T Nation

Metabolism Shift?

Something seems to have happenned with the way my body works. I started the year way heavy at 242. ( I'm 5" 11" )Too much fat, some muscle underneath. Hit the gym in Feb, didn't change my diet at all, just ate whatever I wanted. Worked out sporadically, mostly babying a back injury and a bum shoulder. Still lost about 10lbs over a couple months.

I got serious and cut way back on cals, shooting for @2000 / day. Lots of fresh veggies. Hit the gym 4-5 days/wk using FB3 and HT routines from the Cosgrove book, supplemented with 20 min on the escalator to Hell post workout.

No surprise that I am down to 207 now, in 34 waist jeans, kept my muscle, blah blah – but here is what is weird.

Thanksgiving week I went crazy, eating everything in sight. On the following Monday, I stepped on the scale, expecting to see a jump of at least a couple of lbs. No change.

2nd week of Dec I was sick and couldn’t work out. Also ate casually, but not like Xgiving, just had more desserts, bread and pasta than I had been. After a week, back in the gym - down a lb.

Last Sat I worked out, weighed in at 208. This week was “hell week” for my company, a we do a brisk Xmas business. No workouts all week, ate whatever, lots of burgers, take out. Got back in the gym this AM, - down 1/2 lb. WTF?

I have to wonder if I have changed my “setpoint”. Is 6 months a long enough time to do this? OR is a week or 2 with my face in the fridge not long enough to screw things up?

Some of us believe that the metabolism can change and stay changed. Almost akin to an internal clock.

Perhaps after 6 months, you have pushed your metabolism closer to yourself in a more active lifestyle and is why you can miss, overeat and weight stays down.

Someone who understands the chemical and hormonal processes needs to chime in.

Is it possible to “jump start” your metabolism?

Is it possible after said period of being active that the resting metabolism is at a higher level?

How long does it take after being on said higher level for metabolism to slow itself back down?

What are benefits on higher metabolism other than higher rate of fat burning?

I would say NO you didnt change a set point but what you did is burn thew hjell out of that food you ate. You being on a 2000 k/cal diet for a 200+ lb person thats LOW brother and you gave your body food and it went shit ass nuts.

I am betting you were HOT sweating etc. I even now bulking clean will have a cheat meal of JUNK and swate like a prize Pig. My insulin is not used to being JACKED and Bam it hits. Then many times even If I crammed 10000+ fo junk in I will wake lighter.

What you did IMO is you have changes your insulin sensitivity for the better your body also knows how to digest etc now REAL food. gets that simple crap and hoes all the hell out. you prob just burnt most of it up ASAP.

Id say if your at or near your goal start adding intake back in. Get that metabolism back rolling hadr core.

Congrats on the progress
Phill

Thanks for the input guys, I’m thinking there may be truth in both your answers. Meaning that yeah, after the retriction for so long, I did just burn the hell out of what I put in, even junk food, and also this may represent a real shift in how my body handles intake.

I also would like to hear from someone with some clinical knowledge about this, i.e. can you change your body’s energy systems permanaently with calorie / macro-nutrient manipulation.

Berardi seems to approach the issue with his assertion that taking bf way way down every two years or so makes it easier to do so next time, and makes it easier to stay lean in general.

My goal is 190 lbs. This is where I was at my strongest, back in the mid - late 90’s. At that point, I could do double bodyweight deads and squats, and play 3 and 4 man beach volleyball all day long without gassing out. I think that as I get closer, I will take Phil’s advice and add back in some clean calories.

Still would like ot hear an authorative voice on the whole “setpoint” idea.

[quote]hankr wrote:
Thanks for the input guys, I’m thinking there may be truth in both your answers. Meaning that yeah, after the retriction for so long, I did just burn the hell out of what I put in, even junk food, and also this may represent a real shift in how my body handles intake.

I also would like to hear from someone with some clinical knowledge about this, i.e. can you change your body’s energy systems permanaently with calorie / macro-nutrient manipulation.

Berardi seems to approach the issue with his assertion that taking bf way way down every two years or so makes it easier to do so next time, and makes it easier to stay lean in general.

My goal is 190 lbs. This is where I was at my strongest, back in the mid - late 90’s. At that point, I could do double bodyweight deads and squats, and play 3 and 4 man beach volleyball all day long without gassing out. I think that as I get closer, I will take Phil’s advice and add back in some clean calories.

Still would like ot hear an authorative voice on the whole “setpoint” idea.

[/quote]

Well I think its a good idea to add a bit go slow.

I also think yes you can make permanent changes. Ill chime in with my experience. I went from 300 to 215 in 3 months. Then stayed there happy as a opposum eatin’ cat shit for about 3 years.

Then got nutty and decided dto get uber damn lean dropped to a sickly 165 I was a ripped thin bastage. this was shorter term back took a few months to get there them teeterd in the 180-200 range for a time never staying any one spot to long and well once I added intake a bit id go right the hell back to 215lbs with out trying my body would add fat muslce what the hell ever from the point lower to 215 to get to its point it was now comfortable.

Then I decided to hell with it bulk. I would and the mintue I sopped cramming my pie whole I would damn near shit off weight right backdown to 215. As of now been consistantly eating to gain staying in the 235 - 250 range this has been for about 8 months and the minute I stop if I dont keep that intake up I will literally start dropping 5 lbs a week right back down toward that 215 im sure though I stop it dead in its tracks LOL.

I just dont feel 6 months is long enough at a Hiugher weight, lower weight, etc to make a new set point. I think yes they can happen Just from my experience its more like a year or years to get the body really comfortable tat a new area

My 2 cc best of luck and again awesome progress,
Phill

[quote]hankr wrote:
Thanks for the input guys, I’m thinking there may be truth in both your answers. Meaning that yeah, after the retriction for so long, I did just burn the hell out of what I put in, even junk food, and also this may represent a real shift in how my body handles intake.

I also would like to hear from someone with some clinical knowledge about this, i.e. can you change your body’s energy systems permanaently with calorie / macro-nutrient manipulation.

Berardi seems to approach the issue with his assertion that taking bf way way down every two years or so makes it easier to do so next time, and makes it easier to stay lean in general.

My goal is 190 lbs. This is where I was at my strongest, back in the mid - late 90’s. At that point, I could do double bodyweight deads and squats, and play 3 and 4 man beach volleyball all day long without gassing out. I think that as I get closer, I will take Phil’s advice and add back in some clean calories.

Still would like ot hear an authorative voice on the whole “setpoint” idea.

[/quote]

Of course you can cause a shift in metabolism (resting metabolism as well). After working out and dieting for sometime, you inevitably added on much more lean body mass than you had at your start point. More lean body mass = more calories burnt at rest, in a sense “raising” your metabolic rate.

[quote]hankr wrote:
Thanks for the input guys, I’m thinking there may be truth in both your answers. Meaning that yeah, after the retriction for so long, I did just burn the hell out of what I put in, even junk food, and also this may represent a real shift in how my body handles intake.

I also would like to hear from someone with some clinical knowledge about this, i.e. can you change your body’s energy systems permanaently with calorie / macro-nutrient manipulation.

Berardi seems to approach the issue with his assertion that taking bf way way down every two years or so makes it easier to do so next time, and makes it easier to stay lean in general.

My goal is 190 lbs. This is where I was at my strongest, back in the mid - late 90’s. At that point, I could do double bodyweight deads and squats, and play 3 and 4 man beach volleyball all day long without gassing out. I think that as I get closer, I will take Phil’s advice and add back in some clean calories.

Still would like ot hear an authorative voice on the whole “setpoint” idea.

[/quote]

hankr,

To your setpoint question, our body’s setpoint is always in flux in relation to activity, diet, basal metabolic rate and other extraneous factors. It is through these factors in which we try to manipulate our body composition to achieve a look or certain performance.

One thing to keep in mind is our body is always seeking a state of homeostasis where it does not need to change or alter it’s state in response to stressors on the body (think exercise, lower caloric levels, etc.) While scale weight is one way to monitor your progress, you do need to also consider what’s happening in the mirror as well.

What most likely happened is that your body was no longer in a state of flux (primarily not having to react to training stressors and having it’s energy source restricted) and began to reset itself to accommodate this new, non-stressed environment. Also, gaining weight does not happen in a day or even a week. Weight gain is a chronic condition which evolves over time.

As to your mention of Berardi’s point, what he was talking about centred on not advocating extreme diets (like the VD or his get Shredded Diet) more than once every two years. This is because chronic dieters who constantly under eat are not suited to succeed in such environments because of an already suppressed ability to lose fat. It does not have to do with a new set point for your body.

Hopefully all of this makes sense but if not shoot back and we’ll see if we can sort something out.

Cheers,

Sasha

**** Yep I can post on Xmas morning - one of the joys of having grown children is a quiet home, with all the decorations blazing and cuddling uninterrupted with your sweetie. Life is good. ****

Thanks Phil for the kudos and thanks to all for some thoughtful and helpful responses. This is the kind of feedback you always hope to get from a post, but sometimes don’t.

The whole setpoint issue reminds me of a book I read years ago called Adrift. It is a first person account of a man set adift (duh) when his sailboat sinks in a storm. The guy floats all the way across tha Atlantic (!! I have crossed the Atlantic on a boat doing 12 knots max - took 3 weeks - it’s fucking big.) from europe to the Caribbean islands just eating what he could catch and drinking distilled rainwater.

The point is that once he finally made landfall, he was “feasted” by the locals and just ate and drank like a pig. But later, after he resumed his life, turns out that his bodyweight stuck at 11 lbs below what it was before - regardless of what he ate.

Admittedly anecdotal evidence, but this makes me wonder if you really can reset your metabolism. I know I am going to try.

Merry Xmas to all!

Like has been said, you can change your metabolism by gaining muscle mass. You can also partition nutrients better when you have less bodyfat apparently. Don’t make the same mistake I did though. I lost a ton of weight like you and started to relax abit similar to what you are doing over the holidays. I was amazed at how well my body handled it.

Still, it only lasted a while and sure enough i gained back some fat i would rather have not. I’m about ready to take another stab at loosing it. This will set me back a bit and as you can imagine is very frustrating knowing what I do now.