Weight gain in a deficit?


So I’ve struggled on and off with quite severe restrictive eating behaviour for the last couple of years, and recently it has been quite bad because of stress. I’ve had the past couple of days eating more, also due to stress (I either eat barely anything or anything I can find if I feel under pressure) and so have had an intake around 1000-1300 calories higher than my average intake for the past couple of months. This morning I had gained a couple of pounds, I weigh myself at the same time of day each weigh in and in the same outfit so that’s all controlled, but I’ve still been in a deficit even when I’ve eaten much more. I’ve heard about metabolism damage, so could it be that? Or could it just be water retention or food still in my body? Any advice would be appreciated, I seem to be more fixated on my weight than I’d like to be and so this is quite a big stressor for me. Thanks.


  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,041 Member
    Are you saying your weight this morning is a couple of pounds higher than it was yesterday after having a couple of days of eating a bit more than your average?

    Comparing weights from one day to the next: is not an indication of fat/muscle loss or gain. Just not possible. The human body is not so efficient as to get instant results of any sort. Its the sum product of what you do over multiple days/weeks/months.

    I'm not qualified to say that you have not done any damage by eating at a severely low level for an extended period of time. That is something you could address with a counselor or medical professional perhaps? But making sure to eat enough to meet at least a minimum level of sustenance seems like a starting point. And if you have had experience with restrictive eating issues then losing weight perhaps is not the thing to focus on right NOW.
  • harper16
    harper16 Posts: 2,564 Member
    The minimum a sedentary female should be eating is 1200 calories a day. If you are eating under that it's best for you to reach out to your medical team for advice.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,759 Member
    It's very unlikely to be metabolic damage. On the flip side, it's very likely to be mostly water retention or temporary digestive system contents (i.e., future waste) in transit. Sudden scale-weight changes are nearly always water weight or digestive contents.

    This would be a good read:


    Fat loss - the thing most of us actually care about - is a matter of trends over a small number of weeks at minimum, then months and years.

    Fixating on scale weight is not helping you. If you want to weigh daily, get a weight trending app ** and use it, but weight until you have at least 30 days of consistent-conditions daily weights in it before you even consider believing it (it's just doing statistical projections, not magical insights).

    And please eat at least 1200 calories. You need nutrition. You also need adequate calories. Adequate calories (sensibly small deficit) is part of how you prevent (so called) "metabolic damage" (really fatigue and Adaptive Thermogenesis).

    Best wishes!

    ** Happy Scale for Apple iOS, Libra for Android, Trendweight with a free Fitbit account (don't need a device), Weightgrapher, others.
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,868 Member
    You ate more which means you have more food in your digestive system. This means more weight in your digestive system which will result in temporary weight gain until it is pooped out. On top of this, it is highly likely that your carb and salt levels were much higher than they normally are. This results in fluid retention which will also temporarily increase your weight.

    I agree with what the others have also said. If 1000-1300 calories are higher than your average intake and you are still in a deficit you are undereating and your best step forward is to seek medical intervention before the ramifications of this become more serious.
  • Jen92019
    Jen92019 Posts: 8 Member
    Thank you everyone for your advice, I appreciate it.