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Allen Cress
07-22-2010, 01:42 PM
In the last few years, there has been a troubling corresponding scenario developing: metabolic damage. Dieting and training can actually make you fat long term if done improperly and to extremes. I used to see this to some extent in females in general, but now with the figure & bodybuilding competition boom as well as just trying to look good naked, it's becoming almost an epidemic. It's time someone pointed this out, and also time to search for solutions.
The problem is that for several years after a contest prep or drastic diet that was ill-advised, the body responds in ways to prevent the situation from ever happening again. While it takes some time for the body to reprogram itself like this, there is also immediate, resultant metabolic damage from undertaking poor diet and training strategies. The result is that within one to two years after a drastic diet or post-contest a previously cooperative metabolism starts to malfunctions, or shuts off completely. This sets off negative hormonal events, as well as various potential metabolic dysfunctions, one of which I will discuss.
The bottom line is that the individual gets fat and fatter still, even on controlled calories and carbohydrates. Should this person desire to lose weight again or compete, he or she will likely be prescribed even more cardio and caloric restriction.

Anyone who has ever heard me talk knows the dangers of absolute caloric deprivation. Combined with more exercise, this leads to eventual metabolic stress and dysfunction. The result is that within a few years, women and men are out of the sport and getting fatter and fatter each year, even though they stay on consistent diet and training protocols. Think of those "before and after" pictures in reverse!
Recent discussions with colleagues and their own observations and feedback from other colleagues reveal I am not the only one noticing this pattern. The saddest part of it is that the individuals who usually must endure the most to get contest ready are the ones who will suffer more from metabolic damage in the near future.

One of the problems up to now has been that it goes relatively undiagnosed when taken to a physician. Blood tests reveal that everything is normal, but as a practicing professional, I know for these clients everything is anything but normal. Staying on a properly controlled diet, and a training protocol and still gaining weight, fat, bloating, or cellulite is not normal and is indicative of a problem. The most contentious issue is that there is no observable evidence.

So doctors who know little about training adaptations and effects send these individuals away telling them all is normal and nothing is wrong, yet all other evidence points to the contrary. One of the existing manifestations of this is now illustrated in Wilson's low temperature syndrome.

Here is one of the problems: we now know that many things can screw up or otherwise distort this process even though it would not show up on blood tests. The first thing is just general hypothalamic burnout.
Too much stress on this gland for too long and it just does not function as efficiently. Next is what we now call Wilson's Low Temperature Syndrome. The whole T4 to T3 conversion is affected by many variables; the top ones being stress, diet or fasting, illness, and increased cortisol levels. Well, right away that calls to mind the people I see with metabolic damage, who have both over-stressed their systems physically and usually mentally, while dieting, as well as being on absolute caloric deprivation for far too long.

So the really sinister thing about Wilson's Low Body Temperature Syndrome is that it doesn't show up on a blood test at all. Individuals can suffer all the symptoms of low thyroid function, but still show normal thyroid on a blood test. This means that they will gain weight easily even while dieting, and will suffer fatigue, irritability and other symptoms.

This is just one way metabolic damage can manifest itself after a disastrous contest approach and too long on a caloric depletion diet, with too much macro nutrient deprivation for far too long. Sometimes it seems that the ones who bust their ass the most are the ones who suffer the most, and competing in one show after another only exacerbates the issue.

This can also develop in other situations. For example, ladies who diet for their weddings for far too long often end up with the same bad metabolic response over time. So when a woman suddenly puts on a ton of weight after the wedding, it's not always simply the case of her eating habits changing: the metabolic damage ensued as a post-diet, stress response to the wedding itself. Surely, lots of women find their weddings mentally and emotionally stressful: at least as stressful as a figure competition.

I have seen and have several clients who formerly got bad advice and prepared for their contests with a "win at all costs" mentality that is now hurting them long term. Ladies and gentlemen too, you need to start choosing your coaches and trainers more wisely. Going to extremes of 2 of hours cardio per day, plus training, plus over-dieting, may get you to the winner's circle at level 1 or 2 or make you look good for a short time, but at what cost to you?

One of the reasons I got into the whole Metabolic Power/Metabolic Training business was to try to find ways around these other potentially damaging pre- contest protocols. And the Cycle Diet also explains how to prevent the effects of absolute caloric deprivation, from destroying your metabolism long term. I hope anyone reading this is paying close attention and will forward this to any other individual they know who are dieting for a show or anything else and may be doing damage to themselves. If your nails are brittle, and your hair is falling out, these are warning signs. Please heed them.

I feel sorry when I see competitors at events damaging themselves for a bit of glory. Some are born to do it, others struggled like hell to get up there, and unknowingly (and usually by actually being coached) have set themselves up for a one-way ticket to Fatsville.

All kinds of medical literature exists about the "natural protective mechanism" of BMR downgrade from dieting. However, medical literature also indicates that when prolonged or frequent dieting occurs, such BMR adjustment may be permanent! This would be a death knell for the "competitors," or anyone who would then start getting fat even on 800-900 calories per day. (Mount Sinai School of Medicine 1995: p297.) Therefore, repeated bouts of dieting and training to compete can permanently alter metabolism for the worst. If you have a coach/trainer pushing you to always compete, to "get your face out there," you may need to reconsider both the advice, and the advisor!

Unfortunately competition also seems to appeal to people who are least genetically suited to do it, thereby again increasing the odds of metabolic damage. It is a fact, although no one wants to admit it, that many active individuals just do not function well at very low levels of body fat. Many also cannot healthily achieve it, nor should they try. This is a reality no one seems to want to recognize.

Do not fall prey to cultural or coaching pressures in setting unrealistic body composition goals. Many who wish to alter their physique have unrealistic body images that they haven't the time, the ability, or genetics to achieve. Make sure guidance is based on what is best for you, and what is reasonable for you as well. If not, the road may lead to shortcuts that have long term adverse consequences.Once again warn anyone you know who may be damaging themselves by following crazy pre-contest rituals of ultra-low caloric intake and marathon cardio sessions. Both are unnecessary and ill-advised.

By Scott Abel

ThomasG
07-22-2010, 03:43 PM
So what do you do Allen when you get a client with metabolic damage?

ryuage
07-22-2010, 04:01 PM
any literature you can share with me that would support what you said about bmr/metabolism down regulation being "permanent"

everything I've read... even in extreme cases

exercise combined with extreme calorie restriction for prolonged periods of time (think psmf levels...) for months on end eventually bounced back to "normal"

Allen Cress
07-22-2010, 05:53 PM
So what do you do Allen when you get a client with metabolic damage?

First you need to be able to determine if its actually damage or if the client has been just basically unhealthy in their eating patterns and workouts, so background info is very important. Start them on a nutrition and training protocol and if they continuye to be unresponsive then they may have some damage.

Also realize that there is a huge psycological part to this as well so you can't just look at the physical. Many of these individuals may have developed eating disorders as well due to wanting to always diet and "be in shape" or "contest ready".

One of the first things is to not even mention diet or try and plave them on one with measurements, etc..... They just need to get back to eating healthy balanced meals which takes time. That would be your first step in moving forward.

Allen Cress
07-22-2010, 06:05 PM
any literature you can share with me that would support what you said about bmr/metabolism down regulation being "permanent"

everything I've read... even in extreme cases

exercise combined with extreme calorie restriction for prolonged periods of time (think psmf levels...) for months on end eventually bounced back to "normal"

The problem there is you will never find any study or literature on permanent damage because its not ethical to have someone do that to themselves for a long term study.

I have personally seen it as well as many colleagues in the industry. I have had individuals come to me and after determining that they actually had damage it has been a work in progress and continues to be to just get their metabolism functioning again. I'm talking about clients I've had for over 3 years now and my colleagues are also currently dealing with the same thing.

Its not that the metabolism will never work again its that they have changed their BMR and metabolic set point. For example I've had one client for the alst 2 years and when started with her her weight was 185lb and now its at a comfortable 160 lbs. BUt she had previously walked around at a healthy 130lbs prior to dieting and due to going to extremes she competed at 115 and then after a few contests iit got harder and harder to loose fat and once she stopped competing here weight kept climbing even though she was still in a calorie deficit.

This is one of many examples. So you can't always look in a book and find something its experience and actually deraling with these individuals day in and day out to truly know its going on and its sad. I do have studies to back up how it happens as that is the starting point to try and start figuring things out.

Trust me they do not always bounce back. Many do have resilient metabolisms but even overtime of continuously going to exteremes or contantly trying to attain an unrealistic bodyfat percentage they will do damage whether its long term or not.

SCmmaFAN
07-23-2010, 08:10 AM
Allen, this is a great thread that you started. I've often wondered about folks damaging their metabolisms with extreme dieting and your recent posts have opened my eyes to this.

I know you are mostly talking about folks are entering shows and trying obtain very low bodyfat percentages but what about big or or quite frankly fat folks, such as myself, who are trying to lose significant excess weight. Are we different from the folks you mentioned, or are we just as susceptible to metabolism damage?

I'm fearful enough of metabolism damage that I decided to lose my weight slower than most folks. I've been cutting since January trying to go from 295 to 225 (currently at 269). At the rate I'm going I'm losing about 0.8 pounds a week with weight-lifting and currently no-cardio and I expect to reach 225 around May-June of next year. I would be on my diet for 18 months. In your opinion, is someone in my situation going to damage my metabolism with a long diet/cut?

Allen Cress
07-23-2010, 09:10 AM
Allen, this is a great thread that you started. I've often wondered about folks damaging their metabolisms with extreme dieting and your recent posts have opened my eyes to this.

I know you are mostly talking about folks are entering shows and trying obtain very low bodyfat percentages but what about big or or quite frankly fat folks, such as myself, who are trying to lose significant excess weight. Are we different from the folks you mentioned, or are we just as susceptible to metabolism damage?

I'm fearful enough of metabolism damage that I decided to lose my weight slower than most folks. I've been cutting since January trying to go from 295 to 225 (currently at 269). At the rate I'm going I'm losing about 0.8 pounds a week with weight-lifting and currently no-cardio and I expect to reach 225 around May-June of next year. I would be on my diet for 18 months. In your opinion, is someone in my situation going to damage my metabolism with a long diet/cut?

Anyone can be susceptible to it if things are done to extreme, but it is more common in the competition arena, but it is becoming more prevailant with regular individuals trying to get leaner.

Taking your time losing weight is the best way to do it especially for long term results. Sounds like you are on the right path. Just listen to your body, be patient, consistent, and work hard in the gym. Also don't be afraid of carbs either. Too many people trying to lose alot of weight always drop their carbs to very low levels and its not needed. Remember total calories is the main key. Carbs don't make you fat too many calories does.

harveyjerry
07-26-2010, 04:16 AM
Now quite clear that the metabolism of the injury is a real problem. I receive e-mails from all over North America, women who have heard an alarm regarding my previous blog on this topic. I did not know there was more to come So I felt the need to continue here. Yes, I think that the prevalence of metabolic damage would otherwise healthy young women and is directly related to racial image boom, but a lot more. Also, I must once again emphasize that the syndrome of Wilsons Cold lab, but its just one of many, some not yet identified, in a way that chases lead to real long-term metabolic causes. This is a particular problem for women for several reasons.

Holto
07-26-2010, 11:38 AM
her weight kept climbing even though she was still in a calorie deficit.

I take it that you mean her weight kept climbing even though her calorie intake was very low.

Behemoth
07-26-2010, 06:35 PM
How can you differentiate that a metabolism was actually damaged and the weight gain would not have happened otherwise had it not been simply held off by years of diets...?

Allen Cress
07-27-2010, 04:59 AM
I take it that you mean her weight kept climbing even though her calorie intake was very low.

Yes, even with proper training

Allen Cress
07-27-2010, 05:07 AM
How can you differentiate that a metabolism was actually damaged and the weight gain would not have happened otherwise had it not been simply held off by years of diets...?

Some initial weight gain is normal, but when an individual goes past their original healthy weight by 10+ pounds and when trrying to diet it back off it doesn't drop they are basically changing their metabolic set point.

If they had been dieting for years and gained a lot of weight after they just resumed a slightly higher calorie intake their can still be some damage because if thats the case then the diet wasn't serving the body nor was it sustainable long term.

This is where people take the word "diet" in the wrong way and why I'm not a big fan of the word because it tends to be related to being in a deficit. I prefer to use nutrition plan.

A "diet" should always serve 2 main purposes: 1) serve the body and 2) be sustainable long term. This is why a lifestyle change is needed and not look at it as a quick fix, you have to look at the bigger picture and long term results and not just the now like most do.

SCmmaFAN
07-30-2010, 01:47 PM
Allen,

I forgot to say thanks for your response to my questions!

Berzinator
08-03-2010, 02:39 PM
Lyle actually just wrote an article on this:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/permanent-metabolic-damage-qa.html

And as far as Allen saying it is unethical to do a study that starves people, he is right. However, as Lyle states in his article, the Minnesota Semi-Starvation study did just that, and it seems most of the drop in metabolism was due to decrease body weight, not some magical Metabolic Damage. Metabolism can drop when dieting but not permanently and not to the extent you say.

Allen Cress
08-03-2010, 05:30 PM
Lyle actually just wrote an article on this:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/permanent-metabolic-damage-qa.html

And as far as Allen saying it is unethical to do a study that starves people, he is right. However, as Lyle states in his article, the Minnesota Semi-Starvation study did just that, and it seems most of the drop in metabolism was due to decrease body weight, not some magical Metabolic Damage. Metabolism can drop when dieting but not permanently and not to the extent you say.

I'm not here to argue as I know what I have seen and have been dealing with for well over 7 years in this industry as far as seeing metabolisms damaged and I'm not alone either. I have very well known collegues dealing with the same issue and who I talk to regularly. You are not always going to find studies and research to back up everything and thats where having actual expericence over time comes in. Its not just 1 or 2 people I have seen this in and making these statements.

Can metabolisms be fixed? Yes. Many have resilient metabolisms and I have got many working again even more efficiently than before, but I have also seen the other side. So to just blindly say it can't happen is not responsible in my opinion because there will be individuals who take that and think that going to extremes is ok and will be able to get back to normal if anything negative were to happen. Its kinda like telling people that having bulimia or anorexia is fine because once you start eating normal again everything will return to normal. (just trying to make a point) There is more than just the physical side to this you also have to deal with the mental and emotional dmage as well like self esteem and being afraid to put on an ounce of fat due to body dysmorphia.

As a coach it is my job to guide people in the right direction and try my best to keep them from going down the wrong path with extreme diets and hours of cardio.

You are completely entitled to your opinion on the matter, but the thread was started to warn people that going to extremes can have damaging effects.

Berzinator
08-03-2010, 07:54 PM
I'm not here to argue as I know what I have seen and have been dealing with for well over 7 years in this industry as far as seeing metabolisms damaged and I'm not alone either. I have very well known collegues dealing with the same issue and who I talk to regularly. You are not always going to find studies and research to back up everything and thats where having actual expericence over time comes in. Its not just 1 or 2 people I have seen this in and making these statements.

Can metabolisms be fixed? Yes. Many have resilient metabolisms and I have got many working again even more efficiently than before, but I have also seen the other side. So to just blindly say it can't happen is not responsible in my opinion because there will be individuals who take that and think that going to extremes is ok and will be able to get back to normal if anything negative were to happen. Its kinda like telling people that having bulimia or anorexia is fine because once you start eating normal again everything will return to normal. (just trying to make a point) There is more than just the physical side to this you also have to deal with the mental and emotional dmage as well like self esteem and being afraid to put on an ounce of fat due to body dysmorphia.

As a coach it is my job to guide people in the right direction and try my best to keep them from going down the wrong path with extreme diets and hours of cardio.

You are completely entitled to your opinion on the matter, but the thread was started to warn people that going to extremes can have damaging effects.


You aren't arguing the psychological effects in this article. Orthorexia or whatever you wanna call it is a problem in it's own but that doesn't mean you should tell people lies about how the metabolism works. You're arguing against simple math and measured results.

The "hoards" of people you seem to think have metabolic damage are either eating more than they say or are having massive swings in water balance, but they're not gaining that much energy-producing mass. It's mathematically, biochemically, thermodynamically, and physiologically impossible. You've stated on another thread that people gained weight eating the calories similar to what Lyle wrote about and clearly that doesn't seem possible.

Yeah, you can't find everything in research, but to say something happens that no research ever has even kind of implied, even in studies that do the exact thing you say causes it, is just ridiculous. Your experience holds no ground in an argument when you don't measure anything and just say "it happens". You say it's irresponsible to not tell people about this, but I say it's irresponsible to warn people of something that probably doesn't exist just because you saw someone put on weight after getting lean, without measuring the content of the weight gain or the actual accurate calorie intake.

Allen Cress
08-03-2010, 09:39 PM
I have read more than one study to reference these claims. The Keys et al study is one of them. I'm not pulling this stuff out of thin air. I don't always list reasearch after research when making statements but have them. A lot of individuals want things in layman terms that get to the point that way you can keep their attention.

When someone diets to extremes for a contest and does countless hours of cardio they look grreat on stage. Once the contest is over and with the extreme hunger and deprivation they were under leads them to binge for days they have a massive rebound. Once the binge is over and they go back to a maintenance diet but their previous starting weight is 10-15lbs heavier there is one problem. Next they start preparing for another contest, but this time it becomes much harder to drop bodyfat even on the same calories as the last prep and they are doing same amount of cardio. THis is due to a metabolic shift and damage. Then there becomes a vicious cycle. Sometimes this can be fixed and sometimes it is a struggle just to get back to normal (being healthy and not dieting)


As far as physiologically impossible, I myself have proven books and formulas wrong as to what is "suppose to happen" when it comes to calories, metabolism, energy expenditure, etc.... Everytime after a 16 week contest prep I diet down to very low bodyfat and my calories are usually at 1800 by the time the conetst gets here. Then after loading for my contest with double the calories for 3 days and NO exercise I don't gain a pound and I don't stop drinking water. Then I take 2 weeks off from any nutrition plan and don't workout and eat freely with desserts and good home cooked meals, etc.... and I only gain about 4-5 lbs. If you were to do calculations and everything else a book says then I should have gained a lot more than that. My point is this is were the individual takes presidence and saying something can't happen to them because some studies say it can't is misleading. Everyone is different and responds differently to everything.
You have your thoughts on the matter and I have mine as I'm sure many others do as well, which is what makes the world go around. So no worries.

Behemoth
08-15-2010, 03:20 PM
Lyle McDonald has been sharing his opinion on subjects relative to this lately:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/permanent-metabolic-damage-followup-qa.html#more-4278

ThomasG
12-21-2011, 07:34 AM
Allen its been amazing the nutrition logs I get from my clients when they first start with me. 90% of my weight loss clients especially females start losing weight once we raise their calories, often times 1000+.

Anyway, something I've noticed with individuals that have a shot metabolism is they don't get hungry. After a few weeks of eating increased calories they will report to me they are starting to get hungry and once they start feeling hungry often times results will start to show. I've read theories on how this is the body protecting itself its an extreme caloric deficit.
Have you experienced the non hunger issue with you clients?

Allen Cress
12-21-2011, 09:04 AM
Allen its been amazing the nutrition logs I get from my clients when they first start with me. 90% of my weight loss clients especially females start losing weight once we raise their calories, often times 1000+.

Anyway, something I've noticed with individuals that have a shot metabolism is they don't get hungry. After a few weeks of eating increased calories they will report to me they are starting to get hungry and once they start feeling hungry often times results will start to show. I've read theories on how this is the body protecting itself its an extreme caloric deficit.
Have you experienced the non hunger issue with you clients?

Absolutely. That is great biofeedback, and you are doing a good job by recognizing it. When someone is in an absolute calorie deficit everything downregulates( T3, Leptin, testosterone) so the body can survive and when the body's physiological functions are slower appetite supression is one effect. By increasing calories you are feeding the body what it needs to actually burn off fat and ramp up metabolism and hunger increases due to the up regulation of body functions. You got to feed the body to burn fat.

One reason people can't lose much fat is that they don't understand that hunger is a fat burning signal and what most due is when they get hungry they eat, off setting the calorie intake and keeping them from loosing.

Behemoth
12-22-2011, 04:41 PM
This was a good thread, nice bump Thomas.

Allen its been amazing the nutrition logs I get from my clients when they first start with me. 90% of my weight loss clients especially females start losing weight once we raise their calories, often times 1000+.

Anyway, something I've noticed with individuals that have a shot metabolism is they don't get hungry. After a few weeks of eating increased calories they will report to me they are starting to get hungry and once they start feeling hungry often times results will start to show. I've read theories on how this is the body protecting itself its an extreme caloric deficit.
Have you experienced the non hunger issue with you clients?
This surprises me. I would not put a lot of stock in someone who has been starving themself is actually "not hungry". I'd be more inclined to believe they're one - lieing to both you and themself as they're scared to eat and two - so conditioned to eating so little that it feels normal.



Absolutely. That is great biofeedback, and you are doing a good job by recognizing it. When someone is in an absolute calorie deficit everything downregulates( T3, Leptin, testosterone) so the body can survive and when the body's physiological functions are slower appetite supression is one effect. By increasing calories you are feeding the body what it needs to actually burn off fat and ramp up metabolism and hunger increases due to the up regulation of body functions. You got to feed the body to burn fat.

Leptin down regulating is not a survival mechanism by means of appetite suppression but exactly the opposite...




One reason people can't lose much fat is that they don't understand that hunger is a fat burning signal and what most due is when they get hungry they eat, off setting the calorie intake and keeping them from loosing.
Fully agree here.

ThomasG
12-22-2011, 07:14 PM
They're definitely not lying I've dealt with the situation on a daily basis with clients for the past 3 years. A lot of people become so busy and/or unaware of eating and they forget too eat. Once you're in an extreme caloric deficit for so long hunger signals come in less often.

When I first ramp clients up to a proper caloric intake(still a deficit) they have to make themselves eat because they don't get hungry and even sometimes feel a little sick at first from not eating so little. After a few weeks they start getting hunger signals and by no coincidence this is when the their bodyfat starts to drop.

Behemoth
12-22-2011, 09:33 PM
Busy, stressed, or simply unaware is plenty plausible, purposely starving oneself for any duration not so much.

Jonathan E
12-22-2011, 10:05 PM
To really dumb-ify what was originally mentioned : Your main theory is that due to the major swings in body composition and diet, that is, going from a calorie surplus to a calorie deficit or vice versa, our bodies react by making it harder to repeat the process in future attempts? And in long term, add surplus' of body fat over years??

Alex.V
12-23-2011, 10:12 AM
The only thing that bothers me here is that there are plenty of well-understood and well-documented reasons for everything mentioned in the original post, and none of them include the phrase "metabolic damage".

Allen Cress
12-23-2011, 06:46 PM
Leptin down regulating is not a survival mechanism by means of appetite suppression but exactly the opposite...


I wasn't saying that down regulation of leptin causes appetite suppression, as that is definitely the opposite effect of leptin. When its down people are able to eat large amounts of food without getting full. The appetite suppresion mainly comes from the stomach shrinking and this is why when you initially increase someone's food intake its hard for them to eat.

Allen Cress
12-23-2011, 06:56 PM
The only thing that bothers me here is that there are plenty of well-understood and well-documented reasons for everything mentioned in the original post, and none of them include the phrase "metabolic damage".

"Metabolic Damage" was a term coined by Scott Abel based on all the clients he had and continues to work with that has done damage to their metabolism. There are only so many studys you will find the rest comes to real world experience and working with these individuals. Science is an important part of this industry but if you base everything off it you could be missing out . All great coaches go by principles but work with clients based on what they have seen happen in the real world not just on paper.

Murderous
01-08-2012, 04:23 AM
This appetite suppression makes sense. Before I started training I would eat an amount of food and feel full as in I would feel like I was to puke if I was to eat more. I didn't want to be as lean as I was and I wanted to gain a little fat so I started over eating, when I felt like I was about to puke I would eat more a few hours later to try to bulk and in the first two days I started doing this my body became less restricted to taking in more food.

I went to a buffet 3-4 months ago and I ate to the point where it felt like the food wasn't going down anymore and breathing was getting difficult since my stomach was bloated with so much food and as if I was about to puke, but for some reason I didn't feel full even though I ate to the point where breathing was difficult and the food felt as if it was stuck. Anyone had a similar experience before?

I usually eat multiple meals throughout the day (mainly so my body always has enough calories and protein constantly for recovery) and I am never hungry or full and neither does my body fat fluctuate throughout the day, but I am usually weighing lesser when I wake up in comparison to bed time because the body uses a lot of calories in sleep for metabolic processes and because you sweat a little at night, as well as because we humans exhale water vapor.

ThomasG
02-22-2012, 02:52 PM
Pretty sure I have another victim of metabolic damage. A 42 year old female came to me about 7 weeks ago. Before she had worked with a trainer that had her doing hours of cardio per day and eating 1,000 calories per day. She got in great shape down to about 115lbs, she said the results were fast too. Now she's 140lbs and struggling to lose any weight. I asked her if her body sends her hunger cues, she said no. I increased her calories to 1420, she said she felt like she was stuffing her face and feeling very full from this. 6 weeks later she's finally starting to get hunger cues. However, despite intense strength training and interval training her weight has stayed the same. I've increased her calories to 1620 now. I'm confident things will start looking up for her soon as her body is sending hunger cues. I'll keep you guys updated.

CallMeMikeG
02-22-2012, 09:05 PM
Pretty sure I have another victim of metabolic damage. A 42 year old female came to me about 7 weeks ago. Before she had worked with a trainer that had her doing hours of cardio per day and eating 1,000 calories per day. She got in great shape down to about 115lbs, she said the results were fast too. Now she's 140lbs and struggling to lose any weight. I asked her if her body sends her hunger cues, she said no. I increased her calories to 1420, she said she felt like she was stuffing her face and feeling very full from this. 6 weeks later she's finally starting to get hunger cues. However, despite intense strength training and interval training her weight has stayed the same. I've increased her calories to 1620 now. I'm confident things will start looking up for her soon as her body is sending hunger cues. I'll keep you guys updated.

Yes please do! I've gotten myself in the same situation and would love to hear there's a solution...

Allen Cress
02-22-2012, 09:22 PM
Just remember not everyone will respond quickly. It could take over a year so just be upfront with any client so they understand.

critinamori
02-27-2012, 03:19 AM
Anyone who has ever heard me talk knows the dangers of absolute caloric deprivation. Combined with more exercise, this leads to eventual metabolic stress and dysfunction. The result is that within a few years, women and men are out of the sport and getting fatter and fatter each year, even though they stay on consistent diet and training protocols. Think of those "before and after" pictures in reverse!
Recent discussions with colleagues and their own observations and feedback from other colleagues reveal I am not the only one noticing this pattern. The saddest part of it is that the individuals who usually must endure the most to get contest ready are the ones who will suffer more from metabolic damage in the near future.

Alex.V
02-27-2012, 06:03 AM
"Metabolic Damage" was a term coined by Scott Abel based on all the clients he had and continues to work with that has done damage to their metabolism. There are only so many studys you will find the rest comes to real world experience and working with these individuals. Science is an important part of this industry but if you base everything off it you could be missing out . All great coaches go by principles but work with clients based on what they have seen happen in the real world not just on paper.

Congratulations to Scott on successfully combining two words. It is still an inaccurate and redundant term, being applied to describe an already well understood set of clinical conditions. The fact that these conditions are complicated, involve multiple systems, and are quite frankly beyond the expertise of the majority of "trainers" does not make them any less valid. (I'm not just picking on trainers- many physicians lack expertise in multiple fields of study as well)

"Science is an important part of this industry". Science is not part of this industry, science is its essence- hypothesis, testing, discussion, then rejection of or support for the hypothesis. "Science" doesn't mean "Book learnin'!", science is the process by which we all study our chosen fields. Real world experience is great, but needs to be combined with rigorous, continuing study of the available medical literature (or in the case of "metabolic damage", a few basic textbooks), so that you're not slowly reinventing the wheel. (Which is the case here)

tiffinyl
07-26-2012, 01:46 PM
I am currently suffering from metabolic damage and could really use some advice. A year ago I was over training on too few calories. I didnt see it at the time until all hell broke loose. I was a healthy eater but obsessed with exercise. I was experiencing bloating so I went and saw a nutritionist who removed dairy, gluten, soy, protein powder (a big staple in my diet) etc. Within 4 weeks I went from 108lbs at 5'6 to 135lbs. I stopped getting my period, started breaking out and now I am low in DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, and am hypothyroid. I take Dhea drops, bio identical hormone creams, desiccated thyroid. I am 30years old. I didnt know what was happing off the hop so I started trying to diet more eat less. That didnt work so I upped the weights lessened the reps. Still nothing so I upped the reps lowered weight and so on. It wasnt until 4 weeks ago i quit the gym and joined Bikram yoga. I have been eatin between 1700-2200 calories for the past 6 months. Is this the right track for me? Should I go back to weights or do I need to rest from the gym? Am I eating enough or too much? This is so confusing and heart breaking. I have spent so much money on specialists, personal trainers etc that have not only not helped but made me worse. Thank you

RhodeHouse
07-26-2012, 02:06 PM
The only thing that bothers me here is that there are plenty of well-understood and well-documented reasons for everything mentioned in the original post, and none of them include the phrase "metabolic damage".

Thank you! People eat like shit, train horribly and they don't get results. i can see some issues in the competitive lfiters (bodybuilders, figure etc...), but most people are just lazy and eat like shit. Damage? I just can't jump on board with this at all. It's called fat and lazy syndrome.

Allen Cress
07-26-2012, 10:50 PM
Thank you! People eat like shit, train horribly and they don't get results. i can see some issues in the competitive lfiters (bodybuilders, figure etc...), but most people are just lazy and eat like shit. Damage? I just can't jump on board with this at all. It's called fat and lazy syndrome.

Trust me there are plenty of individuals besides competitive bodybuilders and figure athletes who are causing damage to their metabolism. You are not getting what was said, these people are doing way to much cardio and training to go along with extreme dieting. It has absolutley nothing to do with people being fat and lazy and eating shit, its the complete opposite.

These individuals are not only damaged somewhat physiologically but also mentally and emotionaly. All 3 of these play a major role.

RhodeHouse
07-27-2012, 08:31 PM
Trust me there are plenty of individuals besides competitive bodybuilders and figure athletes who are causing damage to their metabolism. You are not getting what was said, these people are doing way to much cardio and training to go along with extreme dieting. It has absolutley nothing to do with people being fat and lazy and eating shit, its the complete opposite.

These individuals are not only damaged somewhat physiologically but also mentally and emotionaly. All 3 of these play a major role.

No, I get it. I was a personal trainer for 10 years. I saw it all. I saw nobody who worked too hard and trained too much. I saw people who trained improperly and people who lied about their eating habits, as does every client who doesn't get results. Now I do agree most do way too much cardio and not nearly enough weight training, not to mention the weight training they did do was just a waste. I also saw people eat/follow just terrible diets, but, metabolic damage because their training sucks? Sorry, that dog just doesn't hunt. Maybe that's a catch phrase you use to get clients.

Allen Cress
07-29-2012, 07:59 PM
I saw it all. I saw nobody who worked too hard and trained too much. I saw people who trained improperly and people who lied about their eating habits, as does every client who doesn't get results. Maybe that's a catch phrase you use to get clients.

Obviously you haven't seen it all. If you truly believe there are no inviduals out there who go to extremes with diets and training whether it be cardio or weights then thats your choice to believe that. I have worked with many of these types of individuals and so has many coaches I know.

Now as far as your smartass comment about "its a line i use to get clients" is not needed. If you can't discuss things like an adult without throwing jabs then just leave this thread to those who want help and have questions and keep your comments to yourself. I have been a coach for 14 years now and I don't say catch phrases to get clients or tell them what they want to hear like a lot of trainers do. I don't sugar coat things and am always upfront and the first one to admit when I don't know something. I take my job very seriously and my clients know that.

April Mathis
07-29-2012, 10:51 PM
I believe what Allen is saying is possible. I know someone that lifted with us for awhile when I lived in Lakeland that had this kind of issue. Except in his case, he had been a lot leaner and had competed in powerlifting in his late teens to early twenties. Then he had done almost nothing but work and party for 10 years and got up to a real fat 340lbs. or so. I had met him when he was already down to about 300 and he was eating like 1500 calories per day and doing like 2-3 hours of cardio and then would lift a few times per week too. He got down to about 260-265 for awhile and was still fat but a lot less so for sure. Then he said for a long time he couldn't lose any more weight unless he ate less than 1400 calories or something like that. Well, after this he found out his thyroid function was abnormal and had been prescribed thyroid medication. It was adjusted over a few weeks to the right amount and worked pretty much instantly. Then he said he could eat about 3500-4000 calories and stay around the same weight and a little less to continue to lose weight slowly. However, he soon decided this would be a good reason to cheat a lot and party a lot again and he didn't train with us too much anymore after that, but he did stay around that weight still regardless. I have heard recently that my other training partner had seen him recently and he has ended up losing another 50lbs. or so over the last year, which was around his goal. So I guess he got back to working out and dieting again.

But my point is that:
1. Yes I do believe it is or at least can be true.
2. But, people are lazy and cheat and then lie about. He would talk about eating clean and only 1500 calories then go out and then admit later that he drank another 2000 calories worth of alcohol that night. Or would disappear for 2 weeks and then say he went on vacation and ate at buffets the whole time. There were usually phases though of being motivated for awhile then not giving a shit for awhile.
3. And thyroid and/or other hormonal medications should be a near immediate solution along with actually following a healthy diet.

RhodeHouse
08-03-2012, 05:47 AM
Obviously you haven't seen it all. If you truly believe there are no inviduals out there who go to extremes with diets and training whether it be cardio or weights then thats your choice to believe that. I have worked with many of these types of individuals and so has many coaches I know.

Now as far as your smartass comment about "its a line i use to get clients" is not needed. If you can't discuss things like an adult without throwing jabs then just leave this thread to those who want help and have questions and keep your comments to yourself. I have been a coach for 14 years now and I don't say catch phrases to get clients or tell them what they want to hear like a lot of trainers do. I don't sugar coat things and am always upfront and the first one to admit when I don't know something. I take my job very seriously and my clients know that.

It wasn't a smartass comment. It was an observation. You just may not like what I have to say. I see people like you all the time. You come to places like this and spout ridiculousness about metabolic damage blah, blah, blah. In this day and age people are trying to sell something. Why would you be any different? Now, maybe you are different. But, coming on here and rambling like you've uncovered the secret is just retarded. There are SOME people out there that have the issues you speak of. However, they are the exception, not the rule. Been in this business a lot longer than you. Part of the reason I changed venues.

Allen Cress
08-03-2012, 08:41 AM
It wasn't a smartass comment. It was an observation. You just may not like what I have to say. I see people like you all the time. You come to places like this and spout ridiculousness about metabolic damage blah, blah, blah. In this day and age people are trying to sell something. Why would you be any different? Now, maybe you are different. But, coming on here and rambling like you've uncovered the secret is just retarded. There are SOME people out there that have the issues you speak of. However, they are the exception, not the rule. Been in this business a lot longer than you. Part of the reason I changed venues.

I apologize if you weren't coming across that way, it just seemed like it. I never said these type of people are the rule by any means, I am just stating they are out there. I haven't been rambling and the original post was from one of my mentors, Scott Abel, that I thought I would share. The main purpose being to keep individuals from going to extremes and know if you do there may be consequences. As I said you don't have to agree with it, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have seen it so that is why I posted about it. Not once have I in this thread said anyone should work with me to help them. My job as a sponsored At Large Athlete/Coach is to put out free info to our memebers, not sell my services. The results I get for clients does that on its own. Quality over quantity.

Alex.V
08-03-2012, 12:12 PM
Come on, hug it out guys.

Allen Cress
08-03-2012, 01:25 PM
Come on, hug it out guys.

LOL !!!

infoleather
08-14-2012, 11:55 PM
Many people have become so busy and / or do not know to eat, they forget to eat too. Once you are in an extreme so long hunger signal, not often to the calorie deficit.

Doll
12-10-2012, 11:50 PM
Hi!
Hopefully someone can answer my questions. I got hypothyroidism two years ago. Before that I had dieting for 20 years almost all the time. Before I got sick I was on low carb-diet first time and it last for 8 months. I have managed to maintain a normal weight 130lb (6,3 feet) but I can't lose any fat (I have it about 28%). I have been doing cardio for 5 hours in a week and weight lifting 3 hours in a week. I am going to cut 3 hours off it in next months.
Now I have started to increase my calories slowly from 800 to 1200 and I am getting hunger signals. I haven't have those in years. So, when I got hunger signal should I increase my calories? Those signals comes often in evenings after 1 hour when I have eaten all my meals. Should I increase my calories immediately or wait? I increased my calories about week ago. Can I do the increasing this fast? I am so lost in here.. help me please.

Jonathan E
12-11-2012, 01:51 AM
Hi!
Hopefully someone can answer my questions. I got hypothyroidism two years ago. Before that I had dieting for 20 years almost all the time. Before I got sick I was on low carb-diet first time and it last for 8 months. I have managed to maintain a normal weight 130lb (6,3 feet) but I can't lose any fat (I have it about 28%). I have been doing cardio for 5 hours in a week and weight lifting 3 hours in a week. I am going to cut 3 hours off it in next months.
Now I have started to increase my calories slowly from 800 to 1200 and I am getting hunger signals. I haven't have those in years. So, when I got hunger signal should I increase my calories? Those signals comes often in evenings after 1 hour when I have eaten all my meals. Should I increase my calories immediately or wait? I increased my calories about week ago. Can I do the increasing this fast? I am so lost in here.. help me please.

A lot to work with here..and hoping some better suited guys with nutrition can jump in here also:

First off..your calorie intake is almost scary to me. You're most likely not losing any more weight (Which is a whole other issue since I think being 6 foot 3 and 130lb is way to light) because your body is simply in starvation mode. Your calories are so low your body is just doing its best to hold on to everything. (In essence) You say you want to lose BF but even if thats successful you'd been in the 115-120 lb range which is just ridiculous for your height. I wouldn't be surprised if some areas of sickness for you are being caused by it. So as far as a plan of action:

-I would first make sure you are up to pace with your doc as far as your health goes.
-Cut the cardio to a bare minimum and get on a simple workout schedule to build on some muscle which will aid you in your weight and BF in the long run.
-Continue SLOWLY (cant stress that enough) adding a couple hundred calories to your diet every couple weeks. Cut the "Low-carb, whatever" diets. Its unnecessary and bullshit. You can be successful eating a wide array of normal foods as long as you are keeping track of those calories and nutrients.

It is my opinion that once you get a higher maintenance calorie level with some added muscle and weight that you can begin your quest to lose some excess Body Fat. This will take some time...but I think it by far a better option.

Hoping some others will give their inputs on this too.

Doll
12-11-2012, 02:37 PM
I just realized this metabolic damage thing 2 days ago.. luckily I started to increase my calories earlier. I am not anymore on a low carb-diet and never will be again. And like I said I am going to cut 3 hours of cardio off as soon as possible, 1 hour a week.
I read instructions from some website from this problem and it said that I should not drop all the cardio at once because then my body will gain lot of fat especially when I have dieting for years. I am a girl and thats why I want to do this increasing of my calories by taking as less as fat that is possible. I cut all the cardio last spring when I started to lift weights and I gained a lot of fat and I don't want to be in that situation again. I managed to change my body composition little bit by adding cardio. That's why I am going to keep little amount of cardio in my exercises and just increase calories. Hypothyroidism is a disease which has huge affect to slow metabolism down and that's why I can't do everything so quickly or drop all the cardio off.

I watched a youtube video (below) about things that I should increase my carbs to my meals after exercises slowly (adding just 10g of carbs) in one month until carbs are up to 300 or over. And this recovery would take about 1-2 years. I know that this problem do not solve fast because I have caused it to my self during past 20 years.
My aim is grow some muscles after I have increased my calories. I know that muscles do not grow if my calories are too low. Sorry about my english it is not my mother language so I hope you can understand what I am saying.

I just wanted some instructions from someone who has work with this problem before and who knows how to avoid gaining so much fat. I am a newbie and I have started lifting weights just 10 months ago. Here is a link to the instructions. What do you think about his method?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHHzie6XRGk&feature=player_embedded

Jonathan E
12-12-2012, 01:23 AM
I just realized this metabolic damage thing 2 days ago.. luckily I started to increase my calories earlier. I am not anymore on a low carb-diet and never will be again. And like I said I am going to cut 3 hours of cardio off as soon as possible, 1 hour a week.
I read instructions from some website from this problem and it said that I should not drop all the cardio at once because then my body will gain lot of fat especially when I have dieting for years. I am a girl and thats why I want to do this increasing of my calories by taking as less as fat that is possible. I cut all the cardio last spring when I started to lift weights and I gained a lot of fat and I don't want to be in that situation again. I managed to change my body composition little bit by adding cardio. That's why I am going to keep little amount of cardio in my exercises and just increase calories. Hypothyroidism is a disease which has huge affect to slow metabolism down and that's why I can't do everything so quickly or drop all the cardio off.

I watched a youtube video (below) about things that I should increase my carbs to my meals after exercises slowly (adding just 10g of carbs) in one month until carbs are up to 300 or over. And this recovery would take about 1-2 years. I know that this problem do not solve fast because I have caused it to my self during past 20 years.
My aim is grow some muscles after I have increased my calories. I know that muscles do not grow if my calories are too low. Sorry about my english it is not my mother language so I hope you can understand what I am saying.

I just wanted some instructions from someone who has work with this problem before and who knows how to avoid gaining so much fat. I am a newbie and I have started lifting weights just 10 months ago. Here is a link to the instructions. What do you think about his method?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHHzie6XRGk&feature=player_embedded

A few things:

1-I agree, do not just drop all your cardio all at once since you have been doing a decent amount for a long time. Wane off it slowly but do not be afraid to cut it all eventually.

2-When you say you dropped cardio and took on weight lifting and gained a lot of fat, it might be possible you're just not used to seeing new muscle growth. The only way you would see fat gain substantially is if you really increased your calories which was far from what you were actually doing..

3-cardio really doesn't change your figure in my opinion..diet does. So this brings me back to point 1 and 2.

Overall that guy is pretty accurate with what he is saying..basically saying your issue in a nutshell. Your metabolism is most likely fucked with the condition of your training and diet for the extent of time you've employed them. Again..I would stick to the basics:

Start tracking your calories and start taking an extra 200-300 a week. You should be aiming for a pound or even two a week. Once you stall at your bodyweight, add another 200-300 cals. While doing this you need to be on a good strength training program in order to put these extra calories to use. Search through these forums for some ideas. Nothing crazy, just some compound movements to get some muscle on you. YOU WILL gain some fat and appear to be 'bigger.' Don't fret. You need to remember your end goal and how you need get there. You getting 'bigger' will just give you something to work with in the long run and is a necessary bi-product of trying to fix your metabolism which is the main issue at hand. Continue to wane off your cardio also as stated during this time. Like the dude in the video said: once you get to a healthier bodyweight with some extra mass on your frame..and a better metabolic rate..and overall a healthier you..you can begin your desired quest to lose body fat. Just remember that it will take time and work. As crazy as it sounds..you need to eat more and get bigger to get 'smaller' in the long run.

Allen Cress
12-12-2012, 05:20 AM
I see many red flags in your situtation. Calories are way to low, especially for your height, regardless of how much fat or muscle you have. Weighing 130 lbs at that height is absolutely asking for trouble. I don't know why or how you ended up at this weight but things need to change ASAP. You need guidance in this type of situation whether its from a doctor or coach who has experience with this. Mentally and physically this will take a toll on your body.

There is no one way to fix things and anyone saying there is is full of shit. I was mentored under the coach who coined this termed and has done a ton of research on the matter. Realize you need to get out of the mentality of "dieting" and traditional cardio is definitley soemthing you do not need. Its hard to say what exactly you need to be doing without a proper assessment, but in general eat more food, don't worry about timing carbs or meals and get away from cardio. You don't need to burning off any more calories, weight training is enough at this point.

Jonathan E
12-13-2012, 01:33 AM
There is no one way to fix things and anyone saying there is is full of shit.

I hope this wasn't directed at me. The pointers I listed I think will help her for the time being in order to get on the right track. Even if they are baby steps.

Allen Cress
12-13-2012, 08:43 AM
I hope this wasn't directed at me. The pointers I listed I think will help her for the time being in order to get on the right track. Even if they are baby steps.

Not at all. It was geared to so called gurus that are just trying to sell their services making false promises.

Doll
12-13-2012, 12:50 PM
Thank you for your help. I will do the changes and hopefully I can get on a right track eventually. Reason why I am in this stage is that my metabolism slow down when I was age 16. Back then I didn't know what to do but cut my calories off. Nowadays I think I got the hypothyroidism already back then but doctors did not found it. This has been only way until now to me how I can keep my body in some shape. In my home country 130lb is a normal weight for 6,3 feet tall person and that weight is also in that range (range is 108lb-138lb) what my doctor recommend to me. I know that if you have lot of muscle then that range is not right and my doctor knows it also. But since I don't yet have muscles (my calories has been to low) that is right range for now (I believe my doctor).

I just run into this metabolic damage 2 days ago and I realize that there is a possibility for me to increase my calories and eat normal amount of food. I have been thinking before that it is not possible to eat that much because I have the disease. Now I know that is not true. My doctor do not give any advise me from foods and amounts that I should eat.

I know that to increase my metabolism I have to gain weight and fat. I will try my best.

mike95763
12-13-2012, 02:26 PM
I am a bit confused as to how a doctor could say 108-138 lbs is normal for a 6 feet 3 inch (190.5 cm) tall person. A range of 108-138 lbs is a normal BMI for a person that is 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) tall.

Doll
12-13-2012, 03:02 PM
I am a bit confused as to how a doctor could say 108-138 lbs is normal for a 6 feet 3 inch (190.5 cm) tall person. A range of 108-138 lbs is a normal BMI for a person that is 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) tall.Sorry my mistake I use centimeters and I have type it accidentally wrong. I am 5,3 and 160cm.

Jonathan E
12-13-2012, 07:03 PM
Sorry my mistake I use centimeters and I have type it accidentally wrong. I am 5,3 and 160cm.

Well this changes a few things.... lol. Your weight is no longer a scary issue then. However, all the advice already said to you still applies.

Doll
12-13-2012, 09:46 PM
Yes.. I was wondering how big should get then? After all this is a forum called wannabe big.. hahahaha :D

I bought a Scott Abel's ebook from metabolic damage. Maybe there are some instructions what I can follow.

Jonathan E
12-14-2012, 08:41 PM
Yes.. I was wondering how big should get then? After all this is a forum called wannabe big.. hahahaha :D

I bought a Scott Abel's ebook from metabolic damage. Maybe there are some instructions what I can follow.

In my opinion you shouldn't set a goal for "how big" you should get, rather how long it takes until you can maintain your body weight at a healthy caloric maintenance level.