Registered: 1537901346 Posts: 4
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My 12 yo D just started FBT in the past 2 weeks. The first week we were just barely holding it together- focused on getting through each meal tantrum and happy if she ate anything. There was no real weight gain that week which was sad but not totally surprising as our focus was just getting her acclimated and eating anything at all. Week 2 weigh in yesterday though WAS surprising- she only gained 2 oz! It was disappointing for me and my husband given how labor intensive this has been. We feel like we’ve been feeding her well and she’s been eating everything we give, but clearly it’s not enough. I’ve just ordered benecaloroie to add into whatever I can and I’m hopeful next weeks weigh in will be more. Has anyone else struggled to get the weight up during early refeeding? Is this normal and just what the body does? Thanks-
Registered: 1396016102 Posts: 5,360
Reply with quote #2
Yes, that sounds very normal. Unfortunately, it is really hard - REALLY HARD - to get the process started. It's great that you ordered Benecalorie - as you probably know, it also helps to add butter, cream, and canola oil (rapeseed in UK) wherever possible. If you stir the oil in briskly, it will disappear without changing the flavor or texture.
I'm really sorry you are having to go through this. If it's any comfort, we've all been there. Keep swimming. xx -Torie __________________ " We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP ♡
Registered: 1536690225 Posts: 38
Reply with quote #3
Hello there. Unfortunately, yes, what you are experiencing is normal if a little dispiriting!
My son was diagnosed with AN in August but prior to his Fbt starting we'd read up on it ( thanks Eva Musby) and started refeeding with a vengeance. All very traumatic but ultimately given that our son had only been getting about 600 calories a day (combination of binning lunch and snack and claiming that he was completely full up at mealtimes), we must have been giving him 2000 more calories a day. How could he NOT put on loads of weight we thought? However, we only got 2 pounds on in 6 difficult, emotional weeks. I'm sure there's some science to explain this but ultimately I think there's a lot of internal repair to be doing. After we started following a camhs diet sheet (3 meals 3 snacks), he finally started gaining. He's now weight restored but only 9 so will be growing for a long time yet. Mood is better though it's neither quick nor easy. Keep going and hold the faith. The weight will go on once you rule out over exercising, hiding food, dropping food, purging and all of the other sneaky ed behaviours! Best of luck. This is a great site for support and advice x
Registered: 1492110966 Posts: 873
Reply with quote #4
Originally Posted by
Mcmartin30 Hi there, My 12 yo D just started FBT in the past 2 weeks. The first week we were just barely holding it together- focused on getting through each meal tantrum and happy if she ate anything. There was no real weight gain that week which was sad but not totally surprising as our focus was just getting her acclimated and eating anything at all. Week 2 weigh in yesterday though WAS surprising- she only gained 2 oz! It was disappointing for me and my husband given how labor intensive this has been. We feel like we’ve been feeding her well and she’s been eating everything we give, but clearly it’s not enough. I’ve just ordered benecaloroie to add into whatever I can and I’m hopeful next weeks weigh in will be more. Has anyone else struggled to get the weight up during early refeeding? Is this normal and just what the body does? Thanks- Is she eating all that you give her? Is she burning/throwing away calories? Is she purging, exercising? At the beginning it is hard to figure out how much food/calories to feed and HOW to ensure it all goes in. Add calories to what she is eating via the benecalorie, oil, cheese, butter, heavy whipping cream (hide in sauces and milk), just like Torie said. That is what we did, pasta and sauce was laden with olive oil and a 300 cal meal went to over 600 cal etc. I aimed for 400 cal +snacks and 1000 cal meals. It is hard but hiding the calories works. We had to go to 4500 cal per day to get good weight gain. They never told us that at the therapist, but I learned it here and it works. Once the weight goes on and they get used to the schedule and gets used to the fact that they will eat what you plate no matter what, then you can increase the volume of foods. That is what we found and I know that others may have done it differently My D was 11 almost 12 at the time of diagnosis. So keep asking your questions. We all want to help. There are some wonderful "voices of experience" here. XXX
Food +more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight= healing---> recovery (---> life without ED)
Registered: 1492110966 Posts: 873
Reply with quote #5
I also want to say that you are doing well. Even though it is such a slog. The fact that your D did NOT lose wt and even the 2 oz gain is a win. Many lose weight at the beginning as it is such a learning curve for us and the child.
Registered: 1536690225 Posts: 38
Reply with quote #6
Another thing is to look out for the highest calorie versions of food you buy anyway. Bread, cereal, yoghurt and so on. It varies enormously.
Registered: 1452437794 Posts: 2,592
Reply with quote #7
We have needed 4000 Plus+++ calories per day for the last 3 years to get into recovery & stay there. Here is an interesting article. I will also bump up a thread on calories required being higher than we think. https://www.verywellmind.com/restoring-nutritional-health-in-anorexia-nervosa-recovery-4115081 __________________ Food is the medicine. Recovery is possible.
Registered: 1521119942 Posts: 187
Reply with quote #8
High calorie drinks are the best way to get the calories in. My daughter drinks a milkshake with ice cream, heavy cream, chocolate, and nuts. Also a fruit smoothie with chopped nuts in the afternoon. Once she was drinking those drinks everyday she started gaining consistently.
Registered: 1528754293 Posts: 297
Reply with quote #9
Lots of high calorie meals and snacks in this thread:
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/high-calorie-suggestions-696425?trail=800#gsc.tab=0 Even if some aren't to your taste, you will get an idea of how to bump up the calories in your cooking/snack prep. :) __________________ Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
Registered: 1209507043 Posts: 2,715
Reply with quote #10
I echo Scaredmom here. Getting our children eating at home is the first step - I could not stop the slide into hospitalisation on two occasions at the start of our journey. After finding ATDT and finally getting my head round the illness I was better prepared the second time she came out. So stopping weight loss is a great first step while you learn how to fight the illness and then how to bump up the meal plan and get a momentum going. AN kids are expert at jiggling limbs and never sitting still as they seek out ways to burn off calories and they are also expert at hiding food in front of your nose. It s a tough journey but people here will help and support you through it.
__________________ Believe you can and you're halfway there. Theodore Roosevelt.
Registered: 1529152776 Posts: 13
Reply with quote #11
We also went through the same thing and I was very surprised that what I was feeding her didn't cause any gain other than the initial few pounds. I kept track of everything she ate in a notebook. After reading on here that it was normal we just kept adding food until we did gain. One thing that we did was kept introducing her fear foods until she was eating everything again. And also we made a smoothie together in a blender but then I added heavy cream to that. I was putting powdered milk in her whole milk too without her knowing.
My D 12 was having night sweats at this time which I attribute to a hypermetabolism. Also her poop had white in it so I think she was having a hard time digesting everything after restricting so long. I did have her checked out by a GI and endocrine but it was all the ED. It is very dispiriting to not gain but food and time will hopefully bring better days. Good luck to you and keep up the battle!
Registered: 1496061527 Posts: 1,855
Reply with quote #12
You are in very early days. In fact it is fantastic that you did not have a weight LOSS! We needed about 5-6 weeks to see a steady weight gain. It is a learning process and a lot of try and error. Keep adding butter, oil and cream to everything possible and you will see some weight gain in the next weeks.
If you need some ideas, come here and ask. Tina72 __________________
d off to University now 22 months after diagnose, still doing FBT and relapse prevention
Registered: 1368575859 Posts: 1,100
Reply with quote #13
Our experience was that my daughter LOST weight until we hit the 3000 calorie a day mark, and did not get meaningful weight gain until she hit the 4000+ calorie mark. That meant three 1000 calorie plus meals, plus two 500+ calorie snacks (and in early days, this was three 300+ calorie snacks instead). It's very hard because they become calorie burning machines to repair damaged organs, etc, so it doesn't show up as weight gain.
It is very hard. Calorie dense is the key. Adding canola oil to just about everything (including my daughter's "fruit" smoothies....these were my saving grace...blended frozen fruit, some heavy whipping cream and canola oil...tasted like a fruit smoothie to her, loaded with calories). Looking for the absolutely most caloric yogurts (whole milk, liberte was the bomb for calories), breads, etc. I looked like a crazy woman in the grocery store as I looked at every loaf of bread, every yogurt, every cereal....and then when I got home, removing them all from the original packaging for D couldn't study the labels. Sigh. I do not miss those days. But, it was worth it. __________________ D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since. UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side. :-) D at college and doing great!
Registered: 1501671842 Posts: 107
Reply with quote #14
As others have said, it is very early days, and you're doing really well to see any gain at all at this stage. In fact, throughout refeeding you're likely to find that weight gain won't be linear. My understanding is that as you start to renourish your d's starving body it will prioritise using calories to repair internal damage to organs at a micro level, which can explain why all that food seems to be going nowhere. Also, as different physiological processes come back online they have different demands for energy. So please don't be disheartened if you have one of those weeks where you feel you've managed to feed your child enormous amounts but it just doesn't show on the scales! Keep feeding and loving your d, and you'll get there 👍 Warmly Hope
Registered: 1454901521 Posts: 682
Reply with quote #15
Here is a link to the Vermont prison overeating experiment (it is the opposite of the Minnesota semi starvation study). Volunteer inmates were given a lot of food to gain weight. Their exercise levels were also controlled. It took huge amounts (8000 10 000 cal/day) of calories to get some of them to gain weight.
https://idmprogram.com/the-astonishing-overeating-paradox-calories-part-x/ __________________ D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.