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    I'm meant to be starting university on the 2nd October. However, I have anorexia and am very underweight. I currently weigh 32kg and I'm 161.7cm tall.

    At my university, new students have to have a health check with their college's nurse which includes measuring their weight and height.

    I need to be a healthy weight before this. I only have 7 weeks to get up to a healthy weight. The lowest healthy weight for me would be 48.6kg (bmi of 18.6).

    If I put on 2kg a week I would be 46kg by the start of term which is a bmi of 17.59 so almost healthy.

    I'm willing to try to gain 2kg per week, but is it possible?
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    You want your new weight to be a mix of a little bit of fat (slight amounts of fat is both healthy and necessary for your body to function) and a good bit of muscle (which weighs a lot more than fat). I'd suggest eating healthily with a diet focused on protein. Drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day - preferably water or tea/coffee with no sugar. Sugary drinks such as fruit juices, soft drinks and (especially!) energy drinks should be avoided. Try eating more fresh or tinned fruit for vitamins and also chicken-based recipes with carbohydrates and vegetables thrown in - a favourite of mine is chicken fillets with basmati brown rice, basil and assorted steamed vegetables. Quick and easy to make in a pan! A good book for similar recipes is Nosh For Students. Also, if you start practising cooking with these recipes now, it'll all be so much easier once you're in Halls. On top of that, make sure you both sleep well get some exercise.

    For sleep, I'd recommend turning off electronics (like laptop, phone, etc.) at 9pm then getting ready for bed. If all goes well you should be in bed and ready to sleep by 9:30pm. From there, read a book or magazine until 9:45-10pm, then lights out and off to sleep <: Have an alarm set for 7am the next morning. After a few days of this, having a consistent sleep schedule of 10pm - 7am, netting you an awesome 9 hours every single night, regardless of whether it's a weekend or weekday will vastly improve your circadian rhythm's accuracy. You will feel a lot less tired during the day, feel much better waking up in the morning, feel more confident, be able to take in and retain information much faster and for longer (important for study!), feel less inclined to eat sugary/unhealthy foods and your metabolism will stabilize. The overall effect will be that it'll be much, much easier to get through day-to-day life in general and maintain a healthy eating pattern that'll help you gain the weight you need. Life feels so much better when you're not horribly sleep-deprived all the time.

    For exercise, you don't necessarily need to hit the gym and follow a hardcore weight-lifting regime (unless you want to!). Simply get outside and do stuff! I personally really enjoy day hiking, which is something I picked up from my old DofE and Ten Tors expeditions. Pack a rucksack with supplies like a lunch, first aid kit and lots of water, then go out and walk off into the countryside for a few hours. I like to try and find new locations I didn't know were near where I lived each time. You could bring a phone with Pokémon Go if you're into that kind of thing or similar interactive VR apps to make things more exciting - personally, I always set up playlists of my latest favourite music and bring a pair of headphones with me. Another great option are Audible audiobooks. Walking/hiking is great exercise for almost the entire body and will allow you to build up muscle in you legs and core body, and it can be fun, too! Whilst it won't build up your arms much, hiking does improve your aerobic endurance. After a few months of occasional day hiking, you'll find that lifting weights in a gym won't tire you out anywhere near as quickly as before the hiking.

    There's also the option of eating a horrifying amount of junk food, but - this goes without saying, really - don't do that. Your body would suffer horribly for it due to nutrient deficiency and an overload of generally unhelpful and even harmful chemicals. You would end up feeling very unwell almost constantly, experiencing fatigue, nausea and (quite possibly the worst side effect) develop an addiction to sugar, which is how most cases of eventual obesity start. I'm overweight myself because of this. Trust me, it's not a road you want to tread. Stick to the tips I've given above and I promise that you'll gain weight healthily in good time!

    tl;dr - Eat healthily with more protein, sleep well and do some moderate physical activity where you can <:
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    Totally possible, but you're going to need to be in a caloric surplus of over 2000 per day - because you're light, the likely means your TDEE is very low. I'd recommend checking the FAQ in the Fitness forums here as your weight gain will be helped if you train on a weightlifting program (you'll also look a lot better with this type of weight gain) and you'll probably need 3500-4000 calories a day as an estimate based on your height and weight, with somewhere between 50-100g of protein a day - if you've actually been diagnosed with anorexia through an eating disorder, this will be ridiculously tough, but if you've just labelled yourself anorexic because you're very underweight then it's just a case of knuckling down and eating more. Liquid calories will help you here - milk, powdered oats, whey protein, some type of healthy oil (olive oil is good but walnut oil will taste a lot nicer and comes with many health benefits) will all be your friends.

    Start as I said above, and weigh yourself once a week first thing in the morning. If you haven't gained 2kg in that week, increase the calories.
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    possible yes but it depends in part on your body and how able you are to deal with the weight gain, obviously going faster and eating more will potentially make it more stressful (also potentially get it over with faster! weight gain is the worst part of recovery imo)

    are you in touch with a doctor? if not it might be worth making contact so they can monitor you, sometimes health problems get worse in the early stages of refeeding

    aim to increase your calorie intake steadily (say by 2-300 every couple of days) until it reaches 3000-3500, you can eat more calories for less food by having a lot of oil, nuts and calorie filled drinks... depends how you like doing it, some people feel better eating 'healthier' foods but you have to eat A LOT of vegetables to make that calorie count, personally I found it easier to add in calories whereever possible without making myself feel overly full and bloated
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    Are you really OK with that though? I don't think that I would cope with University Life and be able to look after myself in that state. Like it's taken me 8 months to put that weight on and I still struggle so is going to university now really safe for you? xx
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm meant to be starting university on the 2nd October. However, I have anorexia and am very underweight. I currently weigh 32kg and I'm 161.7cm tall.

    At my university, new students have to have a health check with their college's nurse which includes measuring their weight and height.

    I need to be a healthy weight before this. I only have 7 weeks to get up to a healthy weight. The lowest healthy weight for me would be 48.6kg (bmi of 18.6).

    If I put on 2kg a week I would be 46kg by the start of term which is a bmi of 17.59 so almost healthy.

    I'm willing to try to gain 2kg per week, but is it possible?
    You are still wittering on about this? There is no health check where your College will chuck you out if you don't meet a minimum weight limit. What they will be concerned about, on a far more general, pastoral level is that someone is trying to complete a very intensive, and costly course, without having control of their (entirely valid) medical condition. You need to get your current medical support involved and tell your College so that all three parties can be best advised as to how to support you. Trying to gain a ridiculous amount of wait on a crash food-fest is not the way to resolve the challenge you face.

    Again, there is no College health check that requires a minimum weight or BMI (unless you aren't disclosing that this is already a condition that has been set by College and your current medical team)
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    You are still wittering on about this? There is no health check where your College will chuck you out if you don't meet a minimum weight limit. What they will be concerned about, on a far more general, pastoral level is that someone is trying to complete a very intensive, and costly course, without having control of their (entirely valid) medical condition. You need to get your current medical support involved and tell your College so that all three parties can be best advised as to how to support you. Trying to gain a ridiculous amount of wait on a crash food-fest is not the way to resolve the challenge you face.

    Again, there is no College health check that requires a minimum weight or BMI (unless you aren't disclosing that this is already a condition that has been set by College and your current medical team)
    Agreed - you are focussing on the weight as a magic number when it's really only the tip of the iceberg. Anorexia, as you well know OP, is not just about being too thin, it's about all the behaviours and emotions around managing your diet. If you've spent a long time restricting your food and wanting to be ever-thinner, what makes you think you can just snap out of it now and eat enough to gain half your bodyweight within a few weeks without triggering yourself to become even worse? And then how will you manage it at university when there are all sorts of new stresses around you which you won't easily be able to control?

    Seriously think about taking some time out for recovery, and if you haven't already, contact your GP and/or specialist for more assistance.
 
 
 
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