Restarting damaged metabolism

Discussion in 'Nutrition / Supplements Forum' started by DragoT, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    Hello all,

    This is desperate call for help from this community regarding an issue that my wife is having. You have probably seen my first post about the great success we had using HGH and cleaning our diet. Each one of us lost 40lb, where 90% plus of the lose was body fat (subcutaneous and visceral).

    Recently I've become interested in metabolism subject in general and made a terrifying conclusion - my wife (50 years old, 5'4", 136lb, ~20%BF) have damaged her metabolism throughout last 4-5 years.

    Here is the time line for reference - early 2013 here weight started claiming without change in lifestyle/stress level. In few months, went from 125 to 140. She started gym visits, weight stalled for a while, then began going up again. At 150lb signed for gym classes. Another 6 months and weight went to 160lb. Got personal trainer - 165lb. Pre-menopausal symptoms went full swing. All this was recently reversed once we started eating clean and raised IFG-1 to 220-240 range.

    Up until recently I did not realized she, in particular, was reducing her caloric intake (while her weight was going up) in attempt to stop or slow the gain. Once i started paying attention (secretly :)) when she eat, and how much she eat, I found she does not exceeds 700-800 calories a day!!! As strange this might sound to you, it is the truth. And... she was maintaining 130lb for an year already on that (calories).

    There is no doubt in my mind her metabolism is slowed down and she is in "survival" mode. As I have become concerned from my findings, we sat and discuss the topic in great details. At this point I am not concerned about physical appearance, but rather health aspects...

    My plan (and she agrees with it... for now) is to gradually (per week) increase here caloric intake. Beginning this past Monday, she does five meals per day, total of 1000 calories where macros are 50/30/20). All comes from clean protein (Chechen, turkey, lean beef, srimp etc.), carbs from oats, sweet potato, brow rice etc), fats from almonds, walnuts, peanut butter. Next week will up to 1100 calories, and introduce "loading day" 1350-1400 calories. Week after that - 1200 base and 1500 loading. This, until she reaches TDEE, or slight deficit (10-15%).

    After only 4 days she gained 2.5lb. I an not concerned at all, but she is! This is why I am asking for your valuable input - who than bodybuilders knows how to eat and eat right! :)

    My question is what if any we can improve in terms of planning how to "restart" her metabolism and bring it to normal, healthy level? While weight gain, in my mind, is expected in early stages, at what point she might expect this gain to stall and start gong down (if at all)?
  2. tenpoundsleft

    tenpoundsleft Member

    Shouldn't this be preceeded by blood work? So you have a starting point. I'm assuming that testing thyroid and other functions would be part of that.

    BTW, I don't think metabolism can be damaged or "restarted" - although you can probably go into starvation mode. Although, if she's at 20% BF, I don't see how this applies. Seems like there's more to this.
    musclemedicine and Gbro like this.
  3. Gbro

    Gbro Member

    Sounds like she needs to see her obgyn and an endocrinologist.
    HIGHRISK likes this.
  4. Gbro

    Gbro Member

    Also, m I understanding correctly that she has been on growth hormone? That's not a typical solution to weight gain in premenopausal women. What made you decide that was a good idea?
  5. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    Ironically (or not), her most resent blood work is excellent for 50 years old! While she did not get one done when pre-menopausal symptoms arrived, once we started HGH, blood work is pretty much quarterly.

    Female Ultimate Anti-Aging Panel w/F&T testosterone:


    Advanced Female Hormone Panel:

    The only issue is low to non-existent Progesterone. This might be attributed to Ovarian cysts she has, or the cysts have caused low Progesterone... This will be discussed Monday next week with her OBGYN. In any case, she would like to have the cysts ultimately removed.

    Is I've mentioned already, four months after HGH administration the pre-menopausal symptoms were reversed 100%. No hot flashes, mood swings, period is back on the clock. Was it HGH alone, clean diet, weight loss? No telling. Most probably "all of the above".
  6. master.on

    master.on Member

    1 Progesterone is badly needed.
    Ray Peat

    2 Comprehensive stool and bloodwork tests for bad bacteria/yeasts.

    3 Try a gluten free for at least a month, just in case (yes, many people become gluten intolerant only later in life) in case there is an intestinal absorption problem.

    4 creatine for chronic fatigue.
    Creatine is not only for bodybuilders and sportsmen, it may help restart broken energetic mechanisms, and creatine is very safe.
    Creatine | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Life Extension
    Creatine Increases Metabolic Energy in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Creatine Health Benefits for Fighting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    5 Thyroid function tests
    TSH, both Free AND Total t3, T4, thyroid antibodies

    6 Resting body temperature and pulse: the best way to gauge metabolic rate despite what thyroid bloodwork says.
    Preventing and treating cancer with progesterone.
    Check to see if she has any excess-stress-hormones symptoms (to compensate for low thyroid energy) mentioned in the article.

    7 High energy foods:
    sugar (if she ain't diabetic), salt, coconut oil, orange juice.
    Ray Peat

    8 Tiny dose T3, spread troughout the day.
  7. master.on

    master.on Member

    @DragoT any update on your wife's health?
  8. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    Well, where to start...

    First of all, in her (wife's) opinion, the OBGYN was very "distraught", did not spent but 5 seconds glancing the test results from Privatemdlabs and the sonogram "showing" (according the Dr in Europe) the PCOS. Congratulated her she still have period at 50 and sent her on her way. Complete disaster.

    Now, worth mention wife do not have heath issues per se. I personally have become concerned how little calories she eats and while might seemed to be "OK" for the moment, soon or later bad things would happen.

    Last two weeks she follows "the plan" and is currently on 5 days/1000, 2 days/1200 calories, P/C/F - 50/20/30. Next week will have base of 1,100 and one 1,300 day. Thus far she gained less than 5LB first week, lost them first half of the second, now is 4 up from base weight. Basically, weight is holding, which is good - her main point of concern.

    While in my country, I've called her old Dr (the one she saw 2 years ago) and after reviewing the test results, she wrote prescription for oral progesterone which I brought with me. She will take it as prescribed and will do another blood test March to see if the P/E2 ratio will hit the mark (200:1). It is complete mystery what caused (almost) complete Progesterone production shutdown, while Estrogen(s) levels are smack in the middle of the reference range for the phase she is in (Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal etc)

    She is going to Europe this May and will visit the Dr. to discuss further.
  9. Burrr

    Burrr Member Supporter

    My wife was full on menopausal at 50 so your girl is still doing pretty good. Oral progesterone is a good thing. The doctor dismissing the test results is kind of disappointing. A good hormone replacement doctor bhrt they call it will probably give her some testosterone pellets or cream. Having her level and 50 nanograms per deciliter instead of 15 will definitely give her a boost. She might as well get a head start on pre menopause symptoms because they are coming like it or not.
  10. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    Oh but she had them... for almost a year. Every one in the book. Then, in 6-8 months she lost 40lb. She also started HGH (might or might not contributed to the overall weight loss) but the fact is - she had not had a night sweat, hot flashes or cold waves since December 2016. Period is back on 28 day schedule (from between twice a month to once a three months).

    Now, this last visit to her female Dr here in US was just to see where it would go (it is a good ole country Dr) and was not a big surprise. At this moment I'm reluctant to even think of boosting testosterone before the mystery with Progesterone (the lack of thereof) is revealed.

    Currently reading reviews for come HRT clinics, but the way it goes, we might just leave it to when she go to Europe.

    Again, at this point I am primarily concerned about the super slow metabolism. Might be my imagination, I don't know.
  11. master.on

    master.on Member

    Progesterone seems to antagonize estrogen which in turn can sharply lower metabolism
    Aging, estrogen, and progesterone

    If Progesterone doesn't work maybe she can try low dose t3 to raise metabolism?
    After all studies say the thyroid gland can't be permanently athropied by exogenous hormones.
    It always comes back to normal, or at least back to previous levels.
  12. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    I am with you on this one. In her case, albeit Estrogen numbers are just normal, lack of Progesterone creates "Estrogen dominant" environment. So yes, trying to return to balance will be first line of defense. The pills she got prescribed are to be taken day 12 to day 27(or total of 15 days) since begining of cycle, which correlates with the graph below.


    On t3... what dose is "low dose"?
  13. Redrum42

    Redrum42 Member

    4 pieces of advice I have for you or her:

    1) weight train. More muscle = higher metabolism, not to mention lifting heavy continues burning calories up to 24 hours after you put the weights down

    2) Get blood tests. Mostly sexual hormones and thyroid hormones will effect weight, but I'd a wide general search just to make sure she doesn't have any hidden problems.

    3) Macro ratios- Try lowering carbs and raising protein and fat. If that doesn't work try other variations. Drink a ton of water. Then drink more. Watch your salt intake, bloating/water weight can be very hard to distinguish from fat both visually and on a scale unless you know your body very, very well.

    4) make sure her measuring is accurate. Self reported calorie intake is by far the most lied about thing in any study, other than maybe "No I didn't relapse on heroin". Watching the show "secret eaters" is eye opening and the people on there say almost word for word what you posted. If you have confirmed she is not intentionally deceiving, small errors in measurement can make a huge difference over time. Even one cheat snack, one cheat day, or one adding error can ruin days worth of fat loss.

    Please don't take that last one personally (you or her), anytime someone tells me "I'm eating <1000 calories a day and gain weight" i get suspicious. 90% of the time I'm right to be incredulous, but there's always that 10% that is an outlier.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  14. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    Yes, I agree with you 100% but in my case... I work from home for the last 6 years. Wife does not work (does not have to) and so, we are together 24/7. I know what is in the fridge :). Trust me, if I had the slightest doubt when comes to "secret eating", I would have attacked the issue, not asking here for an advice.

    The issue at hand is she reached a point where weight nor fat will move on the scale. This stall made me look deeper into the metabolism issue.

    On the weight lifting - as soon as I recover from the flu we will be going together to the gym to work on exactly that. As of now, she's attending classes every day. It is HITT type, but not necessarily weight oriented.
  15. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    I have another question. Will high calorie protein bars be a valuable option in terms of increasing total calorie intake? The reason I am asking, wife claims that even small amount of food makes her full and gives here "bloated" feeling. Practically she refuses to "eat more" in terms of "force feeding" to achieve reverse dieting effect. I am looking bars now... is this even worth the time?
  16. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    Protein is the most satiating macro behind maybe fiber. If she wants/needs to gain weight, carbs are going to be a bigger help.
  17. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    Actually, drop the last few LB body fat around waist and thighs. BF and wight is stuck for a long time at the same level and I am thinking reverse dieting might help...
  18. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    So she’s trying to lose weight then? In that case then yes, protein bars could be of some help if they’re easy for her to get down. Protein being so satiating will help keep her full.

    If she’s trying to lose weight then reverse dieting won’t do anything. Maybe a simple 2 day refeed with low fats and high carbs could help.
  19. DragoT

    DragoT Member

    I did mention reverse dieting because her daily caloric intake is very low - probably less than 1000 calories on 5'4", 133LB. She tried 1350 calories and in less than 10 days weight shoot at 140LB. She got scared and went back on the old way. This is why I was looking at bars - to increase calories per se, and not the amount of food. With her pooping schedule - once a week (sorry for the expression), she blames the 5 meals (as small as they are) for the weight gain.

    Sample of what had her gain:

  20. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    The weight gain was simply water and glycogen for the most part when she shit up to 1350cals.

    Has she had her thyroid checked? What’s her body temp?