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Old 11-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why do I gain weight when I eat 'normal'?

A bit about my diet:
Some people have issues overeating, I have issues undereating. I get busy throughout the day with my job and keep putting off meals. Then I get home and work out and watch some shows. If my bf isn't hungry I don't make dinner and end up just not eating. I eat about 300-500 calories a day. When I do get myself to eat though and eat somewhere around 800-1000 calories I end up gaining like 2lbs.
What I don't understand is that my body burns about 1500 calories a day and with the exercise another 500 are burned so I don't get how I can gain weight from 1000 calories. Yes i'm trying to fix my eating habits, but in the meantime i'm confused. Why would that make me gain so much weight?
I don't think it's my metabolism because I take fiber in the morning and evening and I drink icy cold water all day.
Thoughts??
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Depends on how carefully you measure the food that you eat, how well you know what is in that food, and how faithfully you report all that you eat to a food log so you get a very accurate picture of what your caloric intake is.

Don't even try to guess offhand how many calories you expend in physical activity. It's difficult to be extremely accurate about that, nowhere near as accurate as knowing how many calories are in a bag of frozen berries that weigh X amount of ounces and have nutritional information on the package.

So, if you are very accurate about the measures of what goes in your mouth, then the estimate that you only eat 300-500 calories a day is way out of whack, requiring you to see a doctor. Even if you are 5 feet 4 inches tall.

Fitday (and other websites) have tools for you to put in your height and weight and activity level (underestimate, rather than overestimate, that level - to start, then you can tweak it much later on if necessary). You can find how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.

Two pounds of weight is not much. For some people, that's actually water weight when they eat a lot of salty food - and it goes away when they watch the salt in their diet. It goes away within days.

If none of the above are factors, then a frank discussion with your doctor is in order. Eat only all the food from bags (frozen food) or boxes (all the contents) and bring the bags and boxes as proof. The nutrition information is right on the bags and boxes. Show your doctor, and give the exact time period you cover eating those foods. Weigh in at the beginning of that time period, preferably right there at the doctor's office. Then weigh in at the time of the visit to discuss your problem. He can see the severity of your condition and put your mind at ease with information he can show you when he has results from blood tests.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My two cents? If you go for a while eating very low calories, your body becomes accustomed to that and when you eat more, it "stores" the extra calories. There is some disagreement as to whether the "starvation mode" hypothesis is true or not, but I can say I have experienced it firsthand. I can go on 800-1000 calories a day and not lose anything, and when I up it to 1200-1300 a day, I start losing again. If your body gets used to low calories, it can treat anything above that as excess and hold onto it, regardless of your metabolism.

Looking at your goals, I am wondering if you are trying to lose too much too fast; it may be backfiring on you.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia I go through cycles of binging and starving I've been doing it since I was 13 (20 now) this is the one thing that keeps scaring me into disordered eating.
my family has told me before when I was 13 that I looked fat at 140 since then I've had this fear of gaining weight. I'll starve till I'm so hungry I binge then I'll purge because I get scared of the weight. It's hard to eat normal because it makes me gain so much anymore. I feel trapped.
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Low Weight:107lbs
Current Weight:119lbs
Goal Weight 1: 110lbs
Goal Weight 2: 100lbs
Height: 5'4"
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OK. So, you still need to have a doctor discuss this with you.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well you said cool and right thing here.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you're still struggling with disordered eating, I would really like to encourage you to find some sort of therapy. It's a very hard thing to overcome without support, and it's a very difficult way to go through life.

That said, how much does your weight go up after an entire week of eating normally? If you are used to eating very small amounts of calories, you are probably also eating small amounts in weight of food (not counting water content of food). When you eat normally, all of that food weight does not leave you by the next day, and your body is also probably retaining water to help you digest the food. This could easily be why the scale jumps up a few pounds the next day! It seems very unlikely that you could put on a substantial amount of body weight or fat in a 24 hour period. Maybe you should see how your weight changes after a whole week of eating normally. If over the course of the week you've only put on those first few pounds, it's probably just the food in your system and not actual weight gain.

I am not a doctor, so I am just speaking from my own experience. I am vegan, eat a lot of fiber, and have a very consistent elimination process. Even so, if I don't eat solid foods for a few days, I drop weight quickly but when I go back to them, I gain a lot back right away, even if my elimination system appears to be working as normal. For me, most weight fluctuation that's measurable on my scale within a 24 hour period is really just a reflection on the change of water and food weight within my system, and not an indication of a change in my body fat.

Looking at your signature, it seems we've had very similar weight histories. I'm also 5'4 and my heaviest weight was 142, while my lowest was around where your final goal weight is (disordered eating has been in my life as well). Now, I don't know how your frame differs from mine, but I do know that not a single person thought I looked healthy at my lowest weight. I didn't feel healthy, and I still thought I should lose more. Please be careful with your goals! Right now, I'm at 120 pounds and my goal is 110. I know I have to get there slowly and not get tempted to go lower because experience tells me that that's how I start to spiral out of control. If you need any healthy support here, I'd be more than happy to try.

Please try to find a way that you are comfortable being healthy!
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well your daily food may be heavy and helpful to increase the fat in your body.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sometimes its not how much we eat but what we're eating. Maybe try an elimination diet to weed out problem foods. Many have trouble with wheat, soy, dairy, or nightshades.
I have had tummy troubles most my life, which caused mood issues. I had the celiacs/ gluten test and it came back neg. But when I eliminated grains, magically much of my problems disappeared. I ended up discovering no dairy, nor grains = stable mood more energy, no IBS symptoms or bloating, and a quick 10lb weight loss.
But everyone's system is different, so you have to find out for yourself.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My sister had the same issue. She would eat around the same amount of calories as you do and was gained a lot of weight and didnt know why. She went to a dietitian and the dietitian told her that her body basically has no metabolism and that she needs to quit working out or minimize her workouts to just walking for 30 mins on normal speed and eat more regularly, limiting her meals to 375 calories per major meal, meaning breakfast, lunch, dinner, and she had snacks in between like a yogurt, a protein/nut bars, or fruit etc. She started losing weight quickly and effectively. I think she lost like 5 lbs in a week or something. Hope this helps!
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