National Eating Disorders Association

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Just out of treatment & gaining weight!

Hi. I’m bulimic just out of treatment. I’m freaking out because since I’ve gone into treatment and come out, I’ve gained weight. I’m so afraid it’s not gonna stop! My pattern for years has been to restrict during the day, then binge and purge at night. Since being out of the hospital, I’ve only engaged in my behaviors twice. I’m following my food plan. Why am I gaining weight?!

Post Edited

Hi Joannejz, welcome to the forums! Your post had been edited to remove any numbers in relation to weight as these might be triggering to the other forum members. You can find our forum guidelines here: Thank you for sharing and please keep posting!


You are needing this weight gain. I think it would be good to discuss these concerns with your therapist or doctor. I know it's hard, but try to trust your team has your best health in mind.


Hello and welcome to the forum. I hope the hospitalization went okay. I know how scary gaining weight is. I am not a professional but I know that sometimes when someone with bulimia stops the purging, it can take a while, even with anorexia, for the body to readjust. I don't know if you need to gain weight, but your body is adjusting. It may fluctuate for a while as the water retention and other functions in your body adjust. Try to stick to your meal plan as much as possible. When someone restricts, it does not know when it will be nourished again. So the body is trying to take care of itself and somehow tries to hold on to the nutrients. If you get on a cycle of eating regular meals, consistently, your body will start to trust you and level out. For a while though, it remains confused. Restriction often leads to binging and often the repeats over and over until it gets regular meals.

I am sorry you are dealing with this weight gain, as I said, I understand how you're feeling. Do you have a scale? I found when I smashed mine, I was able to be free from the obsessiveness of weighing all the time. Our bodies normally fluctuate in weight throughout the day, and from day to day. Would you be willing to either get rid of your scale or experiment and not weigh yourself for a few days and see if that helps? It is so difficult to get rid of a scale, believe me. It is really important for recovery though.

I hope this helped some. Know you are not alone here and all of us understand because we have been or are where you are at. Some differing in the exact nature of the struggle but enough that we can support you. Please post again and let us know how you are doing.

weight gain

ugh i can relate so hard to this. i just got out of hospital a few weeks ago and am struggling so much to maintain my weight.

my pattern was the same, restrict for as long as i could then binge purge at night a few times a week.

since discharge, its happened only a handful of times, but it feels as though every time it does im taking so many steps backwards, with my digestion and hunger cues all out of order again and such a strong urge to restrict following each binge/purge epoisode

i dont want to diet ever again, but the perceived wight gain is so hard. I guess what im trying to get at here is that my weight gain is PERCEIVED not real. even if it feels real, my weight is being monitored by my treatment team and i have apparently, within normal fluctuations, been the same weight as when i was discharged.

Are you still weighing yourself? if so, get your doctor to blind weigh you so if they feel an adjustment needs to be made to your meal plan they can do it and you wont have to worry about doing it yourself and seeing your weight shift by so much throughout one day. and if youre worried about the food youre eating and why it is making you gain weight, i take photos of my meals to show to my dietitian so they can reassure me that its the right quantity, without being too obsessive.

Also, i have to keep reminding myself that fluctuations in shape and weight occur throughout my menstrual cycle and with different salt intake and water retention and weather etc.

ALSO i keep reminding myself how far ive come, and even though this still feels like shit at least i dont think about food around the clock and have the ability to have regular conversations again.

i hope this was helpful, believe me i wish it was easier.