So I was anorexic and my lowest weight was 87 Ibs (I am 163cm tall). About a month ago I started recovering and gaining weight. I consume 2000 calories a day. I googled it and it seems that to maintain this weight I should consume around 1500-1600 calories a day. So I calculated it 2000-1500=500 calories a day. So 500kcal x 7 days= 3500kcal a week. 3500 kcal is a pound, right? So I should be gaining around a pound a week. I step on the scale once a week, but the thing is I am actually gaining 2 Ibs a week. I don't understand why is this happening. a month ago I was 87 Ibs and now I am 95 Ibs. Please somebody help me, I don't know what to do, I really don't want to end up 150 Ibs.
Forgot to mention, I am 17 years old.
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First off, you WON'T end up at 150!!
When you first start gaining, you gain a lot of water (your body has been badly damaged by the anorexia, and retains water to help with repairs at a cellular level) so that gain of 8 lbs is not 'real'.
Secondly, to recover properly, and give your metabolism the kick start it needs, you should be eating 2,500+ calories a day (ideally 3,000+ for a teen, but let's go with 2,500 just for now!) -this not only helps you restore lost weight, but ensures that the unseen damage to your bones, muscles (including your heart), other organs (liver/kidneys etc), and even your brain is repaired. Yes, it really IS necessary to eat that amount!! - ultimately, a girl your age should be able to maintain on 2,200-2,700 calories a day. I maintain on 2,250-2,500 at age 42, with only walking as exercise - I never knew what it was like to enjoy food and not starve myself all the time before!!
You also have at least 20 lbs to go to get to a healthy weight - you need to aim for BMI 20+ in order to get all your hormone levels functioning again, (including periods, etc)
There is more information on this site:
It really made me see anorexia and weight very differently, and helped me get rid of anorexia once and for all after 28 years!
But if I consume 3,000kcal a day, that would be 3 Ibs a week, isn't that way too much? I really don't want a drastic weight gain.
Not really. If your metabolism is boosted to the extent that you need - for example - 2,250 just to maintain, (1,500 is the very lowest amount recommended for a totally sedentary teen as a weight LOSS amount, not mainteance) then only 750 calories a day goes into gaining weight. That's (750 x 7) = 5,250 surplus a week, which, divided by 3,500 needed to gain 1lb, = 1.5 lbs a week, which is great, as you have quite a way to go yet!
The thing is though, that weight gain slows down after a bit. It doesn't go on like it seems to have been doing for you. I know how hard this is to believe, and I sabotaged my own recovery literally 20-30 times over 28 years by getting scared of fast gaining and jumped back to starving myself again... honestly, it DOES stop! In fact (I'm way past my teens, so I gained on 2,500 not 3,000) at one point, I had to add an extra 250 calories a day as my weight plateaued at BMI 17.8, all with minimal exercise (walking 30-60 mins a day).
If you try searching this site (and the one in the link) for 'rapid weight gain' you'll find loads and loads of people worried about exactly the same thing, and lots of answers about how it really doesn't happen like that!
I can't even hit 150 on 2000 calories a day, and I sit in front of a computer all the time.
You're burning a lot of that off just by being alive. It's not 2000 extra calories, it's 2000 calories, total, out of which your body uses energy to breathe, pump blood, heal itself, grow, etc. If you were comatose, you'd still be using most of that 2000 calories.
The other thing--possibly the hardest thing--is to not panic. Your weight will probably bob up and down for awhile while your body repairs and adjusts itself. Don't sabotage it by being scared of the weight gain. It will fix itself as you become healthier (but you do have to commit to it and be willing to ride it out).
I am also in recovery, and while it seems scary, your body will slow down once it gets to where it needs to be. Hang tight!
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