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How much should I REALLY be eating?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism How much should I REALLY be eating?

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    I am a 16 year old female who is recovering from both orthorexia and anorexia nervosa. I spent about two years restricting my caloric intake anywhere from 900-1400 calories a day, which led to acne, constipation, anxiety/depression, cold hands and feet, chilblains/Raynaud’s, hair loss, and a whole slew of other symptoms.

    I don’t have much family support as they see my eating disorder as a choice, or like I’m seeking attention, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Coming across Eat for Heat really changed my perspective on a lot of things, and I was even able to muster up the courage to go out for burgers & fries with my friends last night! I have been trying to use more salt and drink less water, but my symptoms are still pretty severe (acne & constipation the most). A nutritionist once told me that I should aim for 1600 calories a day (UM OKAY SURE), but I highly doubt that’s enough for a growing teenager, let alone one recovering from an eating disorder.

    I realize that I shouldn’t have any set meal plans or any diet-like “rules”, but I would like to have a general idea of how much I should be eating minimum per day, so I don’t slip under that amount. Right now I’d say I’m getting around 1900, which isn’t enough, but it’s still hard to cram in a lot of food as I get full very easily. I am ready to increase the amount I eat, even though it is hard both mentally and physically. I can’t stand feeling like this anymore and I just want to enjoy food and life. If anyone could give me tips or advice that would be greatly appreciated, as I’m still pretty new to all of this. Thank you so much! :)


    almost certainly the best/sanest/most thoroughly research-driven resource on recovering from eating disorders is youreatopia

    the blog posts are all great and highly informative, and you should read as much as you can, but the short answer is 3000 cals/day m i n i m u m (!)

    this is the amount that, taken in consistently, should be enough to get your metabolism back on track and your hunger signals firing again–don’t be surprised if it’s difficult to eat that much for awhile, and then suddenly you’re incredibly freaking hungry and are eating two or three times that no prob; totally normal and necessary

    disclaimer that this approach doesn’t work for everyone (gwyneth is all about erring on the side of caution as well as tough love) but it’s an excellent place to start no matter what, imo

    best of luck to you; you’re on the right track and your perspective and attitude seem great–keep it up/screw that nutritionist


    I don’t have any experience with eating disorders but I do have experience with the feeling that I know I should eat more but being totally unable to eat another bite. What has worked well for me is drinking more calories. I feel like I’ve read time and again that our bodies don’t register calories the same way when they’re drank and that really has been my experience. I drink whole milk and chocolate milk throughout the day without it significantly impacting my appetite and that is boosting my overall calories by a MINIMUM of 1200 calories, sometimes over 2000 if I’ve had a thirsty day (this is JUST the milk, I do eat too) and I’ve seen the biggest leaps in my metabolism in the last month and a half since I started drinking lots of milk. I just hit 98.8 this morning!

    I’ve seen a lot of references to Youreatopia as a great resource for recovery from eating disorders so I’ll second that you probably should take some time to check that out.


    Jennifer, hope you are doing well and have sought out more info fro youreatopia :)


    I have no experience with eating disorders either.

    Perhaps try a food log for a bit(or not). Matt suggested in Recovery II (I think) 3 meals a day, eat to full and if hungry 2 hours later eat again and then eat your 3rd meal when hungry later on and gradually adjust from there. Just a thought.

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