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Dieting seems to be slowing my heart rate?

(6 Posts)
WenReay Mon 19-Jan-15 16:58:28

After trying to eat sensibly for some time and finding I lost no weight at all, I made real go of simply reducing what I ate over the last 2 weeks. However, I've felt very tired and got scared when I realised my resting heart rate/pulse had gone down from a lifelong 68 beats a minute to 54 to 56 beats a minute.

Across 2 weeks, I only lost 2lbs in weight but have eaten very little each day compared to what I normally eat. I am 5ft 7ins and was 12st 5lbs by Xmas! and now 12st 2lbs - but used to be around 11st 10lbs and have been unable to lose any weight at all with normal healthy eating for months and months.

So a recent typical day's food would be 3 cups of tea, water, 2 celery sticks, lettuce, two tomatoes, an apple and a tangerine, 2 cubes of cheese, 2 slices of chicken breast, 2 soft boiled eggs, 2 rice crackers, dash of olive oil and soya sauce. I was a lifelong vegetarian but felt I ought to add more protein - so now eat chicken and fish occasionally.

By eating virtually no rice/potatoes/bread/pasta, which I find really difficult as I love those foods - and no choc/cakes/biscuits/crisps (and I don't ever drink alcohol) - this has helped me lose 2lbs - but it's a lot less than I need to lose.

However, I'd rather be fat and healthy than slimmer and unhealthy and the drop in my heart rate, plus tiredness, is freaking me out! It's not a reduced heart rate due to getting physically fit, as I've absolutely no time at all for proper exercise - hence the diet.

I checked it out on the internet and it seems it can be associated with low calorie intake. So I now feel I need to eat more, to keep a healthy heart - but inevitably, I'll put back on the 2lbs I lost - and probably more.

I'm faced with a dilemma - either eat more calories and accept I'll continue to put on weight (I'm 52 and hormones don't help at all!) - or stick to the diet for longer and watch my heart rate go down and my tiredness increase - and I really need my strength for my very busy lifestyle.

Has anyone else faced this dilemma and/or a drop in heart rate when they've dieted? Obviously I wish i had time to exercise but that's not going to be possible in the next few years at least - so dieting was the only way to lose weight.

CadiM Mon 19-Jan-15 18:19:50

Do you have any thyroid problems? Hypothyroidism can cause a slower heart rate (as well as tiredness), may be worth seeing your GP. A heart rate of 54-56 in itself isn't worrying (mine is sitting at 50 at the moment): my heart rate is much faster when I've had caffeine and/or sugar so maybe it's cutting back on these things that's caused the difference?

InfinitySeven Mon 19-Jan-15 18:31:36

My heartrate sits at 46 most of the time. Shoots up to 61 sometimes, but not often.

I agree with Cadi, could it be a reduction in caffeine/sugar/alcohol?

WenReay Mon 19-Jan-15 18:53:58

Never had any known problems with thyroid and also haven't changed anything about my caffeine/alcohol intake, as I've been completely teetotal for about 16yrs (never really 'needed' alcohol). My sugar intake hasn't been particularly high, except just around Xmas when i share the DCs chocolate! - but I never normally eat choc/sugar/desserts on any kind of regular basis.

So I'd read on the internet that a heart-rate below 60 was worrying and as my own base rate has been 68 for years and years - except for about a year or so around age 29 when I took up running/jogging and it went down to 56.

It was just a reduction in my heart rate without getting physically fitter but in conjunction with eating a lot less - that worried me. I've been feeling 'slowed down' in the day and then checked my pulse and it's 54/56 and especially when I lie down to sleep at night, it seems to get slower and slower....Maybe I just shouldn't worry about it.

Can anyone calculate the number of calories in the daily food intake I mentioned in my OP? It feels like very very little but maybe it isn't that low?

Silverstreaks Mon 19-Jan-15 20:40:01

Have a look at My Fitness Pal. It's an easy way of calculating your calories from food. Put the foods you are regularly eating into it and you'll quickly get an idea of where you're going right or wrong.
From a quick look that food doesn't seem high in calories but check to see.
Maybe try the 5:2 fasting that works really well for lots of people.

WenReay Mon 02-Feb-15 20:33:55

I worked out the calories of my daily intake and it was just under 800 a day - which is ridiculously low and surely can't be healthy? My weight has now plateaued at 12 stone. My heart rate seems to be around 56 at rest and rises to about 84 at the start of a busy day when I'm rushing around.

Just been reading on MN that 'eating too little to lose weight' is a myth. So why would I not be losing any more weight despite eating so little? I worked out my BMR is around 1,340 kcals, implying that under that, I'd be losing weight - but I'm not.

Could my body really have slowed down so massively that 800 kcals a day means sustaining the same weight but not losing any? I just want to be healthier - not anorectic but I seem to eat far less than most people I know and yet put on weight very easily.

Silverstreaks, I tried increasing what I eat at weekends - so doing 2:5 as opposed to 5:2 but I instantly put on 2 pounds the next day after eating only a little bit more. This is really weird. Surely it can't all be water retention and peri-menopause?

Has anyone else experienced this slowing heart rate and not losing any more weight even when calories intake is really low?

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