Post # 1
Hi guys, I just got my basal metabolic rate (BMR) tested by the nutritionist at my endocrinologist’s office along with my body percentages (fat, muscle, bone, etc.). This involves breathing into a tube for 10 minutes to test my resting metabolic rate.
My BMR is INSANELY low. Resting is 821 calories a day, with my maintenance level being between 1000 and 821 calories, and with a half hour of moderate exercise I burn 85 calories. With a normal/lightly active lifestyle I burn an extra 246 calories in a day. The nutritionist was pretty shocked. I’m -50% what is normal for my height, weight, sex, and age.
Has anyone else had to deal with such a low BMR? When I was still developing (between 10-14) my mother put me on extremely restrictive diets, which I think contributed to me having such a low metabolism. I’ve also done some yo-yo dieting as a young woman, and I’m guessing genetics are also a factor.
Would love to hear if anyone’s had to deal with this and what helped them. Thanks!
(Also: I DO have a super high fat percentage. Right now my goal is to work on bringing that down and bringing muscle percentage up. Hopefully that’ll help bring up my BMR.)
Post # 2
Out of curiousity, what does that mean exactly? Like, if you eat more than 1000 cals a day you’ll gain weight? Am I understanding that correctly?
Post # 3
HoneysHoney : yep
shortbread654 : after I recovered from my eating disorder (and during, duh) my BMR was super low. I’ve been very active since–running half marathons, kickboxing, etc.. it’s been 7 years since I stopped severely restricting my intake on a regular basis, and while my metabolism is still low, it’s not as bad. For my size and activity level I can eat fewer calories than you’d expect, but it’s within reason–especially when I’m really active.
I think focusing on getting healthy–more muscle, less fat, more exercise, rounded diet–is all you can do for now. I wish I had better advice than that, but I never found anything.
Now, an unsolicited word of caution:
A nutritionist doesn’t have to have any sort of degree. A dietitian must be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I’d get a second opinion from a dietitian–nutritionists can and have led people off some pretty dangerous cliffs. Bringing your BMR up from 820 is not going to be easy, and doing it wrong can only make it worse–it’s worth the extra $$ to get someone who’se properly educated and regulated.
Post # 4
amanda1988 : Depends where. Here nutritionists and dietitians are now the same thing, the college has restricted the term nutritionist to those who are RDs.
Post # 5
amanda1988 : thanks so much for your advice! I’m actually not sure what type of accreditation she has. I see her in my endocrinologist’s office so I assume she’s certified, seeing as she takes care of the diets of his severely ill patients as well (extreme diabetes, thyroid issues, etc.). But I will definitely look into it. I’m going to be tested again after three months to see if there’s any change and in that time I’m really going to do everything I can to raise my muscle mass. I’m already working out on a regular basis but I’m going to try and step up my workouts.
And yeah, my yo-yo dieting potentially did this to me as well. Obviously an ED is more significant but apparently, even severe calorie restriction for a few months every few years can wreak havoc on your BMR. This wasn’t a total shock to me, as I’ve always struggled to lose weight on a “normal” low-calorie diet. Hopefully if I really stick to gaining muscle mass this time around I can at least make a dent into this mess!
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer's Beach, Grand Cayman
I’ve never been tested but I’m certain I’ve ruined my metabolism through yo yo dieting as well as extreme restrictive eating for several years followed by binge eating for several years. Have you heard of reverse dieting, I haven’t looked too much into it but it’s supposed to help speed up metabolism I think.
Post # 7
AB Bride : that’s really good to know. “here” being alberta/Canada?
shortbread654 : good luck! Since you’ve seen an endocrinologist I’m assuming they’ve already ruled out things like hypothyroidism?
Post # 8
amanda1988 : actually, I have HYPERthyroidism, which makes my BMR even weirder I guess. I can’t even imagine what it would be if I was hypo. My diet would have to consist of water and licking an apple once a day.
Post # 9
amanda1988 : Yep, Alberta! Some provinces were like that already, but here it hasn’t even been a year. It was changed due to the confusion amoungst the general public about the difference – would love to see it applied everywhere!
I thought the OPs info didn’t give a location, but now I see it does. I must have clicked on the wrong one before.
Sorry I’m not really being helpful, but at least it’s good news.
Post # 10
Perhaps you should research reverse dieting? After I was trying to improve disordered eating habits from adolescence and young adulthood, my BMR was also quite low. Learning about how to healthily increase my food intake really helped me. I now eat approximately double what I used to, but it took several months of following an eating plan and eating every four hours to get my metabolism back to normal.
Post # 11
MrsAtlantis : Thanks for the advice! I’ve never heard of this but I’ll look it up. I think someone else might have mentioned this too. Hopefully with some changes to my diet and building up more muscle I can turn this around!