The eating disorder makes you think that the weight you gain in recovery is just “unnecessary fat” but it’s way more than just gaining fat…
Firstly, yes some of it will be fat gain because your body needs fat to function. Fat is actually a hormone-producing organ…it’s not just “sitting there” for no reason but it actually serves a purpose.
Secondly, if you gain weight really fast, like in a matter of days you seem to put on several pounds then it’s most likely just water weight. And also, some of it can be bloating or just more food in your digestiveIt’sstem. Its not “real weight” and will balance out over time.
And thirdly, yes you will also gain real weight, like fat…but also things like muscle mass, bone mass, restored organ tissue, brain tissue, glycogen in your muscles, your cells get properly hydrated… and so many other physical things are restored that all mean weight gain. You can’t see it from an external view, but it’s happening internally as your body repairs itself and literally builds itself up after malnourishment and starvation.
Also, the food you eat doesn’t just go for the physical weight gain or physical recovery but for mental recovery as well. For your brain to function properly it’s crucial to eat enough and gain weight. To start to recover your mental health like cognitive functions, mental clarity and focus, get rid of food obsession, reduce anxiety and depression and even to improve body image – all of that takes fuel!
And some of the “weight gain” can just be in your mind. Body dysmorphia is what many go through in an eating disorder and it still affects them in recovery. You may feel like you are gaining weight by the minute or have “ballooned up” overnight…but actually, it’s just magnified by the eating disorder, and is not the reality.
I hope this video helps you to be more rational about weight gain and realise that your body uses food for so many awesome and important things other than just “fat gain”.
4 thoughts on “Weight gain is just “unnecessary fat””
I’m terrified. I feel so out of control eating more and the bloating makes me feel fat. Then I go back to exercise or drink more water or feel like I need to restrict. Help.
I understand it can be very stressful, but restriction has never helped you and it’s not sustainable, you can ask yourself – what is the other option? honestly the only option is to go through recovery and let your body restore itself and heal, your body is smart and knows what it doing! bloating is a very normal part of recovery, read my book to understand more about recovery symptoms and what to expect.
oh god. i’m not personally fighting with eating disorders but most of my closest friends are. Do you have any good practical tips to how can i support them and help?
its a hard situation to be in, I believe people have to least see that there is a problem since otherwise, it’s very hard to convince someone to get help. but you can be there as a friend, to listen to them, not judge them or criticize them. also to not comment on their food or weight since it’s a sensitive subject. to not engage in diet talk or what food is “good or bad” or discuss other people’s bodies, weight, or size. And to be a good role model to them by eating unrestrictedly and accepting your own body and living your life and accepting yourself as you are.