5 Reasons to Not Worry About “Unhealthy” Eating In Recovery

In eating disorder recovery it’s necessary to let go of all rules and restrictions and eat what you crave. But often times people find themselves craving predominately the “unhealthy foods”, processed foods or even junk foods. This is what they have restricted and understandably this is what they crave. But now they start to worry about nutrition – should they try to eat more healthy or should they trust and follow their body?

8 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Not Worry About “Unhealthy” Eating In Recovery”

  1. Is it really true that the muscels that I lost due to lack of calories will “appear” without exercise in recovery with right amount of cals?

    1. yes you will also gain muscle with nutritional rehabilitation, even when you don’t exercise. conversely, you can actually lose muscle if you eat too little as then the body needs to borrow energy from muscle for fuel. so eating enough is key for healthy muscle. muscle needs enough fuel to sustain.

  2. Hi , Found your page after doing a general search . I’m so keen to learn more so I’ve liked your facebook page and will follow on Youtube.
    I have struggled with bulimia for 28 years. But I made a commitment to recovery.
    I’ve done so well and the only reason I’ve achieved this is because I quit dieting. ( i also try DBT skills such as mindful eating and breathing) I eat what I want, even if that means cake for breakfast and chocolate for lunch. But I am eating terribly in the name of ‘not dieting’ as well as drinking too much and I have gained weight. I lived with it at first but now it’s really getting to me, my clothes are way too tight and I’m concerned I’ve gone out of a healthy BMI ( I dunno, haven’t weighed myself)
    I am SO, SO tempted to go back to my old slimming club. Any tips on how to get through this stage? I love that I’m learning how to limit my bingeing and purging but feel utterly miserable about my body.

    1. it is very normal that after 28 yrs of bulimia our body can gain weight, it has gone through a lot of stress and damage, to our gut, metabolism and hormones. it all takes time to normalize. also purging has a very dehydrating effect so we can gain weight in recovery just because of the re-hydration of the cells, we may store more water initially. gaining weight after years of restriction is not because of food, but the restriction we come from. also, the phase of eating all the foods we want in larger quantities is because of the restriction you come from and it takes time to normalize and balance. it happened to me as well. but the end goal of recovery is to be a normal eater and having no more excessive cravings or urges to overeat. recovery progress can’t be measured by weight gain because we can and will most likely gain weight once we stop suppressing our weight. going back to the old habits is the worst thing to do, you must keep on going. you can read my book to understand more.

  3. People keep telling me that I am under eating and that is why my weight is going up. I only eat about 500 calories a day they tell me if I go up to at least a thousand my body will start letting go off the extra water and my weight will actually probably stay the same and may even go down
    I have had an eating disorder since I was 11 I’m now 55 I’ve had periods where I’ve done better in treatment and then relapse because they got me too fat. I feel like my face is always puffy now. My therapist says it’s water weight. But I also feel like my clothes are getting tighter and I feel like over the last 3 years I’ve still eaten the same amount roughly and my weight has gone up about r 3 lb. It’s a noticeable difference. It just makes no sense to me if I increase my calories I’m going to gain weight. But not only are the therapists saying that’s not really true it’ll probably just stay the same may even go down but it won’t go up more than likely If I at least go to 800 or a thousand. To me if you increase your calories you’re going to gain weight? I am trying very hard to let go of this mindset and to just follow through and see what happens. But it’s very difficult. I’m at that age where I’m going through the change and or have gone through it rather and I feel like my body doesn’t work and I can’t lose weight if I even tried. I’m just tired of restricting.

    Please help and tell me if this is accurate If I do increase me by the 3 to 500 won’t I gain weight even more. Or will my metabolism kick in and I probably will level out and need more calories to gain weight??? Anybody had this through experience??

    1. when you restrict food your body starts to be more efficient at keeping the weight on, this is why dieting is actually the best predictor of weight gain. if you gain weight when you start eating more its not because you are “eating too much” but because the restriction has severely damaged your body, metabolism, hormones and its not going to be restored overnight, you need to be very consistent with eating enough to speed up your metabolism and then your weight may level out again, lose the water weight etc. but nobody can predict exactly how its going to happen. but one thing is for sure – further restriction is only making it all worse. restriction is the cause of this weight gain, not food per se.

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