Transition from VLCD without risking edema/ fat regains?

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I am transitioning from a VLCD and I am unsure how to do this without the uncomfortable side effects of increasing calories too quickly, such as water retention, edema, etc. I'm not so concerned with the weight I will gain from increasing my calories to maintenance, as I do light weight training Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, with interval cardio on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's. I am also incredibly active during the day -- I am in college, so walking to classes, commuting, working two jobs, etc. I am a vegan and have been for quite a while now, so my intake would be increased through additional vegetables or gluten free vegan protein bars I get from Whole Foods (to build muscle and tone my scrawny physique).

I guess in summation, I am asking for any and all advice for those who have come off of a low-calorie diet and into maintenance WITHOUT puffing up like a balloon (aside from a "gradual" caloric increase -- I find that this method never works for me, as I simply go back to my dieting habits of eating, and take in far less than what my increased intake should be).

One more note -- I DO NOT have an eating disorder -- I have been to doctors, specialists, and therapists, as well as a nutritionalist for this purpose, and I am NOT suffering an eating disorder. I am simply an underweight vegan who can't seem to take in an adequate number of calories due to long-term VLCD and simply not being hungry enough (or just too busy).

I would prefer to keep my stats to myself, as I do not seek judgement on whether or not I am eating disordered; I am simply seeking advice from those kind enough to offer it!

Thanks so much!

Replies

  • kdiamond
    kdiamond Posts: 3,329 Member
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    I would say start with something like you were describing, a vegan bar or a protein shake or something that might increase your calories by 100-200 daily. Do that for a while and see how it goes (couple weeks) then add in another 100 calories daily.
  • gregpack
    gregpack Posts: 426 Member
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    if you're scrawny try changing "light" weight training to "heavy" weight training, and reduce HIIT to 1-2X a week. Eat some nut butter and/or avocados. My bet is your appetite will auto regulate and you won't experience serious bloating.
  • emilyisbonkers
    emilyisbonkers Posts: 373 Member
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    try looking into reverse dieting, that could be helpful for you
  • bcattoes
    bcattoes Posts: 17,299 Member
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    I am transitioning from a VLCD and I am unsure how to do this without the uncomfortable side effects of increasing calories too quickly, such as water retention, edema, etc.
    ...
    I have been to doctors, specialists, and therapists, as well as a nutritionalist for this purpose, and I am NOT suffering an eating disorder.

    I would suggest going back to the professionals for help in the transition.
  • IvoryParchment
    IvoryParchment Posts: 651 Member
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    I'd second the suggestion to see a professional. Also, get your B12 level checked, and do the math to make sure you're getting enough from the few non-animal sources.

    If you're not eating a lot of whole grains, you could be short of other B vitamins.

    You need adequate amounts of all nutrients before you can use any of them to build/maintain normal body tissues.
  • perrinjoshua
    perrinjoshua Posts: 286 Member
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    I am a vegan and when I was trying to increase my calories going into maintenance, I started adding avocados more frequently to my diet. They do stay with you a long time but you get the added potassium as well as all those great oils. Coconut water also has a lot of potassium in it with very few calories and the potassium helps with edema and water retention. I found these two things to be of major help to me. Good luck on your maintenance.
  • truddy6647
    truddy6647 Posts: 519 Member
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    doctors had me increase my protien intake every other day by about 50 to 75 calories for the first 10 days than added in 30 calories in carbs