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I'm not really sure what's happening

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  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    @Maxematics Your post has expressed what I could have written. I am 37, very small-framed, 5'5 1/2" at this point 117-120 lbs. In the past 5+ years I lost ~50ish lbs. Last year I got to 112. Hunger was through the roof no matter what(high satiety foods) I ate. I frequently experienced hyperphagia. I think there are so many factors as to why my body experienced this discord...maybe not enough rest, maybe stress, maybe my deficit was too steep, maybe my Fitbit underestimated significantly, who knows. 3-4 months ago I made a decision to rest more and practice maintenance. I gained a few pounds in the process, I am ok with it at this time. If someday I decide to lose 3-5 lbs I might do it super slowly (0.5-1 lb. a month). Maybe a small deficit will be less abrasive on my body, who knows. I second what NoreenMarie and appulum suggested. Up your calories slowly(Fitbit might be underestimating especially when you are on your feet, fidgeting, gesticulating, but not getting step count), take more rest days and maybe take a short break from weighing for a short season. Hugs.
    edited June 11
  • girlwithcurls2girlwithcurls2 Posts: 1,834Member Member Posts: 1,834Member Member
    I have no advice to add. Just hoping that a rest week is helpful mentally and physically. It can be hard to do, but give your mind and body the treat of rest. When you get back at it, hopefully you'll feel what I like to call "fresh legs" (and arms, etc). You won't have lost anything in that short time. I hope you can figure this out. :heart:
  • TolstolobikTolstolobik Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    Maxematics wrote: »
    I just want to preface this post by saying that I've been around these forums for a while and have always found them helpful. I never thought I'd post something like this and I feel kind of embarrassed about it but I'm hoping that there are people who have had a similar issue and can maybe give me advice.

    I started MFP in June 2015 at 139 pounds; I'm 5'3", 34 years old. I lost 20 pounds within the first 2.5 months and eventually got down to 107ish by July 2016. Since then it's been up and down; whenever my weight gets that low I end up rebounding to 115. The worst time was when I hit 125 in December 2017. Sidenote that there is nothing wrong with being 125 pounds, it's just not the right weight for me. I used to do IF a few years ago and just really didn't see the benefits, eventually lost my period, then ended up being super hungry all the time and gaining back some weight. It took like a year to bounce back from that.

    This leads me to now. I got down to 108 pounds around a month ago and then my period was late but eventually came and only lasted a few days. Also there is zero chance of pregnancy in case anyone thinks to ask. Since then I've been battling excessive hunger. I've stopped trying to fight it and just let my body do its thing; some days I eat more and some I eat less. I figure that maybe the very low end of the BMI range isn't my happy place. I wasn't trying to lose weight either as my goal is maintenance it just seems to happen as I lose my appetite due to work stress, etc. I've stopped weighing in daily because post binge weights exacerbate my anxiety and guilt. I've stopped tracking food for the same reasons as I was becoming obsessive. I felt like I just needed to hit reset.

    At first I felt better but now I feel like it's getting worse. Today was the worst of all as I've just finished eating ~1500 calories on top of what had to be a minimum of 2500 for the day already. I also feel zero discomfort or fullness and like I could even eat more food.

    To give more background, I'm pretty active. I workout 45 minutes to an hour six days per week. I do resistance training four times per week and do straight cardio two times per week. My heart rate is high during resistance training; I'm not doing super heavy low rep sets with breaks. I also usually get 12 to 20K steps on my Fitbit with an estimated TDEE that's usually between 2000 and 2500. I'm fairly muscular and lean aside from my stomach these days due to water weight bloat. I've been working out consistently for years and I'm pretty fit.

    Thanks if you've read all of this so far. My whole point is I'm not really sure why I feel so desperately hungry. I also get days where I feel too exhausted to do anything beyond my morning workout and shower. That's usually on the weekends. I get around six hours of sleep per night but I try so hard to get more. On the weekends I do get a bit more because my brain isn't thinking about my job. I don't like the feeling of being ravenous even right after eating hundreds of calories. It's concerning and I obviously want to get a handle on it before it gets out of control. I always seem to but I really don't want to gain ten pounds back just to feel too soft and try to cut again. I'm curious if anyone, especially anyone with stats similar to mine, has gone through something similar. I'm wondering if I should actually see a doctor at this point. I'm so confused, upset, and tired of going through this and feeling like I have to fight tooth and nail against myself.

    Thanks again if you've read this; I appreciate it.

    Look up research done by Anne B. Loucks on energy availability in athletes. Very informative and helpful read.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,723Member Member Posts: 12,723Member Member
    Maxematics wrote: »
    You mentioned becoming a vegetarian - how’s your protein? If I don’t get enough high-quality protein I feel starved, and it can be tricky on a vegetarian diet. It’s also very easy to eat low fat while vegetarian, and some people need more fat to feel satiated. Try playing with your macros and see if it helps.

    I’m thinking the main issue is stress and not enough sleep, though. Hope you feel better after your break!

    Thank you. I actually eat more protein than I need. I average about 130 grams per day but it's not unusual for me to hit 150 grams. It's rare that I'm ever below 120 grams. However, in all of my rethinking of things today I did decide to reincorporate fish into my diet to start. As far as I can remember, I wasn't having these issues when fish was in my diet a few days per week.

    My macros are usually 40/30/30. In looking back at my last week logged 5/27 to 6/2, I averaged 138 protein (22%), 274 carbs (44%), 95 fat (34%). In case anyone asks about sugar, 77 grams average. 164 protein (35%), 192 carbs (35%), 84 fat (30%), 50g of sugar the prior week. I'm always below my recommended MFP sugars but not for any reason other than I just don't have a big sweet tooth.

    Thank you again; I hope I feel better after my break too.

    @Phirrgus Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

    How is your protein quality as a vegetarian: Are you getting a fair amount of your protein from sources that are complete protein (contain all of the essential amino acids in reasonable proportions)? If not, do you rely heavily on the same incomplete protein sources often, which would create more risk for a limiting amino acid(s)?

    I'm not asking as a vegetarian skeptic/hater, because I've been vegetarian for 45 years myself. It's no longer believed that we need to combine incomplete proteins in one and the same meal to get adequate effective protein levels, but we do need to get the full set within a reasonable time range. Simply varying the sources widely can help, but in the face of possible nutritional issues, it may be sensible to think about this a little more closely than that.

    Your idea of adding back fish sounds like a good experiment, in this sense. It should be possible to get adequate protein as a vegetarian, even a strict (plants only) vegetarian . . . but it isn't thought-free, especially at first.

    BTW, the stress/sleep strand of this seems potentially important, too. Good sleep hygiene (consistent bed & wake-up times) can be part of this picture, but naps a slippery slope to increased problems (varies by person, though). Meditation could be a useful tool in your toolkit, if you haven't already tried it, both for stress reduction, and as a practice that will encourage sleep if you have "mind racing" wakefulness, or at least give your brain some restfulness when you can't sleep.

    Best wishes!
  • nevergiveup812mfpnevergiveup812mfp Posts: 11Member, Premium Member Posts: 11Member, Premium Member
    Hello, I am in a similar situation to you I believe and ever doing a lot of investigation online and I will be seeing the doctor as well. For me I wonder if this could be the same for you if you are in a state of over training. This can lead to that fatigue that you mentioned and also not being able to sleep well and feeling exhausted. I also one through a similar phase where I could just not eat enough food I craved sweets terribly and I was like a bottomless pit this is another symptom of over training for me personally I am going to take 2 to 3 weeks off from the gym and see how I feel after doing some research to realize how over exercising and over training can affect hormones.
  • collectingbluescollectingblues Posts: 2,501Member Member Posts: 2,501Member Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    apullum wrote: »
    I think you may be underestimating the cumulative effect that all your activity has on your body. It’s easy to do that when you see some of your activity as easier than whatever you consider your “real” exercise to be.

    I’m currently taking some time off because I did exactly that. I was following my usual running routine, but also doing more walking on my “rest” days. And because I wasn’t taking the walking as seriously as I took the running, I wound up with three consecutive 8+ mile walking days (not intentionally, just a few short walks throughout each day) and did not factor in enough rest.

    I put on five pounds of water weight and was so tired that I couldn’t complete my usual runs, and it took me a week or so to figure out the problem. That’s why I’m sitting on my butt this week. I think you should also try a week or so of sitting on your butt :)

    ...oh. I think you may have just explained some issues I'm having. I log the 5+ miles of walking I do on my daily commute, and the 3 miles or so walking to and from the gym on Saturdays, but I don't mentally count them as 'proper exercise'. 'Proper exercise' is my BodyPump classes (2-3 per week, the two weekday ones requiring me to get up at 5am and do a lot of driving) and hiking (14+ miles on currently half my Sundays).

    For some reason, my period has been MIA since January and I'm going to bed at like 8pm most evenings. And when I say 'for some reason', I think I mean 'because I am a moron'.

    I... do the same thing. My daily commute involves a couple of miles walk -- downhill in one direction, straight uphill on the return trip -- plus whatever else needs to get done during the day. But I don't really consider it exercise because it's not like I'm working out -- I've got to get to meetings and my car somehow! And it doesn't always get ported over to MFP if my Watch or Runkeeper doesn't log it, which seems to be hit or miss.

    I am relieved almost to see that I'm not the only one.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 865Member Member Posts: 865Member Member
    I had a similar experience - high hunger, a weird kind of lethargy where it felt like I could push myself to do aerobic stuff but just walking felt like I could never take a full breath.
    At the time I was leaner than I thought I was (just under single digit body fat), which meant I was running a higher deficit than I would have. I also was sticking towards a mostly vegetarian diet, getting protein mainly from textured vegetable protein (soy byproduct), homemade seitan, and yogurt. The high fiber and the quality of protein might have effected some of it.
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