Will I Gain or Lose Weight in Recovery

Alex Robboy, CAS, MSW, LCSW
Individual, Couples & Family Therapy
IMAGO Certified Marriage Counselor
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor
Founder & Director of the Center for Growth Inc.

Posted by: Alex Robboy
CAS, MSW, LCSW Individual, Couples & Family Therapy IMAGO Certified Marriage Counselor AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor Founder & Director of the Center for Growth Inc.
267-324-9564

My Doctor states that I am overweight. Will I gain or lose weight in recovery? During the process of recovering from Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder some people lose weight and others gain weight.    Frequently, people in recovery who are overweight experience some weight loss as their binge eating habits diminishes.  However, it is not advisable for someone starting recovery to focus on weight loss.  The focus must be on getting well, as difficult as that is to accept.  The focus has to be on being healthy and learning how to eat “normally”.  It is often beneficial to work with a therapist to gain insight into the psychological issues related to the eating disorder and a nutritionist regarding   portion sizes, exercise, and nutritional needs. 

How will eating consistent meals and snacks help the recovery process? Will I gain or lose weight in recovery if I follow through with this new 'meal plan.'  Dieting, restricting, binging, purging, and emotional eating all disrupt the bodies’ natural ability to regulate feelings of hunger and satiety.  Disrupted hunger / satiety signals means you may sometimes or frequently not feel hungry when you should or you may not feel full when your body has had enough.  Since people trying to recover from eating disorders have difficulty Intuitively knowing when they should eat, having a consistent schedule can be very helpful.  Also, eating meals and snacks consistently through the day and evening is a healthy pattern for most people with or without a history of disordered eating.  Eating meals and snacks consistently stabilizes blood sugar and keeps the metabolism from slowing down.

Eating meals and snacks throughout the course of the day decreases the likelihood of
* Binging
* Food preoccupation
* Overeating
* Insatiable hunger
* Purging
* Intense cravings for sugar and carbohydrates

How to establish regular eating patterns
* Don’t let more than three to four hours go by between meals and snacks.
* Always eat breakfast and eat three meals and two to three snacks a day. 
 

Sample schedule:

* 8:00 am breakfast
* 10 am snack
* 12 pm lunch
* 3pm snack
* 6pm dinner
* 8 pm snack

Once a regular pattern has been established and the body readjusts to normal eating one can work on developing the skills to identify and respond to their bodies internal signals. 

People struggling with Disordered eating may find it helpful to use a scale such as the one below.

Hunger scale 1-4
1) You could eat
2) You are feeling hungry
3) Starving / rumbling and emptiness in stomach
4) Spacy/queasy/lightheaded irritable/ (low blood sugar eat ASAP)

Satiety Scale 1-7
1) The gnawing emptiness is gone
2) Less interest in the food you are eating
3) Feeling comfortable and satisfied. /A slight pressure in the stomach
4) You are satisfied but you could eat a little more/less interest in eating
5) You aren’t hungry anymore but are no physically uncomfortable
6) Feeling physically you are stuffed uncomfortable
7) You could not eat another bite

However, some people may find that they simply prefer to stick to a scheduled eating format and that is okay.  It depends on what works best for the individual.

Still unsure? Want someone to speak with? Help is available. Call today and schedule an appointment with a therapist at the Center for Growth / Bulimia Recovery in Philadelphia: Will I gain or lose weight in recovery?