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700-900 calories a day and gaining weight?
This problem may seem really insignificant on account of my healthy weight, but it's been a great source of frustration to me in the past two weeks. At 5'6, I have maintained a weight of 120 lbs for the past two years by limiting my net caloric intake to about 900 calories a day. On occasion, I'll eat as many as 1000 more calories than this, but I am careful to burn off all the excess through exercise. Otherwise I easily gain weight. Despite maintenance of this routine, my weight has hovered around 130 lbs for about two weeks now. I've even limited my net intake to 700 cals for the past week.
I know I'm not pregnant, and while I occasionally experience water retention, it never lasts for two weeks. Nor have I been consuming any more sodium than usual (I actually have low blood pressure). I do have a history of anorexia and substance abuse (diet pills), but I have long since recovered. I don't want to cut back on any more calories, so I am contemplating using pills for just one or two days to kickstart my metabolism. I don't want to risk becoming addicted again, though. I figure that at 18, I should be able to consume more than 700-900 cals in order to maintain a low weight.... What should I do? Is it worth consulting a doctor or nutritionist? Any advice would be greatly appreciated....
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I think 5'6" at 130 is a healthy weight for you. You maybe not eating enough calories now and your body is storing the fat. They say you should eat 1200-1500 calories a day of a healthy balanced meal.600-900 is just not enough. I bet if you increase your calorie intake with healthy choices you will burn more calories instead of storing them.



Check out this calorie calculator.

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
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I completely agree with thinkingthin. If you did consult a doctor, that's probably what they would tell you too. You're probably afraid if you start taking in that many calories, you will gain more, but like she said, if you make it healthy choices and keep exercising, I don't think you will. Trying to survive on 700-900 cal a day is just not healthy for anyone. Good luck to you!
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Thinkingthin and kk2 are right.  When you deprive your body of the necessary calories it needs for energy, your body goes into starvation mode.  Essentially, you train your body to store excess calories so that it is ensured ample energy.  By allowing your body to intake more calories from healthy foods, your body recognizes that it is being supplied enough calories for energy and it will not store excess fat.  Eat a number of small meals each day and have small, healthy snacks in between (ie. yogurt, fruit, veggies, etc.).  By training your body to constantly digest food, your body will learn to metabolize quicker and more efficiently (thus making it easier to convert the food into usable energy that won't be stored as excess fat).  Think about balance, not deprivation, when developing a healthy lifestyle and remember to integrate regular exercise and lots of H2O.  Good luck with the weight loss!

Teresa
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If you are only surviving on 700-900 net cals a day, and are considering taking diet pills to "jumpstart" more weight loss, you haven't quite recovered from your eating disorder.  Your post still contains concerning statements that indicate you are still fixating on deprivation to some degree.

5'6 and 130 is perhaps the range where your body wants to be.  Take Teresa's advice to heart.  Frequent, small healthy meals and reasonable exercise is the path to take.  Congrats on the work you've already done on overcoming your anorexia and SA problem.  Keep it up!  Healthy food is not the enemy.
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thanks for the advice, all. i'll try this
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I thought reducing calories was the answer for a long time also. I finally realized and understand that our body will store the fat when taking in too few of calories. I even was running 6 miles a day. I upped my calories to 1300(instead of 900) and I have lost 10 pounds in one month.
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If you read the book YOu on a Diet by drs. Oz and Roizen you would understand why.  They explain how the body works and why you should start with only decreasing 100 calories a day at first and increase exercising at first.
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I am the same weight and heighth as you are, but you did not mention your age or your BMR or BMI. If you are over 35, your metabolism is probably slowing down and you may need to shake up your exercise routine, but not resort to pills or a draconian calorie intake. I am working on losing 5 pounds, where I think I can remain and be happy. Lost two just by increasing the difficulty of my workout routine, constantly "changing it up" and reducing my caloric intake by 500 calories. Good luck!
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I agree! "YOU on a Diet" is FANTASTIC!
No gimmicks, just good solid info!
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I'm glad to see you say this... I was just looking at this book on another forum and thought about buying it... it seems like it has very sound advice.
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it sounds like you are starving yourself. you mention eating a 1000 calories and then making sure to exercise it all off?? You should eat at least 1800 calories a day if you are exercising. Your body is clinging to weight. It's in starvation mode.
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well i think that is a healthy weight can u give me sum tips. im 16 and need help lossing weight. im 5'6 and im 175
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Well I'm very confused by your answers - I'm in my early thirties and have been taking in 900 calories a day for years now and, like the original poster, can never seem to lose weight.  Unfortunately, unlike the poster, I am significantly overweight for my height and am desperately needing to lose weight.  For two years I maintained a rigorous cardio and weight-training regimen - working out for two hours a day, six days a week (still taking in only 900 cal./day) and only then managed to lose 1 pound a week.  It's just too much to work that hard and eat so little and have so little progress to show for it... I stopped exercising a year ago and have gained back seven of the pounds I lost - even though I have stuck with 900 calories a day.  I am so desperate - I guess I could try to take in 1200 calories a day for a few weeks and see if that works.... I just don't understand how eating more could possibly be the answer...
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If you don't eat enough calories your body will think it's being starved to death and will begin hoarding fat in order to survive.  

All of the posts above have valid points about changing # of calories, exercise routines, etc.  But I can't help asking if you have checked with your doctor to make sure you don't have medical issues, such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, or other issues that could cause you to gain/retain weight. Simple blood tests will tell you.  I ask that because although I'm in my 50's and my metabolism is no doubt slowing down, I, too, gained and kept on gaining no matter what I ate or how much I worked out.  Blood tests revealed thyroid issues and I'm currently in the process of getting that straightened out and have lost a couple of pounds over the past week on new med.  

It's always important to rule out health issues in cases of sudden weight gain/loss.  
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fayelee- it isn't about eating more, it's about eating enough. Your body is in starvation mode and is storing fat instead of burning it. You need to get 1,200-1,500 calories a day. You CAN eat and eat well... and still lose weight.

I started eating more and I lost 8 lbs in January.
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Thank you both for the advice, it is appreciated.  I have had my thyroid tested and am fine in that regard, I don't know about insulin resistance or anything like that.  I will try to up my calories and see if that helps.  I do feel like I am eating healthily now, plenty of protein (mainly from vegetarian sources) plus fruits and veggies every day - maybe I just have gotten used to eating this way and so don't realize I'm needing more.  Thanks again - it would be pretty wonderful if the answer is that simple.  
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