How can I fix my metabolism?

Commented on January 31, 2015
Created January 21, 2015 at 1:57 AM

Hi, quick background: I'm 19 years old, weigh 130 pounds (slightly underweight). Over the last year and a half I've been closely examining my health and trying to get into proper shape. Back in mid 2013 my eating was super disorderly, I was under a lot of stress for various reasons and I would come home and absolutely binge on fruit, sugars, carbs, etc., then get really tired, and I just felt like a mess. 

Starting in late 2013 I tried various paleo diets and even did a 20-day juice fast at one point. I went through a lot of low-carb periods. I noticed that there were various periods where I would feel totally sick, almost like I had the flu. I thought this was due to low-carb and that I just had to push through it, but it would never get better. Then I would inevitably relapse and binge out on sugars and carbs for a while, before trying low-carb again. 

About 2 months ago I realized low-carb wasn't going to work for me, so I added in natural complex carbs like yams, carrots, turnips, and other carby vegetables. I immediately felt so much better, but then I got the flu-like feeling again, and I wondered how this could happen when I was back to eating carbs and giving my body sufficient fuel. Well, it turns out the answer is fats.

Apparently my body is completely incapable of assimilating fats. If I have even a couple of tablespoons of olive oil with my vegetables I can feel totally sick and foggy. I realized that every time I felt super sick over the last year it was when I was having huge amounts of fats.

Overall, my metabolism seems to be very up and down. There are periods where I feel amazing eating lots of carbs and fruits, and there are periods where everything I eat seems to bog me down and my stomach can feel sort of sensitive to high-impact foods. I used to think I had adrenal fatigue, although that seems to have gotten much better since I went back to eating carbs. I think that my blood sugar and metabolic rate is all over the place.

My questions are: 1) Did I maybe weaken my metabolism/digestion by doing long juice fasts and period of eating very little? I definitely had problems like this before, but maybe all this stuff made it worse? 2) What can I do to get everything into optimal shape? I seem to function best on a no-fruit diet, for the sake of my adrenals and blood sugar. I also just started taking a Chromium supplement along with vitamins (B,C,D) 


Thank you



on January 23, 2015
at 03:03 AM

You have not mentioned exercise, which is a crucial component of metabolism, please let us know what you are doing with that.

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on January 22, 2015
at 05:40 PM

Activity is what drives metabolism. What you eat is fuel to support that activity. Cordain suggests 900 kcal a day of exercise. I suggest increasing your daily activity to that level for a few weeks and see if that improves fat tolerance in your diet.



on January 31, 2015
at 01:19 AM

"Activity is what drives metabolism".  Nope.  Your metabolism is governed by hormones.


on January 22, 2015
at 04:00 PM

Look into Ray Peat... His way of eating is all geared towards a very high functioning metabolism. The problem with low carb is metabolism can slow down severely in some people. I myself have gone from ZC>VLC>LC>HC... I was eating 200-250g of carbs a day while working out a lot and it did wonders for muscle development. I recently cut out fruit again to cut some body fat. I must say I do feel better throughout the day. My body temperature however has gone back down 

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