As you all know I over about a two year period lost 160 lbs and have now maintained it for close to 6 years but I have to say it has not been easy. Of course I knew when losing weight that with the less I weighed the less I would be able to eat and continue to loose or at least maintain my weight.
The issue I have had and that has irritated me for years is that if I eat like a “normal person” can then I start to regain weight. Let me explain … I now weigh 165 lbs and am a 29 year old female that is 5’6”. According to the maintenance calculators out there I should be able to maintain my weight with exercise (Which I do … a lot) with 2,536 calories a day. Oh my, yeah right!
Link to a calculator and I have tried many that come up with the same.
When I saw that number I knew that was impossible for me. I eat on average 1,100 calories a day and I cannot lose any more weight. So why is it that someone my size and weight has to eat less than half of what science says is what I do not understand? I workout intense six to eight times a week for an hour each time, I am active at home, and the calories I take in are healthy non processed calories. This is the question I have asked myself for years and although it is frustrating I have learned to live with it.
I may finally have my answer though. The other day I overheard a girl in the gym say she was doing a 1,200 calorie diet and had started the day before and she was starving. To me that was crazy, this was my normal life. What do you mean she can do a 1,200 calorie diet and lose weight with it? That’s more than I could eat just to maintain. Well another lady I was working out with I mentioned it to and she told me about some studies they have done that show people who have lost a significant amount of weight have issues with eating the way other people can eat.
This got me interested and I did some research. There have been many studies and it shows that when a person goes through weightless of at least ten percent of their body weight their hormones and metabolism change. Basically it sounds like their Lepton levels and their metabolism slows. A year later their lepton levels were still down. The ones who have done the studies believe that those levels will not go back up unless the person gains the weight back.
Now does this mean I can mope around and make it as my excuse (or yours) to gain weight? Does it mean that I should just say forget it and allow myself to just eat 2,000 calories a day and see what happens? No but what it does mean is I finally have an answer after all these years. It does not change anything for me. I will still workout, I will still eat 1,100 calories a day, and I will still try to do my best with everything I do. It is just nice to know why it is harder for me than it is for some other people. I am just happy to have an answer and a little bit more of an understanding about my body.
I have included a link to one of the studies here.