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Raising calories after restriction :)

sfaust2196sfaust2196 Member Posts: 30 Member Member Posts: 30 Member
Hi all! So, I am a 21 year old college student recovering from an eating disorder and seeing a therapist. My insurance does not cover nutritionists if you aren't obese, so am doing a lot of i independent research. I am 5'10'', my lowest weight was in May at 128 pounds eating 1200 calories a day and exercising for 2+ hours a day. Now, I am 134 pounds and eating 1600 calories most days with a few days 1400 and a few 1800, depending. I workout about 5 times a week- mile warm up, then i lift weights for 40ish minutes, and then 30 minutes on the stair master. I am active walking around campus a ton and always hit my 10,000 steps.
BUT I am gaining weight on 1600 calories!!! I am eating only healthy foods-
breakfast: greek yogurt with berries, or toast with egg whits and avocado
lunch: salad without dressing with avocado and chicken and veggies
dinner: shrimp or fish with sweet potato and a butt load of steamed broccoli

What am I doing wrong?! I would love to get my maintenance up to 2500 calories. Should I slowly increase calories 100/week, even though I am already gaining, or just take the plunge and start eating 2500/day now and accept that ill gain 10 pounds?

I can not take the excessive planning of what and how much I am going to eat and how I will fit in the social activities! Any advice?

Replies

  • kommodevarankommodevaran Member Posts: 17,891 Member Member Posts: 17,891 Member
    Someone at your height can't gain weight on 1600 calories unless at a point of life-threatening underweight. So, either 1) your logging is off, or 2) your glycogen stores are replenishing. Which one it is, or it could be both - I see no mention on how you track your intake nor how long you've eaten 1600 calories.
    edited September 2017
  • sfaust2196sfaust2196 Member Posts: 30 Member Member Posts: 30 Member
    I have eaten under 1600 calories for the past 2 years. I am tracking correctly and have not exceeded 2000 calories in one day since May of 2015. I only eat foods I cook for myself and won't touch it if I don't know/weigh exactly what goes in, although this has gotten better in the past few months working with my therpist. I am looser with weighing and tracking but after doing it day in and day out for two years I still know exactly what I am eating!
  • xxzenabxxxxzenabxx Member Posts: 849 Member Member Posts: 849 Member
    sfaust2196 wrote: »
    I have eaten under 1600 calories for the past 2 years. I am tracking correctly and have not exceeded 2000 calories in one day since May of 2015. I only eat foods I cook for myself and won't touch it if I don't know/weigh exactly what goes in, although this has gotten better in the past few months working with my therpist. I am looser with weighing and tracking but after doing it day in and day out for two years I still know exactly what I am eating!

    Please watch Natacha Oceanes videos on YouTube. She explains how to eat after recovering from restricted eating.
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Member Posts: 35,741 Member Member Posts: 35,741 Member
    gaining how much weight in what time period?
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 13,346 Member Member Posts: 13,346 Member
    You wont be gaining weight on 1600. As above have said, how long is this gain been happening? How are you tracking your intake?
  • neilgib28neilgib28 Member, Premium Posts: 36 Member Member, Premium Posts: 36 Member
    I am assuming you are talking 1600 net?, if your logging is accurate then the other possibility is that you are over-estimating your exercise calories?
  • sfaust2196sfaust2196 Member Posts: 30 Member Member Posts: 30 Member
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I am assuming you are talking 1600 net?, if your logging is accurate then the other possibility is that you are over-estimating your exercise calories?

    1600 is total, NOT net. I've been doing this for 2 years so my metabolism is very slow. I'm positive I am not overestimating- I am a mathematics major and understand numbers and weights. I can read a nutrition label and can divvy up a pound of chicken, and I have food scales.

    Thank you for your advice! I think I'll try and jump up to 2000 right away. Thanks!!
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Member Posts: 35,741 Member Member Posts: 35,741 Member
    sfaust2196 wrote: »
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I am assuming you are talking 1600 net?, if your logging is accurate then the other possibility is that you are over-estimating your exercise calories?

    1600 is total, NOT net. I've been doing this for 2 years so my metabolism is very slow. I'm positive I am not overestimating- I am a mathematics major and understand numbers and weights. I can read a nutrition label and can divvy up a pound of chicken, and I have food scales.

    Thank you for your advice! I think I'll try and jump up to 2000 right away. Thanks!!

    I'll ask again... how much weight in what time frame?
  • worldofaliceworldofalice Member Posts: 148 Member Member Posts: 148 Member
    This is very common, unfortunately. After restriction, your glycogen stores are pretty depleted. So when you start refilling them, you gain not only the weight of the glycogen, but the water it carries with it. I don't know that you should expect a 10 pound gain -- and then have it *stay* on -- but yes, you will gain weight.

    Despite what you'll read here, and fitness blogs, it's not that you're overestimating or that you're doing anything wrong. It's that you are human. If you look at some of the ED-recovery blogs, you'll see that this sharp initial gain is very common. It's water weight. It sucks, and it's awful, but that's how it goes. And these forums are *awful* for getting reassurance, because everything always comes back to "You must be overeating," ignoring that for many of us who have been in calorie restriction for so long, the normal processes ... aren't so normal.

    As my dietitian put it when I was ranting at her yesterday, sometimes, your body just says "ENOUGH." And it doesn't matter what you restrict, or how you try to manipulate fluids and output. But that after a certain point of time, when you start working toward recovery, the metabolic processes pretty much get a mind of their own. (I'm paraphrasing her horribly.) Basically: Yes, it's awful, and it messes with our heads, but we're not doing anything wrong. We are simply... existing.

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this comment, even though I'm not OP I think that those words are something that many of us need to hear. It's what I've been telling myself, but it's good to hear it from someone else. OP - listen up! And keep pushing on, you won't keep gaining forever.
  • sfaust2196sfaust2196 Member Posts: 30 Member Member Posts: 30 Member
    sfaust2196 wrote: »
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I am assuming you are talking 1600 net?, if your logging is accurate then the other possibility is that you are over-estimating your exercise calories?

    1600 is total, NOT net. I've been doing this for 2 years so my metabolism is very slow. I'm positive I am not overestimating- I am a mathematics major and understand numbers and weights. I can read a nutrition label and can divvy up a pound of chicken, and I have food scales.

    Thank you for your advice! I think I'll try and jump up to 2000 right away. Thanks!!

    I'll ask again... how much weight in what time frame?

    I have gained the 6 pounds I stated in my original response over 6 weeks, but 4 of them have been in the last 3 weeks when I started doing 1600/day instead of 14-1500.
  • sfaust2196sfaust2196 Member Posts: 30 Member Member Posts: 30 Member
    This is very common, unfortunately. After restriction, your glycogen stores are pretty depleted. So when you start refilling them, you gain not only the weight of the glycogen, but the water it carries with it. I don't know that you should expect a 10 pound gain -- and then have it *stay* on -- but yes, you will gain weight.

    Despite what you'll read here, and fitness blogs, it's not that you're overestimating or that you're doing anything wrong. It's that you are human. If you look at some of the ED-recovery blogs, you'll see that this sharp initial gain is very common. It's water weight. It sucks, and it's awful, but that's how it goes. And these forums are *awful* for getting reassurance, because everything always comes back to "You must be overeating," ignoring that for many of us who have been in calorie restriction for so long, the normal processes ... aren't so normal.

    As my dietitian put it when I was ranting at her yesterday, sometimes, your body just says "ENOUGH." And it doesn't matter what you restrict, or how you try to manipulate fluids and output. But that after a certain point of time, when you start working toward recovery, the metabolic processes pretty much get a mind of their own. (I'm paraphrasing her horribly.) Basically: Yes, it's awful, and it messes with our heads, but we're not doing anything wrong. We are simply... existing.

    Thank you so much for this!! It is so frustrating to hear people telling me I'm just overeating when I KNOW I am not and see how much more everyone around me eats and that I am truly barely eating anything. Thank you❤
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Member Posts: 35,741 Member Member Posts: 35,741 Member
    sfaust2196 wrote: »
    sfaust2196 wrote: »
    neilgib28 wrote: »
    I am assuming you are talking 1600 net?, if your logging is accurate then the other possibility is that you are over-estimating your exercise calories?

    1600 is total, NOT net. I've been doing this for 2 years so my metabolism is very slow. I'm positive I am not overestimating- I am a mathematics major and understand numbers and weights. I can read a nutrition label and can divvy up a pound of chicken, and I have food scales.

    Thank you for your advice! I think I'll try and jump up to 2000 right away. Thanks!!

    I'll ask again... how much weight in what time frame?

    I have gained the 6 pounds I stated in my original response over 6 weeks, but 4 of them have been in the last 3 weeks when I started doing 1600/day instead of 14-1500.

    4lbs in 3 weeks can be normal fluctuation, plus glycogen as stated above... 1600 really isn't maintenance.
  • AudreyJDukeAudreyJDuke Member Posts: 1,093 Member Member Posts: 1,093 Member
    Life With Lydia videos on youtube also addresses this.
  • maruby95maruby95 Member Posts: 204 Member Member Posts: 204 Member
    Having been where you are I would advise you to increase your calories as quickly as you can, back waayyyy off on your exercise, and stay off the scale. If you change your focus from the number on the scale to hitting an adequate number of calories, it will serve you better. I have found that the more I restrict, the more focused on numbers I become. As I increase my intake and keep my exercise more reasonable, the numbers become less important and stress inducing. As others have said above, you can expect to put some water weight on, but some of the gain will also be critical gains to your bone density and organs that have been depleted and trying to get by on much less than they need. Really and truly- stay off the scale. In fact, this site might not be super helpful for you right now (except maybe the gaining weight forum). And this might be helpful:
    https://edinstitute.squarespace.com/paper/2015/6/13/gaining-weight-despite-calorie-restriction
    All the best!
  • collectingbluescollectingblues Member Posts: 2,540 Member Member Posts: 2,540 Member
    sfaust2196 wrote: »
    This is very common, unfortunately. After restriction, your glycogen stores are pretty depleted. So when you start refilling them, you gain not only the weight of the glycogen, but the water it carries with it. I don't know that you should expect a 10 pound gain -- and then have it *stay* on -- but yes, you will gain weight.

    Despite what you'll read here, and fitness blogs, it's not that you're overestimating or that you're doing anything wrong. It's that you are human. If you look at some of the ED-recovery blogs, you'll see that this sharp initial gain is very common. It's water weight. It sucks, and it's awful, but that's how it goes. And these forums are *awful* for getting reassurance, because everything always comes back to "You must be overeating," ignoring that for many of us who have been in calorie restriction for so long, the normal processes ... aren't so normal.

    As my dietitian put it when I was ranting at her yesterday, sometimes, your body just says "ENOUGH." And it doesn't matter what you restrict, or how you try to manipulate fluids and output. But that after a certain point of time, when you start working toward recovery, the metabolic processes pretty much get a mind of their own. (I'm paraphrasing her horribly.) Basically: Yes, it's awful, and it messes with our heads, but we're not doing anything wrong. We are simply... existing.

    Thank you so much for this!! It is so frustrating to hear people telling me I'm just overeating when I KNOW I am not and see how much more everyone around me eats and that I am truly barely eating anything. Thank you❤

    it's crazy-making, isn't it? Because it's like, no, I know I am not eating past my TDEE, and I know that to a decent degree of science, but everyone is always all "Oh, you're overeating or overestimating your burn." And I'm looking at the numbers thinking, "Well, then I'm some giant freak of nature, then."
  • IsabeausRoseIsabeausRose Member Posts: 129 Member Member Posts: 129 Member
  • LiftHeavyThings27105LiftHeavyThings27105 Member Posts: 2,104 Member Member Posts: 2,104 Member
    Good morning, all!

    Not to be argumentative, but metabolism doee not typically break. It adapts....☺
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