I'm new here, but I have been trying to recover from anorexia for the past 7 months, however, I do not have a good estimate of how much I should be eating (calorie-wise) in order to gain. I am 5 feet, 70 pounds and 21 if that helps. Is anyone else around my height/age and if so, how much (roughly) do you eat a day/what does your meal plan look like? I currently can't afford to see a nutritionist so I am trying to make my own meal plans (which does not work out too well as I tend to restrict).
All I can suggest at the minute is trying to go with what you fancy - if you crave bread, have it.. etc..breaking the rigidity is a key component in recovery
What sort of foods do you like? Try looking on the weight gainers what did you eat today thread for ideas. I'm also 21 and recovering from anorexia (mine was with a binge/purge sub-type though so quite different), but I am weight restored now though. Message me anytime for support!
Thanks! I love meats, veggies, fruits and chocolate. I'm not too much a fan of breads and starchy foods still "scare" me. I'm also allergic to milk and milk proteins so I can not take yoghurt or cheese. If you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?
2,500+ calories is the recommended calorie amount for a female over 4' 11" and over about 21 years old, (under 21 it's 3,000).
Try this thread for ideas of meals in that calorie range:
Thank you. Is that for someone who is inactive/leading a sedentary lifestyle, though?
During recovery, you SHOULD be inactive/sedentary; not just because it helps you gain/repair, but because you have (unknowingly - you can't feel it) damaged your organs - including your heart, and exercise is dangerous with a weakened heart.
Yes, you are right. I guess it "feels" like so much when I am not active, but you are correct! Must keep on resisting the urge to exercise! Thank you.
I'm 17 and 5'1, I started gaining at 75lbs so we're sort of similar. I had to start gaining as an inpatient. If you've been restricting (anything under 1000) for a long time or you've been abusing laxatives or purging or something, you need to increase your calories slowly because of refeeding syndrome. So they had me increase gradually - they started me on 700cals, then every 2 days bumped it up by 250 calories. They had three general plans for actual weight gain. The 2300cal plan which was the 'low' plan, very few people had this because it means you gain really slow which isn't the best for repairing your health. The 'regular' plan which was 2550, a lot of people were on this. And the 'full' plan was 3000 which I was put on - they either put you on this because you're not gaining a good amount on less (I was gaining under 1lb a week on regular after the first week on regular) or because you want to gain quicker and recover better since eating more means you repair more efficiently.
Sorry for going a bit off track but really the amount you eat is unique to you and your body, so I'd say gradually increase to at least 2250, stick with that for a week or two to see what happens and carry on increasing from there. My dietician has told me though that you cannot properly recover and restore your metabolism and repair your body on any less than 2250 calories a day. If you gain on under 2000, it's only because your metabolism is still suppressed and the only way to get it working again is to eat more! You'll gain rapidly at first (sorry to say) but after the first couple weeks it'll even out, nowadays I gain 1-2lbs a week on 3000 which is amazing really since before I could only maintain on a tenth of that! At first I had a strict plan of spacing it out in 3 ~700 cal meals and 3 ~300 cal snacks, but now I'm a bit more flexible and can eat more/less at meals and more/less at different snacks to fit me personally.
Hope I could help and don't hesitate to ask anything else xx
Thank you so much! I think I am still eating quite under the calorie recommendation then! I will be seeing a nutritionist mid-September but for now I definitely need to UP my intake! If you don't mind me asking, were/are you active/athletic?
I'm not currently allowed to do any exercise except for light yoga a maximum of 3x a week and 30mins light walking until my BMI is 17.5, but once I'm allowed to I plan on doing swimming and dance :) I've never been athletic, when I was disordered I walked 5-7 miles a day but didn't do other exercise.
Good luck upping your intake, I know it's so difficult to do on your own, but please keep fighting until your get to see a nutritionist! x
You are most amazing for answering my questions. Thank you so much. I wish you the best as well, my dear! We can keep fighting against ed and win this battle. I believe in you as well. <3
Breakfast - 30g oats, 100ml soy milk, 15g seeds, 15g peanut butter, 1 banana (oatmeal) Snack - 15g nuts, 100g full fat flavoured yoghurt, tea or coffee with milk and syrup or sugar Lunch - 50g dry pasta/rice/noodles or a baked potato or 2 slices whole grain toast, 1 protein portion (150-200 calories worth so maybe 3 eggs/1 chicken breast/2 sausages), as much salad or veggies as I liked but only after I finished the other food, and 1 healthy fat portion (100-150 calories worth eg 2 tbsp mayo/3 tbsp pesto/1 Snack - same as the morning, or 2 slices of whole grain toast with a topping (jam/cream cheese etc) Dinner - same as lunch Snack - rice pudding or yoghurt with granola or banana with PB
The main meals are all around 500 calories and what I love about them is that they're really calorie dense, meaning your tummy doesn't get too full up! It is a quite high protein plan which can help with muscle regrowth during recovery. The snacks I swapped around but basically try and get them at least 300 calories each. Peanut butter ended up in most of my snacks. During the day, if you can drink juice or smoothies, or even just put sugar and milk in your tea and coffee, it will help more than you think. I also made smoothies for snacks, just 1 banana + 1 tbsp peanut butter + 150 ml full fat milk or chocolate soy milk is enough for a snack.
Good luck :) I am so happy for you that you're making this choice for your health
Thank you so so much!
Thank you so much!