Weight Gain
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Gained 10 lbs in starvation mode recovery.


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Stats: 5'4, 19, started refeeding at 131lbs (where I stopped losing weight) and now at 141lbs. 

Hi all- 

I'm currently recovering from starvation mode or whatever you want to call it. I went from eating about anywhere from 200-800 cals a day (2 weeks ago) to now eating anywhere between 1800-2100 cals a day which is what my maintenance is. I'm not sure if I just upped my calories too fast or if my body is just gaining weight rapidly from all the food it's now getting but I'm not going to lie.. even after reading that it's mostly water weight and that my health is the most important thing in the long-run, I can't help but still feel really sad about the 10 pounds I gained in a little under a week of refeeding! I don't exactly feel bloated or anything.. I just feel "fat" because I'm not used to my body being this puffed up. I've been doing some light exercising but I'm just feeling extremely discouraged from the rapid weight gain. When will my body trust me again and how will I know??? I would just like some words of advice/support/encouragement or anything.. please. Thanks.

P.S. - I'm not underweight or anything. I'm upping my intake so I can reach my maintenance level and then have my metabolism return to normal so that it will stop holding onto everything I eat.

19 Replies (last)

hi!

congratulations on getting back on track with eating healthy! :D *claps* dont worry, at some point we have all felt the way you are feeling right now, and you didn't up your cals to fast. just perfect actually^.^ as you said you already know--water weight! what i would do to get rid of it (so you can find your actual weight-minus water) is switch to 5-6 meals instead of 3, drink even more water, and take long brisk/slow walks. it helps you feel better<3

just keep on eating that 1800-2100 calories and everything will work handy, dandy and taste like brandy! :D good luck and i hope your metabolism goes back to normal!!

This is hard I know but your body is so confused and retaining fluids from being so underfed. I think it is great you are taking control of your health. I do think you need to go to the gp because when fluid retention sometimes needs to be monitored. I had severe edema in my recovery and it was important to be checked.

It is hard to sit with the uncomfortable feelings and unknown you are going through but the only way to get better. Your body will trust you again if you give it what it needs and are consistent. It takes time and that varies from person to person. Remind yourself of the facts that it takes 3500 extra to gain a pound,that your body is holding onto fluids,your metabolism is slow but will speed up in time.

oh my god!

you are SO not alone!! im going through the same exact thing!!

i am 5'2 and started refeeding at 115 lbs and am now up to like, 123!! i feel that "fat" feeling, none of my clothes fit like they used to, and im miserable. ive been like this since october when i started the refeeding, and have been gaining steadily since. ive always been either overweight or mid normal range so im freaking out! i hate that im getting to be like how i was before the ed again, but my metabolism is so wacked :C

Original Post by taleenchan:

oh my god!

you are SO not alone!! im going through the same exact thing!!

i am 5'2 and started refeeding at 115 lbs and am now up to like, 123!! i feel that "fat" feeling, none of my clothes fit like they used to, and im miserable. ive been like this since october when i started the refeeding, and have been gaining steadily since. ive always been either overweight or mid normal range so im freaking out! i hate that im getting to be like how i was before the ed again, but my metabolism is so wacked :C

may i ask if the picture of you is recent? or is it from a while ago?

its from early november, a few weeks into refeeding. i was 117lbs then :C

I know, it's an awful feeling. Some articles I read said it could take up to 8-10 weeks? Some say even longer, some say it'll take as long as you were in starvation mode to get out of it.. so discouraging. I keep trying to remind myself it's just water weight and to not let the numbers on the scale get to me but it's definitely a trigger and I can't help but weigh myself a lot lol.  I'm just curious as to when I'LL know that my metabolism/body trusts me again. I'm definitely all for eating healthy which I have been, even when I was eating very little calories, I always made good choices besides the fact that I wasn't eating enough of those good choices. 

If anyone has recovered from starvation mode, how/when did you know when your metabolism was back to normal? Did the rapid weight gain (if you had any) suddenly drop? I'd really really like to know!!!!

/bump ?

for me, it took 6 months which was only 2 months shorter than the time i was an anorexic. it didn't hurt to eat anymore, and i could eat alot--but i just wasnt hungry. then finally after 6 months i was like "give.me.that.food.now!!" it rocked xD all i can say is that it takes time, but the harder you keep at it the faster it'll happen! :D :D oh, and as to the metabolism thing i dont really know what to say; depends on you i guess :3 i have an extremely fast metabolism, plus i exercise lots too. for me to really gain and be full i had to eat around 9000 calories a day :o i tried the suggested 3500 and lost way more weight than i had when starving myself >.<

oh and the weighing has to stop. my ED therapist said that it'll just slow you down because numbers can be quite triggering. i went from weighing myself 10+ a day(when i wake up, after shower, before breakfast, after breakfast, in the bathroom, before lunch, during lunch, etc.) to 0 :D also it's way last stressful after the first week! hope i helped! :D

Wow. 6 months is a long time. How much weight did you gain totally before you started to lose again? I'm trying not to weigh myself but it's very difficult.. did you ever eat OVER your maintenance intake? Mine is around 2000.. but sometimes I eat a little over it because I'm more hungry nowadays than I was while I was starving myself. Do you think this new hunger means I'm getting a little closer to being normal again? Thanks for your input by the way. 

bump

Anyone? Anyone at all? 

bumppp.

I had a friend ip who went through this. She was at a normal weight but she was malnurished and lacking calories. To recover from this she had to sit with the uncomfortable feels and unknown. Also had to accept gaining weight but as her metabolism sped up and her body trusted her she began to loose on the same amount and ended up needing more calories in the long run. It did take though I would say 6 months and that period was very hard. She had to learn to cope so in the long run she could have a normal and healthy life.

Everyone is different. All you can do is focus on today and what you need to do to get back to health. It will be scary but in the long run will make life easier. Being hungry is a good sign of your body getting back on track. It can take some like myself a very long time to have appropriate hunger cues. Being as consistent as you can with eating is going to help your body begin to trust

Original Post by waterandapples:

Anyone? Anyone at all? 

bumppp.

sorry for the late reply!! was busy the other day i had a swim meet and couldn't get everything done :p

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yup it is a long time>.< waiting for your metabolism isn't exactly the funnest part of recovery as you can probably tell by now

for me it was like this:

83pounds>>>94pounds>>>78pou nds>>>74pounds>>>90pounds&g t;>>97ishpounds(which is where i am now)

so i gained about 11 pounds before starting to loose again D: the 74-90 area was when i got my appetite back xD i pretty much binged my way up while exercising since i was in my om nom nom phase :D i actually still think im in that phase..but my nutritionist is being mean and not letting me do what i want because it's bad for my heart in the long run :s

i pretty much ALWAYS ate over my maintenance intake, but now i stay either 100 cals below, or right on the dot :D and yup i think that's what the hunger means. your so close!! :D :D try taking the batteries out of your scale and hiding them (i dropped mine in a glass of water so they wouldn't work anymore) that way you would still have access-but it wouldn't do much but stand there as a stool of some sort ^.^

and your welcome :D :D  

 

abbi,

this is my situation, too...did your friend eat maintenance calories during this time or did she have to eat more to compensate from restricting?  I'm also a normal weight but am gaining on 1500-1600, because I was so used to around 1100 - 1200 for so long.  Still not sure if 1500 - 1600 is enough.

Find your BMR, if you're still a teenager then there's a childrens BMR calculator on google somewhere. That's how I found my BMR out. To me, 2000 was a **** load after starving myself for so long but then slowly I got my appetite back. Another person on here wrote that they would often eat over their maintenance level to get out of starvation mode faster, I guess it's different for everyone. Once you figure out your true maintenance level (if 1500-1600 isn't your real one) then just slowly add 100 or so calories every week until you reach your true maintenance level. Sometimes trying too hard to eat your exact/over your maintenance level right away while recovering can lead to bloating or stomach pains. 

Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm getting thru this slowly.

it has been so difficult for me to find people in the same situation as mine. this should become a support group, for people who are getting out of starvation mode, gaining even thought theyre at a healthy weight. 

this has been so difficult for me; im on two antidepressants because of this which annoys me. and i go for therapy every week, sometimes twice. 

needless to say i am not coping with the weight gain very well.

what triggers these feelings is looking like i did before the ed, looking how i did when i ate unhealthy and too much.

it is maddening to be gaining on maintenance especially when i eat healthily :C

sad sad sad. this needs to become a support group, for real guys.

YES. I was prowling on these forums trying to find someone in a similar situation to mine but nobody that was at a healthy weight had gone too in-depth with their starvation mode recovery so that's why I made this post to find someone who wouldn't just lecture me about being a stupid teenager and to eat healthier. Trust me, I know how you feel because I'm in your shoes RIGHT NOW. I'm so afraid to go back to the way I looked before and it's extremely discouraging to see the weight gain, even if it's just water weight, we're still human and the numbers on the scale are still going to scare us. If it's not the numbers, it's what we see in the mirrors. But you've gotta stay strong, mind over matter. When I was eating under 800 calories everyday, I knew I was in starvation mode but I still had to research a ton and google a bunch of different articles and different opinions to see if eating more calories would even be worth it. At one point I thought to myself, well maybe I'll just stay in starvation mode, I won't lose any more weight but at least I'll stay this size. WRONG. I knew I looked so much better than how I did before when I was fatter but I had zero energy and I was so cold and tired all the time. I didn't realize it until I got on the treadmill, hit 2.5 (slow obviously) and was catching my breath and feeling lightheaded after 10 minutes of WALKING. I knew that if I didn't try to help myself now, I would eventually become someone who would put my health at risk just to look skinnier and "prettier" and that is not a goal any of us should be working towards. Our lives are very short and we should be treating our bodies like temples, not abusing it. But I'm not here to preach to you like I know better than you because I don't, I just want you to know that I'm just like you and going through what you're going through and I'm feeling really really discouraged too. I hope more people who are currently in or have gone through starvation mode (and recovered) with encouraging words or advice will post on this topic.

Btw- thanks klondikegirl3 for posting back! I'm happy that you're doing so well. My appetite is back so eating about 2000/day isn't that bad anymore so hopefully it gets better from here on out.

Original Post by amandapanda402:

abbi,

this is my situation, too...did your friend eat maintenance calories during this time or did she have to eat more to compensate from restricting?  I'm also a normal weight but am gaining on 1500-1600, because I was so used to around 1100 - 1200 for so long.  Still not sure if 1500 - 1600 is enough.

 No 1500-1600 is not enough unless your 80 and sedentary. Most young people to maintain should be able to eat over 2000. The only way to increase metabolism is to eat more. My friend was ip and had no choice but to eat a normal non diet plan. Right now you are on a diet meal plan for a middle age women. One you don't need to loose weight and you are a young person.

Water I don't think anyone thinks you are a stupid teenager. I am older then most here 32 and I know full grown adults who do the same. It is not about being stupid but about making poor choices for your body which is harder to get out of when you continue to make them because being underfed impacts the brain. You can get out of this cycle. It does not have to be all or nothing. It seems many feel they either have to be super thin or heavy. There is a happy medium. Often what a person who struggles with this see's in the mirro it is not accurate so you have to remind yourself of the facts.

For everyone getting out of starvation mode is not going to be a comfortable or happy experience in the now. In the long run though will make things healthier and happier in your life. The longer you continue to undereat the longer it will take for your body to bounce back and also more damage you will have that is not reversible.

Hope everyone nurishes there body and stays strong.

thanks for the responses, everyone.  waterandapples - i know how you feel; i'm not a teenager anymore (i'm 26), but my body is going through the same issues right now, too.  When I was your age I was at the beginning of this restriction cycle and feeling great...boy did it catch up with me!  I hope everyone will continue to share their struggles and successes throughout this healing process!

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