Borderline underweight after low carbing, now what?

(45 Posts)

Been low carbing since last summer and successfully lost over 35 pounds. I'm now into the 19 BMI range and starting to look very gaunt and spare.
I'm 43 and my periods seem to be getting erratic.

I do a lot of exercise and do dance/strength training or similar 5 days a week, which I love. It keeps me sane and is my only opportunity to do something with other adults.

My carbs were about 30g a day now they are 100-120g but I'm still losing weight. My calories are about 1800 - some days over 2200 but I think 8-9 hours of training a week plus rushing about all day as SAHM to a three year old is burning off a lot.

I don't want to go back to eating bread. I don't like sugar but have a glass or two of wine most nights. I'm eating full fat Greek yog, cheese, chicken with skin, oily fish, red meat, nuts, eggs, avocados etc but find it hard to eat more of this kind of food as it is so filling. I don't snack and meals are fast and rushed as no time to eat them.

Any ideas apart from the obvious eat more exercise less?
Anyone else found they kept losing whilst low carbing even though ey didn't want to? Could it be a thyroid thing? Or something else?

Might post this in exercise too but wanted to speak to other low carb people first!

jan2014 Tue 15-Apr-14 16:18:42

<waves to Biwi....yes slipped off the low carb wagon!>

Trucks i just wanted to come and say that a time ago i lived very similarly to you. i ran around constantly. i exercised constantly. and i didn't eat enough. this went on for a prolonged period of time, and i didn't listen to the people who were trying to help me. i ended up very ill, and now i do eat so much better (still have food issues) but i now have chronic fatigue and can't do any exercise. i think basically i just burnt myself out, and my body just crashed and wouldn't get going again. my point is this.... you need to think seriously long term about your health and the way your living now, cos the choices you are making now, will affect how you will live in the future. if you feel in your heart you are over doing it, then it will be worth it in the long term to drop one or 2 classes and eat more, for you and your families sake. im not saying you will go down the route i did, im just saying to be careful. too much exercise without enough nutrition at the same time is very damaging - i now have osteoperosis as a result. please just be careful and if you can do something to change this now, do it! smile

FavadiCacao Tue 04-Mar-14 20:53:13

It's so difficult when you have a child with SENs to look after. I remember making the same decisions as you in that, if I were granted a few spare minutes, I would use them to do something positive for me and yet something that would not make me feel guilty (exercising, meeting people for a coffee was fine but a snooze was a no-no).

I think the last week has shown you that a less regimented routine (although I suspect still hectic due to catering for your guests) might be the way forward for you.
Your meals remind me of mine when ds was young: they were all balanced and nutritious for my children but I was eating the scraps! Could adding a sauce help you in adding the extra calories you need, without making you feel over full? Half a banana is a toddlers portion but blended with a little cream might be easier to ingest. How about a veg, veg/fruit smoothie? Fruit and veg can be very filling but as a drink might give you carb refeed after excise with all the extra vitamins and minerals without excessive bulk.

flowers

BIWI Mon 03-Mar-14 13:45:45

(Sorry - that sounds a bit stalkery blush)

BIWI Mon 03-Mar-14 13:44:59

Going in the right direction then - that's really good. I've been worrying about you!

Not yet, had visitors staying for a week so ate more and exercised less. Put on 2lb and taken training schedule down from 10 hours to 6 for next 3 weeks.

BIWI Thu 27-Feb-14 08:25:01

Trucks - have you been to see your GP yet?

Trucks your body fat, at around 14% is on the line where it becomes defined as dangerously low. Your periods seem to be stopping. You are cold. Your body is going into survival mode, trying desperately to preserve the fat it has left (hence muscle loss). You will probably start noticing your performance in exercise deteriorating, your skin, hair, nails and digestion may be suffering. Much worse than this though, you are risking hormonal imbalances, a compromised immune system, osteoporosis later on, psychological problems. What, out of all these horrible things and more, doesn't make you think maybe you can force down a meal like breakfast when you aren't really feeling 'hungry' (I'm not sure you know what that is, I think perhaps you have disassociated yourself so much from the feeling, or are slightly high on the control and/or deprivation) or make the time to add more substance to meals and make sure you snack? I'm not having a go, but your reasons for not eating enough really just sound like excuses and as BIWI says, it is very worrying. Please get some help sad.

I am in the room with him and the therapist; I am part of the therapy. I can't just start eating in the room with then. I am working.

Have taken on board comments am not eating enough and trying to eat more. There just isn't any flipping time in the day to fit it in.

BIWI Tue 18-Feb-14 13:07:45

Why can't you make yourself a sandwich to take with you while you're waiting for your son's therapy to finish?

How many more times do people on this thread have to tell you that YOU ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH!

I'm sorry for the shouting, but it's very, very, very worrying reading your post and the way you are wilfully ignoring what people are saying, and still restricting your food.

Yes but Trucks it's pretty clear you aren't eating enough! Please - you are losing lean muscle at a pretty swift rate. If you are cold and shaking with hunger it is Not A Good Thing - forget MFP, forget macros. Eat more. A lot more. The nuts and fruit should be snack food, as well as breakfast, not in place of. By all means get yourself checked out for thyroid etc but to me, I'm sorry but you seem unwilling or unable to accept and change your dieting habits. If you don't look after yourself properly, who is going to look after your son? [ sad]

That is v interesting article. Knew about hypothyroidism but didn't expect hyperthyroid stuff to be issue from over training.

Was shaky and cold with hunger at 4pm today so excused myself from DS therapy for ten mins and are some almonds I found in bag. Sitting on floor for hours all afternoon whilst therapists encourage him to make eye contact is not great for looking after myself - I don't even get a cup of tea from lunch til back home at 5pm and then have to throw his tea together and feed him while he fusses rather than boil kettle and sit down!

Have packed big bag of nuts and dried fruit for tomorrow so will have that to hand if I miss breakfast again and don't have much of a lunch - prepped chicken legs for lunch, to be eaten with buttered green beans and broccoli- and going to make bolognaise with beef, lentil and grated carrots for dinner Wednesday night.

Protein shakes I just can't handle. Hope nuts and apricots and raisins will suffice.

Am in West Indies. Small island. Not much to do except exercise here: cultural opportunities limited, SAHMs do classes to meet others once the baby group phase is done.

I don't actually weigh food out any more: I just know what 50g cheese looks like after months of logging on MFP and am now tracking it all to see macros and if I'm eating enough rather than to diet. When I cook 3 yr old portions of food it's hard to remember what adult portions look like! Everything fits onto a small plastic ikea plate
And is shared with DS!

giraffeseatpineapples Mon 17-Feb-14 19:48:20

I know little about exercising and have no idea if you are doing too much but this article suggests over exercising can cause hyperthyroidism chriskresser.com/why-you-may-need-to-exercise-less, not trying to make you give up something you love but maybe changing exercise classes a little might help or at least be worth keeping in mind? Where do you live by the way?

giraffeseatpineapples Mon 17-Feb-14 19:42:33

I don't think you should give up on classes but there is nothing dutiful about making food for you that you like and seriously microwaving a sweet potato takes seconds - just wash prick and wrap in kitchen paper then just let it cook. The more you eat the more your appetite will increase.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 17-Feb-14 19:37:36

Yes nuts are great for a quick nourishing snack - keep in your bag and glove compartment. Good with dried apricots as well. Sorry to make you explain your day; I remember the Stepford Wife feeling (but you know you're not really one, yes?) but I wasn't living abroad so at least had the opportunity to socialise.
Are there any language classes you could do occasionally instead? Or maybe something less calorie-burning, like yoga? chess? tiddleywinks?

Trucks I understand your need to exercise but I the 'not hungry' at breakfast and knowing the exact grammes of cheese and ham you ate worries me. You need to force yourself to eat some kind of breakfast, even a protein shake, and make it a habit. You need to eat more at lunch and dinner - including carbs of some kind - and probably snacks too (a handful of raw nuts or an avocado doesn't take any time or effort) You are going to make yourself ill sad.

6am get up
7am DS breakfast. I try to eat but usually not hungry.
8.30am playgroup drop off
9.15 -10.15 supermarket
10.30-11.30 a class. Ie an hour for me.
11.45 set off to collect DS at noon.
12.30 do DS lunch and help him eat it, eat same myself or something grabbed from supermarket ie: rotisserie chicken and bag salad.

Rest of day out doing DS SN therapy things. Housework laundry admin fitted in plus prepping his meals
5-7pm DS tea bath bed - eat with him if going to evening class/ DH working late
7.45-8.45pm class or make dinner for DH and me
10pm bed.

All I do is Stepford wife stuff and SAHM mother stuff and play therapy stuff and driving about: do I want to stay in dutifully baking sweet potatoes or making quinoa (which DS and DH won't eat) or would I rather get out the house and dance and talk to other grown ups? If I can carve out an hour during daylight for myself and an hour in the evening on nights when I'd otherwise be home alone, what can I do with that hour that makes me feel alive, stretches me out, helps me sleep, makes me sweat and gives me some mental challenge and social time?

It's the only time I'm not on duty.
I realise it all sounds very self indulgent.

Ok, there is no other way for me to have social contact with adults here other than exercise classes. I live abroad. My friends and family are 12000 miles away.

I need to find a way to eat more rather than dance less.
The days I don't train I don't get to talk to another adult all day, just 3 yr old DS - and DH works late. Dance is keeping me sane at the moment. The rest of the time is laundry supermarket housework admin and taking DS to therapy things. It's flat out.

Today I had 2 small slices wholemeal with butter, 40g ham, 50g cheese and a tomato and small banana for breakfast.
Dance class, 2 supermarket shops, pick up DS.

Lunch was a cold chicken drumstick with skin and leftover BbQ spare rib: was going for protein and fat. I am now full and can't face stuffing down something when I don't want it.
(DS had drumstick, buttered bread, tomatoes, raw carrots,, cheese chunks and an apple. I was going to eat same but was full after the meat bit).

I will then be out all rest of day taking DS to therapy things - - no chance to snack, nor any interest in it really - and back 5pm teatime - DS will have sausage broccoli and sweet potato fries - I will try and eat same as him at 5pm.

DH working late so no dinner to cook tonight.
I am unlikely to be hungry again once DS has gone to bed but if I am can make spinach and avocado salad with feta. Was going to have early night.

That is a fairly typical day - the opportunities to eat are a bit limited tbh.

giraffeseatpineapples Mon 17-Feb-14 18:05:16

Just to add to what biwi said about potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes etc - a couple of books I have read recently seem to really emphasise the importance of tubers and that they are a food we have evolved to eat, ( not to mention they are delicious and easy roasted grin ) App the evening is the ideal time to have them.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 17-Feb-14 17:48:11

I don't understand why you say you don't have time to eat properly yet can spend hours working out?

Sorry don't know why that posted twice.

Thanks for all the advice and sorry late reply.
I don't have a GP but will find one and ask for bloods.
I think it's activity levels and lack of time rather than eD as I've never had an ed and have been a bit overweight through lack if exercise and eating too many hasty sandwiches before plus booze rather than bingeing or starving.

5:2/16:8 did mess with my appetite though and it's very hard to over eat low carbing.

I am doing 8-10 hours exercise weekly plus active and on feet so I think it's just hard to hit enough protein and fat when I gag on milkshake type protein smoothies.
I fit in a class during morning when DS at playgroup 9-12 and again when he's in bed most days.

Saturday 2 hours pole strength training
Sunday off
Monday dance/strength class
Tues trx core strength class then pole strength in evening
Wednesday off
Thurs ballet barre class. Trx class (strength) then dance class at night.
Friday off.

I don't think of it as a heavy training schedule so have been eating 1800 cals a day. Am 5'7 and slim build.
It looks like I need to eat more on days off and more carbs so have tried with extra nuts, cheese, ham, avocado, bit of buttered wholemeal bread and started eating breakfast.

Was another 2 lb down this morning as did additional two hours dance rehearsals this weekend. :-/ even though I ate more so trying to track down paleo athlete recommendations. Reluctant to give up classes as is my only contact with other adults as SAHM.

BIWI Mon 17-Feb-14 16:45:35

With your height and BMI of 19 I guessed that you are 120lbs, and according to this site you should be eating 2225 calories a day

BIWI Mon 17-Feb-14 16:43:48

how much do you weigh now?

BIWI Mon 17-Feb-14 16:39:06

Seriously, I think you need to cut back on your exercise and find other ways to interact with adults, until you get your weight stabilised. I think you have a disordered relationship with food and exercise, personally. And 1800 calories simply isn't enough.

Where are the extra carbs? Not many in those things - and you say a 'bit' of wholemeal bread - how much is that? Sweet potatoes, some potato and even pasta/rice should be added to your diet I think.

Thanks for all the advice and sorry late reply.
I don't have a GP but will find one and ask for bloods.
I think it's activity levels and lack of time rather than eD as I've never had an ed and have been a bit overweight through lack if exercise and eating too many hasty sandwiches before plus booze rather than bingeing or starving.

5:2/16:8 did mess with my appetite though and it's very hard to over eat low carbing.

I am doing 8-10 hours exercise weekly plus active and on feet so I think it's just hard to hit enough protein and fat when I gag on milkshake type protein smoothies.
I fit in a class during morning when DS at playgroup 9-12 and again when he's in bed most days.

Saturday 2 hours pole strength training
Sunday off
Monday dance/strength class
Tues trx core strength class then pole strength in evening
Wednesday off
Thurs ballet barre class. Trx class (strength) then dance class at night.
Friday off.

I don't think of it as a heavy training schedule so have been eating 1800 cals a day. Am 5'7 and slim build.
It looks like I need to eat more on days off and more carbs so have tried with extra nuts, cheese, ham, avocado, bit of buttered wholemeal bread and started eating breakfast.

Was another 2 lb down this morning as did additional two hours dance rehearsals this weekend. :-/ even though I ate more so trying to track down paleo athlete recommendations. Reluctant to give up classes as is my only contact with other adults as SAHM.

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