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Dear Wendy

How to put weight back on?

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  • #1090469 Reply
    Jane
    Guest

    Hi! I need some help! I’m 20 and in the last few months I’ve dropped a chunk of weight. I was a healthy weight before and I’m still at a healthy weight but I went back yesterday and I dropped even more. They’re saying if I can’t get it under control they’ll have to do more (I have other health and mental health issues they’re dealing with so this is kinda a “please get this under control and if you can’t we will do more” sorta thing). I’ve been trying to get support but a lot of the comments I get are “you look great!” “Wish I could drop weight like that hahah!” And the likes, I understand I still look “healthy” and it’s a lot bigger of an issue for people to deal with prejudice when they’re over weight so I don’t want to invalidate anyone either. Is it really as simple as “eat more” or do I need to look for certain things like carb or protein heavy? I’m really picky about food and have a packed schedule (full time work and full time online school that’s on my own time so I try to get as much done and forget about food) and money is also tight so it’s difficult to buy a whole bunch of snacks just for me. I’m super open to any advice anyone might have, I very much appreciate your help! Have a great night!

    #1090473 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    This is a question for your doctor. They should refer you to a nutritionist. We can’t answer questions like this because we’re not medically qualified to do that and don’t know enough about your physical situation. But generally if you’re trying to gain weight you want to go for foods that are low-volume but high calorie like nuts, nut butters, ice cream. If you want to lose weight, the opposite: high volume, low calorie, like vegetables, salads, broth-based soups, lean meats.

    But you need a doctor’s or nutritionist’s advice, not internet randos.

    #1090476 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    Seriously, if you were just speaking with you doctor about your unhealthy weight, that was the time to ask those questions.

    Yes, essentially more calories in is how you gain weight. You should make an eating schedule and stick to it and research inexpensive and cheap meals to make yourself. Ignoring food because it’s expensive and you have so much work is starving yourself. If you can’t afford food, is there a soup kitchen or food bank nearby? Have you applied for benefits like snap?

    Kate is right, talk to medical doctors, not weirdos you don’t know on the internet.

    #1090482 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Who is the “they” that you are referring to? It sounds like you’re already working with someone, but it’s unclear who that is, why you’re working with them, or what their specialty is. Are you struggling with an eating disorder? Cause that really matters in this context.

    My two cents: Medical doctors are helpful for things like diagnosing/treating underlying medical conditions that can affect your weight (e.g., thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances), but aren’t going to be the most helpful with nutrition. You’re going to want to work with registered dietician for anything nutrition-related. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist regardless of their credentials/experience, only RDs are certified and have met specific educational, clinical, and exam requirements.

    Other than that, if you’re strapped for time, try to meal prep. I used to make my lunches and snacks for the week on Sunday nights when I went into the office because I would be out of the house for 10-12 hours/day. PB&J sandwiches are inexpensive and PB is a higher-calorie food. You can save money by prepping your own snacks instead of buying pre-packaged/pre-portioned snacks. For example, buy a block of cheese and cut it up into cubes on your own and throw it in Tupperware with some crackers, veggies, dip, maybe some lunch meat, and you have yourself an adult Lunchables that can be a meal or snack.

    There are also some very high calorie protein shakes on the market that have like 2,000 calories/scoop. Some of the guys at my gym who want to get hyuuuge drink those. I doubt they’re cheap and they probably don’t taste great, but they exist.

    #1090484 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    For me, meal prep is key, as Copa mentioned. It’s not good that you’re missing meals. That leads to binging and and unhealthy eating. Everyone has given you good ideas on high calorie, real foods. Nuts. Cheeses. Eggs. Full fat dairy items like yogurt. Lean meats. Those are all easy to prep and overall pretty good for you. Add in some hummus and vegetables. All of those things will keep you fueled, whereas a diet heavy in carbs won’t keep you full for long. Although carbs do have a place. Potatoes are great and also easy to prep. Roast a few at once. I like to eat a roasted sweet potato w/ black beans and some cheese sprinkled on. I will also add a roasted or sauteed vegetable to that. If you want to do some shakes, add protein powder.

    I think you should see a nutritionist.

    #1090485 Reply
    Bittergaymark
    Guest

    Yes, more context here is needed. But if you medically need to gain weight, you should consult with your doctor for help doing this correctly.

    #1090486 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Also, re: protein vs. carbs — your three macronutrients are protein, carbs, and fat. Carbs are your body’s main source of fuel, you don’t need to be scared of or avoid them even though diet culture will tell you to. Protein and fat are more for making you feel full/satiated. Protein helps build/maintain muscle mass. Fats can also be a fuel source and are important for healthy hormones. A balanced meal includes all three macros. Even if you’re picky, you can build meals around what you like trying to keep all three macros (and hopefully some micronutrients) in mind.

    #1090487 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    What @copa said. I just know I do much better buying full fat items instead of lite or reduced fat. Once I accidentally picked up reduced fat Greek yogurt and couldn’t understand why I was hungry like 20 minutes later.

    #1090488 Reply
    Jane
    Guest

    There isn’t much else to add to the info for the post and I’m not 100% comfortable sharing all the medical stuff I’ve been through. I’m being treated for many things, they’re attributing this as a symptom but they don’t want to deal with it right now. I was told if I couldn’t stop losing weight they would either put me on a feeding tube or send me to an eating disorder clinic which isn’t the issue. They won’t send me to a dietician, all I was told is to stop losing weight. And I’ve seen dozens of doctors and specialists, I like this one the most and we’re getting close to figuring out part of it this one part just can’t get worse. I keep a food diary and I’m still eating the meals I used to but at this point was just trying to get as much into me to just see if with working two jobs and full time school I’m just not taking the time to get enough in my body. Plus I’m annoying and picky haha

    #1090489 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I would see how much you can pack into a shake or smoothie, like yogurt, almond butter, protein powder, and bananas. Or just straight ice cream. You can take that on the go. You can buy ingredients in bulk and freeze them.

    Of course I don’t know what you can and can’t eat or what else is going on with you, but that’s the general idea.

    #1090490 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    You can seek out a dietitian on your own if “they” won’t refer you to one if you feel it will help. Just be sure to look at credentials. There are RDs who specialize in eating disorders and metabolic recovery.

    If you can take a step back from school/work to prioritize your health (mental and physical), it’s not a bad idea. Being “annoying and picky” prooobably won’t seem as haha if this escalates to the point of requiring in-patient treatment.

    #1090491 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    Wait, your doctor told you to either gain weight or they’ll put you on a feeding tube or send you to a clinic but they don’t want to help you gain weight or send you to a nutritionist??? WHAT??? I’m sorry, but that seems really off.

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