T Nation

Damaged my Metabolism, Slowly Giving Up


Hello everyone. Hope this is not too depressing or boring.

Long story short, I used to be super fit then I starved myself and gained 14kg in one year. I have 33% body fat and 25.5kg of muscle (I weigh 68kg). My BMR should be at 1700 but I only burn 1000kcal/day. And I only burn 10% fat and 90% carbohydrates, making it impossible to lose weight.

I train 2 hours 6 times a week and was told to "train less eat more" I know it's wrong but I'm not sure about what's right. Can't look at food anymore, I don't know how to eat. I am depressed and I'm even having those really really dark thoughts. It's not fair.
What does eat less train less mean?! I really don't know where to begin.


Just take tomorrow as Day One.

If you're concerned about the state of your health, consider seeing a doc and getting some bloodwork done.

You look healthy enough (I say that only so as to say that you're not obviously looking like something is terribly wrong). The human body is in some ways a machine: just look at what others do (ie, a sensible training program and diet) and follow that for a few weeks. Then see how you feel. You say you're only burning 1k cals/day, but I doubt you really know that for certain.

I think a lot of us (including me) get to a point in the intermediate stage where we're overdoing things. Think of it this way: many people who are very advanced and very serious about their enterprise (bodybuilders, powerlifters) only train four days a week. They aren't doing that because they hate training: they're doing it because it works.


The other issues regarding depression and body image issues are really separate from your training protocol. If you're in college and have the time, consider talking to someone at the university mental health services. It's not the type of stigma-inducing thing that it might have been ten years ago, and it could do you a lot of good.


Where did you get this information?


I did a test at a sports clinic using sensors and my breath co2 etc was analyzed... I dont knkw what a good diet means, should i eat kr avoid carbs and so on...


I got it from a sports clinic. I did test with co2 breathing and some sensors



I feel it is extremely unlikely that your source of this information is accurate, so basing any actions off it, instead of common sense, is likely to be a disaster.

If that's you in your avatar, you're doing fine. Chill out.


i agree with other guy if pic and avatar is you and current you have body image issues
try getting on a balanced eating plan, and workout plan, maybe play a sport and chill out a little bit


Training 2 hours a day 6 days a week is absolutely on the high end of things, so odds are your training can definitely be improved. I'd suggest a focus on training smarter, not just "less". What does your current training plan look like? The days, exercises, sets, and reps, and the cardio too.

Also, what does your current diet look like? You said your BMR is 1700 calories, but what are you actually eating?

Lastly, what's your specific goal? "Lose weight" is vague and doesn't give you a solid target to shoot for. Are there numbers you want to hit? A goal physique? Something that will give an idea of when you're "there"? Check this article for more info:

Then simplify everything. Forget about how many calories you burn or BMR. Maybe even forget about trying to "lose weight" and, instead, focus on having three quality meals everyday that give you enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats that allow you to train hard and recover sufficiently. Things don't have to be complicated to be effective.

I agree with the others, that it makes no sense even paying attention to the supposed "fact" that you burn whatever % of fat and whatever % of carbs. I can promise you that nobody who got into awesome shape took a breath test and based their approach on those results.


x2 on this advice. There's nothing at all wrong with just checking in with a professional and saying "Can we talk for a minute?" They're not going to give you fitness advice (hopefully), but they should help you re-align your perspective and understand that there's honestly no reason to be having dark thoughts because you're having trouble losing fat. But it's an unfortunately common situation lately.

You said you were in shape before, so it's not like some unachievable goal.


I agree. Learn from the past but don't linger on it. If what you did in the past didn't work, try a new approach. It doesn't matter where you start (even if you have to start from scratch sometimes) - just focus on improvement over time. From your recent experience you learned what doesn't work so that's still moving you one step forward if you can avoid the same mistake.

Focus on the basics of quality nutrition, recovery and training progression to meet your goals. What do you currently do for the above and what are your goals?


I know i dont look bad, but lets not forget i gained 14kg in one year! Thats not healthy at all. I eat in the range of 1200-1400 calories oer day and i eat healthy all grilled chcicken breast tuna vegies the occasional protein shake etc. everyone says chcilld out because im not "fat" but at this rate, i will be. Gaining 14kg is not normal for a 22 year old that works out regularly. I do 30-60 minutes in stairmaster or treadmill LISS but mostly HIIT 40sec/20sec intervals.

I used to do circuit training after but now i have 2 times legs 1 back 1 arms and 1 shoulder day. Occasionally abs. Reps are 16 16 12 12 or 16 12 12 10. 4-5 different exercises per day. I lift as heavy as i can ( i can do 60kg deadlifts) and 120kg leg press for 16 reps etc. i increase weight as i decrease reps.


A rough guideline is to generally go no lower than bodyweight x 10 calories, even for fat loss. At 68kg/150pounds, you're below that. Factoring in exercise, you're seriously below that. Check these articles to sort out your nutrition:

I'm guessing you do one of these cardio workouts every day, probably after the weights? That's excessive.

Your weight training (which is what builds the muscles, gives "definition" and "tone", and builds strength, needs improvement too. Choose one of these programs. Any of them will be significantly better than how you're lifting now:

If you want to keep doing cardio too, no problem at all, just do it on the days you don't lift. If you "need" to do cardio on days you lift, do it after lifting for 20 minutes max of something low-ish intensity (an inclined treadmill walk without using the handrails is a great choice).

Also, consider starting a log in the Powerful Women forum, where the other badass lady lifters can give you some more input and motivation:


Thanks a million!! I will look into those! I will also be testing for hypothyroidism, my doctor said i might have it! Who knew!


I was just reading your thread and was going to suggest ruling that one out. Also, just a routine check for blood sugar so you know you don't have some undiagnosed issue there. Worth the peace of mind. Just an anecdote for what it's worth - I have a friend who began gaining weight for no apparent reason, and it turned out her thyroid was kaput.

I'm always a bit curious when I see someone in your situation where "the calorie math" just doesn't seem to add up. I'll be interested to see if your physician finds something.


be careful that this does not become an excuse,i see alot of people who will say it not my fault its my thyroid
just means you need to learn more
check out articles about women and marketing in relation to weight loss and fitness
so that you will be able to determine truth about fitness ,and whether its just marketing

I think alot of people do not realize how much Psychology counts
train less eat more
studies showed that women ate way to little and worked out way to much [mostly cardio]
so instead of saying learn to eat healthy and exercise properly
marketing guy says[train less eat more] knowing how women would view that statement
notice how the program with that catch phrase was marketed mainly to women


Could be a million things.

If getting 'dark thoughts' possibly change up your macros and get more fats in your diet. What is your macro split/ratios ?

Also sounds like you need to change up your training try this...