Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email:


Friday, January 2, 2015

Metabolism and calories in recovery

I am no expert on this topic so if i get anything wrong then PLEASE do correct me (if you know the right information, that is to say). But i will try to write and explain in simple terms anyway :)

So... as you might know, the body is always trying to keep you alive. It wants to keep you functioning and working properly, so when you eat less for a longer period of time your metabolism will slow down as a way of 'protecting' you. Because if you arent eating enough then of course your body neeeds to take energy from fat or muscles and in the end organs to keep your heart going. But instead of attacking fat, muscles or organs it will slow down the metabolism so that you wont use as much energy living your life....  This is what happens to dieters and why they need to keep decreasing their calories to lose weight, because they put their body into starvation mode because they eat too little. But it also means that you gain weight quicker and more easier because your body WANTS more energy, so if you eat more then you're body will hold onto for stored energy as it knows that it isnt getting enough energy on a regular basis. However for normal people the energy is often used, unless its  a very high excess calories for a longer period of time, then it is of course stored on the body.

So in recovery, you may gain weight quicker to begin with... though in actuality, its not 'actual' weight, its more just water and your body is in shock to begin with for the first 1-2 weeks and after that the body is used to getting regular food and so is not as shocked. But is still very bloated as the metabolism needs to fix itsself.

If you are recovering and you need to gain weight and you are too scared to increase your calories so you eat c.a 1500-1800kcal a day and you keep eating that until you are your normal weight.... but what happens then, if your body hasnt adjusted to the calorie intake because your metabolism is still messed up. Then suddenly you will be your normal healthy weight but still be gaining weight eating a very little amount. Because really, a person should maintain their weight eating c.a 1800-2500 .
  During weight gain... this is your opportuinity to eat more and hopefully increase your metabolism, but it also HELPS your body and mind to repair itsself and recover. Think of the damage your body has been through, 1500kcal a day really isnt enough. Thats not going to help repair your body.

It is recommended to eat c.a 2800-3500+ kcal A DAY during recovery so that your body can recover as well as your metabolism. This of course is a gradual increase... you might begin with 1000kcal a day and then keep increasing every 1-2 weeks.
  This will lead to your metabolism adapting to the calorie intake so that eventually you will be able to eat c.a 2500-3000kcal a day and not gain weight.
  Though its also important to remember that genes and DNA also play a role.
And also, if you exercise then you need to eat your calories to gain weight ASWELL as the burnt off calories. Example... say you need 3500kcal a  day to gain weight and then you go for an hours run then you will need to eat c.a 4000 kcal a day (on the day you run)..... can you do that?
  But also remember, exercise stresses your body and makes it harder for the body to recover and repair itself.

Eating more always seems to be a bad thing and a scary thing... but think like this... eat more in recovery (in a balanced way - binging all the time is not healthy either) leads to a faster metabolism, leads to being able to eat more without weight gain. Isnt that a good thing? So EAT MORE. Help your body recover, help your body repair itself and you will thank yourself later when you are a healthy weight and arent stuck with metabolic damage or lots of digestive issues. (I know a girl who never ate solid food in recovery as she was too scared to do it, but it messed up her digestive ssytem alot and she could barely eat solid food without causing extreme stomach pain and she was almost a normal weight and the only thing she could consume was supplement drinks. So this isnt a good idea either.)

For more posts and advice:

About metabolism
Maintaining weight at a low calorie intake
Calorie intake in recovery
Metabolism after an eating disorder
Increasing my calories
Why you shouldnt exercise while in recovery


  1. i am maintaining on a small amount of calories,how can i boost my metabolysm? :)

    1. You need to do reverse dieting and gradually increase your intake and calories. It can lead to a small amount of weight gain, but it will help boost your metabolism and increase your intake.

  2. i dont know what you mean by you will stop gaining eventually on 2500-3000 calories. i exercise everyday and eat about 2400 calories. i am maintaining my weight but i exercise EVERY day. does this mean my metabolism is suppressed even considering I am at a normal weight now?

  3. I started recovery last July. By December i had restored a bmi of like 19 - 19.4 by eating 2000 calories (not the recommended amount i know). After maintaining for about five months, i had to face the facts. I still had amenorrhea, constipation, orthostatic hypotension, and was maintaining on like 1200-1500 calories, despite exercising 4-5x a week. I decided to start increasing, and, despite minimal weight gain, have upped my intake to somewhere around 1700 (though I'm not counting anymore). I'm not sure if i should start increasing again, or what i should do about that. But I don't have amenorrhea anymore, and the constipation is going away. I'm not really sure where i am in the recovery process, since i was in quasi recovery for a little while. i don’t think that i’m completely recovered, but I’m also not sure what i should be aiming for anymore.