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good temps but struggling with enough calories

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    SO I have been trying really hard not to restrict and my temps are around 98.4-98.7 in the am but eating 2000+ calories is not working for me. I feel bloated and after a couple days I get diarrhea, as in dive out of the bed in the morning at dawn because you are about to explode. I then cut back to 1600 calories and it stops. So I could just eat that much but then if I am active, I am exhausted and shaky and really crabby. It seems to be a choice between being sedentary or misery. I haven’t even been able to eat more long enough to really tell how it effects my weight. Is this common? Do you have to build up slowly? Do you eat denser foods?


    You can try to add calories very slowly, week after week for example. :)


    @MrsBMoo – Statistically-speaking, 1600 calories a day is very, very low, and from the studies that are frequently cited on these issues the implication is that 1600 calories is simply too little to sustain a healthy adult human body. So I’m not surprised that you’ve feel exhausted and shaky when trying to do anything with so little fuel. Matt provides some calculations for minimum daily calories in one of his recent books (Diet Recovery 2 perhaps?) His recommendations are fairly comparable to the MiniMaud guidelines outlined at Basically, on average, an adult female is going to eat 2500-3000 calories MINIMUM per day to sustain a healthy body/metabolism. So if you have been eating significantly less than that (which it sounds like you have) then you qualify as having a restricted eating history, whether you consciously did so or not. So, then the information at youreatopia could be helpful and instructive. I highly recommend it. There is a wealth of information there that can be extremely helpful and insightful. Refeeding after restrictive eating has some predictable phases, which can definitely include digestive discomfort. According to youreatopia it is advisable to start eating minimum calories immediately with the possible exception of those who have been eating less than 1000 calories a day, in which case it may be advisable to increase daily calories by ~300 per day for a few days before jumping to minimum calories.

    With all that said, my own personal experience suggests that it is possible to dramatically increase daily calories even with a compromised digestive system. My experience was that it was best to leave out all high-fiber foods and give preference to highly-digestible foods, including refined foods. Many people report that sugars are easier to digest than starches, and some starches (white potatoes, for example) are easier to digest than others. Refined grains are usually preferable to whole grains during refeeding.

    I personally find that eating moderate amounts of food with greater frequency is more effective than eating larger amounts of food less frequently.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve experienced some discomfort when starting refeeding. It is not uncommon, and typically it does resolve itself. That doesn’t mean it will in your case, but it may. What foods have you been eating when you experienced the problems?


    I had read that about the 2500-3000 calories but thought I could never eat that much without feeling awful both physically and on an emotional level.(Guilt) So I aimed for 2000 since that seemed more realistic, I suspect in my 20s I ate closer to 2500-3000 but I walked 3-5 miles per day. I had a time over a year ago when I was limiting to 600-1000 and actually maintained a weight of 165 with 90 minutes cardio per day. My dr congratulated me for being one of the people who would have survived the famine, then told me I better never eat less than 1500 again. Since then I have eaten around 1600, when I count calories, although during a very stressful time I didn’t measure a blessed thing or exercise and my weight dropped to 155. My new dr told me the weight loss wouldn’t last without restricting, that it was just due to stress. I have waffled between restricting to maintain my weight loss and trying to be more active just for the fun and stress relieving benefits. Every time I tried to get that hour of walking and deep heart to heart talks with my husband, I would start having trouble with shakiness and anxiety the next day(which for me is a sign of too few carbs), so I tried eating more and got the bad side effects. Sigh, I want to be strong and energetic AND weigh 155, and have happy intestines.

    mighty m

    “I want to be strong and energetic AND weigh 155, and have happy intestines.” — Mrs B

    I identify with this wish, even though I wish I didn’t: I would also like to be strong and vital, and yet ALSO get all the subtle and overt social approval of being what people consider “thin.” I want to have my cake and eat it too, pun intended!

    But, for me, it’s not to be, at least not in the short term and maybe never, which I’m coming around to be satisfied with and even happy about. My long-term goal instead is to be physically fit and vibrant at what I suspect is a naturally higher setpoint. (Same size as my mom was, at my age, and she had had three pretty excellent pregnancies and did hard farm work daily.)

    I now think that trying to force weight off a person through restriction is like trying to make a tall person short, or trying to make a gay person straight.

    Back to the topic: I felt like I couldn’t possibly eat as much as was advised here at first, but I kept at it and it developed its own momentum, but not in a scary binge way, rather just a rapid but natural increase in appetite. It was indeed gradual at first. It was about 1 month easing into it, and one-month *really* re-feeding when my appetite came back, and one month leveling off and tweaking (e.g., adding soft drinks). Just hit 98.6 basal (post-ov) this week!

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