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


Recovery Process + Weight Gain + Maitenance Explained!!!


Quote  |  Reply

I know that a lot of the people around here follow Gwyneth's processes and I would like to clarify a few things that I agree with and don't agree with.  My knowledge comes from my personal recovery, nutrition credits through a community college (I have enough to be a certified nutritionist but i am not of age quite yet to take the exam and get my license), plus and internship 2-3 times a week with the nutritionist who helped me recover.  I have also attended a few national nutrition seminars/conferences recently.  

I'm going to start when you first start out upping your calories.  I recommend upping your calories gradually so that your body has time to adjust and the water retention and initial weight gain will not be so bad.  Both of these are huge triggers and  when I help people recover, it is my goal to minimize these the most I possibly can.  I have several tips on how to reduce these including: 

  • Eat calorie dense foods.  These are foods with high nutritional value and a low surface area.  By doing this you will get more nutrients but your body will not have as much to process through so the feeling of food sitting in your stomach will be minimized.
  • Do not eat artificial sweeteners.  They are not calorie dense foods and they will cause water retention.
  • Drink a good amount of water.  By doing this, it will prevent the storage of water.

I recommend upping by 100-200 calories every three to five days.  This way, like I said before, your body will have time to adjust to the new intake and you won't feel as "big".  You continue increasing until you are at a minimum of 2500 calories but I do recommend increasing as high as you can.  Something to remember though is that ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!!! This means that some people will gain on 2500 calories and will recover.  Others may eat 4000+ gain and recover.  I believe that it is a matter of what you feel comfortable with: gaining slowly or quickly.  In my personal experience, I started out gaining slowly (1 lb per week) but then I decided that by doing it that slowly I was allowing myself more time for relapse and prolonging recovery so I upped to 4000+ so that I could get better faster.  That is what worked for me, but I have worked with lots of other people who stayed between 2500-3000 to gain slower and have successfully recovered.  It is what you think will make you the most successful in recovery!!

Now I am going to discuss what makes you at a healthy weight.  I knew that I hit my set point weight when a number of things happened.  I was at a healthy body fat percentage (19-20%).  BMI is also an indicator but it is not the most accurate, but it will give you a rough idea.  I felt stronger and I had energy.  My hair and skin looked healthy.  But the most important thing was that my mind was working right.  I could see the logic behind what people had been telling me for ages.  I could focus and remember things.  I still had some body image issues, but I was able to work on them in therapy because my mind worked and I was perceptive and able to understand everything!!!  All in all, I was clearly a healthy person inside and out.  So the weight you maintain is in a medically healthy range where your mind and body work to the best of their ability.  

How do you maintain your weight?  Well depending on how you chose to recover (fast or slow) it will vary.  The thing that my nutritionist had me do was start to add my hunger cues in.  Also, at this point I was able to do either yoga/Pilates or walking for exercise.  I gradually started to notice when I was hungry and the amounts that made me satisfied.  The final step that I took was to stop measuring/weighing my foods all together.  Now I don't count calories and I eat only when I'm hungry and stop when I'm not.  I eat things that taste good and I don't have fear foods.  Food is just food and a part of living.  To me, this is what recovered looks like and it feels GREAT!!!

Sorry this got so long but I wanted to be thorough!  If you have any questions or concerns then please comment or PM me!!!  Best of luck to everyone in recovery and you CAN do this!!!! :)

EDIT: I do want to say that I do not want to bash anyone who believes in Gwyneth's methods or anyone who has had success with it before.  I think that she has helped a lot of people and I give her a lot of respect for that.  This is based on what I have learned through my experiences and other people that I have helped recover.  This is in no way to say that she is illegitimate in her methods or is giving false information or anything like that. 

5 Replies (last)

...............................

I agree with you and have been struggling for 29 years with anorexia,spit/chew,purging,binging with weights 68-185 pounds. I was told at my age and I will never get periods again due to cervical cancer,ablation etc., that I do not need 2000 plus to gain.Gwyneth has a specialty in allergies,gastro. and that is great but the same approach does not work for all.I actually gained on 1200-1400 calories daily and even at healthy weight for me,my mom and sister gained on over 1600-1700 calories.I hate the Minnesota Starvation reference because they did not have eds and were men.By the way I get edema all the time but it runs in my family whom is all over weight.Thanks for this post!!

Thanks for this! I think it's important that people read and understand this. xoxo

Original Post by iwikiba2:

I agree with you and have been struggling for 29 years with anorexia,spit/chew,purging,binging with weights 68-185 pounds. I was told at my age and I will never get periods again due to cervical cancer,ablation etc., that I do not need 2000 plus to gain.Gwyneth has a specialty in allergies,gastro. and that is great but the same approach does not work for all.I actually gained on 1200-1400 calories daily and even at healthy weight for me,my mom and sister gained on over 1600-1700 calories.I hate the Minnesota Starvation reference because they did not have eds and were men.By the way I get edema all the time but it runs in my family whom is all over weight.Thanks for this post!!

Actually, the Minnesota Starvation Study is a pretty good reference. I'm a male who has been recovering and I relate to it to a tee.

missrising: Hi!  What I do agree with is the 2500 for females and 3000 for men and teenagers.  I think that most of her concept are true and they work, but my biggest thing is that she does not let you learn to listen to your body through intuitive eating when they are weight restored.  The reason I am a huge activist for this is because I feel like it helps build a healthy relationship between your mind and body.  I do agree with MOST of what she says except the maintenance part and some of her numbers are generalized but usually are correct for most people.  I do not mean to discredit her AT ALL and I do know that she is EXTREMELY smart and helpful in recovery!  I basically just like what my nutritionist had me do (and other people that I help her see) to maintain and I really think it helps your overall body image.  That is my main point to posting this.  Sorry that I did not state that more clearly before.

iwihiba: I am happy that you found a recovery system that works for you!  I really support it when treatment teams give individualized plans because I feel that these help people the most and make people feel the best they possible can!  I wish you the absolute best!! :)

bergeramanda: You're welcome and you are so sweet!!! :)

christian: I am happy that the Minnesota Study helps you a lot!  I find it a useful reference in most people's cases and I wish you luck in recovery!! :) 

5 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement