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4 Quick & Easy Ways to Reset Your Metabolism

  • Is it actually true that you may have done permanent damage to your metabolism as a result of your long-term starving, binging and purging?
  • Do you feel like every bite of food you eat gets stored as fat on your body instead of getting burned as energy like your metabolism should be doing for you?
  • Are you eating less food, exercising more, and still finding that your body is either only able to maintain your current weight, or maybe even gaining weight?
  • Does this ‘calories in – calories out’ calculation, that should be working but isn’t, make you suspicious that your metabolism is shot for good?

Many eating disorder sufferers feel like their metabolism is completely out of whack and that despite their desire to ‘eat like a normal person’ they are unable to do so because their bodies seem to store every calorie they eat, and it feels far to triggering to handle.

I totally understand why you might feel like you are now doomed to starving yourself forever just to maintain your current weight.

I remember feeling exactly the same way when I stepped out of my own starvation, binge & purge cycle, and started on my eating disorder recovery journey.

Let me assure you that your metabolism is not ruined forever.

Your metabolism is actually just waiting for you to take a few key actions, so that it can return to functioning at optimal levels.

It is true however that a period of adjustment, patience and understanding about what is physically happening in your body will be needed to allow your body to adjust to being respected, loved and fed.

It’s no wonder that when you start to feed your body real food, when you start to respect its hunger signals, and even when you ease up on your previously extreme levels of punishing exercise, that you may see your body gaining weight.

Your body really has no idea whether this is the ONLY meal you will be giving it today, or what future abuse it may or may not have to plan ahead to deal with.

Your body is hoping that this is finally the end of you abusing it and the start of a healthy and respectful food and exercise routine, but how does it know?

Here is how you can renew trust between you and your body:

Time + Consistency = Trust.

Your body will learn to trust you, if you show it that you will listen, respect and love it by giving it the nutrients, exercise and self-care that it needs, consistently and over a period of time.

You see it knows your ‘on-again~off-again’ patterns all too well… your ‘love you today, hate you tomorrow’ messaging has impacted its trust in you… and it will take time to earn that back.

Now that we know that you have to be consistent over a period of time… what do you have to be consistent WITH? What are some of the action steps to restoring your body’s trust in you and therefore allowing it to return to optimal metabolic functioning?

Here are a few key actions from my  “Holistic Eating Disorder FREEDOM Program” that will get you started respecting your body and regaining the metabolic revving power you want and need.

STEP #1: Respect your body’s hunger messages.

When your body asks for food, give it food.

This seems simple, but yet it is one of the most effective ways to coax your metabolism back to optimal functioning.

Ignoring hunger messages slows your metabolism and conveys the message of famine, so your body compensates by storing every calorie you eat instead of burning calories to give you energy, boost your immunity and perform other vital functions within your body.

Satisfying your body’s hunger cues sends the message that you respect your body’s needs, and that you will care for it by giving it what it asks for. This allows your body to start directing energy, fuel and focus toward areas within your body it has been neglecting.

The common benefits from using this strategy include improved mental clarity, more stable emotions, and increased levels of energy.

STEP #2: Eat small meals frequently throughout the day.

Most of my clients find it easier to eat smaller more frequent meals when their hunger strikes, rather than sitting down to three larger meals per day.

This strategy is a great one since it is often far less mentally triggering for you during the recovery process to eat smaller sized portions. Also your digestive functioning has probably been impaired by your disordered eating habits, so treating it gently as it goes through the healing process is important.

The common benefits experienced from eating frequent smaller meals throughout the day include less gas, bloating and digestive discomfort, an increased feeling of peace during mealtime, and increased body temperature for those who typically lack internal body heat.

STEP #3: Choose nutrient dense high-value foods.

Eating ‘food volume’ is not the same as getting ‘nutrients from food’. You can actually be giving your body the message of famine simply be feeding it garbage junk-foods that it does not recognize and that don’t provide the necessary building blocks for proper metabolic function.

When choosing foods try to opt for lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, leafy greens and seeds so that your body is not only getting ‘bulk’ in the stomach, but it now has the vitamins, minerals, omegas, fibers, proteins and enzymes it needs to start to repair the damage caused by your disordered eating history.

Here is a mental image for you to connect the importance of nutrient dense foods in restoring metabolic function.

A woman who’s body weighs 280 pounds is likely sending exactly the same ‘starvation messages’ to their metabolic function as a woman who’s body weighs 80 pounds. Neither of these women are functioning at optimal metabolic health, immunity, digestion, elimination, energy levels, etc. Both of their bodies are crying out for REAL food, REAL nutrition, and REAL building blocks to create balance, health and vitality.

Another thing to keep in mind is that food volume does not necessarily shut off your body’s hunger signals. If you eat nutritionally void foods, even though your stomach is full, your body is still lacking in vital nutrients and will continue to ask for food until it gets what it needs.

This can lead to binge eating and/or overeating, which often is the first stage in your return to restriction, starvation and purging in trying to ‘make-up’ for it.

STEP #4: Drink a digestive helper at least 15 minutes prior to each meal.

Choosing nutrient dense food to eat is only part of the equation in making sure that your body benefits from actually receiving all the vitamins and minerals it so desperately wants and needs.

Your body’s ability to extract these nutrients from the food and actually put them to great use is often temporarily impaired as a result of your disordered eating history… especially in the beginning of your freedom journey.

This ‘nutrient extraction’ process involves many functions… the first of which is digestion. Low levels of stomach acid and a lack of stored enzymes within your body’s own supply can both prevent your body from actually getting the maximum benefit from the foods you are eating.

Here are a few easy to make digestive helper drinks that will help:

  1. A glass of luke-warm water with freshly squeezed lemon
  2. A glass of luke-warm water with 1-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  3. A warm cup of real ginger tea (optional: add freshly squeezed lemon)

** Remember that it is important to drink this prior to your meal, and not with your meal as drinking during meals dilutes your digestive juices and actually reduces your body’s ability to digest properly.

Drinking a digestive helper 15-30 minutes prior to your meal is ideal.

RECAP: 4 Quick & Easy Ways to Hit the Reset Button on Your METABOLISM

1Respect your body’s hunger messages: this conveys the message to your body there is no emergency, no state of famine, and no need to store every calorie you eat in order to plan ahead or save your life.

2Eat small frequent meals throughout the day: this strategy emphasizes your commitment to consistently respecting your body’s needs, facilitates your digestion, and reduces the panic often associated with eating larger meals during recovery. This strategy also capitalizes on the ‘thermogenic effect’ of foods, ie. the energy cycle that is driven by your body’s digestive efforts.

3Choose nutrient dense, high-value foods: this ensures that you are not only getting ‘food volume’ but that you are providing nutrients to your body that it needs to begin your physical healing process and build a beautiful, strong lean body for you. Nutrient dense foods turn on your metabolic revving power and encourage your body to burn existing fat stores as fuel.

4Drink a digestive helper 15-30 minutes prior to each meal: optimal digestion is one of the many processes involved in restoring your metabolism back to 100% functioning. If your body eats food without getting the true nutrient value from the food, then it is less likely to shut OFF the ‘emergency famine response’ and turn ON your metabolic revving power. So drink up your digestive helpers and support the vitamin and mineral delivery to your body.

Remember: Time + Consistency = TRUST.

Your body WILL act in its own best interest… once it is convinced that YOU are now doing the same :)

Shan is her own “Eating Disorder FREEDOM” success story, and is committed to helping other women still struggling with disordered eating to claim their OWN freedom from this deadly disorder.

Since achieving total 100% FREEDOM from her eating disorder,  Shan has created multiple eating disorder treatment programs and courses for women who are suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, emotional eating, orthorexia, and many other ‘grey areas’ that fall within the definition of disordered eating.

Shan’s Clients…

  • Get closure on your past hurts, habits and hangups specific to the root cause of your disordered eating habits.
  • End ‘internal head chatter’ that sabotages your self-perception.
  • Incorporate the BEST all-natural supplements that support emotional balance, improve digestion, increase energy, regulate sleep, stabilize mood, and enhance feelings of joy in your life.
  • End junk food cravings and sugar addictions.
  • Break away from the sabotaging beliefs, thoughts and behaviours caused by perfectionism, depression, panic and anxiety.
  • Get you in touch with your own ‘food intuition’ so that you choose foods that nourish YOUR unique body, mind, soul, biochemistry and personality.

To learn more about how YOU can work with Shan, CLICK HERE.

Share YOUR Thoughts

  1. Julie
    Julie05-20-2012

    Hi everyone,

    Shan, this is hopeful information. I was in the emergency room yesterday and last night with digestive problems. I left feeling pretty discouraged. The ED is very bad right now, behavior-wise, I must admit, and to have slowed digestion makes it worse. I think the slowed digestion is CAUSING some of these ED behaviors! So to attack this problem on a nutritional level makes a lot of sense. I like that your smoothies aren’t too threatening or scary for me. The first time I had one of the smoothies it was like my body was sighing, “Thank you!”

    It would really help my self esteem if I didn’t have this edema. My ankles are huge! I have been adding dandelion greens to my smoothies because I heard that this vegetable can help. What else would you suggest?

    Julie

  2. jessica
    jessica03-08-2012

    Love the idea of gentleness towards my body to help heal it from the harshness of before. Thank you!

  3. K
    K02-29-2012

    Hi Shan,

    I am so embarrassed to admit my problem, but I have developed an awful habit of chewing and spitting food…I cringe to even write this! I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have attempted to quit, but the anxiety I feel (when I try to quit) is absolutely terrifying. I am ready to change…but I don’t think I can do it on my own. What do I do to begin your coaching program?

    Sincerely,
    K

    • Shan
      Shan03-02-2012

      Hi K,

      If you contact me through the ‘contact form’ on my blog I will send you the latest update on dates I expect to have program openings. I have a LOT of messages to return in there but I am trying to get through them quickly :) Hang in there hun… you can totally get FREE from this. It may seem impossible right now but when you get the support and information you NEED it can totally happen for you. Shan ox

  4. Amanda
    Amanda02-06-2012

    I am also struggling with digestive issues, and I guess that I am sort of impatient with switching from my old stand-by of purging to eating healthy foods. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, and I already drink a ton of water during the day. But I was wondering if there some “markers” that I should be noticing as my body realizes that I am not going purge or stave my body. I have been living like this for 12 years or so which is more than half my life. I guess I don’t know what normal is anymore. I am so glad to hear that there is hope by finding my “food fingerprint”. Also do you have any tips on going about doing that? This is a whole new world of food and eating for me, are there any tricks to navigating the world of natural foods?

    • Shan
      Shan02-07-2012

      Hi Amanda… of COURSE I have LOTS of wisdom to share about finding your ‘happy place’ in digesting foods and healing your body. Stay tuned as I am going to launch a PRE-Home-Study-Course that will allow you to partner with me for a health assessment, food plan, and follow up coaching session to make sure you are on track! Shan :)

      • Laura
        Laura08-28-2012

        Hope your program is coming out soon. Hope you can give us the potential dates for it.
        thanks, laura

  5. Mol
    Mol02-04-2012

    Hey Shan, thanks for the great article! As for myself, I don’t find it easy to gain weight. I actively am trying to eat more healthy fats, carbs and vegan protein and still find it very hard to gain. My question is, rather than metabolism, is it possible to reverse the damage done to my digestive system? I have done many of those things you suggested by cutting caffeine, alcohol and processed foods, drinking tons of water, live and raw foods, fiber, etc. etc. but I still have many digestive distresses. I know it is a result of purging for so long, but I just need to have hope that things will get back to normal for me :(

    • Shan
      Shan02-04-2012

      Hey Mol, it is ABSOLUTELY possible to heal your digestion. MINE WAS A MESS. I had to find the RIGHT foods, eating habits and supplements FOR ME… when I follow that I am GOLDEN! Don’t worry this is NOT a life sentence… that is great that you have cut caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and are drinking more water, eating more live foods & fiber… there are PLENTY more steps to be considered… and just a few of them would probably make a HUGE difference for you. I help each of my 1:1 coaching clients find what works for them… it is called your “Food Fingerprint”… yours is unique to you. Just takes some guidance and coaching to find it :) Shan ox

      • Mol
        Mol02-04-2012

        Thanks Shan, that gives me more hope! Because some days I just break down and think I can’t live like this anymore, somethins gotta give! I am in discomfort nearly daily. I will continue to work hard at it.

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