Weight Gain
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Underweight but big tummy?


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Sorry I'm asking lot of things lately, but I've just discovered this place and it's great to read and discuss these things with people who had similar experience or went through similar nightmares.


I still don't understand how can I be underweight and still have so much fat in my tummy. Everything is so damn skinny about me but my abdomen is round and huge. Someone looking at just my abdomen would say I need to lose weight, then he/she would look at my whole body and say I need to gain weight. How can I explain such contradiction?

But since I need to gain weight, I guess it's impossible to lose in the abdomen, otherwise I would be losing weight. So I guess I must coexist with this disproportionated belly.


Can anyone explain to me what's going on and wether there's a solution?

11 Replies (last)

Don't worry about your abdomen at the moment. During recovery, that could sometimes be quite a common place for the weight to go to first. But it WILL and I repeat, WILL redistribute to the other parts of your body.

And also, I'm sure its not 'so much fat'.

That might be the eating disorder talking, trying to hold you back. Its a distorted image. So don't focus on your tummy now! Just keep eating well and let your body recover =)

The abdominal region is famously the first place the fat goes and the last place it leaves. If you think about it in biological terms, it makes sense, that's where all of our major organs are. When the organs need fuel, it's most efficient for it to feed off of reserves right in the area. Besides just the subcutaneous fat, the stuff under the skin, you have the omentum, a sheet of fat that lays over your organs in the abdominal cavity. Generally when you're underweight, that will be the fattiest area because that's where your body desperately needs it.


Right now, I would say, avoid measuring yourself, avoid analyzing your body in front of the mirror. Focus on the healthy weight gain and forget about the abdomen.

 

as others have said, when you re-gain the weight, the first place it goes is the stomach.  It is to protect your organs.  also, being underweight increases cortisol, and high cortisol levels are correlated with fat gain in the abdomen.  

It WILL redistribute over time though.  So just try not to focus on it.

It's all been said: when you begin recovering from an underweight weight your distribution is off wack and will go to your abdominal area. Thighs, hips, bum, stomach. This does redistribute. I was super unproportionate for a while but have now evened out since and no longer look quite as odd. The same will happen for you. Just have patience. :]

Are you vegan?  Do you get enough protein?  Ever see the charity commercials of kids in Africa and they are super super skinny everywhere except in their stomachs.  This is caused by a protein deficiency (in most cases) which causes a fluid build up in the region around the organs. 

I feel like a contradiction to in a different way; my stomach was the first to go when my ED got at it's worst point! I always had the impression that the limbs are the first thing to "disappear", but my stomach is so concave and disgusting, yet my thighs and upper arms are very thin, but not as emaciated looking as my stomach. What's even worse is that my the lower part of my legs and arms are just bone, so I look like Frankenstein's monster, being sewed into one being with different body parts! I look terribly disproportionate and I feel so ashamed because of it, I can't even bring myself to update my profile pictures :(

Sorry, this is probably no help to you, but I know how you feel :(

#7  
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Don't panic. Just take it easy. i didn't know the reason why weight go to stomach first or that it redistribute. this is also good news for me haha (:

But for now. its not the time to focus on the mirror. you'd better focus on your health

the only solution i can think of is sit-ups might help you lose some belly fat

 

however it's mostly just your body type, i have a similar body type where i have really skinny arms, etc but i have a round belly. personally i like it, guys have told me it's sexy and even though it's not "ideal" t's your body so no matter how skinny you are you'll always have a bit of a belly

 

think about it this way, its better than having a flat belly and fat everywhere else! lol

Original Post by braindamage13:

the only solution i can think of is sit-ups might help you lose some belly fat

 

however it's mostly just your body type, i have a similar body type where i have really skinny arms, etc but i have a round belly. personally i like it, guys have told me it's sexy and even though it's not "ideal" t's your body so no matter how skinny you are you'll always have a bit of a belly

 

think about it this way, its better than having a flat belly and fat everywhere else! lol

you can't spot reduce that way.  And anyway, she shouldn't be trying to lose any fat, but continue to gain weight and be patient that the weight will redistribute.

Original Post by braindamage13:

the only solution i can think of is sit-ups might help you lose some belly fat

 

however it's mostly just your body type, i have a similar body type where i have really skinny arms, etc but i have a round belly. personally i like it, guys have told me it's sexy and even though it's not "ideal" t's your body so no matter how skinny you are you'll always have a bit of a belly

 

think about it this way, its better than having a flat belly and fat everywhere else! lol

 I agree with for_zev's post. Please don't do situps at the moment. This is a big mistake that I had to go through. I was really worried about my stomach gaining as well in the start of my recovery and I did obsessive numbers of situps and crunches, but

a) It just made my stomach look bulging and actually quite disgusting

b) It became an obsessive routine that took me a very long and difficult time to stop.

So like everyone else said, just keep on eating well till you get to your healthy weight and the weight will eventually redistribute. I think of it as this way - once I'm full recovered, have a healthy body, and can exercise again, thats when I can gradually (but not obsessively) tone my stomach again =)

Yes, sit-ups will actually only work the abdominal muscles, they won't reduce fat. It's a good exercise for building core strength, but it won't take fat off of the area. When you lose fat, it comes off of places that have been predetermined my your genetics. What a lot of sit-ups, with added weight, will do is actually add muscle mass to your abs.

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