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Weight Loss
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Increase metabolism after starvation mode for years?

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Okay, I'm 5', almost 17, and 103 lbs. I suffered from anorexia, eating 600 or so calories a day until I was 85 lbs. This carried on for about two years.

Then I started eating a bit more, around 1000, and gained weight until I was 93-95 for about a year. Now I've been eating a little more, 1200-1500 and ballooned up to 103 in only a couple weeks. All my clothes don't fit, I feel blubbery and always tired, depressed, anxious. I feel as though I gained at least 20 lbs.

I had my RMR medically tested and it's only at 1000.  I have a cross trainer I do about a half hour each day, or try to, but am so tired and dizzy lately it's hard for me.

How can I increase my RMR and get out of this 'starvation mode' so I can lose weight safely to get to around 95 and fit in my clothes again and feel energetic and healthy and fit?

6 Replies (last)

hey mayella,first off,congratulations and well done on overcoming ur eating disorder.

i'm in a somewhat similiar situation with you,although i hv never been anorexic. Im 5"3, 17 years old, 55 kg when i started increasing my calorie intake. for many years ive been hovering between 1000-1200,sometimes less. I've calculated my RMR online and realise i should be eating around 1700 calories per day. So far i've been consuming roughly 1300-1500 cals per day. when i weighed myself ,i gained 3 kg. it was pretty shocking as other ppl hv said they gained jst a couple of pounds and the weight disappeared after a few weeks as their body gets used to it.

i know that it sucks to think of all the weight that u've put on. However,i'm sure it won't be permanent. It might take a while for the body to leave 'starvation' mode, a month,2 months,3 months,who knows?i'm still waiting as well =)

i'm sure that if u exercise regularly,(be sure to incorporate weight training in ur workouts), and eat well,ur rmr will increase. it just takes time for ur body to get used to all the extra calories,as you hv been eating too little for 2 years.

maybe u should see a doctor to overcome ur dizzy spells. It's best to get a proffesional opinion.

anyway,all i can say is,hang in there. You'll fit into ur old clothes just takes time,no one can tell when ur body adjusts.Good luck to both of us =)

Eat more! With your metabolism and intake so low your body hangs on to everything you eat.

If you ate a 2000 (or more if you exercise) your metabolism will at first be slow and you will gain but as long as you stick to that intake it will soon trust you and speed up. Your body will then:

  • either lose the weight with no change in diet
  • or will redistribute it as it won't think you are starving and need to protect you vital organs
  • or it will use it to grow taller


Thank you guys, I'm just scared, I don't want to gain any more weight /: I've developed a layer of jiggly fat in only a couple weeks, I barely fit in my clothes, I don't know what I'd do if I really COULDN'T fit in anything. Plus, school starts soon so I REALLY won't have anything to wear. I hope this works. I'm thinking of doing 1200, then in a week, do 1400 and see what happens.

You should try strength training if you're worried about jiggly fat. It helped me feel a lot tighter and much less jiggly

Hey mayella, congrats on deciding to kick ED out of your life! It's a huge step in the positive difrection.  

There's a link to a calorie calculator for teens. Find your activity level and start eating tha tmany calories. I know it will be hard, but it's what your metabolism needs to speed up! You might gain at first, but don't get discouraged and keep pushing through. Eventually your metabolism will catch up and it'll be worth it!

Btw, I'm 5'9" and started at 98ish lbs, and at first I was gaining on 1000, then 1500, then 1800..I now need at least 2100 to maintain even when sedentary! So your metabolism will catch up; our bodies are wonderful  like that. 

Calories are not necessarily what you should focus on. While yes you need to consume more it will be the kind of nutrition that you are supplying yourself that will determine how it is used by your body.  Your body is merely responding to the deprivation it has been through, as a result it will want to store what you eat; you may even be stressed by the thought of gaining weight which can also contribute.  I would suggest reading ‘The Gabriel Method’ by Jon Gabriel which is a book on weight loss.  If you end up understanding the main concept of the book then you will realize that your problem relates closely to that of an obese person.  I know it sounds preposterous but I am serious and please don’t take it as any kind of insult. Fact was two years ago I was over 400 pounds but have lost over 220 pounds of it.  A couple weeks ago I encountered Jon’s book and everything began to make sense (my approach was very similar to the implied method of this book), how I lost the weight and why I have not hit a plateau for any significant amount of time.

In my case, when I was obese, I overate on foods that simply did not give me the proper nutrition it took to maintain my body, in your case you purposely deprived yourself of the proper nutrition that it would take to maintain your body.  In either case, I think the solution is similar for the both of us.  Please understand that I am not suggesting you go on a starvation diet; the book is a bit anti intuitive of the conventional advice given for dieting but perhaps it is something that will make sense to you and is something you could incorporate into your life.  Whatever you do I think patience is the key, it’ll take time for your body to readjust and being persistent in maintaining healthy eating habits will help your body to adjust to an appropriate weight for you.

6 Replies