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Bulimia Recovery #27 - Sluggish Metabolism? 3 Tips to Set it on FIRE!
April 05, 2012
Slow Metabolism in Bulimia Recovery? 3 Tips To Set it On Fire!
I used to think that I was genetically defected. I was sure that having the slowest metabolism possible was my fate. I'd look at what 'normal eaters' ate and think "If I ate (and digested!) that I'd be the size of a house tomorrow"
I thought that throwing up was the only thing that was keeping me slim. Little did I know!
What purging was ACTUALLY doing was sending messages to my brain that there was a shortage of food. The same type of messages that get sent when we embark on a crazy diet... or when there is a famine (luckily most of us will never experience this one).
And our incredible bodies respond in a way that ensures our survival...
They adapt to this shortage of food while keeping our bodies at more or less the same size. Each time we cut back our calories through dieting or purging, we're training our bodies to utilize every single calorie as if it's the last. Our metabolism slow right down so that we can maintain our weight while eating much less! Damn, that sounds like an awful deal doesn't it!?
That's the reason why, for so many years, I believed I had a useless, good for nothing metabolism! I had dieted and purged it into nonexistence!
THANK GOODNESS that just as our metabolisms adapted to become slow through dieting and purging, we can make them adapt to speeding up...
Now you're probably already clicking on to how this is done...
Through eating and digesting ample amounts of food!
When we feed our bodies well, they will gradually adapt to times of abundance and our metabolism speed up accordingly.
Now this isn't something I have pulled out of my arse to persuade you to eat. No, no! This adapting has happened to countless people and it also happened to me - I have now got an incredibly fast metabolism... I eat what I want, when I want and I have maintained the same weight for 6 years! It's just awesome :)
There have also been a number of studies done that prove, when food is restricted the metabolism slows... When it is abundant, the metabolism speeds up.
Our bodies are freaking cool machines, designed to help us flourish on this beautiful planet... They are not out to get us as we are trained to believe by the dieting industry! We can trust our bodies :)
My Top 3 Tips To Set Your Metabolism on Fire...
During my bulimia recovery and in the years since, I've experienced a massive increase in my metabolism. Now this doesn't mean I have been able to get super skinny... It simply means I'm able to eat a completely satisfying amount of food and stay at my natural set weight. I can over eat from time to time - just as most normal people do - without any change in my body. My metabolism takes care of it!
Below are the 3 of the things I did to speed up my metabolism...
1) Start Structured Eating
Structured eating means eating 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day, no longer than 3 hours apart... Planning them the night or morning before and trying your hardest to eat them and keep them down. Structured eating is a way of getting into the habit of normal eating again... It's the stepping stone to intuitively knowing what your body needs and wants. I talk about structured eating thoroughly in The Bulimia Recovery Guide (part of The Bulimia Recovery Program, click here to learn more) and I include a week long sample of eating plans.
There are two reasons why structured eating will help to speed up your metabolism. Firstly, it will help to get your body out of 'famine-mode' by shifting it into a belief that food is available in abundance... This will have a direct effect on the rate at which you use the energy from your food. The second reason why structured eating will increase your metabolism is because you'll be putting logs on your metabolic fire frequently... This works in a similar way to a furnace... Put logs on all the time and it will blaze brightly. Let it burn out and then put a big dense log on... it will take a long time to get going.
2) A Calorie Isn't a Calorie
My fiance Tom first told me this about 6 or 7 years ago. He told me... if you eat, for example, X calories of diet food a day you will probably gain weight. If you eat that same number of calories of real food a day, you'll be healthy, energetic and your weight will settle at its natural point.
I remember getting angry at him... "That's nonsense" I said - a calorie IS a calorie. I can eat 30 diet bars a day if I want to - as long as it adds up to X calories.
Now I can see what he means so clearly! Feeding ourselves diet foods like diet drinks, diet bars, meal replacement shakes, flavored rice cakes and so on has a negative effect on our bodies. We register all this food coming in, but we don't get sufficient minerals and nutrients from them... As a result even if we ate 10 x the calories we though was acceptable - we would still crave and our metabolism would be sluggish.
On the other hand, we can eat a large amount of wholesome REAL food and have energy to burn and abundant health. Foods like fruits, vegetables, rice, potatoes, chicken, meat, whole grain breads, cheese, butter, whole milk, sauerkraut, yogurt etc will help to nourish our bodies and boost our metabolic rates. Our bodies will see that good quality, nutrient rich foods are in abundance and our metabolisms will adjust accordingly. Of course, eating this way 24/7 isn't necessary and if you eat a bit of junk food from time to time, your metabolism will make quick work of it. Honor your health and your taste buds - feed yourself with real foods and allow yourself treats too! :)
Ditch the diet foods and watch your metabolism soar!
Speeding up your metabolism won't happen over night. For me it took the best part of a year for me to consider it 'back to normal' but every year since then it has grown faster and faster! Try to be patient and loving towards your healing body... Persevere with structured eating and eating real foods... In time, your body will thank you for it! You will have abundant energy and health and you'll be at seady and natural weight... The place you are supposed to be :)
The Latest Helpful Questions, Stories and Articles On My Site:
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P.S. Happy Birthday to IZZY in The Bulimia Recovery Community who is confident she'll celebrate 20 days w/o purging as her birthdy pressie next week! You deserve all the wonderful things in life Izzy - keep on at it girl! x
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