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What are some effective and sustainable weight gain strategies that people in recovery from an eating disorder can use to promote healthy and balanced weight gain during their recovery journey?

The body's set point weight theory suggests that our bodies have a predetermined weight range where they function optimally.

When we go below this range, our bodies respond by decreasing metabolism and increasing hunger, making it challenging to gain weight.

Caloric density refers to the number of calories in a given weight of food.

Consuming foods with higher caloric density can help increase calorie intake without requiring large portion sizes, thereby promoting healthy weight gain.

Resistance training is a valuable addition to a weight gain plan, as it increases muscle mass and metabolism, allowing the body to burn more calories at rest.

Nutrient timing can influence weight gain and muscle growth.

Consuming protein and carbohydrates after a workout can aid in muscle recovery and promote anabolism, the process by which the body builds new muscle tissue.

Eating disorders often cause hormonal imbalances, including decreased levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Restoring these hormones to healthy levels can help regulate appetite and metabolism during weight gain.

Eating disorders are associated with gut microbiome imbalances, which can impact weight regulation.

Consuming probiotics and prebiotics may help restore the balance of gut bacteria, supporting healthy weight gain.

Mindful eating practices, such as paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, can help rebuild a healthy relationship with food and foster sustainable weight gain.

Challenging negative self-talk and practicing self-acceptance can improve mental health and support long-term weight gain.

A multidisciplinary treatment team, including a therapist, dietitian, and medical professional, can provide individualized guidance and support throughout the weight gain process.

During recovery, it's essential to focus on progress, rather than perfection.

Gradual and consistent weight gain is a more sustainable approach than rapid weight gain, which can lead to discomfort, physical complications, and potential relapse.

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