Health & Support
Moderators: bierorama, ksylvan, nycgirl, autopilotfrank193, peaches0405


Meal Plan for the Recovering Bulimic


Quote  |  Reply

I am 19 years old and I am currently recovering from a very long bout of bulimia. I have not seen a nutritionist for personal reasons, however I am rethinking that option at the moment because the meal plan I came up with for myself has been unsuccessful because of my inability to stick to it and not want to purge. In the two weeks since stopping my b/p behavior, I have gained 10 pounds and it is making me stressed out and I am tempted to purge more and more. I am not sure if the weight gain is a natural response to recovery or if it is the way that I have been eating. I have eaten about 1500 to 1600 calories a day since stopping as well as exercising about 5 days a week for 40 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of calisthenics and strength exercises and according to all the information I have read, it takes about 2000 calories to maintain my weight at my age, height, weight and activity level so I am lost as to why I have gained!! I also have reactive hypoglycemia so it affects what and when I eat so it makes it slightly more difficult.

I would love to see anyone else's meal plans out there from other recovering bulimics...maybe it will help me to see what I should be eating. Also, if you have any tips on sticking to the meal plan that would be helpful as well and if you can tell me if my body is reacting typically to eating or any other cause of the weight gain.

Edited Aug 11 2008 21:29 by iae
Reason: Moved from Weight Loss to Health & Support
9 Replies (last)

Your body will plateau after a little while. Try not to worry about it to much. Right now your body is trying to hang onto every calorie you put into it, because it is not expecting them to there very long (ie. it anticipates that you are going to be purging).

Everyone's weight shoots up a couple pounds at the beginning of treatment, mainly due to water retention. Bulimia dehydrates you SO badly, as I am sure you know.


Again, it will level off. As an anorexic, I went from eating less than 500 kcal per day to needing 3000 just to maintain, I was as high as 3600kcal to gain weight at one point. However, I started out gaining on 1500-1800.

All I can tell you from vast experience is this:


You just tortured the ever loving crap out of your body for x number of years.  It hasn't the slightest idea what is going on right now---and it's clinging to healthy calories for dear life.  You're going to gain for a little while until you regain some balance---electrolytes, metabolism---it's all screwy right now.  There's truly nothing you can do about it, and your best bet is to come to terms with that fact.  You've gained a lot very fast, but please know this is a temporary thing and what you need to do to get healthy.  It blows like a hooker trying to pay rent (sorry.) but it's a small price to pay to defeat this wretched addiction. 


KEEP WORKING OUT.  Keep eating a reasonable amount of calories.  Eat small meals so as not to feel "stuffed" (for me, that's the biggest possible trigger, and I STILL suffer from it almost daily if I'm not extremely careful with my portions).  Use CC or another website to log what you eat....make sure you're getting a healthy amount of fiber and fat and protein. 


Time, kiddo.  It's going to take time.  And if you need to focus your strength on anything, it's keeping your head out of that bowl.  I'm sorry to be so crass, but it's an ugly disease and needs ugly images to remind us of that.  Try not to be too hard on yourself or your body---think of it as a relationship gone bad that you're trying to repair.  It's going to take some time and an investment of trust on BOTH your parts to heal.

 

 

thanks so much you guys! i feel a little less worried about the weight gain now...which seriously helps a ton. so i guess there's no way to make the weight stabilize quicker?? and is this like a pivotal time where i really cannot under any circumstances purge even a tiny bit or it will make the weight gain worsen and the water retention increase??...how long does it take for me to get my weight more level??...i'm just really kinda wishing it would hurry the hell up because i'm going on a cruise in two weeks and i don't want to be bloated or fat or anything...then i go back to college in september and i want my clothes to fit...it just sucks...do either of you have any more answers to my questions? oh yeah...and did either of you follow a meal plan?

as a recovering bulimic myself i can safely say i have gone over about a week without purging.you might need to eat more though, or eat more nutritious food. due to bulimia you have lost a lot of essential key nutrients and vitamins. bulimia also deprives your body of amino acids and electrolytes and throws them off balance. i highly recommend you keep on working out. its good for you too

.if you MAINTAIN on 2000 then why on earth are you eating 1500-1600?are you trying to lose weight?

if you are then you need to be reasonable with yourself.focus on your goals.right now losing weight should NOT be your goal. the main goal for you should be to stop purging which is the most fatal and detrimental that is taking place .

eat 2000 and maybe even a little over.( which is okay because now is definitely not the time to restrict yourself, when you restrict you have more urges to binge/purge)and become stable.


from personal experience every time i eat 1400-1600 i lose weight and then after a a few weeks i begin to gain like crazy.right now i seemingly maintain on 2800 with light activity and gain on 3400+.  what you are experiencing is water weight due to dehydration from purging and the lack of potassium and other essential minerals in the blood stream .please look at the weight gain forum and look at the topic "wash-out" phase. i know you may not be trying to gain weight but it will help to let you know whats going on and what will take place once you start to eat normally again.

 

you should also take a multi-vitamin every morning, and take a potassium and magnesium supplement for three days straight this should help.

you may have to eat more protein then the average person due to abnormal amino acid ratios.

also studies conducted at the university of Pittsburgh show that bulimics do in fact have abnormal levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.it is known that low levels of this chemical can leave you feeling depressed or down. to combat depressive feelings taking in vitamin D helps loads! seriously i take a teaspoon of cod liver oil everyday it has a 100%of vitamin D (gross i know but it really isn't that bad and you gotta do what you gotta do=] ) also getting in 30 minutes of just laying out in the sun helps also.

i hope this helps, i know the hell bulimia can bring after five years of it. i wish you the best

-meesh

 

#5  
Quote  |  Reply

Hi Kbaby,

 

I'm a recovering bulimic myself and went to group therapy for a few months to aid in my recovery. One of the first things our therapists did was hand us the Canada Food Guide (being in Canada). Our therapists did not expect us to be able to eat 2000 calories a day right off the bat, I've been in recovery for about six or seven months and I still haven't built up to that amount (regularly, I only eat about 1500 a day, but I'm not usually hungry for more). Keep in mind, it's okay to have set-backs once in a while on your recovery, we're human, that's what happens.

 

The reason your body is gaining so much weight, as my fellow writers have pointed out is because your body has been in starvation mode for a long period of time and is grabbing all the energy and nutrition it can to store it up for whenever it goes back into starvation. Once your body has returned to its healthy set-point, you will probably drop five to ten pounds. Keep up the exercise, but don't overdo it! You probably only need to be exercising for half an hour a day to stay in shape... and you don't want to overdo it. Oftentimes bulimics will direct their weight-losing energies elsewhere when in recovery (so... we cop-out, I sure did. When I began my recovery I was at the gym for about an hour and a half to two hours every day if I could manage it).

 

Whatever happens, just stick to eating at least 1500 a day and push up to 2000 if you can. If you feel like you don't want to eat the cookie because you're afraid you'll be tempted to throw-up, don't eat it. It's easier on your mind :) Good luck!

 

I'm a recovering bulimic myself (just a few days over 3 weeks since my last binge/purge).  I never really struggled too much with eating normally, and I didn't purge all my meals.  Simply, every time I craved anything sweet I couldn't just give myself a small amount.  I couldn't eat a bite of a brownie or half a cookie, or hell..even just one cookie.  I had to eat the whole damn plate with sips of milk in between just so I could get it all back up.  I guess it got worse though when I would only binge on sweets after a meal, so essentially I was getting all of that up as well.  I was running on about 2 meals a day, and I never lost a pound and I really think it's because my body was holding on to the two meals because it was afraid I wouldn't keep them in.  After three weeks of not purging, I haven't gained a pound, but I haven't lost a pound.  It's insanely difficult for me to stay strong though because I STILL want to lose weight.  I'm 165 lbs and actually just had my body fat percentage read today, and it's at 25%.  My doctor is putting me on a very low carb, high protein diet.  I'm 5'10, so she said my weight is already healthy, but I need to transfer more of my body fat into muscle.  I think exercise and a healthy diet low in sugar and carbohydrates would be healthy, filling, and help you to feel more satisfied throughout the day.  I know another girl on CC who is trying to recover from bulimia and she too is trying a similar diet.  Just my 2 cents.

i did the american diabetes association meal plan.

please see a counselor. food is not the answer. you can "fix" your eating, but it'll still be in your head.

Bucketofglitter:

Thanks for the help. I also have reactive hypoglycemia so in the 3 days of full no b/p in a row I've been actually taking care of myself and following a diet extremely similar to the one you described. right now i eat about every 2-3 hours that i'm awake and i eat distribute my fat/protein through all my mini meals to keep my blood sugar stable for when i eat carbs. so far i've already started losing my water weight and i'm so happy about it. i also feel satisfaction from knowing that i can take care of myself and eat and not gain weight because i'm not bingeing on everything.

when i was b/p-ing i lost a good amount of weight - i'd say about 20 pounds and then when i stopped i gained about 10 in water weight, which like i said i'm already beginning to lose. i think that you probably didn't lose weight or gain weight when you were bingeing and purging because you only did it every once in a while for when you wound up bingeing on sweets. i think you're probably right about your body holding on to the two meals as well. when i was fully in the grips of bulimia it was all i could do and it was all i spent my time doing - a day would be constant bingeing and purging. i actually overdrew my checking account because i spent it all on food and just kept using the card even though i knew there wasn't any money in the account. my mom ended up paying for it and i felt awful but that didn't stop me from bingeing and purging. your case sounds less extreme, and i really hope you keep up the good work!

Original Post by canemma:

Hi Kbaby,

 

I'm a recovering bulimic myself and went to group therapy for a few months to aid in my recovery. One of the first things our therapists did was hand us the Canada Food Guide (being in Canada). Our therapists did not expect us to be able to eat 2000 calories a day right off the bat, I've been in recovery for about six or seven months and I still haven't built up to that amount (regularly, I only eat about 1500 a day, but I'm not usually hungry for more). Keep in mind, it's okay to have set-backs once in a while on your recovery, we're human, that's what happens.

 

The reason your body is gaining so much weight, as my fellow writers have pointed out is because your body has been in starvation mode for a long period of time and is grabbing all the energy and nutrition it can to store it up for whenever it goes back into starvation. Once your body has returned to its healthy set-point, you will probably drop five to ten pounds. Keep up the exercise, but don't overdo it! You probably only need to be exercising for half an hour a day to stay in shape... and you don't want to overdo it. Oftentimes bulimics will direct their weight-losing energies elsewhere when in recovery (so... we cop-out, I sure did. When I began my recovery I was at the gym for about an hour and a half to two hours every day if I could manage it).

 

Whatever happens, just stick to eating at least 1500 a day and push up to 2000 if you can. If you feel like you don't want to eat the cookie because you're afraid you'll be tempted to throw-up, don't eat it. It's easier on your mind :) Good luck!

 

 I feel the same way! I've been trying to eat the amount of calories I know I need to maintain my weight, but I find it really difficult to eat it all because I'm just not hungry for it. It's kind of funny how you go from bingeing and eating thousands of calories at once to normal eating and not even being able to eat the amount of calories you need to maintain weight. Right now I'm eating about 1300-1400 calories a day even though I'm usually not hungry for the last 200 calories I eat. I'm at the point where I can't just eat the cookie, or anything really where I can't be SURE how many calories are in it...but I'm hoping that will improve to the point where I don't have to think about the amount of calories and just eat until i'm not full but not hungry either.

I haven't been over-doing the exercise, mainly out of self control. I really have to just tell myself to stop and sometimes I say it out loud even when I'm at the gym...haha, but i really have to in order to keep myself from going for 2 hours.

thanks so much for the info - it just helps me to be prepared for what's normal in recovery and to know that i'm not the only one experiencing these things and to have people further down the road in recovery to help me understand why my body is reacting the way it is.

hope you continue strong with your recovery! keep it up!

9 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement