I don't get the whole metabolism thing

I was hoping someone could help me out here. I have been trying to read up on it but can't seem to find a clear answer.

Basically, I have been quite steadily losing weight, which was necessary after piling it on during 2 pregnancies and I am not nearly there but that's ok. I have time.
Now I read somewhere that your metabolism can get screwed up when you diet for a long time reducing your calorie intake; which I do, I allow myself around 1300 Kcals a day.

F.E: this other post today was from a girl also being on a diet since July and after about 4 months or so she does not loose weight anymore eating 1400-1500 calories a day. this now seems to have become her comfort zone.

Then online I read your metabolism will slow down because you simply weight less, which also disturbs me because nowhere it says it will ever go back again to normal.
I read everywhere that a woman should eat around 1800 calories a day. Which would be ok-ish (I prefer 3000 but do acknowledge this is not healthy).

So how does this work? I keep on 1300 a day until I reach my goal and then will never be able to eat more than 1400-1500 since this is my comfort zone? Will I ever be able to get back to 1800 a day, since this should be normal for a woman in my profession (sitting all day behind a screen)? I cannot imagine my life on 1400 and be a happy person. I can however, imagine myself being happy on a 1800 kcal diet.

Replies

  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
    I was hoping someone could help me out here. I have been trying to read up on it but can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Basically, I have been quite steadily losing weight, which was necessary after piling it on during 2 pregnancies and I am not nearly there but that's ok. I have time.
    Now I read somewhere that your metabolism can get screwed up when you diet for a long time reducing your calorie intake; which I do, I allow myself around 1300 Kcals a day.

    F.E: this other post today was from a girl also being on a diet since July and after about 4 months or so she does not loose weight anymore eating 1400-1500 calories a day. this now seems to have become her comfort zone.

    Then online I read your metabolism will slow down because you simply weight less, which also disturbs me because nowhere it says it will ever go back again to normal.
    I read everywhere that a woman should eat around 1800 calories a day. Which would be ok-ish (I prefer 3000 but do acknowledge this is not healthy).

    So how does this work? I keep on 1300 a day until I reach my goal and then will never be able to eat more than 1400-1500 since this is my comfort zone? Will I ever be able to get back to 1800 a day, since this should be normal for a woman in my profession (sitting all day behind a screen)? I cannot imagine my life on 1400 and be a happy person. I can however, imagine myself being happy on a 1800 kcal diet.

    I would stop worrying about it

    your metabolism is fine and will be fine

    they're talking about adaptive thermogenesis but taking the concept to extremes

    just up your exercise rate
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    I was hoping someone could help me out here. I have been trying to read up on it but can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Basically, I have been quite steadily losing weight, which was necessary after piling it on during 2 pregnancies and I am not nearly there but that's ok. I have time.
    Now I read somewhere that your metabolism can get screwed up when you diet for a long time reducing your calorie intake; which I do, I allow myself around 1300 Kcals a day.

    F.E: this other post today was from a girl also being on a diet since July and after about 4 months or so she does not loose weight anymore eating 1400-1500 calories a day. this now seems to have become her comfort zone.

    Then online I read your metabolism will slow down because you simply weight less, which also disturbs me because nowhere it says it will ever go back again to normal.
    I read everywhere that a woman should eat around 1800 calories a day. Which would be ok-ish (I prefer 3000 but do acknowledge this is not healthy).

    So how does this work? I keep on 1300 a day until I reach my goal and then will never be able to eat more than 1400-1500 since this is my comfort zone? Will I ever be able to get back to 1800 a day, since this should be normal for a woman in my profession (sitting all day behind a screen)? I cannot imagine my life on 1400 and be a happy person. I can however, imagine myself being happy on a 1800 kcal diet.

    there are a LOT of presumptions in your post...

    'a woman' should eat 1800 cals? well for a start i maintain on 1900 PLUS exercise cals and i know a lot of female pals who maintain on a lot more than that!

    if you're eating 1300 cals to lose 1lb per week, i would expect that when you get closer to your goal you would up your cals to lose 0.5lb per week for the last 5-10 and not just go straight from 1300 to maintenance, whatever that may be.

    the smaller you are, generally the less calories you need, but that of course doesnt take exercise into account.

    as rabbit has said, you're way obver thinking soemthign that hasnt even happened!
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    Two things happen when you lose weight. First, you lose weight, so it takes less effort to do the things you do. Think about how much less weight a 100 pound woman has to lift to get out of a chair than a 300 pound woman does. Less effort, less calories required. The other thing that happens is that you lose some muscle mass while you are losing weight. We've just established your body doesn't need as much, so that's not a terrible thing, but since muscle uses energy throughout the day, less muscle means fewer calories burned. People generally call that a lower metabolism. If you want a higher metabolism, get out and exercise to burn more calories and to build muscle.

    As for the metabolism being messed up, it makes no sense to say that needing less food to fuel normal activities is "messed up." Wouldn't you rather have a lower grocery bill than a higher one?
  • ColeCake292012
    ColeCake292012 Posts: 247 Member
    I get what you're saying.
    Its not that your metabolism slows down when you lose weight, necessarily. Its just...you weigh less so your body doesn't have to work as hard to move. So yeah, you'll burn a little less. As for being stuck in a comfort zone....no. Its normal for your body to take a while to adjust after losing weight, but you will be able to up your calories. Most people do this over the course of a few weeks, going from their original amount (1300 in this case) and slowly upping it to maintenance. And you may be surprised to know that you may be able to eat even more than 1800 calories when maintaining, especially since at 5'3 that's close to the number I eat while losing weight. All depends on activity level.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,139 Member
    what are your stats?
    where did you get1300 calories from?

    Over time, yes your metabolism will adapt to your new weight and new eating habits. At that time, you will have to slowly increase calories to either .5 pound per loss or maintenance level….some people will "reverse diet" where they slowly add 50 calories a week until they start losing again and then eat at that level …

    unless you are chronically underrating then you should not have "metabolic damage' and even then, that can take a long time to occur…

  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    I was hoping someone could help me out here. I have been trying to read up on it but can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Basically, I have been quite steadily losing weight, which was necessary after piling it on during 2 pregnancies and I am not nearly there but that's ok. I have time.
    Now I read somewhere that your metabolism can get screwed up when you diet for a long time reducing your calorie intake; which I do, I allow myself around 1300 Kcals a day.

    F.E: this other post today was from a girl also being on a diet since July and after about 4 months or so she does not loose weight anymore eating 1400-1500 calories a day. this now seems to have become her comfort zone.
    People plateau and weight loss slows for all kinds of reasons. It doesn't mean her body now only needs 1400-1500. She'd have to be older and tiny to get by on that little. Plus you can't really trust anyone's self-reported intake level. She might well be eating 1800 thinking it's 1400.