabolism going again, and I know that gaining is inevitable, but it's hard to "deal" with knowing that I'm going to get bigger again while getting know what I mean?

Feel free to keep the suggestions coming!

kittysaysmeow: 130 lbs for my height is NOT underweight.  I am within the healthy range according to all of the literature I have seen and my doctors.

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I am experiencing this now.

I lost a lot of weight (about 70 pounds) and have only gained back about 10 (give and take) within three years (probably bc I went down to an unhealthy weight for my body type/size).

I started my weight loss journey at 5'9" and 202 lbs.  I got down to 5'9" and 133 lbs - but this was short lived.  For my "skinniest" period, I would say I was 143 lbs...  Now I am obviously the same height (ha!) and 148 lbs.

My worry with weight has made me into a bulemic with the use of EXCESSIVE exercising as my purge.

I restrict, I binge... the cylce over and over has made me seek professional help and I have been working with a therapist.  She has asked me to only exercise for one hour a day (as many days as I would like a week).  She has also suggested that I eat my recommended calories (for my activity), which is about 2,300-2,600.  She feels that my binging is sometimes bolstered by a physiological need for nutrients!  I started about a week ago eating 2,000-2,500 calories (the days have varied) and I have gained four pounds.  My activity level has remained the same.

The above has made me not want to follow this plan.  I feel like I cannot trust that high caloric number.  Every calculator on every website tells me it is supposed to work, but I cannot trust it!  My fiance says stick with it.

Is it common for this to happen?  Will I notice a weight loss?  Is it just my body adjusting?  Is it water weight? 

The best news I have is that I am eating pretty much what I want (yes, I still worry about what I am putting into my body), but this has stopped my urge to binge.  I know that I can have a cookie or a pint of ice cream if I want from time to time.  I am not afraid that I will never have those things again!  Now, I just need to make peace with what amount of calories I need to take in to promote my maximum metabolism and maintenance (tiny weight loss)...

Thoughts?  Comments?  Insight?  Questions?

This is something I too am struggling with... Having been severely bulimic for the best part of the last 5 years, I decided to try and recover at the start of January. At that point I weighed approx 147 (ish) lbs and at 5, 8" i was ok with that, but since beginning recovery I have gone up to 168! While I expected some gain, I did not expect that much, and none of the other posts I have read seem to have gained this much.. Physically it is not possible as I have not been exceeding 1500 cals and have only been eating whole, healthy foods..

Have made an appointment to see my dr tomorrow and hoping to get a referral to a dietician to get some advice and see wtf is going on..

Just wondering has anyone else experienced such extreme and rapid weight gain?

Sorry I can't really shed any light on your post but just wanted u to know ur not alone!!
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