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Question for The Real Amy

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Question for The Real Amy

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  • #16405
    Della
    Participant

    Hello Amy hopefully you see this, I have started another topic here in this forum regarding reactive hypoglycemia, I read that you experienced this during your recovery, I was hoping you could share with me how you overcame this?

    #16406
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    Sure, it was 3 things that helped: 1) eating enough, 2) eating enough protein in the form of meat, and 3) eating enough salt.

    Reactive glycemia was the absolute worst when I relapsed my eating disorder in trying to go vegetarian and not eating enough because I was scared of eating too many carbs when all I was eating was carbs! Luckily I had a nutritionist at that point, and she got me back onto a better track relatively quickly. She explained to me that I was spiking my blood sugar with eating only carbs, and then crashing it because I wasn’t eating enough, and it was a whole roller coaster. The emotional part of changing to a better eating plan was hard, of course. I gained belly weight, I remember. But then things got better.

    Once you’re eating enough and eating enough protein and your body isn’t starving, it gets better. I find I need a decent-sized portion (4-8oz) meat or fish pretty much once a day to stay healthy.

    When I tried reducing salt, I had a lot of issues with “hypoglycemia” and I realized it must actually have been hyponatremia (lack of sodium). Since I started eating enough salt, my “blood sugar” issues have really gone away. I just salt to taste, nothing crazy.

    I drink a lot more than most people here do. I feel awful when I don’t drink enough. So that may be a factor for a lot of people, not for me. But you may have luck with that.

    The main key is, feed your body what it needs (i.e., 3 balanced meals/day plus 1-2 snacks on a regular schedule) and it responds pretty well soon enough.

    Hope this helps!

    #16407
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    Della, also, I just looked at your other thread, and it looks like you were fasting?? That is going to cause you HUGE problems, as you know. That is a bad sign of a relapse. I highly recommend you connect with your therapist – do you have a treatment team? It is very hard to do this on your own.

    #16408
    Della
    Participant

    Thank you so much for all of your advice, you have no idea how much this helps. Yes I started fasting in order to relieve myself from these symptoms and basically just made me feel better. I ended up basically having an emotional breakdown and was nearly admitted to the hospital…
    I am back on track and am working towards recovery. Believe it or not you have served as one of the greatest sources of knowledge and inspiration for me during this time. Thank you for your contributions to this forum, you sound like you have worked hard in your recovery and deserve all the best

    #16414
    Della
    Participant

    If I could ask one more favour, what would an example of a day of balanced meals look like? Eg breakfast, lunch and dinner? I somewhat struggle with putting together sufficient meals. Thank you again the help is much appreciated

    #16422
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    Della, I’m so glad you’re back on track, and I’m glad that I was able to be helpful :-) When fasting, you were probably mustering up the last little bit of stress hormones your body could provide before collapsing. Now the important thing is to rebuild and restore. You deserve a healthy and happy life and a good recovery, too! Self-love is the most difficult thing (still working on it…) but the most important thing you can do.

    The best way I’ve found to think about meals are in terms of including a carb, protein and fat, and thinking about what your grandma would have considered a “square meal.” Some examples are below to give you an idea, but please note I am not sure what your calorie needs are and you may need to adjust. I tried to make this decently hearty since your food needs are pretty high right now and you don’t want to be filling up on salads. Do not skimp on meat portions since protein will help your body build back up, and you need to have enough protein as well as enough overall calories.

    Breakfast:
    -Couple of pieces toast with butter, scrambled eggs, piece of fruit or OJ
    -Bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter, banana
    -whole milk yogurt with granola and fruit or dried fruit on top
    -oatmeal with cream and dried fruit on top, plus a yogurt

    Lunch:
    -The traditional: sandwich with a generous amount of meat/tuna in it, maybe some crackers or chips or a small salad with dressing, yogurt and fruit or a few cookies
    -bowl of meat-based chili, baked potato with butter or sour cream, fruit, cookies or yogurt

    Snacks:
    -things like cheese and crackers, yogurt and fruit, or cookies and a glass of whole milk

    Dinner:
    -Roast chicken; mashed potatoes with butter; roasted veggies; dessert (ice cream, fruit compote, or whatever else you want)
    -pasta with bolognese sauce; small salad with dressing, or cooked veggies with butter; dessert
    -cup of cream-based veggie soup; Beef stew over rice; dessert

    I hope this helps!

    #16424
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    Oh, also, I will add that you need to be sure that you eat 3 proper meals plus 1-2 snack every day, no matter what. Do not skip one single meal, even if you are not hungry, even if you binged the night before, whatever. You need to get your body back on a regular eating schedule. That helps your body relax and proper eating cues come back.

    #16425
    Della
    Participant

    Helps so much! Thank you Amy

    #16432
    Della
    Participant

    What are your feelings on limiting things like eggs and chicken as recommended by Matt to reduce LA and AA? Something I should be worried about?

    #16448
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    I think it’s a non-issue for someone recovering from an ED. If you have the financial means to easily buy pasture-raised, organic eggs and chicken, then by all means do so. But don’t sweat it at all. The most important thing right now is for you to get enough calories, protein and nutrients. Yeah, I would steer clear of refined veggie oils as much as you can and use butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil. But the AA acid issue is more of a long-term issue, and also more of an issue in an unbalanced diet – eat a variety of meats and fish, not only chicken.

    One of the most important things you can do is overcome orthorexia, which goes hand-in-hand with anorexia. You can find something wrong with any food if you look hard enough. In the end, those with an overall healthy and balanced diet will come out ahead.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by The Real Amy.
    #16460
    TinaT
    Participant

    The key is you asked if you should be “worried” about it.

    No.

    “Worry” is a bad habit. You “worry” about things you can’t change.

    You can educate yourself and make yourself aware of differences in various food items, then you can choose what to be concerned with and how you want to move forward. But, “worry”? Naw. It’s not worth it.

    Anytime I find myself “worrying” about anything… I stop myself. There may be something I should be aware of and may need to plan for… maybe even be concerned about… but I never let myself “worry” anymore. Too stressful.

    #16592
    Della
    Participant

    Hi Amy,
    just wanted to pop by and say thank you again. I cant tell you enough how much your guidance has assisted me. I have been committed to the 3 balanced meals a day including a few snacks, and I am feeling a lot better overall. There has been some serious moments of doubt fueled by anxiety that have made me want to continue to restrict, i.e. go back to only eating salad for lunch, but I have been working hard to get over my fear of carbs. Its also been a struggle to get back in touch with hunger/fullness cues but Im hoping in time this will pass. Today I had a sandwich for lunch and felt gross and guilty for about an hour…baby steps.. Anyways thank you again :)

    #16597
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    Della, that’s great! Baby steps is what it’s all about. It gets easier. Hunger/fullness cues can take time (like a few months). When I was in recovery I was told it takes a full year of normal eating for your metabolism to really recover, and I think that’s true.

    (BTW, I hope you have a good therapist to work with through all the feelings that come up as you recover. Once you start to get past the starvation-recovery stage, you start to deal with a lot of the emotions that you can ignore when you are starving, and you need to understand why you began starving yourself to begin with. All of that gets easier as well. Eating properly is step #1 in loving yourself and understanding that you are a worthwhile and valuable person.)

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