Gaining too fast - anyone with experience??

Hi guys, I need a bit of advice as having a MAJOR wobble!
I won't bore you with my whole backstory, but the past few months look like this: eating around 1700 cal per day, exercising 4x per week (mix of BBG circuits and lifting, more BBG though). Basically maintaining my weight at just under 47kg, 5"3 - so I needed to gain. In June I underate for a few weeks, didn't gym but lots of walking - around 900-1400 cals. Lost about 2kg.

So 8 weeks ago I got my act together and hired a coach to help me gain, and stay motivated. Went straight into 1900 cals, 4 days progressive strength training per week. Then increased to 2050. I have gained so much from this process, my coach is awesome and it's been amazing - however. I have been gaining a steady 1lb per week - so am now at 49.3 kg! I'm alright with the odd fluctuation but this is a consistent gain. There will be SOME muscle in tere, but not that much! Weirdly though, my measurements have gone up no more than an inch in 6 weeks (when I started measuring).

I'm fine with the weight I am - but the rate of gain terrifies me, and I don't want it to keep going forever! I'm still recovering from anorexia so the idea of cutting back is really not sensible. Plus, going back to my old amount,and sacrificing all my newly-found freedom and flexibility - but 4kg heavier - would really suck. But so does the idea of my weight continuing to rocket upwards.

My coach keeps telling me that 1lb per week is fine, and everyone's saying that it will eventually stop - but will it?? I've seen no sign of that so far. Not to mention, whenever I google it, the only people who are encouraged to gain at this rate are either huge blokes on aggressive bulks, or pregnant women.

Does anybody have any experience of a similar thing, or any advice as to where I should go from here?
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Replies

  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    so in the 8 weeks since you got your coach you have gained 5lbs? given your starting weight i think that's ok. and it is a mixture of fat, water, muscle and more actual food in your body, not just fat.

    if you keep eating 2050 cals then the rate of gain will slow down at some point. i think you need to trust the process for a bit longer, otherwise, what are you paying your trainer for?
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,659 Member
    so in the 8 weeks since you got your coach you have gained 5lbs? given your starting weight i think that's ok. and it is a mixture of fat, water, muscle and more actual food in your body, not just fat.

    if you keep eating 2050 cals then the rate of gain will slow down at some point. i think you need to trust the process for a bit longer, otherwise, what are you paying your trainer for?

    I agree with the above but would add that a woman could hope to gain 0.1-0.25lbs of muscle per week.
  • neilgib28
    neilgib28 Posts: 36 Member
    edited September 2017
    I appreciate that it maybe extremely difficult advice, particularly for someone recovering from an ED, but try and focus on things other than the number on the scale - eg. measurements and appearance. Are you able to set goals that are not defined by a number?
  • Ironandwine69
    Ironandwine69 Posts: 2,432 Member
    5 lbs in 8 weeks is not too fast.
    Trust the process. You can always cut when you're done.
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    As you likely know, gaining one pound a week means that you are eating at a 500 calorie surplus each day. Or, at a 3,500 calorie surplus for the week.

    Typically your body will adjust according to what you give it (basically, a CI/CO type thing - sure, there is more to it than that, but let's just agree to CI/CO for this conversation). It just takes a little bit of time (well, for most).

    And, congrats on taking the bull by the horns and doing something about it. Much respect there. It is difficult to admit that there is a problem....as I have said many many times, for me, mindset is everything. You will get there. It is going to seem weird - as you have stated (indirectly) - but this (the eating and training) will become your new 'status quo'. Just keep on, keeping on and you will get there.

    And, as others have stated, trust the process. I am sure that you are logging everything (not talking about just food here) and discuss things with your trainer. Sounds like you are.

    Out of curiosity - does your trainer have you weighing yourself every day and taking the weekly average? Or, doing something different?
  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    so in the 8 weeks since you got your coach you have gained 5lbs? given your starting weight i think that's ok. and it is a mixture of fat, water, muscle and more actual food in your body, not just fat.

    if you keep eating 2050 cals then the rate of gain will slow down at some point. i think you need to trust the process for a bit longer, otherwise, what are you paying your trainer for?
    so in the 8 weeks since you got your coach you have gained 5lbs? given your starting weight i think that's ok. and it is a mixture of fat, water, muscle and more actual food in your body, not just fat.

    if you keep eating 2050 cals then the rate of gain will slow down at some point. i think you need to trust the process for a bit longer, otherwise, what are you paying your trainer for?
    so in the 8 weeks since you got your coach you have gained 5lbs? given your starting weight i think that's ok. and it is a mixture of fat, water, muscle and more actual food in your body, not just fat.

    if you keep eating 2050 cals then the rate of gain will slow down at some point. i think you need to trust the process for a bit longer, otherwise, what are you paying your trainer for?

  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    Oops, sorry for quoting you three times!

    Apologies, I should have been clearer - I'd lost a couple of kilos just before I started with my trainer, so starting weight was 45.4kg. So 4kg gain in 8 weeks. Which is a LOT. I don't understand why I'm still gaining at such a huge rate.

    I think the main reason I'm bricking it is that I'm scared I'll keep gaining at this rate to the point where it is unbearable, then just have a massive meltdown and cut everything drastically. Sounds stupid as I control my actions, but there is a limit to what I can mentally handle. I don't know how much bigger I can get for now, I need more time to adjust to my body as it is!!

    Very good point about my trainer though. I'm paying her for a reason. I'm about to take a 6-week break (for money reasons) which is why I'm second-guessing everything now.
  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    5 lbs in 8 weeks is not too fast.
    Trust the process. You can always cut when you're done.

    Sorry, should have clarified that I'd lost some weight before increasing - so I've gained 8lb in 8 weeks!

    I wish that cutting was an option but, after 7 years of anorexia, it isn't. I also still don't get my periods which makes it even more out of the question. Whatever weight I gain to, I'm kind of stuck with it for the foreseeable future - which is why I'm keen for this not to go too far!
  • donkey9512
    donkey9512 Posts: 60 Member
    Sound like you're doing great! Don't give up! You'll feel so much better. The gains are most certainly healthy gains.
  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I appreciate that it maybe extremely difficult advice, particularly for someone recovering from an ED, but try and focus on things other than the number on the scale - eg. measurements and appearance. Are you able to set goals that are not defined by a number?

    Measurements and appearance are tough. I've spent my whole adult life with a BMI of 16 max, so I was already struggling with body image at 47kg. Such fast gaining is VERY noticeable in the mirror and none of my clothes fit...I do feel good when I've had a good gym session and smashed some PBs, but the rest of the day still sucks. Need this gain to slow down, so I have time to adjust, and mental space to focus on all the other good stuff. I'm thinking about signing up for a half marathon so I have a training goal to distract me...but because my periods still aren't here, I can't even do that because of the stress it would put on my system. It's a bit rubbish!
  • Katiebear_81
    Katiebear_81 Posts: 719 Member
    If the goal was to gain a pound a week, it sounds like you are on target. I don't know your diagnosis and what is truly healthy for you, but perhaps with the advice of a doctor and a dietitian/coach/whomever is qualified for these things, you can run a cut after you gain enough weight, if you're after a certain aesthetic. At any rate, right now, I think you're doing great.

    Check in with your coach if you are having major issues. You can also visit your doctor and make sure they are also on board with the rate of your gain.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I appreciate that it maybe extremely difficult advice, particularly for someone recovering from an ED, but try and focus on things other than the number on the scale - eg. measurements and appearance. Are you able to set goals that are not defined by a number?

    Measurements and appearance are tough. I've spent my whole adult life with a BMI of 16 max, so I was already struggling with body image at 47kg. Such fast gaining is VERY noticeable in the mirror and none of my clothes fit...I do feel good when I've had a good gym session and smashed some PBs, but the rest of the day still sucks. Need this gain to slow down, so I have time to adjust, and mental space to focus on all the other good stuff. I'm thinking about signing up for a half marathon so I have a training goal to distract me...but because my periods still aren't here, I can't even do that because of the stress it would put on my system. It's a bit rubbish!

    you said your measurements have only changed by an inch so how come none of your clothes fit? that doesn't seem like a massive size increase to me...?
  • neilgib28
    neilgib28 Posts: 36 Member
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I appreciate that it maybe extremely difficult advice, particularly for someone recovering from an ED, but try and focus on things other than the number on the scale - eg. measurements and appearance. Are you able to set goals that are not defined by a number?

    Measurements and appearance are tough. I've spent my whole adult life with a BMI of 16 max, so I was already struggling with body image at 47kg. Such fast gaining is VERY noticeable in the mirror and none of my clothes fit...I do feel good when I've had a good gym session and smashed some PBs, but the rest of the day still sucks. Need this gain to slow down, so I have time to adjust, and mental space to focus on all the other good stuff. I'm thinking about signing up for a half marathon so I have a training goal to distract me...but because my periods still aren't here, I can't even do that because of the stress it would put on my system. It's a bit rubbish!

    I guessed that maybe the case, really hope you can find the happy balance and are able to gain at a pace that you are able to mentally and physically cope with. Plenty of folks here for support and guidance.... :-)
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    Oops, sorry for quoting you three times!

    Apologies, I should have been clearer - I'd lost a couple of kilos just before I started with my trainer, so starting weight was 45.4kg. So 4kg gain in 8 weeks. Which is a LOT. I don't understand why I'm still gaining at such a huge rate.

    I think the main reason I'm bricking it is that I'm scared I'll keep gaining at this rate to the point where it is unbearable, then just have a massive meltdown and cut everything drastically. Sounds stupid as I control my actions, but there is a limit to what I can mentally handle. I don't know how much bigger I can get for now, I need more time to adjust to my body as it is!!

    Very good point about my trainer though. I'm paying her for a reason. I'm about to take a 6-week break (for money reasons) which is why I'm second-guessing everything now.

    so drop your calories to maintenance? sounds like you need to speak to your trainer about your ED as its having a massive impact on you at the moment, especially if you dont feel you would ever be able to cut weight in a healthy way.

    what are your actual goals? 49.3kg is still very light for your height.
  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    Oops, sorry for quoting you three times!

    Apologies, I should have been clearer - I'd lost a couple of kilos just before I started with my trainer, so starting weight was 45.4kg. So 4kg gain in 8 weeks. Which is a LOT. I don't understand why I'm still gaining at such a huge rate.

    I think the main reason I'm bricking it is that I'm scared I'll keep gaining at this rate to the point where it is unbearable, then just have a massive meltdown and cut everything drastically. Sounds stupid as I control my actions, but there is a limit to what I can mentally handle. I don't know how much bigger I can get for now, I need more time to adjust to my body as it is!!

    Very good point about my trainer though. I'm paying her for a reason. I'm about to take a 6-week break (for money reasons) which is why I'm second-guessing everything now.

    so drop your calories to maintenance? sounds like you need to speak to your trainer about your ED as its having a massive impact on you at the moment, especially if you dont feel you would ever be able to cut weight in a healthy way.

    what are your actual goals? 49.3kg is still very light for your height.

    Thanks for the suggestion - I've messaged my trainer. She's recovered herself and has been very keen to focus on the mental stuff as well as just fitness.

    Dropping to maintenance, if my calculations are right, would be about 1500. So a massive step backwards, losing all the energy and social life and chance of getting my period back, but 4 kilos heavier. I'm not sure I could handle that. Is that what you'd do?

    My goals when starting were:
    - Reverse diet up to a better maintenance amount that will allow me to live my life free from the restrictions my disorder
    - Hit a healthy weight (muscle but also accepting fat) and maintain it
    - get my period back (sorry tmi)

    So I've hit a healthy weight and increased my cals...I just can't stop bloody gaining. If i keep going at this rate I'll be overweight by November!
  • worldofalice
    worldofalice Posts: 148 Member
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I appreciate that it maybe extremely difficult advice, particularly for someone recovering from an ED, but try and focus on things other than the number on the scale - eg. measurements and appearance. Are you able to set goals that are not defined by a number?

    Measurements and appearance are tough. I've spent my whole adult life with a BMI of 16 max, so I was already struggling with body image at 47kg. Such fast gaining is VERY noticeable in the mirror and none of my clothes fit...I do feel good when I've had a good gym session and smashed some PBs, but the rest of the day still sucks. Need this gain to slow down, so I have time to adjust, and mental space to focus on all the other good stuff. I'm thinking about signing up for a half marathon so I have a training goal to distract me...but because my periods still aren't here, I can't even do that because of the stress it would put on my system. It's a bit rubbish!

    you said your measurements have only changed by an inch so how come none of your clothes fit? that doesn't seem like a massive size increase to me...?

    Yeah I don't get it either. But I guess I'm probably gaining in places I'm not measuring - lower stomach, face, different parts of my arms and legs etc. My legs always balloon up after leg day too
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    Oops, sorry for quoting you three times!

    Apologies, I should have been clearer - I'd lost a couple of kilos just before I started with my trainer, so starting weight was 45.4kg. So 4kg gain in 8 weeks. Which is a LOT. I don't understand why I'm still gaining at such a huge rate.

    I think the main reason I'm bricking it is that I'm scared I'll keep gaining at this rate to the point where it is unbearable, then just have a massive meltdown and cut everything drastically. Sounds stupid as I control my actions, but there is a limit to what I can mentally handle. I don't know how much bigger I can get for now, I need more time to adjust to my body as it is!!

    Very good point about my trainer though. I'm paying her for a reason. I'm about to take a 6-week break (for money reasons) which is why I'm second-guessing everything now.

    so drop your calories to maintenance? sounds like you need to speak to your trainer about your ED as its having a massive impact on you at the moment, especially if you dont feel you would ever be able to cut weight in a healthy way.

    what are your actual goals? 49.3kg is still very light for your height.

    Thanks for the suggestion - I've messaged my trainer. She's recovered herself and has been very keen to focus on the mental stuff as well as just fitness.

    Dropping to maintenance, if my calculations are right, would be about 1500. So a massive step backwards, losing all the energy and social life and chance of getting my period back, but 4 kilos heavier. I'm not sure I could handle that. Is that what you'd do?

    My goals when starting were:
    - Reverse diet up to a better maintenance amount that will allow me to live my life free from the restrictions my disorder
    - Hit a healthy weight (muscle but also accepting fat) and maintain it
    - get my period back (sorry tmi)

    So I've hit a healthy weight and increased my cals...I just can't stop bloody gaining. If i keep going at this rate I'll be overweight by November!

    Well that's not true that you 'can't stop gaining' just because you're gaining at the moment...

    From what you've said you didn't reverse diet, you just increased your calories loads and now the weight gain is freaking you out.

    I'd speak to my treatment team if I was you... finding your maintenance doesn't mean any of those things. That's your ED talking.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    edited September 2017
    I think the weight will stabilize over the next week or two, if you could wait out the process until then. When you don't reverse diet as explained, there is always going to show weight creep as your body adjusts. Depending on how good your numbers are, you can always decrease your calories by 200 from your current intake and run those cals for another 4-5 weeks.

    8 pounds in 8 weeks, could this also be your maintenance calorie amount can be off? If you expected to only gain upwards of .5 pounds a week. etc.

    I look at maintain calories as something that can change from week to week, etc. I would as a cross check make sure my daily activity level and exercise are staying the same.

    It can also take a year or longer to get your period back as well. I would definitely keep your treatment informed.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,763 Member
    Your BMI is still under 20. You are on the lower end of a healthy weight, even after your rapid gain. I get that this seems terrifying to you, but your concerns aren't reality based and you need some perspective. Right now you don't have your period because you need to gain weight, so you have to relax and let yourself gain weight.

    You will not continue to keep gaining until you turn into a giant balloon, because the larger you get, the more you have to eat to sustain your size. Plus even if you did keep gaining weight, you would have plenty of time to make changes before you became overweight. Let your trainer and your medical team know about your concerns so they can help you with your fears. Do not take advice from strangers on the internet who can't do math to up your training and exercise or lower your calories. That is not what you need to do, and some part of you knows that already.
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    Hey, no such thing as "tmi"......if we ask questions then we have to deal with the answers, right?

    I know that you are going to get this done. The mental part - as you all too well know - is the hardest part of anything for most people. I am going through a lot of 'mental changes' right now and they are all super positive. Tough....sure, because they were all status quo for the last six or seven years and they are 'comfortable and familiar'. But, not healthy. So, they gots ta go! And they will. Just accomplished the biggest task - to this point - and it left me emotionally drained (yes, dudes do have emotions....even when we do not always share them). But I am so much better for these tasks. As you will be. :wink: